Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WDW - Best Ever, Super Easy Salsa

photo cred:  TheCafeSucreFarine

My husband LOVES salsa. I mean LOVES it.  I mean REALLY LOVES it.  Since we are avid tomato growers, naturally one would think we would make homemade salsa with our wonderful homegrown tomatoes.  I have tried, but the best I can do is make is a chopped pico de gallo.   When it comes to blended salsa, I've never been able to get the consistency right (too watery, inconsistent texture).  I have tried hand chopping, a regular blender, a Vitamix, a food processor, and even one of those hand crank "salsa makers" from the L.A. County fair.  I have often observed recipes for salsa that include canned tomatoes as an ingredient, but always thought it strange.

Recently, I came across a recipe that caught my eye, as it was titled "Best Ever, Super Easy Salsa."  Like, how can anyone know that, Napoleon Dynamite might say.  But, it looked really good, so I thought I'd give it a try.

It literally took 5 minutes to throw all the ingredients in the food processor, and 30 seconds to pulse to the perfect texture.  I quickly grabbed a tortilla chip and took a bite -- and guess what -- it IS the BEST EVER SUPER EASY SALSA!!   I'm so excited to have a good basic salsa recipe, and I know I'll be serving this many times this summer, not only to my very happy husband, but whenever guests come over.

Best Ever Super Easy Salsa  
modified from TheCafeSucreFarine

  • 2 14 ounce cans fire-roasted canned tomatoes, drained (reserve juices)
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper (jarred), packed
  • 1 4-ounce can green chiles (these are not spicy, just add great flavor)
  • ½ small red onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), packed
  • 2 medium green (spring) onions, cut in two inch pieces (both white and green parts)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded + about half the seeds
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  1. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice.
  2. Combine all ingredients except reserved tomato juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off until all ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. We like it a bit chunky, but if you like a smoother salsa, just keep pulsing. If you like a thinner salsa, add a small amount of the reserved tomato juice and pulse one more time.
  3. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

National Donut Day at Donut Friend

Did you know last Thursday was National Donut Day?  Is that not the best holiday EVER?  You might not know, due to my many posts on health and nutrition, that I have a complete and utter weakness for donuts.  Yes, it's true.  It's not under control in the least, nor do I have any plans to get it under control. :-)

Emma reminded me of the holiday many weeks in advance, and our calendars were clearly marked for the occasion.  The night before, we twisted the arm of our dear friend, Alik, and she came along with her 4 year old daughter.

We decided to visit a fun donut shop in the nearby area of Los Angeles, Highland Park (adjacent to Eagle Rock). Donut Friend is such a fun place -- you can customize your own donut, or go with one of their "signature complilations" on the menu.   They all have fun names, which I later learned are named after punk rock songs.  This place is hardcore.  The donuts are so amazingly fresh and tasty. If you have a moment, check out their website.*  But be warned, you may need a donut immediately after you do.  *I am not responsible for any actions taken on account of visiting this site.  :-)



 They ain't cheap, but this isn't the corner donut hut where you grab a $8 dozen and chow down several.  Think of it as going to get a gourmet ice cream cone, it's about the same price as that (and the same kind of experience)

So, we arrived around 10:00 a.m. and discovered that us and about 100 other people thought Donut Friend would be a good idea, too.  No worries, as it was TOTALLY worth it.  After about an hour, we had these babies in our possession:


I won't describe them all, but the one in front on the bottom center of the pic is called "Jets to Basil."   It is a glazed yeast donut, cut in half, smeared with goat cheese, strawberry jam and fresh basil.  Then it is smacked back together, drizzled with vanilla bean icing and balsamic glaze.   Strange, but it totally works for me. The one on the top right is maple glazed and topped with "coconut bacon" which is vegan, all natural, flavored coconut (it almost fooled me)

Little Darsy was totally into the day.  She was even wearing her festive donut shorts. This was her "national donut day  announcement" the week before, featuring Krispy Kreme donuts. 


She didn't even eat any donuts...but L O O K at those thighs!


"But Grammie... when do I get to actually EAT one of these?"


I sure love my little donut friend.  
Let's plan to get donuts a lot together, little Darsy.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WDW and something even more yummy

It's almost summer!  
I always enjoy all the summer produce, especially from our little homestead.  
Right now we are harvesting lots of apples, strawberries, zucchini, beets, and herbs... soon there will also be cucumbers, TONS of tomatoes (we planted 18), green beans, plums and peaches.   
We also receive an organic farm box weekly, and I am always so amazed at how much produce just two people go through!
I thoroughly enjoy all the beautiful creations God has given us and especially love making our meals revolve around gorgeous produce!

Here's an easy summer meal made possible by the MOST AMAZING dressing.  I love all the ingredients, but the "secret" ingredient is this:


The dressing can be whipped up quickly in your blender.
It lasts for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.


The BEST Tahini Lemon Dressing


  1. Toss all ingredients into a Vitamix, food processor, or standard kitchen blender.
  2. Blend until well combined and smooth.  Add more water if necessary to thin.
  3. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Use within 2-3 weeks
 recipe source:

This dressing is great on salads, but also as a sauce for hot food too. It's especially great on bbq chicken.
Last night I sauteed some garden zucchini and put it atop a bowl full of quinoa (I love Costco's frozen quinoa & kale!)
Then, I poured a generous amount of the dressing on and topped with fresh garden chives.
A masterpiece -- so simple and delicious, plus fast!


But, you know what's even YUMMIER than this?

My little granddaughter  :-) 
She's 7 weeks old now and I could just eat her up!


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