Thursday, June 30, 2011

Delish & Polish! ... Part 2 of Sweet Love

Yesterday I posted about the Italian Love Knot Cookies that I made as a part of my good friend's bridal shower gift. Alongside these yummy treats , I included a little nod to her fiance's Polish heritage as well: Faworki!

Faworki - also known as Angel Wings, Chrusciki, Chrust, or Polish Crullers - are basically strips of dough that are twisted into ribbons {the best way I can describe it is a "Topsy Tail". Ha!!}, deep fried, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Like Polish funnel cake! :)



Similar to the Love Knot cookies, faworki take a little bit of time and a lotta bit of patience, especially if you're not the type to spend time in the kitchen rolling out dough and such. {Truthfully, I'm a fan of non-fussy drop cookies myself.} They're not called Faworki for nothin'. ;)


Now, I've gotta let you in on a little secret. Ms. Paula Deen, if you are reading this {hey, a girl can dream}, please avert your eyes for just a moment while I divulge this little nugget of information. ;) Ok, here it goes...

Before making these Faworki, I had never really deep fried anything. Ever.

I don't know about you, but I avoid being exposed to high volumes of scalding hot oil at all costs. It just sounds like a kitchen nightmare and trip to the ER in the making. Aside from the fear of burning down my apartment and 3rd degree burns accidents occuring, vats of oil don't usually make it into my favorite ways to prepare food. {Unless we're talking the occasional french fry, which I have a VERY hard time turning down. Mmm...}

So, anyway, I was a little apprehensive about approaching this fried confection because I did, after all, want to attend the bridal shower without needing to stop in at the nearest hospital for a skin graft or two beforehand. I only had a small bottle of vegetable oil, so in the end I didn't actually "deep" fry because there were only a few inches of oil in the pot. The faworki turned out just fine anyway, even though they went for more of a shallow wade than a serious plunge. ;)

Some helpful suggestions for the frying impaired:

1. Be careful. It is still hot oil no matter how you look at it. Safety first! :)

2. Fry in small batches. Do not get in over your head and try to send them all in for a swim at the same time. Haste makes waste!

3.. Do not walk away from them even for a second. They fry up FAST. Fast enough to get too brown on you before you can realize it's too late.

4. Work as quickly as possible. The longer the oil was over the heat, the more time it had to brown any little bits that stayed behind from the previous cookies and make the oil "dirty". Nobody likes cookies that taste like burnt oil.

5. Try to make these the same day you plan on serving them. As with anything fried, they are best served fresh and don't do well being stored.

6. If you're more of a visual person, go to About.com's fabulous photo tutorial on making faworki.

Those are all the words of wisdom I can think of, but I trust that you'll be just fine if you decide to venture into the world of faworki. As a side note, it was mentioned to me that these were received very happily by the groom-to-be and that they were gone almost as quickly as they arrived. What a compliment! :) 

Polish Faworki
recipe found at About.com by Barbara Rolek

You'll Need:
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon rum or brandy
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Confectioners' sugar
1. To make the dough, combine egg yolks, whole egg and salt in bowl of mixer. Beat at high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in sugar, cream, vanilla and rum. Add flour and beat until blisters form, about 5 minutes.

2. Turn dough out onto a floured board, divide in half, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes.
3. Working with half of the dough at a time, roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch-wide strips.

4. Cut the strips on the diagonal at 4-inch intervals.

5. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large, deep skillet to 350 degrees. Make a slit in the center of each strip of dough. Then pull one end through the slit to form a bow {or, you know, a Topsy Tail.} :P

6. Fry 4 to 6 chrusciki at a time for 1 minute or less per side or until golden. These fry quickly, so watch closely. Drain on paper towels.

7. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Some like to drizzle their chrusciki with honey. These pastries tend not to store well, but if kept tightly covered, they will last several days and can be recripsed in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes when ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet Love

Why, hello!  I'm back from our Anniversary Weekend Getaway to Sanibel & Captiva tanned and ready to talk food. :)  The hubby & I headed over to the West coast of our state last weekend to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary the best way we know how: Lounging, eating, and spending lots of time on the beach!

June has been overflowing with bridal showers, weddings, anniversaries {and babies... so many babies! But that's a whole different department! ;) }, and I love all of the above. Mostly because all of the occasions I mentioned mean joyful celebrations with family and friends {and, who am I kidding... yummy food!}. What's better than celebrating love with people you love and food you love?? Nothing!

So, in honor of all the lovey-doveyness going on, I thought I'd get a little mushy on you and share a recipe for a classic Italian cookie representing two lives intertwining in marriage or two people "tying the knot". {If you're feeling a bit cynical or jaded today, this post may not be for you... but the cookie will still hit the spot!} :P


I tried this recipe out back in April, when I was invited to my college roomate's bridal shower. I wanted to give her something really special along with the predictable {though lovely!} registry gift. So I dedided to include a "sweet" little addition to the serving platter I purchased... cookies! But not just any cookies. Cookies that reflected her Italian background and her Polish fiance's heritage as well. After doing a little research, I decided on Italian Love Knot cookies and Polish Faworki {big thanks to Anna, Gen's sister-in-law-to-be, for the wonderful suggestion!}.

Italian Love Knots often make an appearance at Steve's family's Christmas dessert table {made deliciously by his Aunt Fran}, decorated in the classic style with white glaze and rainbow colored sprinkles. Decorated with a little romantic flourish, I knew they'd make a great gift to give to a bride-to-be -- especially one who loves food as much as Gen does! ;)


The dough for these cookies comes together quite easily, but their assembly is a bit of a labor of love, so to speak. But don't be intimidated. Once you get the hang of creating the little knots, they're actually pretty easy to crank out. If you start to get frustrated, just recite "Love is patient, love is kind..." a couple of times and you should be fine. ;) 


Below you'll find the recipe for the Love Knots, and I plan on sharing the recipe for the Polish Faworki later in the week. I hope you'll enjoy sharing these with your sweetie or with family & friends. They're a cookie everyone will be sure to LOVE!

The Bride-to-Be & opening her gift. :)
Italian Love Knot Cookies
found on Sprinkle with Salt

You'll Need:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Icing:
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract

Colored sprinkles or heart sprinkles.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets withnon-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper & set aside.

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest.
4. Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing until well combined. {The dough will be relatively soft.} Wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

To Assemble Love Knots:
1. Prepare your surface by dusting lightly with flour. Take pieces of dough that are roughly the size of a golf ball.
2. Roll each ball of dough into a rope shape about 7 inches long and 1/2 inch thick.
3. Carefully tie the dough into a knot as you normally would. One end will poke up in the center. 
4. Place each knot 1-inch apart on your prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly. {The cookies are best iced when they are slightly warm.}


For Icing:
1. In a bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Add in the almond extract and stir until well combined.
{IF your icing is too thick, add more milk a small amount at at time to thin it.}

2. Carefully dip each cookie, top down, into the icing. Flip over and place the cookies on wire racks and allow the excess icing to drip off.  Top with the colored sprinkles while the icing is still wet and allow to dry completely before storing.

These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 1 week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate for Breakfast

How is it possible that it's already Thursday? I feel like someone hit the fast forward button on this week, and my To Do list shows it. Luckily, I am well armed with the motivation of a weekend away with the husband, and a little extra boost from the Cafe du Monde coffee that I bought on sale at Whole Foods last week. {Seriously, I don't think I can ever go back to regular ol' coffee again.}

I'll be honest: I am not a morning person. Never have been. Probably never will be. {Good Lord, I fear for our future children. Good thing Steve is an early riser.} I'm one of those people who wakes up and fumbles around the kitchen, eyes closed, groping for her coffee cup. If you want to talk to me and get an answer that doesn't sound like "Grrrmmrrrtt. Frnkknt plherrn.", morning is not the time to attempt conversation.

Naturally, I don't usually start off the day wanting to prepare something healthy and filling that will help me embark on an energy filled day ahead. If there is breakfast readily available, I may make an attempt to eat, but my appetite is not usually at its peak in the morning hours, which often means that I don't eat breakfast. Please do not feel compelled to yell at me or tell me how awful it is. I am quite aware and I'm working on it. :P

The funny thing is, I LOVE breakfast foods! {If you couldn't already tell from this, this, and this.} I love them even more if they happen to resemble some sort of dessert. :) While I have, on occasion, had a slice of cake or a cookie for breakfast {I mean, who among us hasn't? :::crickets chirp::: Hello? Ok, I know I'm not the only one... Liars.}, I try not to make a habit of unhealthy um... habits.

So, when I saw this recipe for Double Chocolate Coffee Muffins, I knew that I might be able to have the best of both worlds. Made with whole wheat flour {I used a half all purpose, half whole wheat combo this time, but you can make them all whole wheat if you're trying to be good} and no butter, and boasting a healthy dose of dark chocolate flavor, a whole cup of coffee, and semi sweet chocolate chips {Flavanols! Antioxidants!}, I think I might just be awake enough for breakfast when these are around.


*Note: Even though these contain coffee, they don't really taste like it. For a more prominent coffee flavor, try adding a tablespoon or so of instant coffee granules.



"Semi-Healthy" Double Chocolate Coffee Muffins
slightly adapted from Muffin Tin Mania

You'll Need: 
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder {I used Dark Chocolate cocoa powder}

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 egg

½ cup canola oil

1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Ingredients:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.{I like stirring add-ins to dry ingredients to help prevent sinkage to the bottom.}


2. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg. Mix in oil, coffee and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix just until flour is no longer dry.

3. Divide batter among 12 greased or paper lined muffin cups and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding.
4. Happily justify eating chocolate for breakfast and enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Everything in Moderation...

I'm responsible, but silly. A penny pincher, but I love to shop. A Floridian, but I'm petrified sort of scared of swimming around in open water. In short, I'm a walking contradiction. :) So, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that while I most definitely enjoy cooking and eating healthy foods, I'm also game for indulging in some sugar filled, calorie-rich foods that would make even Paula Deen say, "Now that's a lot of butter, yawl!" {Ok maybe not, the woman uses a LOT of butter.} 

Yesterday I posted a recipe for healthy Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini. It was good and made a great choice for a mid-week meal. But now, it's the end of the week, and after working, helping my Mom move into her new place, nursing hubby back to health, finding a new cluster of gray hairs sprouting from my head, and just plain dealing with day to day life, I decided to bake up a little "reward".

Nutella Swirl Pound Cake. Holy yum.


Yes, there are two entire sticks of butter in this pound cake. Yes, the recipe calls for a whole jar of Nutella. Yes, your kitchen will smell like a buttery, chocolate hazelnut dream. And, yes, you will want to eat it directly out of the loaf pan with wreckless abandon. {No, I am not suggesting you give into that urge.} That is why, before you decide to bake this for yourself, you MUST determine who will be the recipient of the majority of this pound cake and then- before you have any time to change your mind - you must wrap it up and deliver it promptly to it's new home. {About a quarter of mine went to my Mom, grandma, and sister and the rest was shared with friends at girl's night. Minus 1 slice and any crumbs that happened to be laying around... which went directly into my belly.}


Ok, I'm just kidding, I know you and I have more self control than that. {Sort of.} But seriously, do yourself a favor and make this.


Nutella Swirl Pound Cake
adapted from Food & Wine.com

You'll Need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
One 13-ounce jar Nutella
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. {I used the stand mixer.} With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
  3. Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.
  4. Bake the cake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean {remember it won't be completely clean because you'll be going through layers of nutella. Just make sure there isn't wet batter on the toothpick and you should be fine}. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Get on the Boat, The Zucchiiiiini Boat! :P

Please do not be deterred from trying the following recipe because of my ridiculous title. Sadly, this little tune popped into my head as I was preparing these, and I just couldn't resist. ;)


I heart zucchini. I like it plain, sauteed with just a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. I like it marinated & sliced into long slabs, grilled on an outdoor grill.  I like it as a pasta imposter. I even like it uncooked, diced small in a nice cold salad. It is really just good no matter how you cook it. So when this recipe from Real Simple showed up in my inbox today, I knew I'd give it a try and I knew it would be good.

These little boats are a yummy, healthy way to get some nutritious ingredients into a fun dish. You might even be able to trick little ones into taking a bite or two! We had these for lunch, but you could serve them as a side dish, snack, or appetizer.



If you don't have the ingredients it calls for {or don't care for some of the flavors, or have dietary restrictions...etc.} then swap them out for whatever you prefer. The "boats" can be filled with just about anything. I'm already picturing Zucchini Boat Pizzas.... :) Yum!

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats
adapted from Real Simple

You'll Need:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • clove garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds to create "boats". Arrange in a large baking dish or on a foil covered sheet pan, cut-side up. {season lightly with salt, if you'd like}
  3. Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the oil.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and ¼ cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Neither Here, Nor There

If my calculations are correct, I have only posted one recipe in over a week.  Yikes. Truthfully, I just haven't had the energy. This whole working evening hours thing is for the birds and I am hoping that next week will bring a little more normal-ness to my schedule {but really, who am I kidding?}. Aside from being far too tired to do much of anything once I get home, I also haven't really had the opportunity to make anything particularly worthy of sharing.

The husband has pretty much been responsible for feeding me & himself as I haven't been doing much more than walking in the door and plopping myself on the couch in a semi-vegetative state. Consequently, we had random leftovers for several days in a row last week and for the real showstopper... we had pancakes. {And they were delicious. You know I love you, dear. :)}

To top it all off, the weather was gloomy around here for a few day, Steve caught a cold {he almost never gets sick}, and I had some sort of stomach yuckiness... When it rains it pours. All these factors combined put me in quite a funk. Like a "Come home, Get in my jammies & Eat Publix Malted Milk Ball Ice Cream" kind of funk. {Not that I have to be in a funk to do these things, but you know what I mean.}

When I get in this kind of mood, I look for things that make me happy while the sunshine is hiding {or at least until the wave of cranky hormones washes over}. Here are a few things that have done the trick:

Source

A little Lilly always brightens my day, even though this print is called "Dark & Stormy".
I pretty much love every pair of shorts they have available right now.



Source

I want to romp on the beach in this! Preferably a beach in Tahiti...
{Only if I can borrow the Victoria's Secret model's body, though.}



Source

Um... Blackberry Prosecco Popsicles? Yes, please!
{Bakers Royale has a WEEKLY cocktail popsicle post. Love!}



Source

I heart this clever idea for using cootie-catchers as sundae topping holders. Oh, that Martha...


Source

These adorable (and simple! and cheap!) summer lanterns!
And pretty much everything else on this slideshow.
So enough of the grouchiness this week... time to get back down to business. {And by "business", I obviously  mean delicious treats to share.} I think I know just the recipe to get me back to the kitchen... Stay tuned!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Musings on "Coffee" Cake

Why is coffee cake called "coffee cake" when coffee is almost never actually one of the ingredients? {Except here.} That's always kinda bugged me. I'm a coffee lover, so please do not tease me by putting "coffee" in something's name when it doesn't contain one drop. I'm sure the reason for the misleading name is most likely because it's often enjoyed with a nice, hot cup of coffee. Still, pretty silly if you ask me. I don't go around calling my Oreos "Milk Cookies" just because they are often enjoyed with a cold glass of milk, now do I?

Now that I've gotten that off my chest.... let's talk about this coffee cake. :)


Coffee cake in general is one of my favorite breakfast treats because it is a good excuse to consume copious amounts of sugar before 11 a.m. without prompting judgemental looks from strangers. {Or husbands.} What??? It's a breakfast food! That said, it is also one of those "special occasion" foods that I don't really indulge in all that often {but wish I could}.

What I liked a lot about this coffee cake recipe {found at My Baking Addiction} is that it doesn't have the cinnamon component that is usually found in coffee cakes. {Although, you could certainly add some cinnamon to it if coffee cake isn't the same to you without it.} This one uses fruit preserves for a pleasantly sweet layer of gooey, fruity goodness. The addition of fruit makes this coffee cake feel more "summery" to me. Jamie's recipe calls for lemon, but I didn't have any lemons around so I omitted it and added in a few different extracts to make up for the lack of zest. It worked out perfectly.


So, after giving it some thought, I think I will refer to this as "Anything Cake". Because obviously, this cake doesn't require a cup of coffee to make it enjoyable... you'll enjoy it with just about anything. :)

"Anything" {Coffee} Cake
{slightly adapted from a My Baking Addiction recipe}

You'll Need:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 cup blueberry preserves {or preserves of your choice, I think it would be just as yum with any other type}

For the Topping

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cold butter

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray an 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add butter, egg, milk and vanilla, almond extract and lemon extract. Mix until just combined.
3. Pour about half of batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Stir the preserves and spread it evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, again spreading evenly.*
4. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the batter.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs.

 *When I followed this step, I accidentally poured more than half of the batter the first time, leaving me with not enough batter to evenly cover the jam layer. Instead, I applied large blobs of batter and spread them out as much as possible, but some jam still peeked through. It will all be covered by the streusel topping anyway. I still loved how it turned out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memories & Mangoes

Mangoes bring back vivid memories to me of playing in Abuela's {grandma's} backyard every summer. The mango tree that stood smack in the middle of the yard served many purposes: a shady refuge from the hot Florida sun, "base" during a game of tag with neighborhood friends, and most importantly for my grandma, the source of sweet, juicy mangoes.

When that time of year came around, the yard would be littered with mangoes. So many, in fact, that we'd walk around on our tippy toes as not to step in the squishy, rotting, sticky landmines.  They'd drop from above with a hard thump all day long, like the tree had it in for us. The thump was a loud warning: Beware. Stay away. The mangos are coming for you, and the thump is even louder when it hits you over the head, kid.  It was mango warfare.

To Abuela though, the thumps were like a knock at the door, an invitation to pick up as many as we could take inside and start the Mango Feast. I remember her eating mangoes over the sink, juice dripping all the way down to her elbows until there was nothing left but a big, sticky seed with it's fuzz all matted down like a little yellow kitten that had just been given a bath by its mama. Her housecoat would be dotted with faint orange speckles that wouldn't wash out. Even her fingernails would be slightly stained orange underneath where the pulp would stubbornly lodge itself.

And then, when everyone had had their fill of fresh mangoes - when they'd been distributed to friends and neighbors in bulging Publix bags, and somehow the tree branches weren't any less bare, still dripping ripe red and orange fruits like someone forgot to turn off the faucet - the cooking would begin.

Mango jelly. Mango jam. Mango desserts. Mango bubbling and stewing on the hot stove and permeating the air with a sickeningly sweet aroma. That's where I decided that if I had a choice, I'd never eat another mango as long as I lived. {A bit dramatic for an 8 year old, you think?} I'd had enough of mangoes.

Until this week. No, really. I can't remember the last time I purposely ate mango. {It may have snuck its way into a sip of smoothie or some form of dessert here and there throughout the years, but I promise, I didn't knowingly choose to eat it.} I was browsing one of my many issues of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food {don't you love the portable size of these?? I carry them everywhere.} and came across a non-recipe recipe for Goat Cheese and Mango Quesadillas. The adult in me thought, "Mmm, that sounds good.", but the bratty child within shouted "Ewww. Mangoes!!! Bleh!". Still, I dogeared the page.


After giving it some thought, I figured I would buy ONE mango, just one. And in the event that the smell made me gag and I couldn't bring myself to put it in my quesadilla, I would save it for Steve to throw into one of his smoothies. It wouldn't go to waste. 

When I cut into the mango, the memories came flooding back with the smell, but I wasn't disgusted. I was kind of nostalgic, in fact. And the taste of the mango in my quesadilla was a perfect addition for adding a touch of sweetness {both literally and figuratively} to each savory bite.


 
Maybe this quesadilla won't transport you back to childhood, but it'll certainly serve as a light lunch or snack that signals the arrival of summer. That alone will be enough to appeal to the 8 year old within. ;)

Goat Cheese & Mango Quesadillas
adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

You'll Need:
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Directions:

  1. Spread goat cheese on tortillas. Divide mango, onion, and cilantro on one half of each tortilla. Fold tortilla over filling. {alternatively, if you're really hungry, you can use 2 whole tortillas and just put one on top of the other.}
  2. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, cook quesadillas until cheese softens and tortillas are crisp and browned in spots, 1 to 2 minutes per side (if skillet begins to scorch, reduce heat to medium). Transfer quesadillas to a cutting board and cut each into 4 wedges. Serve immediately.