Monday

Simple Summer Salsa

My friend 'Weenie' showed me this recipe a couple of summers ago and I've adapted it just a bit and it is the most delicious salsa, you're going to LOVE it!  You will need the following items
  • Food Processor
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Can Opener
  • Large can diced tomatos
  • Tomato Paste
  • Fresh tomatos
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • bunch of Cilantro
  • Italian Dressing Seasoning Packet
  • Rice Wine Vinegar

Place Jalepeno, Cilantro and Garlic in food processor and chop.  You want these ingredients to be the finest so put them in first.


Add tomatoes and pulse.

Core bell peppers and add to processor, pulse until chopped.

At this point your vegetables should look something like this.

Add packet of Italian Dressing Seasoning, you can substitute a bottle of Italian Dressing if that's all you have.  I just don't care for all the oil in my salsa.

Now add 1/2 small can of tomato paste and 3-4 Tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar, this is a sweet vinegar and adds just enough acid. Pulse in food processor until combined.

Now place mixture in large lidded bowl, stir in your canned tomatos by hand, I don't care to run them through the food processor. The diced tomatoes help keep it nice and chunky.

Wednesday

Easy Indian Butter Chicken

I realize that this statement may make me sound arrogant or bitchy but it's simply the truth. I am a good cook!  There I've said it, and here's why.  A couple of months ago my husband and I decided to go to a *fancy* restaurant, the type that you can only dine in if you have a reservation.  I was so excited, most because we had to make a reservation, it made me feel important.

The place was nice, we both ordered something different expecting to have our socks knocked off by how amazing it tasted.  I'm sure you can assume that we were less than impressed.  One our drive home we discussed our meals, they were okay but nothing we would drive 45 minutes back to this particular restaurant for. During our discussion we determined the problem wasn't with the restaurant, it was with the fact that we eat pretty well at home on a day-to-day basis.  I enjoy cooking different things, it's a challenge to recreate delicious food for my family.  Plus is costs so much less to make it yourself.

Yesterday was one of those days that I was really craving a top notch meal, something spicy and savory to fill my current pregnancy cravings.  The nearest Indian restaurant is nearly an hour away and that just wasn't happening at the end of a work day so I chose to make Indian Butter Chicken to fill the void and it was delicious!!!




    2 onion peeled and chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 fresh jalapeƱo, seeded, and chopped
    1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
    2 teaspoons tumeric
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon coriander
    1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
    2 1/2 cups chicken broth
    1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
    1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
    1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
    2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
    Fresh cilantro or scallions, optional

Cook rice according to package instructions.

In a large saute pan, combine onion, chili, and oil. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tumeric, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Saute for an additional 2 minutes.

Add tomato paste and chicken broth.  Add half and half or cream , and bring to a gentle boil over high heat (mixture is inclined to spatter). Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 3 cups, about 5-7 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl. Rinse and dry pan.

Pat the chicken dry. Mix chicken with salt and pepper. Set pan over high heat; add 1 tablespoon butter and the chicken. Stir until chicken is no longer pink on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until chicken is no longer pink in the center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.

Spoon chicken and sauce onto rice. Garnish with cilantro or scallions.

This recipe is even better as leftovers, the spices really mature overnight in the refrigerator. ENJOY!

Thursday

Easy Blogger Theme

Last year when I started this blog I purchased a blogger theme from Designer Blogs, at the time I thought it was really pretty but over time I got bored with it.  This morning I was fiddling around and decided to check out what Designer Blogs had for something new to dress up my lil' spot on the web.


Since my lil' ol' blog is simply a hobby for me I didn't want to invest in a custom template.  Designer Blogs offers pre-Made templates starting at just $10.  TEN DOLLARS!!  They also offer fancier templates and also add-ons to enhance your blog.

Once I chose the design I liked I simply entered my PayPal information and I was directed to a Google Doc with the template code.  There wasn't any waiting up to 24 hours for them to e-mail me my template. LOVE THAT! 

Take a peek at what they have, which one if your favorite?