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.

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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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Mango Avocado & Tomato Salad

   I grew up in tropical Miami, Fl and mango's are one of the bountiful indigenous fruits that South Florida enjoys.  In fact, my parents had 40 mango trees in their front yard.  Apparently the house was built in an area of Miami near Old Cutler Road which used to be thick with mango groves.  My dad would sell the crop to a local farmer and used the money to pay the real estate taxes on the property.

The farmer would come and pick all the fruit on the tree just before it ripened. But there were hundreds of mangoes that fell before he got there.  The trees in my yard had the very best fruit as the result of grafting which my father took great pride in. Every year we would collect the fallen fruit and begin the production line to  freeze sliced and pureed mango along with making all kinds of mango recipes such as my mom's Mango Bread, Mango Chutney, Mango Sorbet, and of course, scrumptious Mango Salad.

Mangoes offers many nutritional benefits and come in more varieties than you can count.  One medium sized mango contains approximately 105 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of Fiber, along with Vitamin A & C, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium.  

Ingredients...
For Salad...
  • 1 ripe Mango
  • 1 ripe Tomato
  • 1/2 small Red Onion
  • 1 small ripe Avocado
  • Handful of freshly chopped Cilantro
  • Salt & fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
 
For Dressing...
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Here's how you do it...
  1. In a small bowl prepare the Dressing (above) and set aside.
Into a salad bowl..
  1. Peel and cut the Mango into thin strips.
  2. Add the Red Onion cut into very thin slices.
  3. Add the Tomato cut into small chunks. 
  4. Add the sliced Avocado.
  5. Add the chopped Cilantro
  6. Whisk the dressing until emulsified and pour half of it over the cut salad and gently toss until coated.
  7. Serve immediately.
***Refrigerate the unused half of the dressing for another time or double the cut ingredients of the salad and use it all.

***Be creative and make it a one plate lunch or dinner by adding some chilled cooked shrimp, scallops, or lobster.  This would also make a beautiful addition to any buffet table.

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