Summer Loving – Recipe: Portobello Mango Salad with Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch Dressing


I love the easy-going, slow pace of summer days.

While I am slightly Type A when it comes to get organized, filing away everything from last year and preparing for a new year, I still definitely enjoy just sitting back and enjoying the moment.

Yesterday I realized that I should have put, “Be spontaneous.” on the Summer Fun List.  But, I definitely know that we do not need a list to dictate our schedule every day.  So, be spontaneous was the order of the day.


Gabriel said that he would like to just go see a movie, and Summer and Ethan enthusiastically agreed.  I decided that we had just enough time for lunch and a movie in between speech therapy and dental appointments.

The littles had a great time, and I was so happy that I decided to just be present in the moment, to be spontaneous and just enjoy the day.


Obviously, the day was all about whatever the littles wanted, so when they requested their favorite take-out chicken strips and French fries for dinner, I agreed.  And, it was the perfect opportunity for me to create a salad for myself since Sean was working late.  I opened the refrigerator, and the portobello and mango were just begging to be put into a delicious salad. I happily agreed.  Wow…being spontaneous is so much fun!

Portobello Mango Salad with Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Portobello Mango Salad with Jalapeño Cilantro Ranch Dressing



Portobello, cubed

1 tablespoon red wine

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Salad Dressing

1 cup mayonaise

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeño, sliced

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Mango, diced

Corn, fresh or frozen, cooked or grilled

Cherry tomatoes, optional

Cheese, your choice


Cucumbers, sliced or diced


    Preparing the Mushrooms
  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add the portobellos and seasoned salt, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the red wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Preparing the Salad Dressing
  6. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and milk to a blender. Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour in the olive oil and lime juice, and mix together.
  8. Sprinkle in the cilantro, salt, pepper, and jalapeños, and continue to blend until smooth. It will be thick but should still be thin enough to pour.
  9. Putting It All Together
  10. Place the chopped lettuce in a bowl.
  11. Top it with the corn, cucumbers, portobellos, and mangoes.
  12. Add the cheese and croutons, and place the tomatoes around the sides (or slice and put on the top).
  13. Pour on the dressing.
  14. Enjoy!

If you have enjoyed the other Ice Age movies, you will enjoy Ice Age: Continental Drift, too.  I love that there are still sweet, innocent movies with life lessons in them for my littles.  This one had family values and friendship intertwined in it, and we all really enjoyed it.

Tuesday Tacos – Recipe: Portobello, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos


I have a new favorite taco place.  When we went there last weekend, and I tried The Independent, I knew that I had to re-create it to prevent me from wanting to go there every single weekend.

It did not take me long to attempt to make it because I was already craving it yesterday, and since it was Tuesday, I knew that it was destined to be a our Tuesday Taco meal.

I was not positive if the littles would like the fried portobellos, but I knew that they would be happy with the beans, corn, tortillas, chips, and salsa.  So, I proceeded with the meal, knowing that it was something that might not go over well with everyone else in the family.


I was half right.  Sean and Gabriel loved it.  And, as predicted, Summer and Ethan got by on everything else, omitting the portobellos from their meal.  One day they will get there…

I was extremely pleased with the meal because it was so very close to what I had experienced over the weekend.  Knowing that I can make it myself whenever I want brings a smile to my face and makes me realize that it is one of the very reasons that I fell in love with cooking.  Success with food in the kitchen is a very satisfying feeling.

Portobello, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos

Portobello, Black Bean, and Corn Tacos


For the Mushrooms

3 portobello mushrooms

1 cup flour

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 cups Panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

2-3 cups canola oil

For the Sauce

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

For the Corn

2 cups fresh or frozen corn, cooked

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 tablespoon dill relish (you can make it fresh or use store-bought)

For the Tacos

Refried black beans

Sliced avocados

Goat cheese

Cilantro, optional

Fresh salsa, optional

Flour tortillas


    Preparing the Fried Portobello Mushrooms
  1. Slice mushrooms in strips.
  2. Add the flour to a ziplock bag, and place the mushrooms in the bag with the flour.
  3. Shake to coat, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix together the milk and egg to create an egg wash.
  5. Place the panko bread crumbs in a bowl wide enough for dredging, and mix in the seasoned salt and cayenne pepper.
  6. Pour the canola oil into a skillet or large pot, and heat over medium high heat.
  7. Once the oil is hot, place the mushrooms strips in the milk mixture, covering both sides. Then, dredge through the bread crumbs.
  8. Place in the hot oil.
  9. Continue with each of the strips, cooking on each side 2-3 minutes, until browned.
  10. Place the cooked portobello mushrooms onto a paper-towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with Kosher salt.
  11. Preparing the Sauce
  12. Mix together the sour cream and whipping cream until smooth.
  13. Add in the pepper sauce and lime juice, continue to whisk together.
  14. Sprinkle in the Kosher salt and black pepper.
  15. Preparing the Corn
  16. Cook or roast the corn.
  17. Add in the fresh or prepared relish and the seasoned salt.
  18. Putting It All Together
  19. Place one flour tortilla on a plate.
  20. Spread black beans on the tortilla.
  21. Place 1-2 fried portobello mushrooms strips on top of the beans.
  22. Add 1-2 avocado slices on top of the mushroom strips.
  23. Sprinkle the corn and goat cheese over everything.
  24. Top with a generous drizzle of the sauce.
  25. Add fresh salsa and cilantro to finish it off, optional.