Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm back

From a glorious vacation that mostly consisted of sitting on this beach:

And reading (the unflattering photo is courtesy of a sibling who stole my camera):

I made it through five books during the week. After I got through the first one, which was 500 pages, I hit my stride and read about a book a day. I’m not sure I’ll make it through five books in the next six months. But when I get a hold of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, I will disappear until I finish it; the first two (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire) were excellent, can’t-put-it-down books.

I finished each day with excellent food (a separate post to come), games with the family and a beautiful sunset.

I truly disconnected and really relaxed for the first time in a while. It seems that on every beach vacation over the last four years, I have been debating a major job decision. It was so nice not to be playing scenarios in the back of my head or be mentally preparing for a major life change. It was comforting to know I was coming home to the same job, the same apartment, the same friends, etc.

One of the great things about this location is that you arrive by ferry and all of the transportation on the island is by golf cart, which really does help you escape. But I got home this evening, unloaded my car and walked the three blocks to the market to buy milk. And I realized this is a pretty good place to come home to, especially since I don’t even need a golf cart to get to all of life’s essentials.

And hopefully a four-day week will make the transition back to real life a little easier.

So long vacation...

Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm disconnecting this week from everything but my phone. It will be a much needed break!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More asparagus, please

I've been anxiously awaiting my next pick-up because I've been lost since I ate everything from two weeks ago. My motivation to cook dwindled quickly even though I was actually home from work at a decent hour this week.

But I picked everything up this morning and was so excited to see I would get a whole pound of asparagus. I can't believe I am writing that, but I have a new found love for asparagus. Much to the frustration of others picking up their shares, I painstakingly picked out the thinnest pieces and have an abundance. 

In my share this week, I got:

 Asparagus, of course
Zucchini and squash
Field lettuce
Bibb lettuce
Mustard greens
Spring onions

I also got another chicken and my bread share.

An added bonus for this week is getting to share my bounty with my family. Mom, I hope you're working on a recipe for mustard greens!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I tend to set high expectations — for events, things, people, myself and life in general. When I started thinking about blogging and how this would play out, I expected that I would be able to write three posts a week. I assumed that since prior to launching the blog I could immediately come up with 10 ideas, I would never run out of ideas. I then set an expectation for anyone who reads the blog that this would mostly be about cooking and recipes.

But I’m only two months in, and I’ve hit writer’s block. I will say that I am enjoying blogging more than I thought. Even though I write some at my job, it is not creative at all, and this has become an opportunity to enjoy writing. The fact I’ve shared it with you turned out to be a surprising bonus.

All of that to say, it’s my blog, and I have to free myself from these expectations and realize I can blog about whatever I want, whenever I want. So today’s post has nothing to do with cooking and probably won’t even have a point, but it’s basically what’s been swirling around in my mind this week.

It was a year ago that I first visited this city to interview for the job I now have. The dates aren’t exact, but it was graduation weekend, which is hard to miss around here, and that’s what is coming this weekend.

The interview came after several months of back and forth and then nothing and then more back and forth with the company. It also followed a time of major upheaval in my life. I had recently ended the only serious relationship I have ever been in, and a tornado caused damage to my apartment and took away a place of comfort for me (it was still livable, just inconvenient).

Looking back on it now, I realize that God used those things to open my mind, my heart and my eyes to new opportunities. This city was not on MY list of approved cities to move to, and this job was not exactly what I thought I wanted. To this day, I can’t think of a concrete reason why I sent off my resume to this company, but now that I’m here a year later, I know that it was God leading me down His path for my life.

And I feel so blessed. I am sometimes overwhelmed at the ways God has blessed me in the last year. Since graduating from college and leaving the sorority house and the campus ministry I was involved in, I’ve struggled with finding that group of Christian friends at the same stage of life as me. But here, God has blessed me with friends to fill that void I couldn’t quite place before, while at the same time bringing along others in various stages of life to bring wisdom and also friendship.

I’ve also found myself in a place of seeking after God more fully than I have in a while. But it’s not always pretty. I’ve found myself broken and convicted but also humbled as I struggle to fully accept God's gift of grace.

I still struggle with the things I feel are missing in my life. I finally feel like I’m in a place where I could stay, but I want to meet the man God has picked out for me to share this life with. I want the whole picture: husband, kids, house and dog. And I find myself being impatient and still doubting that God knows best.

Maybe I’m too sentimental or journalism has drilled in the significance of anniversaries of major events, but this time, I feel like God is trying to show me something. There have been times when I looked back over a certain period of time and thought things would be different or I would be closer to whatever goal I was aiming for at the time. But this week as I look back at the last year, I realize I wouldn’t change a thing. I see that every step of the last year has been prepared before me in ways I never could have imagined. And I know God is reminding me that it is better to let go of my expectations and put my trust in Him because He wants to bless me and can (and has) surpass my expectations if I let Him. 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pancakes and potatoes

I am losing steam. I’ve just finished off everything but the maple syrup and popcorn from my last pick-up, and I am ready for my next pick-up to inspire me again. I have two recipes to share, but they don’t exactly go together and I have no photo documentation, but it’s all I’ve got for now.

So I believe that Betty Crocker invented cake and brownie mixes to make life easier and that there is nothing wrong with passing off slice-and-bake cookies as your own (the key is not to use the break-apart ones because it is noticeable even after you cook them). And just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t tell you how you would go about making pancakes without Bisquick. But then I made Pioneer Woman’s Sour Cream Pancakes, and it put all the other pancakes I've made to shame.

I don’t make these as often because rarely do I have sour cream on hand, but when I do, I know exactly how to use it up. And when I made these last week, I had strawberries and maple syrup to put on them — it was amazing.

As far as I can tell this recipe is only in her cookbook, which is definitely worth buying, but I’m posting this recipe here, though you miss out on the step-by-step photographs.

Pioneer Woman Sour Cream Pancakes

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the sour cream in a medium bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir together gently, it doesn't have to be completely combined.
Whisk eggs in separate bowl. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the egg mixture in with the other ingredients. Stir together gently (PW notes that you want some texture and the final mixture can be white and yellow.)
Pour batter in skillet and make pancakes.

This makes about 12 pancakes, depending on how big or small you make them. I rarely halve this recipe, instead I just eat them for breakfast the next day.

My second recipe to share is also from the Pioneer Woman. It probably seems like that is my only source for recipes, but I always check her site when I need a recipe before I check my cookbooks or Google my ingredients. 

I had potatoes, and I wanted to do more than just eat them as a baked potato. Though I will note that baked potatoes are one of my favorite cooking-for-one meals; it’s quick and requires no cleanup. Anyway, I found Pioneer Woman’s recipe for roasted potato wedges, although it’s hardly a recipe, it’s more like throw in whatever spices you like with some olive oil and put them in the oven. But here’s the breakdown:

Pioneer Woman Roasted Potato Wedges

  • Potatoes (number and variety of your choosing)
  • ¼ cups (approximately) olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh herbs, to taste
  • Optional ingredients
    • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
    • Garlic, minced
    • 2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) Balsamic Vinegar
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Paprika
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Wash potatoes.
 Cut potatoes into wedges.
 Toss with oil, butter, salt, pepper, and whatever else you’d like: garlic, balsamic, spices, etc. 
Spread on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
 Shake around. Stir.
 Roast for another 20 minutes. Check the seasoning. Add more if necessary. 
Sprinkle with herbs.
 Serve immediately.

I added salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary and parsley at the end for my first batch. The second time I added salt, pepper, garlic, a mild blue cheese crumbled and some red wine vinegar. I actually liked the second batch better, but the first time around, there was an incident with the black pepper in which I dumped in more pepper than you would need to season 10 potatoes that probably impacted the taste.

Also with the first batch I cut long wedges and roasted them on a cookie sheet, and they were good but kind of frustrating to eat and not as good reheated. With my second potato, I cut it into bite size pieces and because my cookie sheets were out of commission, I put the pieces in my 8x8 casserole dish.

That's all I've got for today!

Friday, May 14, 2010

'Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?'

The title of this post is a quote from Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), which I found in a Google search as I tried to come up with a title for this post, but it pretty much describes me in bookstores. 

I love to read, but I reached a point in my post-college life where I realized I couldn't afford to keep myself in books. My solution was joining the library, which I've discovered has become pretty high-tech. I am able to basically treat it like a Netflix queue, continually requesting books online and waiting for them to come in. (I am currently waiting for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.)

But things are getting desperate. I'm headed to the beach soon, and my older sister, who normally serves as the beach library, is not coming, so I need to work on my supply. Apologies for the non-food related post, but I'm seeking recommendations. I'll share with you what I've been reading, and then I'd love some ideas for what I should read on vacation. (Note: All of the links will take you to the book's Amazon page where you can read full reviews and summaries.)

The Help
If you have not read this, run to your nearest bookstore or library and get it. This is one of the best books I've read in a while. It's about the South during the Civil Rights era and the relationship between white families and the African-American women they hire to raise their children and keep their houses.

This is more historical fiction (that's a theme for me), and this book is about sharecropping in the South after World War II. This story is more heart-wrenching than The Help but still an excellent read.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
This book is set in the Guernsey Islands, post-World War II and the occupation by the Germans. The book is written in letters, which can be hard to get into, but as a friend said, if you can get through the first 100 pages, you'll be hooked.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
I don't have a good synopsis of this one, but at a basic level it's about a father's fight for his daughter, told from the viewpoint of a golden retriever (but not in a weird way). It's worth reading.

The Time Traveler's Wife
I'm late to this one, but I read it before I saw the movie and I recommend the book. The book is easier to follow in terms of the time changes. The movie tried hard, but it didn't handle all the jumping around in time very well.

Nanny Returns
This is just a fun, quick read. As someone who spent many summers babysitting, I enjoyed the original The Nanny Diaries and also enjoyed this sequel. But don't rely on the movie, read the original. I had to stop confusing the movie with the book when I was reading the sequel, if that makes any sense.

Non-fiction/Christian study
Same Kind of Different as Me
This is about a family that befriends a homeless man, who becomes part of their family and changes the way they look at the world. This is an excellent book, and everyone should read this.

Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
I haven't gotten all the way through this yet, we're reading it in a small group I'm in. But it looks at the sins that we accept so easily in our lives. It is a convicting and challenging book, and it's been really good for study.

So Long Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us
This is Beth Moore's latest book. It is a hard read because it opens your eyes to your insecurities and the sources of those insecurities. It's worth reading, but I also recommend getting the DVD of the recent simulcast because Beth's message is very positive and provides more practical ways to work through insecurity.

So there's my list, all suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Foccacia, scones and more

I got motivated to cook after my pick-up and strawberry picking, and I have some great recipes to share.

I have always snubbed asparagus, and while it's still not my favorite thing, I've eaten several nights in a row, which is saying something. Based on a friend's suggestion, I roasted the asparagus in the toaster oven with olive oil and and sea salt for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. It's a perfect dish for one because you cook as much or as little as you want. An added bonus is I covered the tray for the toaster oven in foil so there is no cleanup.

I finally found some guidance on the fresh spinach. I successfully sauteed it in butter, added some onion, garlic and cream, and it turned out edible. Pioneer Woman has a recipe for creamed spinach that looks great, but also seems a bit complicated and could probably feed an army. But I used her tips on sauteing the spinach, and it turned out significantly better than my last attempt.

I still had spring onions left, and someone recently posted a recipe for foccacia bread that calls for onions on her blog (as well as some things to go with the bread you should check out). I've never done the yeast thing, and I'm still not sure I did it exactly right but the bread turned out pretty well. Here's the recipe with my adjustments:
 (This is after I had eaten some.)
Spring onion foccacia
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 – 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used much less than this.)
Put water in a medium-sized bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Let yeast and water stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Mix in 1 cup of the flour, the oregano and salt. Mix in enough remaining flour to form dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the bowl onto a floured surface and lightly knead until smooth and elastic. About 5 minutes. Oil a medium bowl. Add the dough, turning to coat. Cover and let rise for an hour in a draft-free, warm place, until doubled. About an hour.

Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over low heat. Add onion, basil and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic are tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Punch the dough down. Turn the dough out onto a surface and roll into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Place on a prepared baking sheet. Using two fingers, make indentations over the surface of the dough. Spread with onion, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle olive oil. Let rise in a draft-free, warm place for 30 minutes.

Bake the bread in in a 450-degree oven until crisp and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

This turned out great, and I enjoyed it with some cheese I picked up at the festival over the weekend. I'm sure I'll also eat it with some olive oil and seasoning. The next time I make it, I'll probably mix up the herbs based on what I have.

And then I had to find a good recipe to use up some of the strawberries, and I found the best strawberry scone recipe. These scones are some of the best I've ever had, and I spent four months in London. I literally just googled strawberry scones and found this recipe. Here it is:

 Strawberry scones
  • 1 cup strawberries (or other fruit)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (granulated)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, in cubes, slightly softened
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half or cream or cold buttermilk (I used half-and-half.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Cut the strawberries into small pieces. Sprinkle fruit with 1/2 tablespoon sugar; set aside. Be sure to make the pieces small, or they tend to fall out of the dough.

Combine remaining sugar with flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter, using a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut in butter. (I just used my hands.) Stir in fruit; then add cream/half-and-half/buttermilk all at once. Use spatula to gently stir dough until it holds together.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate dry ingredients. Be gentle so you don't break up the berries and don't overwork the dough. Sprinkle dough with flour if it gets sticky.

Press the dough into a circle 3/4 inch thick. If any berries peek out, push them into dough. Cut circle into 6-8 wedges, then transfer wedges to the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between them. Bake 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar and bake 5-10 more minutes or until the tops are beginning to brown and spring back when you push them. (Mine only needed a few more minutes.) Sprinkle sugar over the top for the last few minutes of baking to create a simple, sparkly topping.

I made eight scones and froze half of them. We'll see how they turn out. If they survive the freezer, I might make many more batches while I have the strawberries because they are amazing!

I know in three months I might be tired of figuring out what to do with my produce, but so far I am really enjoying the challenge and finding that I will eat more things if I have to.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Second round

What a wonderful weekend. I got to spend some great time with friends, enjoyed the weather and also got some much-needed down time.

On Saturday I picked up my second share of the season, and here's my loot:

Asparagus and potatoes

Bibb lettuce


Popcorn, bread and maple syrup

I've almost finished off the asparagus (I know my family is shocked reading that), and I am glad to have my lettuce supply replenished. I wasn't really expecting potatoes, but that gives me some easy meals. 

I got a quart of strawberries from my pick-up, so I definitely didn't need more, but that didn't stop me from going strawberry picking with friends on Saturday afternoon. It was a lot of fun, and I just couldn't resist the beautiful strawberries just asking to be picked so I came home with two pounds.

 I don't have pictures, but we capped the day off with a trip to a local arts and crafts festival. It was one of those days, as most are, that I was so grateful to live where I do. You just can't beat the scenery in this part of the country.

I did a fair amount of cooking on Sunday after meeting an old friend for lunch, so my next post will have some recipes. And if you need some strawberries, please drop by!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chicken goes the distance

My mom’s friends have a saying that “A ham goes the distance.” It’s something about trying to feed everyone when all their kids are home.

But this week I am saying that the chicken goes the distance.

I got my whole chicken two weeks ago but left town and didn’t actually cook until last week. I had plenty of tips on what to do with it, and I read a lot of Internet recipes to reassure myself. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and put some of my spring onions inside it. I put it in the crock-pot with more onions and some celery I had on hand.

My big debate was whether to add water. I read everything from no water to four cups of water. The online recipes said if you want broth to add water. I went with the middle and added a cup of water.

When I got home from work, the chicken was falling off the bone. It was moist and tasted pretty good. After I took off all the meat, I simmered the broth with the bones and vegetables on the stove for a couple of hours. I did end up adding more water at this point to get more broth. I strained the broth and then let it sit in the refrigerator to allow the fat to collect on top. I took off all the fat and poured the broth in a freezer bag and let it freeze flat.

So then I had a plenty of meat and chicken broth, which I used to believe only came in a can. I used part of the chicken for tacos when I had friends over, and then I used the chicken and the broth in a chicken tortilla soup I made in the crock-pot to take to a friend that recently had a baby.

I was pretty surprised at how easy it was to cook the chicken and then how convenient it is to have cooked chicken ready to go anytime. Of course I have another two weeks until I get another chicken, but at least it hasn't gone bad. 

And I have to say that I think I did pretty well with my first pick-up. I’ve eaten all the lettuce, used the watercress in pesto and just have two spring onions left. The only thing I didn’t do very well with was the spinach. I added it to my salads most of the time, but sautéing it didn’t work out and I lost all motivation after that. Any suggestions for what to do with fresh spinach?

I’m leaving you with the chicken tortilla soup recipe, which my mom passed on to me. I made this knowing I was giving it to someone else and looking at the recipe I assumed it would fall into my dislike category so I had not intention of eating it. But I felt it was unfair to post the recipe to the blog without trying it, and I got home at 9:30 p.m. and had to eat something. So I ate a bowl of it, and it was actually much better than I thought. I might even save enough to get one more meal out of it for myself. 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken (I have no idea how much I used.)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce (I went with the mild sauce.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers (I left this out to avoid the extra spiciness.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (I also left this out because I didn’t have it.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

I get a whole new collection of stuff on Saturday, hopefully with some strawberries!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The cakeball post

I have an obsession. Cakeballs.

Cakeballs were made famous by Bakerella, and she does some pretty incredible things with them. 

My obsession started when I made cakeballs after reading about them for a party back in January, and after that I started obsessing just a little bit. I wanted to figure out how to make them look better. So then we got a lot of snow, and I spent a lot of time in my apartment by myself. That's when I went a little nuts and made some heart-shaped ones and took them to an Olympics party. (I will confess that there was a failed attempt to make Olympic rings.) And after that it was all downhill. Anytime an invitation comes up, I start to calculate if I have time to make cakeballs and what I can try when making them. And I may not have anything to make for dinner, but I always have everything I need to make cakeballs.

What makes this slightly crazy is that it’s not so much that I love eating the cakeballs, although they are very good. But I enjoy the process of actually making them and then getting to share them with friends.

Here’s the progression of my cakeball-making ability:
(The photo at the bottom right were the ones I made for the party.)

I am definitely still a beginner in this (go here from some really impressive ones), but I’ll share the recipe here.

What you need:

  • Cake (Bake a 9x13 cake from a box mix and let it cool. Red velvet tends to be the crowd favorite, but I’ve also made devil’s food cake.)
  • Can of cream cheese icing
  • Melting chocolate or candy melts
  1. Once your cake has cooled, crumble it. I use my food processor for this part (I only do a couple of pulses and about a fourth of the cake at a time), but a fork also works.
  2. Mix the crumbled cake with 3/4 a can of cream cheese icing or enough to make the crumbled cake stick together. You want to mix in the icing completely, so there is no white left.
  3. Roll the cake into balls or you can use a small cookie cutter to make shapes.
  4. Let the rolled balls chill in the refrigerator or freezer. You want them to keep their shape when they go in the melting chocolate.
  5. Once the balls have chilled, dip them in melting chocolate.  You can melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
  6. Use a toothpick to go around the ball as the chocolate starts to harden to get rid of the excess chocolate. Sticking the balls on a lollipop stick also limits the collection of chocolate around the ball.
The recipe makes about 60 quarter-size balls, and I’ve found they keep pretty well in the refrigerator.

I’ve made a variation using crushed up mint oreos, mixing them with one package of cream cheese, instead of icing, and then following the same steps. I dipped these in white chocolate and loved the mint/white chocolate combo.

Now you all know my secret and can make them yourself. But I’ll still be happy to bring them to the party because I'm still obsessed. (And Bakerella's forthcoming cookbook is not going to help my obsession.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cooking for a crowd

This weekend I got to cook for 12 instead of just one. I’ve been meaning to have people over for a few months now, but I hadn’t found the right time or reason. But Saturday night I hosted a party that I dubbed, “Uno de Mayo,” because Cinco de Mayo is in the middle of the week and that isn't doable for me.

It turned out to be a lot of fun. We ate tacos, drank margaritas, had the obligatory Myers-Briggs conversation and played a big game of Apples to Apples. I really just enjoyed hanging out with my friends, so I only have a few pictures and it’s of the set-up. But I do have a couple of recipes to share.

I made Pioneer Woman’s restaurant-style salsa. It was very easy, but it definitely has a kick and qualifies as too spicy for me. So when I make it next time, I’ll probably leave out the jalapeno. But everyone else seemed to enjoy it. 

Pioneer Woman has the step-by-step photo recipe but here’s the straight recipe:

Restaurant-style salsa
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
  • 1/4 cups Chopped Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
  • 1/4 teaspoons Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • 1/2 whole Lime Juice
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed. Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.

I used my co-worker’s margarita recipe that uses beer. I like it better than the pre-made stuff because it’s not as sweet.

Beer margaritas

  • 1 can limeade concentrate
  • 1 can water
  • 1 can of beer (12 oz.)
  • 2/3 can of tequila.
Stir together in a pitcher and serve over ice.

I also cooked my whole chicken and used some of it for chicken tacos, but I think that deserves its own post. And I’ll also post about cakeballs this week.