Restaurant Style Salsa

May 5, 2017
Cinco de Mayo Salsa
Serves 5-6 People
Blender (Vitamix)
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Cinco de Mayo is almost upon us and this simple restaurant style salsa recipe can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes! Bet you don’t know why the 5th of May is an important date in Mexican history…yeah, I didn’t either. The date celebrates the Mexican Army’s victory to the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In Mexico the day is celebrated in more ceremonial ways like parades.We in the USA are thrilled to have another day to eat, drink and celebrate…even if we don’t know what for 😉

All that said you will get no complaints out of me, I love Mexican food; and whether it’s Cinco de Mayo or Cuatro de Abril I will throw down some chips, salsa and guacamole 😉

Many people like to go out to celebrate, Dave and I like to stay in with the kids and have fun concocting our own (hopefully healthier) versions of Mexican restaurant favorites. Restaurant style salsa is typically a little soupier than others. There are fewer “chunks” within…but tons and tons of great fresh flavor. If possible, use all fresh ingredients (though admittedly I use garlic from a container because we use so much of it). Tomatoes are just really coming into season about this time of year. If you are making salsa during the winter months in the midwest, you’re probably best to use canned tomatoes as they will have more flavor. If you still want to use fresh tomatoes November-April you’ll probably want to add more salt and pepper for flavor.

Check out my “Oh crap I forgot it at the store…Homemade-ish tortilla chips” and simple guacamole dip.

William Sonoma’s Spring Vegetable Soup

April 9, 2017
Serves 4 Servings
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William Sonoma Spring Vegetable Soup

Dave took the boys (including the dog) up to the cabin for the weekend, and the girls are at their mom’s house. What this means is I have a solid 72 glorious hours of “me time”!!! Truly, I can hardly believe that the only responsibility I have is to myself. No driving to and from school, sports, friend’s, the mall etc. No meal planning for six people. No managing sibling squabbles. It’s a small dose of solitude that (believe you me) I do NOT take for granted.

Anyhow, after they drove off, and I got over the initial….what am I going to do with myself, I miss them already phase that fortunately lasted about 20 minutes (if that); I started to think about dinner, wine and dessert (not necessarily in that order) for little old me. Being that it is a Friday night during Lent I knew it had to be a meat free meal, but what? I thought about pulling up Pinterest and searching Lenten Meal options, but I had a different thought. I decided to do something I haven’t done in awhile….open a cook book! Yes, a real book with a hard cover and paper pages! The book I pulled was William-Sonoma Eat Well. We purchased this book with a gift card we received at our bridal shower like 100 years ago! Click here to read a funny little story about that shopping experience.

As I flipped through the pages of the book I knew I couldn’t go wrong with any of the non meat/seafood recipes. However, on this cold April evening soup was beckoning me….though the rustic tomato soup was almost calling my name, I decided to try something new. This recipe caught my eye because of the egg in it. I thought only Egg Drop soup had actual egg in the bowl…but alas…so does the “Spring Vegetable Soup with Parmesan and pasta stars.

Sadly, as I walked the pasta isle at Kroger, I could not find pasta stars ? so I settled on orzo pasta as they are petite and will certainly be used in my Orzo Pasta Salad recipe!  It also called for Pea Shoots, but I couldn’t seem to locate those either, so I subbed frozen baby sweet peas and (I think) it worked out well.

I can’t tell you how perfect this soup is for spring! It’s light but also filling. Perfect with a small Spring Spinach Salad or a Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese sandwich and of course your favorite glass of Sauvignon Blanc ?

Ok…let’s get cooking!

Amazing Allergy Friendly Chocolate Chip and Pretzel Cookies

March 27, 2017
Egg-Free Nut-Free baked goods
Stand Mixer or Hand Held Mixer, 2-3 cookie sheets, parchment paper, measuring tools and a functioning oven ;)
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These allergy friendly (egg-free, nut-free) cookies are literally the bomb! OMG I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this recipe. Funny side note: When I first started making these cookies everyone would ask, “do these REALLY not have any egg in them? Wow…so they must be healthier”? Wait…what? Egg is probably the only healthy thing in a cookie, right? Anyhow, they really are so good and it brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart knowing that Max is able to have something so yummy!