Wet Mushy Mangos

Mango Shake

Mangos. Something so mushy, sweet, and wonderful it makes you think of summer, right? I think of Spring, that wet, mushy, yet, sweet and beautiful time of year. In honor of Spring I dug up my old Olympus camera and cleaned it out finding some great photos of my mom and me making Mango chutney. we did some simple things  with the chutney–like putting it on a porkchop,  and some smoothy recipes.This post is all about the smoothie/smoothy.

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Tinctures. Yeah, that’s what I said.

What other concoctions do we have brewing? Tinctures of all sorts. They just sit in the dark doing their thing. What’s a tincture?

tincture is typically an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such or of a low volatility substance (such as iodine and mercurochrome). – wikipedia

A good example of a tincture is vanilla extract. That’s in one of the jars.

If you read the label on a McCormick for example, you might just find that it also contains corn syrup. We won’t be putting that in ours. Usually you sweeten your baked goods with their own ingredients, guys. We’re not eating the extract straight up, so it doesn’t need to taste good by itself. (Who’s running these companies?) Here’s a post about it if you want to see more label voodoo.

What’s really nice about making tinctures, is 1) it’s fun to say and 2) you need Vodka on hand. If you notice in the picture, the bottles and jars are pretty small, so there’s leftover vodka.

What would you do with the leftover vodka?

Pizza, Pizza.

Growing up in the seventies suburbia (of nothing) an hour away from Mickey Mouse, we saw the pizza industry blow up. Pizza used to be an agonizing wait in the deep red vinyl booths at an actual Pizza Hut restaurant or a Chef Boyar dee pizza in a box kit.

We saw the dawn and sunset of Little Sleaser’s, I mean, Caesar’s–and now its new sunrise. In their infancy, you ordered a pizza from Little Caeser’s and go two. The little cartoon guy chanted, “Pizza! Pizza!”

Pizza was always a treat we didn’t think too much about, except, “When will we have it again?”

Top, Bake, and Eat This.

Now we’re not only a little bit concerned by all the bread for health reasons, but it turns out Red2 is terribly sensitive to wheat and dairy. We diagnosed her food allergies when she was still nursing. She was way cranky and would break out when Mrs SFDaddy ate anything with wheat or dairy. Long story short, we are now mostly gluten and dairy-free.

There goes the pizza, or that’s what we started to think. Over the last few years as going gluten free has become more popular, our lives avoiding for allergy-reasons have become easier.

Mixing up our own dough to make a pizza was a good adventure and very doable. There are a lot of great recipes and alternate flours that taste great, but how about a good quicker alternative? Udi’s to the rescue. Udi’s bakery has a gluten free frozen pizza crust you can get in the freezer section of the grocery store. Yeah! Thank you Udi’s.

Our first great experience ‘out’ getting pizza was from Blue Moon Cafe. They make a great gluten free pizza. We brought our own dairy-free cheese and they were happy to serve us.

Four people at a pizza joint can be pretty pricey though and add the premium price for getting the special dough.

Look for specials! Recently, Uncle Maddio’s opened up and on Sunday nights they offer a 2 for 1. It’s Pizza! Pizza! all over again.

But wait there’s more. We’ve recently joined a group of families with kids about the same ages who regularly share a weekly pot-luck together. In addition to that, some of us have started frequenting another pizza place, Your Pie. Both Uncle Maddio’s and Your Pie offer gluten free crusts and vegan sauce and dairy free (or vegan) cheese. Both of these places have great products.  Your Pie actually mixes their own dough which bumps their review up a few notches for us. Both locations make a serious effort to change gloves, use different surfaces and even move out of the normal prep areas to assemble your order.

Thank you, to all the restaurants who recognize legitimate food sensitivities, even if it’s becoming just fashionable to go gluten free right now. Hear that Dominoe’s? (They just announced their new gluten free crust (but use the same utensils and workspaces to prepare their pies. If you are deathly allergic, you’ll want to read the fine print.)