What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

To see amazing detail in any photo just click on it!
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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Mom's Mango Bread



If you're not a mango lover than I won't be able to entice you with this one. However, if you just love the flavor of mango you're going to go nuts over this cake/bread recipe.

At the home in south Florida where my parents and I lived for 20+ years we had 40 mango trees in the front yard. The house had been built on what had been mango groves and the trees were preserved. Needless to say we had mangos coming out of our ears. Each year my father sold the crop to farmers who came and picked the unripe fruit from the trees. The proceeds helped to pay the taxes on the property.

Thankfully for us, some of the fruit would ripen and fall before the farmers got there to pluck and we came up with many ways to use the sweet and juicy fruit. Some we peeled and froze in small zip top bags so that we had it available all year. My father, Martin, would soften a half gallon of his favorite vanilla ice cream, mix in chopped fresh mango, and then refreeze. We had mango chutney, mango sauce, mango on fish, chicken, and the list went on and on.

What we couldn't eat or freeze we gave away. Sometimes we set up a table out on the main road and sold them to passers by. One year my dad actually filled the trunk of his car with mangos and drove up to Gainesville, Florida where I was living at the time just so I could sell some there. I made a small fortune but it's the memories which are so priceless.

By far, the best thing we ever made with those mangos was Mom's Mango Bread. We often had a production line going and on one particular day we produced 46 loaves which we froze, gifted, and ate all year. My mom and I always had so much fun baking together.

This used to be her well guarded secret recipe but I've decided to share the goodness.
My prediction is that you'll be writing to thank me for this one! Enjoy.

Ingredients...

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (use whole wheat if you want a higher fiber content)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar or Splenda sugar substitute (which measures cup for cup)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups Mango Puree (put sliced mango in your food processor or blender to puree)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like walnuts in this recipe) (optional)
  • 1/2 cup white raisins (optional)

Here's how you do it...
  1. Prepare 2 loaf pans (grease and dust with flour) .
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F
  3. In a large bowl or mixer - Sift and blend together all the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix in the oil, eggs, vanilla, and mango puree until thoroughly blended.
  5. Stir in the chopped nuts and raisins.
  6. Pour and divide into the two prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake at 325F for approximately 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out dry.
  8. Cool slightly before removing from the pans.
  9. Slice and serve.
Tips...
A la mode works well with this dense loaf.
Loaves can be wrapped in plastic, then foil, and frozen in zip top freezer bags.
It also works well to wrap individual slices before freezing so you can defrost just the amount you need at any time.

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