Spicy Green Mango

--Living and eating with a dash of whimsy and a sprinkling of spice--

  • I'm a budding food-tographer turned blogger who's insanely passionate about food..real food...the kind that sprouts from the earth and you have to wash it to eat it. Yes, hearty real food. I live to eat and I eat to live and am loving every bit of it! If you're here, then I suppose we share the same passion! Enjoy!


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Within the past few days, I have been tremendously inspired by all the creativity and passion from many of the talented food bloggers competing in Foodbuzz' Project Food Blog. I am beyond thrilled to have received so many sweet comments from each of you who are avidly supporting me during this journey. I read and absolutely adore each of your thoughtful words, so as a token of my appreciation, here's a bouquet of lovely dahlias I picked up from the farmers' market AND I'd like to offer you a sneak preview at what's brewing behind the scenes should I advance to Challenge #3 and be given the wonderful opportunity of creating a luxury dinner party.  So, here goes:

A special somebody in my life will be celebrating their day of birth very soon! Ever wondered how you can create a luxury-themed dinner party for a man without going overboard with all the girly fluff, pinks and pastels? I'll show you how. In the meantime, here's what inspired me:


      Photo Credit: Erin Hearts Court

This is just a sneak peek of what I have planned, but to ensure that I get  a chance to show you even more, remember to show your love for Spicy Green Mango by clicking here on the heart or on my Project Food Blog widget on the right of the screen.  Voting ends on Thursday, September 30 at 6pm PST. 

Awe, gee thanks everyone!

  

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Posted by Spicy Green Mango 15 comments

Football season is upon us yet again this year. Whereas for many, the game is pretty much THE highlight of football fanaticism, being the foodie that I am, I actually get psyched over the tailgate parties that are always a welcome precursor to the official festivities. Hey, a winning team's got to eat, am I right? So, for all my die-hard football fans out there, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and whipping up what I like to call: "A 'Kickin Chile con Carne" that is chock full of spices and sabor (means flavor in Spanish). While the orgins of chili remain a hotly debated topic--some say it's from Spain, others claim it was originally a Latin American dish that was later introduced to the Western American states such as Texas where it is now considered its official dish--nobody can deny that its mass appeal really has to do with its 'kickin combination of flavors of some smokey spicy goodness.  Wherever its true origins lie, chili has never made its debut in my kitchen. So, I figured, "Why the heck not?" The dish will seriously leave your tasters begging for an icy cold beer (or two) b/c it's going to make you sweat, but that's the way I love it best.  You can tweak the spice level to your own liking (Don't worry--I won't judge). 

While I must confess that I've never truly been a football fanatic to the extent of my own circle of friends and Cal Bears (I know, I know..please don't hate me), I have, however, ALWAYS supported my team. During my freshmen year at Cal, all clad in my blue and gold gear, I vividly recall hitching a ride on the Chancellor's trolley to be chauffeured to the stadium before cheering my little heart out in the student section. A couple years later, I was found performing the same stint on the infamous Tightwad Hill (yup, times were tough as a student) before jumping the fence to celebrate Cal's win. (And that, dear friends, was pretty much the extent of my wild college days -- ). I know, I'm such a wild child. Whoah!


VOTE NOW!
To lend your support for Spicy Green Mango and read more about Challenge #2, please show your love by clicking here on the heart or on my Project Food Blog widget to the right of this screen.  Voting ends on Thursday, September 30 at 6pm PST.  I'm so grateful for all my amazing fans who've shown their love thus far, so I'm giving you a sneak peek of what I'm planning for my next challenge should I advance!
























'Kickin Chili con Carne
(Makes more than enough to feed 6 hungry souls)

 What' You'll Need:
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-5 tbs of dried/ground chili pepper mix (paprika, cayenne, ancho)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 oz) can ripe black olives, roughly chopped
  • 10 fresh green beans, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 (7.25 oz) can El Pato hot tomato sauce
  • 5 Embasa chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 16 oz beef broth
Instructions:
  1. Heat the garlic in a hot pan with oil until nearly brown then add chopped onions and sautee until translucent.
  2. Add the beef along with all the dried spices & seasonings and stir for a few minutes before covering everything for 10-15 minutes or until meet is cooked.
  3. Add all the vegetables (tomatoes, beans, olives, chipotle peppers) and bay leaves and stir for a few minutes - drain any excess fat if desired.
  4. Add the fresh thyme, hot tomato sauce and pinto beans along with the beef broth and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Garnish:  Spoon a dollop of sour cream over chili and sprinkle with cheese, chopped tomatoes & cilantro.  Scoop some of this kick-a$$ chili with your favorite tortilla chips and you've got a damn good meal--good enough to take your team to victory (okay, I may be slightly exaggerating..just a tad...but at least your tailgating parties will be winners).

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Posted by Spicy Green Mango 11 comments

UPDATE: Thanks to your outpouring of support and mouse-clicking, Spicy Green Mango has advanced to Challenge #2 of Project Food Blog. Check back soon for my next post on dishing up a classic from another culture!

**********
Once upon a time, a little girl with an appetite fit for a glutton and a tummy fit for a food-loving fool, grew up and went to college.  With childhood memories perfumed with chilis and sticky rice, she soon found friends from near and far, high and low, who also shared in her passion with the culinary world. Okay, what she actually found were life-long nuts who happily made her cooking their college meal plan.  It was from these avid grubbers she'd realized that what she initially thought was an abnormal foodie love affair was really a true gift (dare I say talent?) -- one that she should really share with the rest of the world.

So, there began my adventures in food which has now turned into food blogging. But of course, the entire journey wouldn't even be possible without the rich, cultural traditions of my Lao heritage where in my household, the first greeting you receive from my parents even before they know your name is, "Have you eaten already?"  From them, I cultivated and nourished a huge respect for food and the memories that it imparts, such as waking up to the sweet fragrance of freshly steamed sticky rice and sweating under the heat of homegrown chilis that made its appearance at every family gathering. 

At the age of 12, I remember cooking up my first beef stir fry and then trying my hands at papaya salad.  Needless to say, both attempts were pretty sad, but I was determined to eat and eat well.  So, to this day, I live to eat WELL.  My parents taught me the art of growing our own food and until this very day, we have always had a garden in our backyard where my dad dons his green thumb and provides some TLC to luscious rows of Thai basil, young lemongrass, crazy spicy chilis of all varieties, banana trees, spearmint, Vietnamese coriander, kaffir limes and guavas.  And until recently, I, too, tried my hands at gardening. Behold, the fruits of our labor (okay, it was really thanks to my hubby), but hey, I had my fair share of watering the little buggers (whenever I remembered). Hehe.

What's Up with this Blog Post, Spicy?
What? You're confused, too? Well, dear friend:  This post marks my first official entry into Foodbuzz's Project Food Blog where nearly 2,000 amazing food bloggers compete for $10K..yes, that's right, $10K with challenges every week. (Note to self:  Imagine all the bowls of pho I can buy with that moola---oooh, the possibilities abound).  Basically, by clicking on the widget of me enjoying my papaya salad in Thailand (to the right of the page) and clicking on the cute little heart, you can you help make sure that yours truly advances to the next round.  Voting ends 6PM Pacific Time (9PM EST) on Thursday, September 23rd. Wish me luck 'cause I got some cooking to do. In the meantime, many heartfelt thanks for your unwavering support and kind words. Regardless of the outcome, you can count on many more posts dedicated to what I do best: eating and blogging (with the occasional rants and raves).

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