Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Green Tomato Salsa

Happy TuTu Tuesday Peeps

Yep...we're doin' the salsa thing again but this time it's a green tomato salsa.

So I know what you're thinking "why did you waste good tomatoes on this?"  Well, this past weekend Hubster and I worked our booties off in the heat and got the summer garden cleaned out and the fall stuff planted.  It is absolutely stinking boiling hot and dry so our poor garden was looking like an overheated jungle.  We cut and trimmed everything that could regenerate itself for the fall and that included the tomatoes.  I was left with a bunch of small green tomatoes.  I figured there was something I could do with them so I went in search of an idea.  This was the result!!!

I don't have any "before" and "during" photos because I wasn't sure what I was doing would taste very good.  

I was wrong, very very wrong.

Here's the printable for Green Tomato Salsa
I made this in the Vitamix blender too.

Now does anyone know where I can find some more green tomatoes??

Am I the only one getting their daily intake of veggies through salsa consumption?

Peace, Love & Salsa!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roasted Summer Squash, Corn & Jalapeño Soup

Hey Peeps!!!

As Joey Tribbiani would say, How ya doin'??   I've FINALLY gotten motivated and ready to make some color commitments on the walls around here and have about umpteen projects started so prepare yourself....the photos they are a coming!!!

For now however I've promised you this amazing soup recipe for so long I'm finally going to get it to you!   Now I hear you: "Samma!! It's HOT I mean like really hot, why do you think we want soup?"  Well I will tell ya, you may not want soup now but you will soon and then you will be thinking warm summer thoughts with this soup.  Then you'll think man, I'm so glad I listened to Samma and made this soup.    I'm a genius, you can thank me later after you stop laughing of course!

Our yellow squash was plentiful I tell ya, very plentiful and I wanted something to do with it besides just cooking it with some onions in a skillet.   Our zucchini however played bashful and only blessed us with 2 zucchini. I love me some squash but when you just don't think you can eat anymore squash you should try this and you'll be happy happy happy this winter. Or now because seriously, we've eaten our fair share of this soup already.  Our #2 soup lover in the family isn't crazy about this but it's a texture issue for her.  I made one batch and didn't puree it as much and she liked it better.  That's ok, more for me!!! YAY!!!!!!

I played around with this and did the veggies a couple of different ways so I'll show you both and I double pinky swear promise I'll get you a printable for this too!   I really will it's just that it's 11:30 pm and I want to get this out there and I 'm lazy.  :-)   Honest & lazy, that's me!!!

Let's cook some soup!!!

You need about 1 pound of good yellow summer squash, crookneck squash, whathaveyou.
Slice those up and put then in a big ole' iron skillet with ½ of an onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic. You need to put about 1 TBSP of olive oil or bacon grease or your oil of choice into the pan too.  I mean you don't want those squash to stick.  Oh ok, you don't have to use an iron skillet but your grandma would be thrilled if you did.      Just let those start to cook up a bit and soften.
In case you wondered I did use olive oil. 

While those squash are cooking stab you a nice jalapeño and roast it over the flame on your stovetop.
No gas cooktop, then fire up the grill baby.   After you roast that jalapeño you'll want to slice it up.

Now you need to grab two ears of good yellow summer corn.  The corn was yummy this year for sure!   Just roast it over that gas cooktop or the grill.  

You are just working to get some good color on those corns.  Then you need to cut the kernels off the cobs but don't toss the cobs.  Just hang on to those babies too!

Take that squash & onion mixture out of the iron skillet and dump it into your crockpot.

Pour in about 2 ½ cups of chicken broth/stock.  I suppose you could use vegetable stock if you must. 
Heck you can even use water in a pinch.   I just prefer some good ole' chicken stock myself.

Now dump in those corn kernels, the corn cobs and the sliced up jalapeño.

Also add in about ¼ teaspoon of cumin.

Just let that mixture cook on low for about 8 hours or until nice and soft and mushy.
After it's cooked you'll want to take out those corn cobs.  You can toss them now, we've used them and now we are done with those puppies.

Grab your handy dandy immersion blender and just blend away right in that crock pot.
(If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use your regular blender but be super dee duper careful because you'll be blending hot liquids.  Follow your manufacturer instructions please)

Now if you feel like a nice hot bowl of soup just dish it up and eat.

It's so yummy even if it is a bazillion degrees outside.
I means squash, zucchini and corn all in one bowl.  It's a hot soupy summer!

Now believe it or not, we did manage to put up a couple quarts of this into the freezer.  I just let the corn cool completely then poured into quart mason jars.   Sealed them up and into the freezer they went.   When it's time to eat I'll just take them out of the freezer and reheat.

Now if you want to cook up all those veggies on the grill you go right ahead.  

I did a version where I roasted all the veggies on the grill.

The onions and jalapeños we had on a flat iron skillet on the grill.

The corn and the squash both got roasted.  I just brushed them with some olive oil to keep them from sticking on the grill. 

This gives a different flavor to the veggies and this was the batch that I left a bit chunkier.  It's not as pretty when you roast the veggies because you have the darker colors but nonetheless it's still yummilicious!    

That's it. The good ole' crock pot is doing most of the work and you aren't heating up the kitchen. 
I think it's a WIN WIN for everyone!

What about you, do you like soup in the summer?
What kind of really cool soup recipes are you digging on?

Ok, peeps, it's after midnight and this girl is ready for bed.   I've got another busy day tomorrow and I should get a little sleep.    

Peace, Love & Soup

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Hola Peeps
Let's do some Salsa today!!!

Not that kind of salsa silly.

Last night on Facebook we had some serious salsa cravings working all because I posted this picture on Instagram and FaceBook proclaiming my love for fresh salsa.

Apparently I am not alone in my love of this amazing and simple dish.    I gave a quick synopsis of the recipe on Facebook last night but for those of you who missed out on the salsa fest we were having I decided to do a little more in depth post.

My salsa recipe is super simple and quite frankly it is just the way I like it. Especially in the summer because the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, lemons are all super fresh and those ingredients just get the chance to shine.   We also have another amazing salsa recipe that we make but I make it more in the winter when the tomatoes aren't at their peak and hopefully we'll share that with you guys too.

Let's get this fiesta party started shall we?

First up you are going to need the following items:
6 -8 Tomatoes, quartered
½ red onion
1 jalapeño 
small handful cilantro leaves
½ of a  lemon juiced
½ tsp salt

I'm not going to fool you folks, these measurements are pretty loose.
I didn't quite have 6 good sized tomatoes this morning but it was pretty close so I went with it because they were super ripe.   The jalapeño, we do not seed or take the membrane out because we like the heat.  You do what is good for you and your family.   I didn't use quite half of the onion because I was a bit shy on tomatoes.   I just squeeze half of a lemon into the blender, I also have been known to use bottled lemon juice if all my lemons have disappeared.  I also lay off the cilantro as the Hubster is not a huge cilantro fan.  What I'm trying to say is these quantities aren't set in stone. Play around with them and see what you like.   I've also used lime juice instead of lemon!!! I'm a crazy crazy lady sometimes!!

Now I use my Vitamix blender to make my salsa because it makes it a quick job. We'll talk more about that later.  

Layer in your blender in this order
6 of the tomato quarters
lemon juice

Turn the Variable speed to 1 on the blender (oh make sure you have the lid on)
and then start the blender.  Slowly work your way up to Variable 3 in about 15 seconds.
(We aren't making soup here we're making salsa)

If you need to use the tamper to push the ingredients down into the blades go ahead but I find I rarely need to use it for salsa.

Now dump in the remaining tomatoes.  And don't forget to put the lid back on.
We don't want a Tomato fountain in your kitchen!

Move that Variable knob over to a 4 and give those ingredients 5 or 6 good pulses, I usually do a couple extra for good measure because we like our salsa in very small chunks.
Remember, you want some chunks. Salsa not soup

Now it is time for the most important step....TESTING!
I mean come on you gotta taste it to make sure you like it.

I put this photo in because some people might be a little freaked out when it comes out of the blender.  It is a little "foamy".  You didn't mess up the salsa it's just from being in the blender so go ahead and pour it in a bowl and get in the refrigerator to chill.....or start eating like I usually do.

And if your bowl is too full like this one was then you'll just have to take one for the team and eat until you can get the lid on.   It's a hard life I lead isn't it?!

This is what it looks like after it comes out of the refrigerator from chillin' a bit.
It's so fresh and so yummy and it makes you hope that everyone can taste the sweet nectar that is salsa.  Throw in some chips and a cold one and I'm a happy happy girl!!!

So I guess you might be wondering why is she showing us this lemon?

Well I'll tell you that I've found that you can take your seeds from your lemons and plant them.

I have this cute little plant that kind of moves around from the island area to the kitchen table. 
Those are just lemon leaves.

Just take a seed and push it down in the dirt (that's what that little wood skewer is there for) and you'll have some lemon leaves.   They won't produce lemons and you just keep the soil moist and you can have a nice little green plant hanging out with you.

So let's finish up by talking about the Vitamix a bit more.  
First of all this is how you clean it, you just fill it with warm water and a tiny drop of dish soap and blend.  Voila a clean blender!!! 

Let's talk about some other Vitamix topics.
#1-Is it expensive?  Yes, it is a bit pricey but it does so much more than just be a blender
For one it makes salsa a breeze!!
#2- Is it easy to clean up? Uh, hello. Fill it with water and turn it on then rinse and put away.  Doesn't get much easier than that.
#3- Where can I get one?  This is the blender you'll often find being demo'd at your local Sam's Club.  If you don't have a Sam's Club near you or you just can't wait then there is a little link over on my sidebar.  You can get free shipping if you follow that link.  I don't get anything from Vitamix for you doing that either.   (well unless like a thousand of you ordered a blender from that link then I think I get some kind of compensation but I think we're safe to say that probably isn't gonna happen).
#4- What else can I make?  These are commercial grade blenders so there isn't much you can't do but we loved that you can make HOT soup in this.  Yes, I'm serious this thing makes hot soup.  We've made Chicken Tortilla but I love to whip up a quick bowl of Tomato Basil Soup.  YUMMMMOOO!!!   You can also make ice cream. What? A blender that makes  hot soup AND frozen ice cream, yes my friends it certainly does.
If you are all into being super healthy and stuff you can make your "juice" smoothies too.  Unlike a juicer where you have all that gunk to clean out, the Vitamix uses everything ensuring that you get optimal nutrition from your fruits and veggies.  An important thing to remember is that you are also getting all the fiber and you might have to slowly readjust your body to this kind of juicing.  Not that something like that happened when we got ours or anything (oopsy).
#5- Can I chop ice in this?  Absolutely! Remember it is commercial grade so your margaritas and milkshakes and frozen smoothies will come out perfect every time.
#6-Can I dry chop in this?  yes, you can and chopping onions in the Vitamix could be worth the price alone!  And remember how easy the clean up is? You will never cry chopping onions again. 
You can also chop bread crumbs, eggs, cheese, carrots.  You can even make peanut butter in this machine!

I could go on and on but I think you can see that this is an often used and well loved appliance in our house.  

Now go make some Salsa!

Peace, Love & Salsa baby!!!

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