Day in the Sun // Decorative Fresh Mango Dessert

Mango Tutorial Intro

This past weekend was AMAZING.  In terms of weather, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day on Saturday.  We spent the day volunteering at a food giveaway in the city, then walking around looking at famous architecture, topping it off with our first round of Sushi–definitely trying that again!  Anyway, somehow or other we ended up with two bags of fresh mangoes, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the month of May than with some fresh mango desserts!  (Well, maybe strawberry shortcake, or raspberries and coconut cream… or chocolate and pineapple… but I digress…)

How to Cut a Mango

Fresh fruit is naturally gluten-free (duh!), but we’ve all struggled with how to present it so that it looks like more than a necessary block on the food pyramid.  Here’s a quick and easy tutorial to get you started with Mangoes:

Mango dessert1

1. Wash the mango.  With a sharp knife, cut the mango in half–as close to one side of the stone as possible.  Set half aside.

2. Very carefully remove other half of mango from stone, slicing as close to the stone as possible.

Mango dessert 2

3. With the tip of the knife, score two lines down the side of the mango (horizontally).  Be careful not to cut through the peel.

4. Score two more lines, perpendicular to the first set–creating a tic-tac-toe board 🙂

5. Very carefully invert the side of mango so that the chunks are more easily accessible.  Garnish with berries or other exotic fruits.  Enjoy!

Mango dessert 3

 

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How to Make an Easter Butter Lamb

butterlambintro

We’re Polish, so naturally no Easter meal is complete without a butter lamb.

Wait! Did you just say that you FORGOT to buy a butter lamb this year?!?!  Never fear, here is a quick and easy tutorial to get you started:

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Step 1: Get a good quality stick of butter (for the completely dairy-free, a stick of margarine could work as well).  We always buy unsalted butter–because everyone knows the taste of stale butter, sometimes dairies mask it by turning the “older” butter into salted butter.  Buy in bulk and freeze to keep the butter fresh.

**Note: For this tutorial I used a stick of butter that had been in the freezer and then defrosted for 30 minutes.  You need cold butter for this project, otherwise it could melt too much and not work the way you want it to.

Step 2: Cut 1/3 of the butter off the stick and set aside–this will be the head.  If you cut too much and it looks too much like a rectangle, don’t worry, you can trim the piece a bit and work the extra butter into the fleece at the end.

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Step 3: Cut triangular corners off of the head (all corners of the cube).  Save these pieces for the ears and tail.  Find a point on the head/cube that can be used as a snout/front of the face.  Set head aside while you sculpt the body.

Step 4: Rough up the stick of butter, trim square edges.  Using a butter knife, smooth some of the leftover pieces of butter onto the “fleece.”  I used some of the extra pieces from trimming the head to make the folded legs of the lamb.

Step 5: Cut a slit or ditch at the back end of the butter and insert one of the triangles cut from the head to form the tail.  Smooth into place with the butter knife.

**Note: If the butter is getting too soft, stick it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes so that it hardens up again.

Step 6: Using two similarly sized triangular pieces from the head, form the ears.  Lamb ears are generally straight across, so smooth the butter back and forth across the head to attach the ears.

Step 7: Attach the head by smoothing the butter back and forth over the neck.  Chill the butter lamb if necessary before smoothing out the snout.  Extra butter can be worked into the back of the butter lamb.

Butterlamb3

Step 8: Use two whole cloves to form the eyes.  With a spatula, transfer butter lamb to final plate.  Chill until needed.

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Voilà!  Happy Easter!

How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs

EggDyeingtutorial

For those of us trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it can sometimes be hard to sacrifice ease of preparation, taste, and the aestheticism of food presentation in order to eat healthy. It is all too easy for most of us to buy packaged foods that are not only loaded full of chemicals that we can’t even pronounce, but also artificial substances that make the food look pretty.  Food dyes are usually an excellent source of petroleum (i.e. gasoline), but trying to stay away from them gets hard during the holidays–especially with all the cute cupcake designs and eggs dyes available for Easter.

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to naturally dye your Easter eggs. Because the ingredients used are natural, the colors will not be as vibrant as a food dye, but do you really want your eggs to glow in the dark with artificial-ness?

Materials:

Yellow: 1 tbsp turmeric + 1 tsp paprika

Pink: 1 can beets, fresh beets are best

Blue: 1 cup blueberries or other dark berries

Dark Red: the skins of two yellow onions

Light Green: the skin of one red onion (we used one, two would have been better)

Dark Blue: grape juice

Brown: tea bags

vinegar

Step 1: Wash your white eggs in water with a little vinegar added. Sometimes eggs from the store have been washed with a soap that tends to repel any dye you try to use, but this can be easily removed by rubbing the raw eggs gently for a few seconds in the vinegar solution.

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Step 2: Cook the eggs. This is the fun part.  Add a little vinegar to the water just to be sure that the dye will stick.

Step 3: Pour off the water and remove the onion skins, etc, and let the eggs dry in peace–otherwise the eggs will dry with interestingly shaped spots!

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Enjoy!  Happy Easter!