Friday, August 12, 2011

Salsa lovers

My husband and I are huge salsa lovers. We have two favorite restaurant salsas that can't be topped...Chili's and Barberito's salsa. Since we live in Raleigh, we can't get Barberito's salsa which is terribly sad. We get Chili's on occasion but not that often since we try not to eat out to save money. So, I've been on a search for a salsa that I can make at home that will satisfy our cravings and not cost $5-6 for a small jar. If this is you, well, look no further this will be the last salsa that you make. It is amazing! Once again, Pioneer Woman, has come through for me. She really needs her own show. I'm just waiting for it. Maybe she already has one that I don't know about? Anyway, I must stop typing and get to the good stuff. Here you go. Prepare to be addicted.

1 can whole tomatoes (28oz)
2 cans Rotel (10oz)
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, quartered and sliced thin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
3/4 cup cilantro
Juice from half a lime

I have tweaked just a few things. So, here is the link to her original recipe in case you want to check it out.

Now, let's start the steps. This makes a ton of salsa so you will need a 12 cup food processor or you will need to blend it together in batches. Trust me, it is worth every second of your time! Place everything in processor and pulse till desired consistency (about 10-15 pulses). I store my salsa in mason jars for easy pouring. I'm not positive how much this makes because we end up eating quite a bit right when it is done. If I had to guess, I would say about 2 quarts.

Tomatoes - I've had a lot of fresh tomatoes from The Produce Box. So, instead of buying a can of whole, I just use fresh. I use about three tomatoes if they are really large and 5-6 if they are small or roma size tomatoes. You will need to remove the skin before putting them in the food processor. Here is a link to show you how to do that.
Jalapeño - For really spicy, leave in all ribs and seeds. For medium, cut the jalapeño in half and remove seeds and ribs from only one half. For mild, remove all seeds and ribs from jalapeño.
Garlic - I love garlic and do not agree with Pioneer woman that there can be too much in the salsa. So, I use my micro plane grater on one clove (so the garlic flavor is more intense) and roughly chop the others. I do like to have sone roughly chopped for texture.
Onions - I love onions but totally agree with pioneer woman that this is all you need for this salsa so don't add any!

Friday, January 28, 2011

All I can say is...WOW!

Hi everyone! It has been a while since I've been around. We became a family of five on December 27th when we welcomed Knox Canaan into this world. We are absolutely in love! So, needless to say, I haven't been cooking as much as I would like to be. I'm excited about getting back to cooking and trying new recipes. I think the best way to start back is with this YUMMY dessert! Trust me...make this ASAP!

Smores Bars

2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsps. vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 14 full graham crackers)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6-8 Hershey chocolate bars
3 cups marshmallow fluff (that’s roughly one 16-oz. tub of marshmallow fluff)

Makes a 9x13-inch pan of bars

Lightly grease the baking pan and line it with parchment paper, so the paper hangs over the sides a little. (The parchment will make it really easy to air lift the bars out of the pan if you want to.) Set it aside.

In a mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Slowly, add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until it is combined.

Gather the dough into a ball. Divide it in half with a knife. Take one half, put it in your prepared pan, and smoosh it down so that it covers the entire bottom of the pan completely in an even layer. Then, unwrap all your chocolate bars. Cover the dough with a single layer of chocolate, cutting the bars as needed to fit your pan and so as much of the dough is covered. Next, cover the chocolate in an even layer of marshmallow fluff.

Take the other half of the dough and (using a rolling pin) roll it out flat (flour the board lightly, if you want, to make it easier to get the dough off). Make it roughly the same size and shape as your pan, so you know it’ll be big enough to cover the whole top. Then, slice it into strips. Take each strip, one at a time, and place it on top of the fluff covering it completely. It will be a little messy but that is ok!

Place the pan into your preheated oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

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