New Year’s resolutions. We all make them. Go to the gym. Run more. Drink less. Get back to meal planning. Spend less. The classics, really, and these have all made my list. While I do appreciate getting back to structure and being more disciplined, I also would like to improve and focus my attention on an area that is a bit more light.
I’m going to adapt a practice we use at work, which is called the ‘fun to-do list’. Let me explain. My business partner and I work together, side by side, for just about 40 hours, 4-5 days a week. During our workdays, we verbally put things on our to-do lists for when we get home, and say ‘remind me to ‘ to the other: ‘remind me to call the DMV’, ‘remind me to email so-and-so back’, ‘remind me to take out the chicken for dinner’, anything really, from the little to important things. It honestly is very helpful. But all of those things are necessary and chore-like, not exactly fun. So we also have a ‘fun to-do list’. Recently I had: change my ringtone, send out three important Christmas cards, and look into Airbnb options for a later trip. Nothing super pressing, but are much lighter than the forced adult-like daily to-do’s. So, why not have a fun resolutions list, too?
It would be an easy scapegoat to blame the holiday season for my absence, but that would be a bit unfair. I fully admit that I have not put forth enough effort into this food blog. But, the number one spot on my fun New Year’s resolutions list: designate a specific time to work on cooking, photographing, and sharing with you all the goodies I’m feasting on! Sincerely something I can look forward to working on, and it definitely helps that Santa brought me a really fancy camera to help capture my mouth-watering noshes.
With that being said, and if I still have your attention, I bring you a new blog post! On the first day of the new year!
My in-laws recently stayed with us over the holiday for 6 days (it was wonderful, I love my mother-in-law). During that time, we threw our annual Christmas party for our families and friends, expecting upwards of forty people. Luckily, I had an extra set of hands to put to work prepping and plating this year (yay!). I am kind of a control freak about my food-stuff, so delegating is not my strongest trait (especially when my husband is terrible at following simple directions: tear the bread, as I specifically wrote out, to which he replies ‘I thought cutting it would be easier!’ But did I ask you to cut it…I digress.) Despite my hesitancy, I had to find tasks for my rebel, rule
following breaking husband, and my very obliging MIL.
One dish I gave my MIL to make is my mango salsa. It’s usually on my summer party menu, but when I saw mangoes were 4 for $5, I couldn’t pass up the ripened beauties! It is slightly labor intensive, mostly because mangoes are a pain in the behind to dice (sorry mom!), but it is such a simple dish, requiring only 4 ingredients. This is also impossible to mess up – add more strawberries if you would like, dice something smaller, or larger. Have at it!
Mango Strawberry Salsa
5 ripened mangoes
8-10 oz fresh strawberries
1 large jalapeno
1/2 of a large red onion
Dash of salt
Yield: approximately 6 cups (ish)
(An addendum to my resolution about blogging more is that I also need to start measuring things. When I cook it is all done by taste and visuals..put that on my regular resolutions list, actually. That’s not fun.)
Peel and cube the mangoes into 1/2″ pieces. Dice the strawberries, and add to the mangoes. Finely dice the red onion and the jalapeno, removing most of the seeds (but it really gives a great heat when you leave some), and add to the fruit. That’s it! Stir it up, add a dash of salt, and let the flavors marinade for a bit. It’s better the next day, and the day after that. The mangoes get softer and mushier (who actually wants something to be mushy?!) and it’s amazing. A few days later we topped our cajun pork chops with the salsa. It was epic.
One of my well-fed partygoers, pointing to the mango salsa, ‘This was the biggest surprise! Wow, incredible!’. So there, I will leave you with that. Cheers!