MangoEats

“One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

MangoEats is me spreading love to all of you. Stop in, take a gander and bookmark a few recipes to try. From my kitchen to yours, spread love.

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Breakfast - the easy way

I posted heavily yellowed photos of some good eats over two years ago. Even with the poor photo quality, people could see that my muffins were something to behold. It was probably dead of winter (I didn't check) when I first shared #TheTeenager's fav breakfast muffins. My solution to the him running out of the house with something cold or nothing at all before school. Our mornings were/are frenzied, no matter how early we wake - 5:00 means NOTHING to our body clocks. 

A particular friend of mine called me out about not posting the recipe. I mentioned that I'd get it up in a few days or so. Two years later...

INGREDIENTS and TOOLS

  • 20 oz. seasoned and grated potatoes - cheat and buy the ones at the market.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 ½ c shredded mozzarella and swiss cheeses (toss to mix)
  • 1 package of your fav bacon, cooked till crispy
  • Muffin tin (I use minis because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lay bacon vertically on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy
  • While bacon cooks, grease mini muffin tins with your preferred method. I used Pam. She my girl.
  • Combine potatoes, eggs, and cheese in large bowl, set aside
  • Remove bacon from oven - I take this opportunity to grind fresh black pepper one the still hot bacon
  • Reduce oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Add bacon slices two at a time into potato mixture, using a fork crunch pieces until combined well
  • Use a spoon to scoop mixture into muffin tin, fill each to the top and pat down with back of spoon
  • Bake muffins for 20 minutes or until firm
  • Remove from oven and let cool - if you don't, they will come out crumbly.

 

There it is. Easy peezy breakfast on the go. Never mind that my child has already eaten half and it's 8:00 PM on a Sunday. This recipe is perfect for small kids and people on the go - anyone who wants to try something different can use this as your base. Sub out bacon for sausage, switch up your cheeses, add onions, peppers whatever - make this your own! #MangoEats

No grill? No problem!

Our Fourth of July this year wasn't anywhere near what I'd had in mind. Instead of crashing a BBQ or throwing together some sides for a friend's shindig, I found myself in the gym and laying low. Unfortunately, my sweet Aunt Priscilla passed Sunday night and I was in no mood to cook nor entertain. I instead spent my evening with some of my favorite people which included my family.

To make up for a day where the stove wasn't touched, I decided to cull together my holiday meal on Tuesday instead. I'd planned to enjoy Eid with my father and family, but I got that date wrong so I had a day off to be domestic and find my happy place. 

A little background here. I live in a tiny yet spacious home. I don't have the luxury of owning a grill, therefore the smokey meats and charred fruits and veggies I like to enjoy manifest with plenty of  patience and creativity. My BBQ chicken is no exception. I went in blind when it came to making "BBQ" in the oven. Years ago I recall my sister hipping me to her technique of slowly baking ribs for some fall off the bone yumminess, but I didn't have the hours that her method required. 

I did have a little hope though. Here's where it led me.

Ingredients and Tools

  • 6-8 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (easily my favorite cut of meat)
  • MangoEats' special spice blend for meats (more on this later)
  • 2-3 c. of your favorite BBQ sauce (I make my own, maybe I'll share that soon!)
  • ½ c. vegetable or olive oil
  • Silicone brush
  • Baking sheet
  • Tongs

Method

  1. Clean and season chicken, leaving in fridge covered for 1-2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. Generously cover baking sheet in oil, you don't want a pool, but you definitely want it well oiled.
  4. Make sure you drain or pat dry any excess water from chicken before placing each piece skin side down on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. With oven still on, remove and brush skinless side with BBQ sauce.
  7. Using tongs, flip each piece and brush the skin side with BBQ sauce and place in oven.
  8. Bake an additional 15 minutes, remove coat with BBQ sauce, flip an coat.
  9. Repeat step 8 making sure this is a GENEROUS coating of BBQ sauce.
  10. Once timer goes off your chicken is fall of the bone, sticky and tangy DONE!

YUMMY!!

My spice blend is a concoction that I drummed up for my fried chicken. I eventually discovered that it is the PERFECT spice for almost any meat or fish. Fish is a meat right? Anywho, I make this blend in small batches and portion them out into cute jars that deserve the prettiest labels.

One year later - still no logo. I promise I'm working on it. If you'd like to purchase a jar of my spice blend shoot me a message at Recipes@MangoEats.com and let's work something out.

In the meantime, mix up your essential salt and pepper and whatever else you like on your chicken. Enjoy with your fav side dishes and you're good to go. FYI - this makes for GREAT and even ENVIABLE leftovers.

White Truffle Mac and Cheese

I don't write a lot. This means that having a second recipe on mac and cheese feels a bit much, perhaps even redundant. Please share your disdain for my lack of writing in the comments. Show me how much you really care. :-)

I perfected, yes PERFECTED my mac and cheese recipe so I thought I should take a stab at adding a bit of twist to it. I am on a fixed income (Read: Tight Budget), so dining out is no longer commonplace for me. In the meantime I've come to crave rich meals that I'd get at some of Atlanta's finer restaurants. Enter "Truffle Mac and Cheese". I'll be honest, I am not a huge fan of truffles on their own or as the primary ingredient in any RECIPE. I still thought I'd try my hand at it just because I can't afford a $14 side and I don't mind the slight aftertaste of truffles. 

Please check out what I feel to be a definite hit if you're trying to impress the fancy palates of friends or if you just feel so inclined. 

Native American cropped because of uncertainty of relevance to this post. Or that product.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbsp butter (plus extra for coating your baking dish)
  • 1/4 c AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish style Paprika (avoid the sweeter as we want to maintain a savory dish)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (enter Grey Poupon jokes)
  • Pinch of salt to taste -- I used some to salt the water and later some to salt my roux
  • 1 1/3 c grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/3 c grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 c half and half
  • 2 c milk (I used 2% and it was just fine - cut cals wherever you feel so inclined)
  • 1lb macaroni noodles or your preferred short curly noodle
  • 2 tsps Truffle Oil
Clearly the grated cheese gets me quite excited.

Clearly the grated cheese gets me quite excited.

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit
  • Grease bakind dish with about 1-2 tbsp butter
  • Bring salted water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente
  • Remove from heat, drain and pour noodles into a separate bowl and coat in truffle oil (set aside)
  • Using same pot used for noodles, melt 4 tbsp butter over low-medium heat
  • Add flour and whisk until blended
  • Continue whisking and add paprika, salt, and dijon mustard
  • Add half and half 
  • Add milk, whisk thoroughly
  • Increase temp and bring to boil
  • Reduce heat and add 1 c grated gruyere until melted completely
  • Add 1 c grated cheddar until melted completely
  • Turn off heat, add noodles to roux and combine well before pouring mixture into prepared baking dish
  • Bake on top rack in oven for 25-30 minutes. Ovens may vary so keep a close eye on your top if you don't want the browned effect. At 28 minutes mine was browned just right.

Unfortunately I have no real AFTER shot as everyone was all too excited to dive in.

Let the dish cool or dive right in knowing that it will be VERY hot. This goes great with a  well prepared red meat or seasoned pork dish. You'll also notice that I added some minced chives to my mix to mimic the restaurant feel that I've been missing. I really hope you enjoy this one. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but I promise, it goes QUICKLY. Share your version of my recipe on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #MangoEats. 

 

Weeknight Quickies: String Beans

It's the middle of the week and you've thawed out a meat and you know that something "healthy" should be on the side. Here's an introduction to what will be a weekly contribution to MangoEats appropriately dubbed "Weeknight Quickies". I will try to keep the ingredient list to 8 items or less and aim for items you may already have in your fridge or pantry.

Bon appetit folks! #MangoEats

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. string beans (washed, dried and ends snipped)
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. toasted walnuts (or nuts of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Half a lemon

 

Method

  1. Over medium heat, warm your EVOO
  2. Add minced shallots and cook until translucent.
  3. Add green beans (do not overcook, you still want a bit of crunch), add nuts once cooked to your preference.
  4. Lower heat, squeeze lemon half over pan and toss 
  5. Season to your preference with salt and pepper
Green%2BBowl.JPG

Crunchy green goodness!

Let the writing commence!

It's winter and I can't tell, there's a new energy that's got me hyped about the most simple of things. There are new babies, engagements and birthdays happening on what seems like every weekend. Just so I'm clear, all that positive NEW energy feels GREAT!

I have the good fortune of having a slew of believers (friends) who constantly encourage me, challenge me, keep me grounded and remind me to focus. These are things that I can absolutely do on my own, but when you have a TEAM then why not lean in? Why not? Seriously. The next few months I will post my recipes as quickly as I cook them up, but I will get back to the REAL reason I started this blog. This was to serve as my therapeutic outlet, my "voice" of reason and my instigator of all things good. You will see more posts about music, fashion, travel and my personal struggles. Essentially more about me. I have every intention of overcoming my fears of "sharing" just a little too much (I mean isn't that what Facebook is for?) and growing my blog to the levels I have in leather bound, personal journals. Prepare my dear readers, this blog is now the equivalent of my favorite Moleskine journal, full of random musings, doodles in word formation and pieces of my dreams in blurred pictures.

My Tumblr, which I have kept private for so many years is now open (170+ pages) for you to consume and digest. Remember as you read, I am human. I am flawed. I love. I hurt. I've lost jobs and discovered my career. I am sick and I am healthy. My emotions are just as deep as the ocean and I am not free from error. Remember that as you delve into my online journey.

Forgive the boldness as I run rampant on my own blog. Forgive me and enjoy.




If you want to dive deeper follow my Instagram or my Twitter (I'm funny, I promise!)

Breakfast Muffins!

Because I can't think of a better name and I figure, "Why not keep things simple for once?"

These breakfast muffins are a fall/winter staple in my home. Why? Because when #TheTeenager is rushing off in the morning I can ensure he has something to eat without taking more than 30 seconds of his time. I make these alongside our Sunday dinner so they are nice and cooled by the time dinner has been completed. Depending on what size muffins I make, I divide them into individual portions (4-5 mini or 1 full sized) per Ziploc bag.

These are perfect for anyone in the hurry, small kids and anyone who is prone to ruining their blouse with a "real breakfast" before they make into the office (ahem, moi).

I tend to keep my ingredient lists short, but let's face it...heartier foods need some serious pantry usage.

For these muffins, you have two options with your potatoes. Whenever I post a recipe, I'll post it the easy, less tedious way. Enjoy #MangoEats!

 

  • 15 oz. shredded hash brown potatoes (half of one of those Simply Potatoes hash brown bags) or 5 shredded russet potatoes. Pre-packaged means poorly pre-seasoned, take note and season to your satisfaction.
  • 6 strips crisp-cooked bacon diced (turkey bacon works great too! Just crisp it in the oven and drain)
  • 2 tbs finely diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tbs finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Decide what size muffins you'd prefer and evenly spray your muffin pans. For "full-sized" muffins, fill no more than 3/4. These things are RICH, you don't want them too big, you won't enjoy them. Trust me. For minis, I was able to make 36 but I filled those to the very brim. 
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and saute the bell peppers and onions until tender.
  4. Place thawed shredded potatoes in a large bowl, add bacon, cheese, sauteed peppers and onions, beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Scoop portions into muffin tin, make sure you press each one firmly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool on rack 10 minutes. If you sprayed your tins well, each breakfast muffin will pop right out. Otherwise, use a knife along the edges to loosen.

Cooled full-sized muffins are also easy for my brothers to snatch and run on the RARE occasion that they drop by.

See what I was talking about...poor picture quality. Meh, they were good though!

Quiche please!

I've pared-down my recipe posting primarily because my photo quality is nil. Restricted to my phone (Samsung S4) would be just fine as long as my home is always bright and the day is always sunny. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Until I am gifted a lightbox you'll have to take the recipes posted on a case by case basis.

'Tis the season for baked goods, pastries, casseroles and QUICHE! My first pass at a bacon quiche was me, once again, not following the recipe step by step. As usual (knock on wood), it came out great! I've since made more, substituting green onion for spinach, Monterey jack for mozzarella and so on. Below you'll find the recipe I made for friends on a day we were celebrating, life, love and good health...enjoy MangoEats!

This particular recipe was a first go at quiche so I limited my ingredients dramatically. Bacon, green onion, eggs, heavy cream and cheese (my favorite seasonings of course) but that's it!

For those who need a recipe with precise measurements (I mean really?!!?!?)

Ingredients

  • 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust (I made mine from scratch, won't do that again until I perfect it), follow instructions on packaging.
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 lb. (yeah, you read right) your favorite bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled.
  • 8-10 stalks of green onion (green parts only), diced

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Mix eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper in a blender.  (Not your seasoning may sink to the bottom, this is ok, I used a heavy hand on my spices to ensure the mixture was well seasoned.)
  3. In your ready pie crust, layer your green onion, mozzarella cheese and bacon evenly. I baked my quiche in a 9 in. pie dish. 
  4. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients. 
  5. Bake for  35-45 minutes or until set. 


After my first go and as seen above, I learned to place aluminum foil around the edges as I would the edges of a pie. This would prevent burning and drying out but still remaining crisp and flakey.

Let your quiche cool on the counter for about 10-15 minutes. When you're ready, cut into it like a pie and serve.



#MangoEats!