Just Happiling weekly (09/16/16)

5:27:00 PM



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Ah, I am very excited about what was happiling this week at Just Happiling. Please keep on reading to find out why.


To begin, I'd like to share that this week was extremely hot, and therefore, I thought about making a healthy treat. Though I say healthy, remember that anything with excess is bad for you, even water. With that being said. Let me tell you how I make fruit ice-cream.

Ingredients:
- 1 pint of Plain Organic Yogurt of choice.
- 1 pint of your favorite fruit, or mixture of fruit.
- 2 Tablespoons of your favorite sweetener. We used organic agave, but honey, or stevia should work too. It is my understanding that when using the powdered form, it is best to use about 1/2 a cup of the sweetener. My advice is, test your mixture and find the right spot, then add a bit more, because when it freezes, the bitterness of the plain yogurt and fruit gets enhanced.

You will also need:
- A cutting board to slice your fruit as small as you can.
- A good sharp knife, be careful with this one.
- Masher, to puree the mixture
- Big bowl to fit all your fruit and yogurt in.
- Ice-cream Maker
- Wooden Spoon, because it helps remove ice-cream from the ice-cream maker without scratching it.

I used 4 big mangos. They were just right, so I had to hurry and make the ice-cream with them. I used one of them for decoration. There are loads of videos on the web on how to make this type of rose, so I won't explain how to make it. All you need to know is; 
  1. You peel the mango.
  2. Slice in half, skipping the husk. Since you end up with two halves, you can make two roses.
  3. With the flat bottom against your cutting board, and the mango facing horizontally, make fine vertical slices. 
  4. Slowly, start shaping the rose, by pushing the slices to form a twister shape, and
  5. Voalá, you've got yourself a Mango Rose like in the picture below.
 
The process of the ice-cream is simple. If your fruit is frozen, leave to defrost, and it's okay if it gets gooey. Remember that you are going to puree it, and it is easier, if the fruit is doing so by itself, as tends to be the case with frozen fruit. 

 

  1. Peel, Slice, Chop, Puree your fruit in a big bowl.
  2. Add your Plain Organic Yogurt. You can interchange this with a Vanilla w/honey Yogurt too.
  3. Mix very well in  your bowl.
  4. Add your sweetener of choice and taste it until you feel comfortable with the sweetness, and then just some. Remember what I said about it needing a bit more when it is becoming ice-cream.
  5. Add your mixture to your Ice-Cream Maker. We use the Cuisinart, Pure Indulgence 2-Qrt Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice-Cream Maker.
  6. Wait between 10-20 minutes, depending if you want soft or thick ice-cream, and 
  7. Enjoy!

Here's a small video sharing the same steps.
video

Oh yeah, happy day! This made for two pints of Mango Yogurt, and then some that I could enjoy right there once I was finished. I was glad I decided to make this, because it was hot, and I was literally melting. So at the end, this was literally my face!


At our garden (The Lopez Garden)

We are getting ready to harvest anything that is left, from the peppers, to the tomatoes, and cucumbers. The herbs will stay a bit longer, however, the fruit mentioned above is done for the season. Though we didn't have as many big tomatoes as previous years, we did have a lot of cherry tomatoes this  year. It was perfect for salads and omelets. But I am glad the season is over, because we found a not very welcomed pest in our tomatoes.


It is so interesting how the beauty in nature can be so deceiving. This is a tomato horn-worm, and though it looks adorable, it could wipe out your plants in a blink of an eye. I was warned to be careful with that horn at the end of it's body, because it could sting you. So before this poor creature went on a trip to a better world, I took some photos, because we can't deny how awesome it's pattern is. Don't get me wrong. I am pro saving creatures of nature, but there are some, that unless you have more to share, you don't want in your tiny organic garden. When you have enough to share it's sort of okay, but when you don't, its either them or you. And since you are the one doing all the work, better you. Usually the birds would get this as a treat, but when we zoomed into the photo, we noticed that it had some larva wondering it's surface. We don't know if a parasitic wasp got to it first, and it was going to become lunch for another insect or what, but we were not going to take any chances.



Something I really enjoy doing is, growing fruit trees from seed. Some of them survive and become beautiful fruit trees, and others don't make it, but I really enjoy the process of observing a tiny seed germinate, break free and become something else. I have three peach seeds in the picture above. I was eating these huge savory peaches, and when I opened them, the husk had already cracked. I figured that then it did not need all the process of stratification, meaning, going through winter. So I decided to do the 'Napkin' method, and I did get one to start growing. The tiny one is the sole seed of a Carambola, also known as a Starfruit. That has not grown yet, but I know they take their time, because I've grown it before. Funny thing. I planted three the last time, and they took so long, my husband thought they were not going to grow, and he planted lettuce there. Then the starfruit started growing next to the already growing lettuce. I don't remember well if they dried up or not, but that's why I try over and over again. To learn what the plants like and what not. Like animals and people, I believe plants have their personalities, and needs that make them different. But one thing is for sure, in my opinion, plants are the fastest adapting creature I've seen. I know we use clothes to adapt to weather, but plants, they just evolve so quick. It's very impressive!


Guess what this one above is? Yup! One of my 4 mango husks was also cracked and I saw this little fella trying to crawl out. I'll just leave it be--see what happens. I've grown mangos before, and not only is it fun to see it grow, but it is also very easy, and a beautiful decorative plant. Just pay attention to the watering. This is a tropical plant, but likes a well drained pot. Just lay it sideways like shown in my hand on top of good soil mixed with compost (do not bury the seed, lay it as is, sideways), and watch it grow. The little tail on the left is the root, and the tentacle looking strips in the bottom are actually the leaves. It looks super cool, I'll tell you that much.

On another note, this week, the moon looked beautiful and mysterious. Very determined to let you know that Fall is coming, and with it, changes of weather, cooler climate (YES! Thank you!), the fun Holidays, and the biggest moons. Super yay!


In the Kitchen, aside of the delicious Mango Ice-cream I shared, my husband decided to make his version of Udon Noodle Soup, which is a Japanese dish. We had so many mushrooms from last weekend, that they made it into dinner this week. The bigger mushrooms on the left side of the photo are Beech Mushrooms, and the ones on the right with the long stems are called Enoki mushrooms.The rest is just chicken, green onions, seaweed, udon noodles, and broth. This was the first time I had ever tried this, and I really, really enjoyed it.


Doesn't this look delicious? Yeah, yummy, yummy in our tummies. Definitely we must have again.

In the blog, we had a busy week. Not only were we promoting The Wild Life movie, but we also had a giveaway to celebrate the launching of Marvel's Captain America on Blu-Ray/DVD and Digital HD, which by the way came out last 09/13. Did you get it already? Oh my, this has been one of our most awaited superhero movies. I mean, we love them all, after all, I am a comic-book fanatic. That is how I got into drawing seriously to begin with. I have favorite superheroes of both alternate universes, but in the Marvel world, my favorites are Firestar and Rouge. I think, because I like Rouge, my favorite male superhero was Gambit. Nonetheless, the Iron-man franchise really got me going, and I am glad that Robert Downey Jr. was able to play Iron-man in every single movie. So yup, you guessed it--I am Team Stark. And I love-love-love Black Widow. Definitely a movie you want to have in your collection if you love superheroes as much as we do.


Yes, it was a very fun and interesting week, and I am glad that you have joined us once again, to find out what is happiling at Just Happiling.
 

Wait, wait, Nalia in the picture above, wants to remind you that there's more! Don't forget to enter for your chance to win great prizes in our giveaway page. We have two very cool prizes for the little one. Let me sprinkle some good-luck dust on you before you head on there. We really enjoy bringing great fun stuff to our followers, because at the end, we become a tight online community who share happiness, which at the end is our goal at Just Happiling.

Talking about which, this is one of the coolest and most exciting months of the year. Not only was it my maternal grandmother´s month, for her birthday, but culturally it means a lot and in my hometown of Monterrey, NL, México, the tricolor decor lifts everyone´s spirit with pride.
 

These are pictures I took of downtown Monterrey, Nuevo León, México, during this month, during a past year. It's been a while since I last went to visit. Hopefully soon.


So even across international boarders, and because today 09/16 is an important day to many of our family and friends of Mexican descent. Happy Mexican Independence Day, y ¡Que VIVA MÉXICO! Lo mejor para mi gente bonita de México a quien tanto quiero y llevo en mi corazón (translation: The best for my wonderful people of México, whom I cherish dearly in my heart).

XOXO y Ajúa!






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