Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Pico De Gallo! Ole!! We're in Mexico!

One of the saddest culinary sights to witness is watching pre-made salsa plop from a jar into a serving dish. The tomatoes, suffocating under a sodium-laden sauce, splat unceremoniously. You can almost smell the chemical tang in the air. The tortilla chips run to hide.....

Using jarred salsa is especially disheartening because the homemade variety is so easy to make. Plus, if you use the right ingredients, you'll create layers of flavor way beyond the bottled glop!

Also, if you're having Mexican food, you just gotta have pico de gallo.  I know you've probably been tempted to buy the almost fresh looking tub of pico or the bottled on the shelf at you local grocery store but ...... seriously...... just try making it at home.  A few fresh ingredients, a little chopping and OLE!!! You have yourself some of the best tasting pico de gallo north of the border!

The difference between a salsa and pico de gallo is consistency, salsa being more liquid.

This is one of those loose recipes where the quantities are more suggestion than hard and fast rules.  Here are, in my opinion, the critical factors in making a killer pico de gallo....

1. First start with fresh, vine ripe tomatoes.  Preferably out of your garden! Please do NOT use the ones you bought last week and ended up storing in the refrigerator.
2. Use fresh lime juice.  A lot of recipes skip this and it's just plain wrong.
3.Use a fresh chili like a jalapeno or if you like it hotter maybe a serrano or habanero.
4. Salt and pepper with gusto!

Pico de Gallo


2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large white onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded, and very finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to all flavors to mingle.  Check seasoning and add more lime juice, salt or pepper if needed. Now we are talking earth shatteringly good Pico de Gallo!!!

Taken at "The Office" on the beach in Cabo San Lucas!

We are in Cabo San Lucas with 10 family members as I write this blog! You may ask....why write? I wrote much of this before I left and am just adding a couple pictures!! We are having so much fun, each day is a new adventure! My brother Greg caught a 130 lb marlin yesterday and the resort is cooking for us all to eat tonight!! Woo Hoo! I couldn't be more happy for was on the bucket list! They brought in two marlins yesterday, another was reeled in, in a two hour battle by all 5 family members! They were all jumping with joy and pretty exhausted last night!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Rosemary Flank Steak with Balsamic Glazed Onions

Bright rosemary, tangy balsamic and sweet onions - this simple dish has it all. You can have it on the table quickly, leaving you more time to relax with your family and friends.

I was going to wait to post this recipe until Father's Day, however, some recipes are simply too good and too deserving to hold on to!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Key Lime Pie Bars

For Mother's day or any day, these delightful bars will take you away from your home and transport you to the Florida Keys beach! These bars very simple to put together! The hardest part is waiting for them to chill in the refrigerator, before you bite into one! I use a graham cracker base for my bars, as I do with my Lemon Meringue Pie, which I have not posted (note to self!) Since Key limes are not easy to come by in most locations, I use Nellie and Joe's key west lime juice

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos- Healthy Cinco de Mayo

 "Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America."

Cinco de Mayo is nearly here and guess what? is bikini season!! YIKES!!! It seems there is always a celebration in the works to take you from your healthy goals.  Christmas, New Year, Valentines, St. Patricks day and let's not forget your sister's important birthday or some other event....what are we to do? Well, I have a healthy solution for you today. Black bean and quinoa tacos for Cinco de Mayo....and guess what they are easy, fast and oh so yummy!! I can hardly keep my mind off them, they are so good!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mocha Cheese Cake Torte

Mother's Day is coming soon and this cheese cake torte is perfect for Mom's special day! It has a rich chocolaty flavor with a hint of coffee and for that bakery finish, I garnished with whipped cream rosettes and a coffee bean! YUM!

Speaking of coffee beans, I just found a delicous boutique coffee company. A friend gave me a bag to try and boy oh boy did it go over big!! BLUECAF coffee roasters roast their beans within 24 hours of your personal order, so made to order! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Crispy Cheddar baked Chicken!

Put a little Spring in your step and on your plate!

Remember those envelopes for oven baked chicken and pork called Shake & Bake?  I remember in the 70's they were all the rage. Well, now you don't need them! And this is just as quick!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Zucchini Tomato Strata

This amazing  dish is perfect for Easter Brunch or Easter supper, my Zucchini Tomato strata can be made ahead! This strata.....really a savory bread pudding is amazingly easy and can be made the night before and baked in the morning!!