Mangoritas! {recipe}

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“If life gives you limes, make margaritas.”-Jimmy Buffett

Calypso music. Breathtaking sunset. Sailing away. A Caribbean cruise with my BFF’s. Decked out in my floppy hat and movie star sunglasses, the only thing missing was a drink in my hand.

The bartender (impersonating Isaac from The Love Boat) tempted us with exotic cocktails, “Mango Tangos, ladies?” Of course we indulged, happily sipping the frozen concoction to the beat of the steel drums.

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Yuk! What promised to be a tropical tequila treat was nothing more than an overpriced sad slushie! I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and a worthless souvenir glass. Since that day I have longed for the perfect mango libation.

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It’s mango season in Miami, when neighborhood mango stands pop up on every street corner! Look at these gorgeous gems I brought home. (Check out my cool Mango Facts)

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With my ripe beauties on the kitchen counter, I brainstormed how to best use my magnificent mangoes to beat the sweltering South Florida heat.

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Then I recalled that disappointing cruise cocktail…

It was now blender time!

Mangorita22_seedylawyerMinutes later, (steel drum roll, please) ….Mangoritas!!

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Perhaps The Love Boat should hire me to bartend? My mouthwatering Mangoritas are silky smooth, tangy, not too-tequila-y, a bit sweet, refreshing, very creamy, exotic frozen goodness. Guaranteed to make you feel sexier than Tom Jones and dance like Mick Jagger. Whip up a boozy batch for your friends.

After all, it’s 5:00 O’clock somewhere.

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“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” – George Carlin

Mangoritas

Note: I am lucky enough to live where fresh mangoes are available. If mangoes are not in season or not available where you live, check out the frozen fruit section of your grocery store for frozen mango.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 1/4 oz high quality tequila (You will thank me later!)

1 oz triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier

1 1/2 oz fresh lime or lemon juice (plus extra to squeeze on top)

2 oz simple syrup or sour mix

1 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

1 cup ice

lime garnish

sugar or salt for rim of glasses (optional)

Preparation:

Place ingredients into blender in the order listed. Blend until desired consistency. Pour into margarita glasses. Top with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice. Garnish with lime slice and a paper umbrella. Cheers!

*** 

What’s your favorite cocktail?

Shared with Great Idea Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, Full Plate Thursdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fiesta Friday, Plant Based Potluck, Flashback Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Link Party Palooza, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursdays, Simply Natural Saturdays, I’m Loving It Party, Creative Mondays, Motivation Monday, Busy Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Munching Mondays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Try A Bite Tuesday, Simple Supper Tuesday

Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer and Love Boat.  All rights reserved.

Bravo, Avocado! {raw recipe}

Homegrown Florida Avocados

My avocado-loving Dad always wanted his own tree. So a few years ago he hired a landscaper to plant a big, bad avocado tree in his South Florida yard. Like an impatient kid, my Dad waited for his new budding, guacamole-producing tree. He was soon to be the envy of all the neighbors!

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My Dad loves avocados!

The garden guy brought a huge back hoe (fancy, huh? – yeah, so was his bill!).  He and his crew dug a hole in my Pop’s yard big enough to land a Lear Jet. Oh, just the thought of endless avocados

The time came for the unveiling of the terrific tree. Filled with bursting anticipation, Dad skipped into his backyard. There it was… All three feet of it. The Charlie Brown Christmas Avocado Tree: A sad, lifeless, twig with one brown leaf. Heartbroken, my poor Dad hung his head in disbelief. Good Grief, Charlie Brown Dad. Sadly, at 80 years old, my father knew he would never pick his own avocados.

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Oh, but Darling Mother Nature must have had a crush on my adorable Dad. Just a few guacamole-less football seasons later, things began to change…

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Bloom, baby, bloom!

Voila! May I present my father’s tree featuring ginormous avocados! Ta-da! 

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Pop is so proud of his green goodies! If the Miami Dolphins ever run out of footballs, maybe they can use one of these! Oh, yeah, baby!

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Known to my Miami friends as La Avocado Abogada*, I quickly got my hands on some of Dad’s treasures!

(*Translation: The Avocado Attorney)

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One of Dad’s avocados (Persea americana) even had a huge root wrapped around the pit. I planted it and now my tree is bigger than Dad’s original tree! Ha!

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Avocado Tree I grew from Dad’s Avocado pit!

I love raw food recipes. Years ago, I bought Carol Alt’s Raw Food book. A recipe for a raw Chocolate Banana Shake made with avocado seemed too good to be true. A delicious (milkless) milkshake that’s actually good for you? Get out! No way! So I had to try it for myself…

OMG!! Move over Haagen-Dazs! This shake is:

Thick

Rich

Oh so Creamy

Chocolatey

Mouth-watering

A bit Banana-y

Frozen goodness

A blenderful of bliss

This fake shake is so darn good that I tricked all my friends and family into thinking it’s the calorie-packed, sinful, get-your-butt-to-the-gym, ice-cream shop real deal. I challenge you to do the same!

The results will make you yell,Bravo, Avocado!”

 

Raw Chocolate Banana Shake

Adapted from The Raw 50 by Carol Alt

Ingredients:

¼ cup raw cashews, soaked for about 2 hours, drained

¼ to ½ ripe pitted and peeled avocado

2 ripe bananas, sliced (preferably frozen)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

1 tablespoon raw agave nectar or raw honey

2 tablespoons raw cacao

½ cup non-dairy milk (I used chocolate almond milk; can use regular almond milk, flax milk, etc)

2 cup crushed ice

Preparation:

Blend first 7 ingredients in blender for 60 seconds.  Add ice and blend until reaching a thick milkshake-like consistency.  Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.  Blend.  Pour into glass and enjoy!

***

 

A nutrient-packed raw milkshake without the guilt! Cheers!

What is your favorite Avocado recipe?

I am sharing my ripe avocados with:  Green Idea Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Green Thumb Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Home and Garden Thursday, Fiesta Friday, Home Acre Blog Hop, Real Food Fridays, Farm Girl Friday, Simple Meals Friday, Gluten Free Fridays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Savoring Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff, The Party Brunch, Link Party Palooza, Little House Friday DIY Linky, Weekend Bites, Creative Style, Motivation Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Busy Monday

Charlie Brown Photo by Charles Schultz Courtesy of  Anthony Peoples

Original photos by The Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Payaya, “Fruit of the Angels” [recipe]

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It’s getting hot in here! The kitchen was hot! My friend and I were already overheated from harvesting tons of green beans in the afternoon sun. Now we were standing over a scalding stove while canning the beans.

To cool off, I suggested a refreshing Papaya smoothie since I had picked up a beautiful, ripe Papaya at the farmer’s market. Not being familiar with Papaya, (which is different than mango), my friend watched closely as I whipped up my creation.

“You’re not going to throw the rind in there, are you?” “What are you going to do with all those seeds?” “Do you chop it up or throw the whole thing into the blender?” My friend was very curious. I chuckled. But, I guess she may not be the only one with little knowledge about this wonderful fruit.

So, here’s a little history on one of my favorite fruits, and an easy-to-follow recipe for my Tropical Papaya Smoothie.

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Columbus called Papaya “Fruit of the Angels”

Papaya (Carica Papaya) has a high nutritive and medicinal value. This enzyme-rich fruit is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is no wonder that Christopher Columbus named Papaya the “Fruit of the Angels”.


Explorers from Spain and Portugal are credited for bringing the fruit to the tropics. Soon after, Papayas grew all over the world. In Britain, papaya is known as the “pawpaw”.  In Brazil, it is the “mamoa”.  The Spanish call it papaya or “lechosa” (Venezuela). India is the world’s largest producer of papaya.

Loading papaya at the market near Manek Chowk, India.   Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.

Loading papaya at the market near Manek Chowk, India. Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.

 “When eating fruit, remember who planted the tree;

when drinking water, remember who dug the well.”

Vietnamese Proverb


It’s easy to grow your own papayas. Just a short time ago, my grandmother scattered some papaya seeds in her Miami Beach yard.  Look at her tree now!

 

“The entire fruit is already present in the seed.”

Tertullian, (“Founder of Western Theology”)


The Papaya tree can grow up to 20 feet!

 “Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing “Embraceable You” in spats.” 

Woody Allen 


Fruit grows under the leaves, on top of the tree. My friend’s tree is filled with gigantic fruit! I joked that I was coming back in the middle of the night to “harvest” the papayas! (Lucky for her, I couldn’t find a ladder high enough.)

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 “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.” 

Will Rogers


Papayas are pear-shaped and green when raw. The fruit turns yellow when ripe.

Papayas ripening on tree. Photo courtesy of Guah.

Papayas ripening on tree. Photo courtesy of Guah.

 “There is no fruit which is not bitter before it is ripe.”

Publilius Syrus, (Roman Writer, born 85 B.C.)


With it’s beautiful sunset color, ripe Papaya is used in many mouth-watering recipesPapaya has a thick, creamy texture with a sweet, tropical hint.  Personally, I prefer mine chilled, with a little bit of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. Do yourself a favor and get a Papaya as soon as you can.  It’s an experience you will not soon forget.

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Papaya is the star in my healthy, refreshing smoothie. This exotic fruit’s soft-buttery texture mixes well with other tasty tropical fruit like coconut, lime, pineapple and ripe bananas. (“You put the lime in the coconut…” I can’t get that song out of my head!)

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Blend these delicious flavors together for a sweet Papaya Smoothie that will make you believe that you are in paradise. Relax with this tropical treat in your hand and your toes in the sand. (Don’t forget the suntan lotion!) Aloha!

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Tropical Papaya Smoothie

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 – 20 ounce can pineapple chucks in natural juice, chilled

1 – 14 ounce can coconut milk, chilled

½ of a large papaya, peeled, deseeded and diced

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons agave or honey

1 ½ ripe bananas, cut into pieces (preferably frozen)

1 cup ice cubes

Raw coconut, toasted, for garnish

Preparation

Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Blend for one minute or until smooth.  Pour into your favorite exotic glass and sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Garnish with lime.  Add a tropical accent with a colorful straw and a paper umbrella. Serve immediately.

Enjoy a taste of the tropics with this Tropical Papaya Smoothie. Cheers!

***

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What is your favorite papaya recipe? 

I am bringing my smoothie over to party with the folks at Fiesta Friday #28!

Photos courtesy of Guah and Meena Kadri

Original photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer.  All rights reserved.

Mango Madness: 18 Mango Facts

Miami Mangos!

Miami Mangos!

I am just “Mad About Mangos!”  I have always been intrigued by majestic mango trees and the various colors and sizes of the exotic fruit. During summer, South Florida mango trees are decorated with colorful fruit, hanging on branches like Christmas tree ornaments.

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Keitt Mangos decorate Miami Mango trees like Christmas ornaments.

Growing up in Miami, I enjoyed fresh mangos (Mangifera indica) from friends and neighbors. Riding my bike around our block, neighbors would overflow my bike’s pink straw basket with this sweet fruit to take home and enjoy.

“Neighborhood Mangos” photo courtesy of Piper Rothan

Once, a pit from a neighbor’s mango sprouted.  I watered and loved my little tree, but no mangos ever grew. Nothing. Nada. Although it never produced any mangos, my small mango tree sparked my love for gardening and nature.

Years later, after Law School I bought a house, with (you guessed it) a big old mango tree!  My own mango tree! I waited in anticipation as tiny mangos grew. Each year, tropical storms knocked half my mangos onto the ground, like little green golf balls.

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Mangos ripening.

Little did I know that hungry squirrels were also watching the mangos that remained on the tree.  Many of my ripe mangos had bite marks reminiscent of Jaws!  To make matters worse, one day lightning struck my beautiful mango tree – and split the tree in half!  Just like my mango tree, dreams of growing my own mangos were struck down.

Then my best friend moved into the “Mango Terrace” neighborhood.  However her house turned out to be the only house without a mango tree! So, now I have to get my “mango fix” from my Dad’s clients who pay with mangos (yeah, I know), or from neighborhood mango stands, and farmer’s markets.

Sunny Goldin (R) buying Tommy Atkins Mangos from Karen Ross in Pinecrest, FL

Mango Stand: Sunny Goldin (R) buys Tommy Atkins Mangos from Karen Ross

Well, I am sure you can imagine how excited I am that it’s Mango Season in South Florida!  I am just crazy about delicious mangos, adding them to my smoothies, mango bread and other recipes. Nothing beats the taste of a cold ripe mango on a hot summer day!

Loving this delightful fruit like I do, I find the history of mangos to be very interesting. Check out these Mango Facts that will be sure to make you Mad About Mangos:

18 Mango Facts:

1. Mango Mania: The world’s biggest mango weighed over 8 pounds!

2. Walk this way: In the West Indies, the expression “to go mango walk” means to steal another person’s mango fruits.

3. The Seven-year itch: The mango is a member of the Anachardiaceae family which includes poison ivy, cashews, and pistachios. (This may explain why some have an allergic reactic to the skin and sap of mangos.)

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4. It’s a Pattern:  The paisley pattern, developed in India, is based on the shape of a mango.

5. King Mango: Named the King of Fruit, mango is the most widely consumed fresh fruit in the world.

6. Monk Fruit: It is said that Buddhist monks introduced the mango to Malaysia and Asia around the 5th Century B.C.  Legend has it that Buddha meditated under the shade of a mango tree.

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 7. In a pickle: When mangoes were first imported to the American colonies in the 17th century, because of lack refrigeration, they had to be pickled. The word “mango” became a verb meaning “to pickle”.

8. You’ve Got a Friend: Giving a basket of mangos in India is considered a gesture of friendship.

9. Breakfast of Champions:  Mangos contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals, helping to make them a true superfood.

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10. Bag it: If you place an unripe mango in a paper bag in a cool location, it will ripen in 2 or 3 days.

11. Royal Fruit:  Southeast Asian Kings and nobles had their own mango groves. This began the custom of sending gifts of the choicest mangos.

12. Have a Coke and a Mango:Frooti” is an Indian mango drink. The Coca-Cola company started their own drink, called “Maaza” in order to compete with it.

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13.  The Forever Fruit:  Mangos have been cultivated for over 6,000 years.

14. Make a wish: The mango tree plays a sacred role in India. Being the symbol of love, some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes.

15. National Pride: The mango is the national fruit of India and the Philippines.

Fairchild Tropical Gardens Mango Festival photo courtesy of Piper Rothan

Fairchild Tropical Gardens Mango Festival photo courtesy of Piper Rothan

16. Variety is the Spice of Life: With hundreds of varieties, mangos range in color from green and yellow, to red, often tinged with purple, pink, orange-yellow, or red.

17. “I Do”: In several cultures, mango fruit and leaves are ritually used as floral decorations at weddings, public celebrations and religious ceremonies.

18. You say “Mango”, I say “Mangga”: In other parts of the world, the mango is also known as manga (Portuguese), mangga, mangot, mangou, and mangue (French).

***

However you say “Mango”, I am just crazy about this tropical fruit!  Hopefully you, too, will be Mad About Mangos!

I am sharing my “Mango Madness” with the folks over at Fiesta Friday (#26)!

Where do you find your mangos? What are your favorite Mango recipes?

Original Photos courtesy of Seedy Lawyer and Piper Rothan, my mango-eating friend

All Rights Reserved.

 

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Herbal Lemonade

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Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.

– Sam Keen

Summer is definitely here.  My herb garden is growing wild. Lemonade stands are popping up everywhere.

I spotted this classic lemonade stand while driving down a mountain road in Western North Carolina. These smart girls even sold Moon Pies!

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This adorable family was serving cold lemonade on a hot day in South Florida. It reminded me of my childhood in Miami.

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Not sure she was so happy when life gave her lemons…

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You can always find frosty lemonade during the summer at the farmer’s market.

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Fortunately, you don’t need your own lemonade stand to indulge in refreshing lemonade.  Just mix lemons, water and a sweetener of your choice to create your own tasty treat.  For an extra twist, add fragrant herbs from your garden. It’s simple:

Squeeze lemons…

lemonsMix in a handful of fresh garden herbs…

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and…Pucker up!

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Experiment with your favorite herbs and fresh fruit.  Though you many not have a lemonade stand, these mouth-watering recipes are sure to have friends lining up for more.

Here’s my absolute favorite recipe. My friend Birgerbird can relate to the lemonade story, so I invited her to guest post a recipe.  She offers a refreshing, floral and aromatic lemonade enhanced with strawberry and basil that will disappear when you serve it.  The addition of a few strawberries gives it a lovely, almost amber, color. Cheers to Summer!

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Lemonade with Strawberry and Basil

Serves: about 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup raw sugar
1 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
about 20 medium-size basil leaves, torn into rough pieces
3½ cups fresh lemon juice (from about 24 lemons; wait to juice the lemons until after you’ve made the sugar syrup)

PREPARATION:

Make syrup:  Put the sugar in a heatproof bowl. Wash the lemons and rub the sugar over the outsides of them, which releases some of the aromatic oils into the sugar, gently flavoring it.  Scrape off sugar back into bowl to the best of your ability! Then, pour 1 cup of boiling water over the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.

Combine the strawberries and 15 basil leaves in a blender (use the remaining leaves to garnish in a pitcher) along with ¼ cup of the syrup. Blend for 1 minute.  Pour into a pitcher with all of the lemon juice and stir well.  Add ice cubes.  Alternatively to make a glass of lemonade, stir together approximately 3 Tbs. strawberry mixture with 3 Tbs. lemon juice and 1 or 2 Tbs. sugar syrup. Add ice cubes and top with a bit of cold water (still or sparkling water are both tasty). Stir well. Enjoy!

I am sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #22!

Do you have memories of your childhood lemonade stand?  Have a special summertime lemonade recipe?

Photos courtesy of  Rob Bertolf,  Nina Frazier

Original photos by BirgerBird and Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.