Homemade Salsa

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Finally! A blog post that doesn’t involve sugar! 🙂

Homemade salsa is one of my mom’s specialties- and for good reason- it’s delicious! Her homemade salsa has the perfect amount of spiciness and the cilantro and green onion add really good flavor. Even though this salsa isn’t super spicy, there is definitely a kick, so modify the amount of jalapeno to match your taste. There are a lot of things you can do to “customize” this recipe- here are just a few changes that we’ve made before:

  • using homegrown jalapenos instead of jarred
  • adding some fresh diced tomatoes and chopped green onions to the finished salsa for extra texture
  • substituting fresh tomatoes and spices (salt, cumin) for the canned tomatoes (we’ve tried this before and have decided that the convenience and flavor of the canned tomatoes is unbeatable)
  • and making a yummy black bean and corn relish with the homemade salsa

That bean and corn relish is one of our favorite versions and makes up the second part of this post.

We think that we got this recipe many years ago from my mom’s friend Susie. Susie’s all about efficiency, so the ease of using canned tomatoes makes the salsa come together very fast.

The recipe has continued to improve, over the years, and I think one of the best discoveries my mom made was pouring the finished salsa into two mason jars instead of a normal plastic container. Even though we don’t seal the jars (the salsa is eaten too fast to make that worth it!), the jars keep the salsa much fresher. Plus, anytime we can use jars we will- they make anything cuter and are perfect for transporting to the beach or a backyard barbecue.

Rinse cilantro and place in the bottom of the blender.

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Chop the roots off the green onions and cut the green onions into 3 pieces and put in the blender with cilantro.

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Pour Mexican tomatoes into the blender…

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and throw in the jalapenos.

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Pulse until just combined.

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Pour into canning jars or other container.

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Now for the bean and corn relish. This stuff is so good. It’s perfect just with tortilla chips, but it’s also really yummy on top of tacos or nachos. And it’s so easy.

Combine all ingredients, and mix well. Yep, that’s it- it couldn’t be easier.

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^^because of slight miscalculation, we had to switch containers while we stirred 🙂

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Yum!!

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Homemade Salsa

2 cans S&W stewed Mexican tomatoes

about 6 green onions

a large handful of cilantro

5 slices of jarred jalapenos

Directions:
Rinse cilantro and place in the bottom of the blender. Chop the roots off the green onions and cut the green onions into 3 pieces and put in the blender with cilantro. Pour Mexican tomatoes into the blender and throw in jalapenos. Pulse until just combined.

Black Bean and Corn Relish

2 cups of fresh or frozen corn

1 can of drained, rinsed black beans

1 can of Rotel tomatoes, drained

2 chopped green onions

1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup of homemade salsa

the juice of 1 lime

A bit of salt to taste

Directions: Combine all ingredients, and mix well.

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Fashion Friday- Tried and True

Happy Friday! So this Fashion Friday post includes some of my tried and true wardrobe staples (or something similar) that I love and wear all the time. Of course, I had to throw in some other picks that I just really like, but don’t actually own (yet ;))

Women’s Cateye Sunglasses

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I have a practically identical pair of sunglasses, but I’m realizing their mortality. I noticed the beginnings of a crack in the plastic frame the other day and I’ve been treating them even more gently since then, afraid that they might finally break. I found my pair for $10 at a tiny boutique near Yosemite about a year ago, so today I started looking for a replacement pair for when that sad day comes, and I found these! They are almost identical, except for the color (mine are more tan). I was seriously considering buying these just in case they were no longer available when I need a new pair, but I found a pair today at Kohl’s that I love.

Summer Home in Florence Printed Blouse

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Crochet Shorts

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These are just flat-out adorable.

Strappy Flat Sandals

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I love everything about these- the color, the fact that they remind me of cage heels…without the heel ;), the crisscrossing straps on the top…like I said- everything.

By My Side Skirt

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I love circle skirts- I wear mine (similar to the one above) with tank tops and flip-flops in the summer and a button-down, tights and boots in the winter. Definitely a staple in my closet.

Full Tilt Multi Cross Back Tank

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I bought this top a couple of months ago and have worn it more times than I can count- it looks good with jeans, shorts and my maxi skirt, and I love the back, even though I don’t wear it completely open like the model does in these pictures. I was immediately drawn to the lighter color, but I ignored my initial instinct and tried on the black- I’m so glad I did because it goes with so many different things.

Charcoal and Grey Maxi Skirt

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I know it may seem basic, but my knit maxi skirt is one of my favorite items in my closet- and definitely one of the most worn! Mine has a tiny horizontal stripe and is a really dark red.

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Ha! Yes! A maxi skirt has to be one of the most comfortable things you can ever wear, and they go with everything.

ASOS Super Wide Elastic Belt

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Okay, so you’re probably thinking the same thing as me right now- how wide is “super wide”? I have absolutely no idea because the website doesn’t include measurements in their product description- gah. But I decided to go ahead and include this seemingly non-descript belt because I have a very similar one that I absolutely adore. No seriously, I think it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

I bought it more than 2 years ago from Forever 21, so it’s no surprise that they no longer carry it. It’s hard to tell for sure, but it looks like it is not nearly as wide as the belt above (it’s only about 2 1/4 inches wide), but besides that, it’s exactly the same. I wear it with everything- dresses, skirts etc.- it’s the perfect width and simple enough that it’s not distracting. Plus, it was only 6 bucks (gotta love Forever 21’s prices).

So to sum it up, the above link and picture aren’t as much a Fashion Friday pick, as a means to an end- it gives me the ability to tell you all about my favorite belt and how perfect it is 🙂

Lottie & Holly Chambray Floral Hi Low Dress

208690575Another Tilly’s purchase that I love.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

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We had 4 pounds of strawberries in the fridge, and they were starting to look sad, so my mom found a recipe for healthy strawberry oatmeal bars. This is not that recipe. The healthy version called for almond butter and apple butter, neither of which we had, so I began to look around for a recipe that called for real butter and more than 1 Tablespoon of sugar. I mean really. (In case you’re a healthier eater than me, here’s the recipe).

The recipe that I ended up making does have real butter, and an acceptable quantity of sugar, and you could tell. It was really yummy. I ate one of the bars with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was amazing. Using the fresh strawberries instead of the typical fruit preserves made a huge difference- the bars tasted so fresh. Even though hulling and dicing 2 pounds of strawberries is a little time-consuming, it is so worth it.

We made it with a little less than the 2/3 of a cup of sugar that’s called for in the strawberry filling, and the bars turned out a little tart, so if your strawberries aren’t very sweet, I would use the whole 2/3 of a cup.

Preheat oven to 325*. Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together strawberries and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes.

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After 10 minutes…

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add lemon juice and cornstarch and stir to combine.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix oats, flour, cinnamon, butter, vanilla and sugar on low speed  until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix on high speed for an additional minute or so.

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Press 2/3 of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

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Spread the strawberry filling evenly over the top of the crust.

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Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the top of the filling, creating a crumb-like topping.

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Bake for 45-48 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:

Filling-

4 cups strawberries (about 2 pounds), washed, hulled and diced

around 2/3 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of your strawberries

juice from 1/2 lemon (about 4 tsp.)

1/3 cup corn starch

Crust/topping-

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup butter

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325*. Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together strawberries and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add lemon juice and cornstarch and stir to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix oats, flour, cinnamon, butter, vanilla and sugar on low speed  until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix on high speed for an additional minute or so.

Press 2/3 of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread the strawberry filling evenly over the top of the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crust mixture over the top of the filling, creating a crumb-like topping.

Bake for 45-48 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

 

Jordan

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I have made this chocolate chip recipe countless times and it never fails to amaze me. It’s so incredibly easy and the finished product is always delicious.

One of the main reasons that I make this recipe so much is Travis’ fondness of cookies. You’re probably saying to yourself that that’s not very surprising, because everyone’s fond of cookies, right? While everyone may be fond of cookies, not everyone loves cookies like  Travis does.

I can always count on him asking me to bake cookies. Normally at 8:30 at night, when the last thing I want to be doing is baking. When I do bake for him though, these are always the cookies he requests. We’ve tried others, but they don’t quite match up.

I took the batch that I made for the demo pictures to the beach for my Tuesday night Biblestudy (I know. That’s Southern California living right there), and I left the Ziplock bag of cookies on my towel, under my sweatshirt, while we swam. When we got back to our stuff, we stumbled upon  the seagulls enjoying my fresh-baked treasures. I think my heart skipped a beat, and not in a good way. We had to throw away the whole bag, fearing some bird transmitted disease. Apparently everyone really does love my chocolate chip cookies 😦

hrhh_humor_6_5_906pThis is so true, especially in our household. I think I’m the only one in our family who actually likes to eat raisins straight out of the bag, but all of us agree that chocolate chip cookies beat oatmeal raisin any day of the week- I can practically feel all you oatmeal raisin lovers cringing right now.

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream butter and sugar.

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Mix in eggs and vanilla. Then, add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing well.

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Stir in chocolate chips.

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And now, for the best part…

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Every time I make cookies, my family hovers in the kitchen, pretending to be busy, until I announce that the dough is done.

This has to be one of the most dangerous things that you could possibly leave out on the counter for any period of time-

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Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and using cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheets.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes and remove to cooling rack.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks of butter)

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 cups flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Then, add flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, and using cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough onto cookies sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes and remove to cooling rack.

Jordan

Fashion Friday: Edition Stuck in a Rut

Okay. So I know that this has absolutely nothing to do with the Fashion Friday portion of this post, but I’m going to talk about it anyway- we are stuck in a baking rut. I admit, it’s an awesome rut to be stuck in, but I just realized that over the past month and a half, we’ve only posted two savory dishes. Oops. So keep an eye out for some of our favorite dinner recipes which will (hopefully) be frequenting the blog more often in the near future.

After that very random intro, here are my Fashion Friday picks for this week.

Chambray Okay! Top5c2c4f020638149f0c824fd6c074ca79

Love the chambray in front.

Forgotten Garden Pleated Maxi Skirt 27384_1

This is so pretty, and the color is really unusual.

Jade Boho Ring

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I love these. The hardest part of buying one though, would be choosing between those gorgeous colors.

Camp Director Tote

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I think that this would be the perfect laptop bag or over-sized purse.

Women’s Everyday Printed Khaki Shorts

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I tried these on at Old Navy, and I was in-between sizes (**sob**). I really loved the length of the shorts though, and the pattern was adorable.

Riverboat Cruise Top

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This is so cute and I love the pleating.

Zig Zag Stripe Print Pleated Skirt

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In case you haven’t noticed, my other obsession (besides dresses of course), is definitely skirts. I love them so much, and this one is no exception. Apparently I really like wearing clothes that prohibit me from doing anything remotely active. Hmmm… I have no idea why 😉

Got You in Stitches Dress

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I love the color and the cut of this dress. And the multi-color stitching looks like it would be really cute in person.

Let’s Be Regal Earrings

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And these? These are just pretty.