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Salsa!

Chips and salsa is a favorite snack in my house.  My husband and I love to eat it at night while watching TV.  I have always made it by dumping a bunch of ingredients in my food processor and pulsing a few times, but I wanted to find a recipe that I could use to share with you all that is similar to the style that we enjoy in my house.  I came across the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, which is very similar to my method and ingredients, and so I will share that with you, with my minor tweaks.

Restaurant Style Salsa

recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies) (one mild, one regular)
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Onion
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro (or more, if you prefer)
  • Juice of half of a lime

Preparation Instructions

Pioneer Woman says “Note: this is a very large batch. Recommend using a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.”

I used my mini chopper, and just did it in batches, emptying it into a large bowl, and stirring after adding each batch.  You can also use a blender.  It will incorporate more air, but that will settle after refrigeration.

This salsa will be medium if you follow the ingredients above.  If you want mild, remove the membrane and seeds in the jalapeno before chopping and you could even use both cans of Rotel mild, instead of 1 regular, and 1 mild.  If you like it HOT, you can use two cans regular, or even two cans HOT Rotel (They make mild, regular, and HOT Rotel).

Combine all ingredients in your food processor or blender.  Pulse several times (I pulsed mine 12 times) until you reach the consistency you like.

Refrigerate, serve with chips!

This will keep in the fridge for a few days!

Easter Bread

Easter bread is a tradition that my step mom started, that came from her childhood.  Every Easter she made a bread called panarillo, with an egg in the bread, glazed with icing.  It was such a fun thing to eat growing up, and my sisters and I love it!  I have used a recipe for a different kind of bread that is easy to make dairy free if needed.  So this bread can be made both ways (with dairy or without) and resembles a brioche bread, light and mildly sweet.
I found this recipe at http://theitaliandishblog.com.  I will attach her link to the recipe because she has some great step by step photos that will help.  

RECIPE HEREhttp://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2008/3/19/italian-easter-bread.html

NOTES:  If you want to make this dairy free, you can use almond milk in place of the milk, and Earths Balance in place of the butter.

For colored eggs that don’t leak dye onto your bread, leave them in the dye for about an hour, then rinse them with cold water before leaving them to dry.

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Here is my step mom’s recipe for panarillo:

Growing Food: Plant Markers Craft

We are getting ready to start our veggie garden and I had an idea for a fun craft while I was at the craft store last week.  Since the kids were off for Presidents Day today it was the perfect day to do the craft with them.  These plant markers are perfect for your garden, and a fun way to get the kids excited about gardening too!

You will need:

Large popsicle sticks (as many as you want to make)

Non-toxic paint in your choice of colors

paint brushes

Wooden shapes (I used the tag shaped ones for my markers but small flowers would be super cute!)

Craft Glue or glue gun

Sharpie marker for writing on your markers


Directions: 

Paint the wooden shapes, let dry.  Write plant names on them with a sharpie marker.  Glue the popsicle sticks to the back of the shape, let dry.  Add to your garden when you plant your seeds and enjoy the art that you and your kids have created. :)

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours! {2/21}

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

I have recently seen a lot of buzz on the food network and online about pho.  Pho (pronounced FUH) is a vietnamese soup that can be made with any kind of meat.  I chose to make a chicken pho (pho ga) and had a lot of fun styling, photographing, and eating my pho!  Also very excited was my son, who brought in our neighbor from outside while I was in the middle of photographing it because he just “had to see it”. :)

I chose a recipe by Jaden Hair at Steamy Kitchen (click below for recipe).  I really enjoyed the lovely, comforting flavors in the broth, balanced with the spicy kick from the chilis, the crunchy fresh veggies and tang of the lime.  Comfort food for sure. :)

http://steamykitchen.com/139-vietnamese-chicken-noodle-soup-pho-ga.html

I chose to keep my toppings the same as she suggested, with an addition of chopped green onion.  Other additions I have noticed are fresh mint and thai basil, and those would also be delicious.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Teacher Christmas Gift Idea ~ Handmade Coffee Sleeves

If you are like me, now is the time when you start thinking about teacher gifts for the holidays, since Winter Break will be soon be here.  I got an email this morning from Better Homes and Gardens with a few handmade Christmas gift ideas.  I immediately fell in love with this one, and was off to the store to get my supplies.

Handmade Coffee Sleeves:

Even though I use the word “handmade”, this is such an easy craft that the kids can definitely do themselves!  I went to the dollar store and picked up a pair of snowflake socks, then went to Joanns to grab the re-usable coffee mugs, as well as some cute buttons (which I didn’t end up using).  The possibilities are endless, you could use red and white striped socks with some cute green buttons, you could even use a solid color sock and find some Christmas shaped buttons…

So here is what I started with:

Take your socks, and cut of the top and bottom, leaving enough for the width you like plus about 3/4 inch on both sides for rolling.  Slip the sleeve onto your coffee cup, roll down the raw edge at the top, roll up the raw edge at the bottom, and tada!! you have a fantastic sleeve, unlike any other :) .  At this point you can hot glue buttons on, or if you choose to sew them, remove your sleeve and sew on your buttons.  I chose not to add my buttons, because I liked the look of the snowflake left alone.

The price breakdown on this gift is great: The cups were 5.99 a piece at Joanns and I used a 40% off coupon for one of them, and the socks were 1.00 for two so that comes out to $5.25 per cup with sleeve!

So a 5 minute, 5 dollar project and I am almost done with my kids’ teacher baskets.  I will just be adding the cocoa tins and some homemade sugar cookies.

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {12/6}

Easy Crockpot Apple Cider

It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve been dying to photograph something!  My mama gave me these adorable mini apples knowing that I would just love to photograph them and she was right.  I have been wanting to make apple cider for a while now and I figured they would be great to accent my cider photo.  We are going Christmas tree shopping tonight so I thought a crockpot cider would be perfect, it would be ready and warm when we get home from tree hunting. :)

Easy Crockpot Apple Cider:

1 (64 ounce) bottle of 100% juice apple juice

3 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish if desired

8 clove pieces

1 sliced lemon or orange

1/4 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot, return lid and cook on high for 2 hours.  After 2 hours, remove the citrus and switch to keep warm until needed.  Leaving the citrus in too long will cause the cider to get bitter.

Strain and serve, garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.

Lunch on the go ~ Spinach Pesto

Lunches can be so boring, and today I was making some container lunches for the kids to take to school, but these pesto pastas can be packed for adult lunches too :) .  I used my favorite pesto recipe, and tossed it with some cooked pasta, diced chicken, and grape tomatoes for a satisfying, healthy lunch on the go.

This pesto recipe is so good!  Since I have a dairy allergy, I make it without the cheese, take out a little for myself, and then add the Parmesan in for the rest if the family :) I often use all spinach instead of the spinach/basil combo, and both ways are delicious.

Spinach Basil Pesto:

(recipe from all recipes, by member Dianne)

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Blend the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until nearly smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.
Pesto will last up to three days in the fridge and will last in the freezer up to three months.
all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {11/8}