Chicken, Mango, Avo Salad with Lime

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I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided it was the winner for dinner one night last week.  However, we had an experience just a couple nights before with an orange juice dressing that overpowered the salad so I decided to not do the dressing.  And I added chicken ... If you want the orange dressing (that looks amazing) then go check out the original recipe.  If you want to try it my way, here's what I did.

1 bag of rocket (arugula) 
fresh coriander, a handful (?) or to taste ...
1 ripe mango
1 ripe avocado
1/2 a red onion
1 lime
1 red chilli
1 chicken breast
white wine vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper

This was super easy.  Have your husband grill the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, while you prepare the salad.  :) If that isn't an option, then just grill it yourself or throw it in the frying pan with a bit of olive oil and some white wine towards the end.

Thinly slice red onion and red chilli (I removed the seeds and membrane) Put in a small bowl, squeeze the lime into the bowl, add a pinch of salt.  Stir it up and set it aside.  

In a large salad bowl, add rocket (a few big handfuls, depending on how many you are serving) and fresh coriander that you have washed and roughly chopped.  Chop avocado and mango.  Add to rocket.  Pour red onion mixture on top and toss salad gently. 

Chop and add chicken. 

Drizzle lightly with a good olive oil and a nice white wine vinegar, sprinkle gently with a nice rock salt and cracked pepper.

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread


You will need to play with this recipe to get it how you like it.  I will play with it more next time I make it ... but the kids loved it and have almost finished this whole jar already !  They say it tastes more like Milo than actual Nutella but they are happy with that !  

I got this recipe out of a magazine.  It was an advertisement for natVia ... a natural sweetener made from the Stevia plant. 

I modified it a bit ... and then just played around til it tasted right ... you'll have to do the same to get it to your tastes !

100g raw hazelnuts, you could roast them.  I didn't.
100g chickpeas (don't throw away the liquid in the jar)
80-100g sweetener of your choice ... I used natVia and I started with 80g.  
15g skim milk powder
20g pure cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100 ml chickpea liquid
optional ... 1 teaspoon lecithin (I couldn't find this stuff so didn't use it ... supposed to make it smoother/creamier but not essential)

In your food processor, process hazelnuts until they resemble almond meal.  Add remaining ingredients ... minus chickpea liquid.  Process and then gradually add liquid while continuing to process.  On first taste, the cocoa flavor was overpowering so I added some milk.  I just kept adding it until the flavor was nice and the consistency was good.  If it's too runny before the flavor of the cocoa is right, just use more milk powder.   I think I added a little bit more of the sweetener too ... just a teaspoon at a time until it was a sweetness I knew the kids would be happy with.

Once this is gone, I'm going to try another recipe that uses just four ingredients.  Hazelnuts, condensed milk, choc bits and honey.  I'll let you know how that one goes too ...


I have no idea how I have hitherto fore neglected to put this, my favorite Nicaraguan food, on the blog! It boggles the imagination! 

You will need:
12 corn tortillas - it's not as good with flour tortillas, they turn out too sweet
2 cups cooked red beans with cooking liquid - canned is ok
Chunk of onion
Chunk of green pepper
Queso fresco, shredded - I found it at Walmart
One med tomato, chopped
1/4 cabbage, shredded
Lime juice
Sour cream
Hot sauce (optional)

For the beans:
Fry the onion and green pepper in a little bit of oil. Add beans and cook down until the liquid has thickened. If desired, add some hot sauce. In a blender, liquify the beans until they form a thick, spreadable paste. More water can be added as necessary. 

For the tortillas:
Fry flat in oil until crispy, drain on paper towel.

For the salad:
Mix shredded cabbage and tomatoes with a little bit of salt and lime juice, to taste. 

To assemble the repochetas:
Once you have all your components assembled, spread beans over tortillas, sprinkle with cheese, add salad, a dollop of sour cream and a dash or five of hot sauce. Be prepared with many napkins to wipe the beans and/or sour cream off your nose. 

Serves 4

Jamaican Breeze

Welcome to the first cocktail I ever invented!

Jamaican Breeze
1 cup Jamaica Tea
1 shot vodka
1 shot Tuaca - a vanilla-orange liquour

Shake together in a martini shaker, or simply combine in a glass and stir.

Jamaica Tea

The first time I made this from scratch and not from a packet, I strayed from the recipe and ended up making, literally, buckets of tea. However, no one was particularly sad about this as it is delicious. Also, later that evening I invented a cocktail using jamaica that is also quite yum. That recipe to follow...

 Jamaica Tea

4 cups water
3/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
3/4 cup sugar
1 T lime juice

Bring water to a boil, add hibiscus and sugar, let steep for at least 10 minutes. Add lime juice and ice until cold. You may need to add a little more sugar depending on how much ice you used.

The Definitive Venison Stew

The original recipe can be found here (the part where it says it's quick and easy should be completely disregarded as laughably false), but as the cooking progressed, the recipe and I didn't agree on several points. So this is my version with important contributions of both help and ideas from Aunt Kathy and Pam.


2 pounds venison, 1" cubes
1 medium onion, cut into 8 chunks
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4" slices
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 t salt
1/2 t ground white pepper (black can be substituted)
2 t dried parsley
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried rosemary
1 1/4 dry red wine
1 can beef broth
5 slices of bacon, chopped
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t tomato paste
1 package cleaned, quartered mushrooms
2 large potatoes (next time I will strongly consider throwing in more potatoes)
1 T corn starch (as needed)

Remove all tendons, fat and silvery skin from the venison (removing this will help get rid of any gamey flavor). Add the venison, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and the herbs to a glass bowl or casserole dish. Pour 1 cup of red wine and 3/4 cup beef broth over the venison and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight. Do not marinate for over 12 hours or your meat will turn to mush.

Strain out the marinade and set aside for later. Separate the meat from the marinated veggies. Throw the meat in a large ziplock bag with the flour, shake to cover evenly. 
In a large saucepan over high heat, cook the bacon until it turns crisp.* Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan (Note: if you need more grease, augment with vegetable oil). Saute the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes in the bacon grease for 5 minutes, until the vegetables turn soft. Transfer to a large stock pot.

*Venison meat has little or no fat, the bacon is important.

Brown the venison in the remaining bacon grease in two batches and add to the stock pot. With the remaining wine, deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom, add in the remaining broth until heated. Add pan juice, the reserved marinade, mushrooms, bacon and tomato paste to the stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the stew. Simmer on low for 1 hour until meat and vegetables are tender. If sauce is not thick enough made a paste of 1 T cornstarch and 1 T water. Add to pot and stir until thickened.

This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.