A Big Batch of Spicy-Sweet Salsa

Despite living in Arizona for nearly eight years now, I had somehow never made my  own salsa until a couple weeks ago. That batch was solid. It tasted like perfectly functional salsa. I made two pints and it was gone quickly. (We eat a LOT of salsa.) So I decided to take a swing at a more interesting salsa, and in a bigger batch.

Enter a Costco tub of sweet golden tomatoes:

IMG_2495I’ve gone to Costco with Colin’s family twice now, and I tend to bite off a little more than I can chew. The first time, I bought two half-gallon cartons of heavy whipping cream. I use a lot of heavy whipping cream, but it didn’t all fit in my fridge, so I froze one. As it turns out, frozen heavy whipping cream does not always defrost back into liquid heavy whipping cream. It was chunky and weird, and I wound up using it to make way more butter than I need. But anyway.

I bought this two-pound crate of golden tomatoes and a carton of ten romas, so I figured I better make some salsa. The golden tomatoes give it a bit of sweetness. I was out of serrano peppers, but I realized that I still had dried chile peppers left from that time I made mole. They worked great and gave the salsa a considerable amount of kick.


  • 1.5 lbs golden tomatoes
  • 10 roma tomatoes
  • 1 red or white onion
  • 2 red/yellow/orange bell peppers
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • several sprigs parsley (or cilantro, if you’re into culinary abominations)
  • 4-6 dried chiles, depending on desired spiciness
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Put garlic, parsley, and chiles in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
  2. Add 7 of the roma tomatoes, three-quarters of the onion, the bell peppers, and all but a handful of the golden tomatoes. Pulse to reach desired consistency. I had to do this in a couple batches because it didn’t all fit at once. (If you don’t like any chunks in your salsa, use all the tomatoes and the onion at this time.)
  3. Transfer the mixture to a fine strainer over a bowl. If you processed the salsa to be very smooth, you may want to line it with some paper towels/coffee filters. This step gets rid of extra liquid so that your salsa isn’t too watery. Let it drain for a short amount of time.
  4. Put the salsa in a pot over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, dice the remaining tomatoes and onion. Add to the pot.
  6. Stir in the vinegar, lime juice, and salt.
  7. Allow the salsa to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. The color should darken and the flavor will sweeten.
  8. Pour into jars and place in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
  9. Put it on eggs! Impress friends and family! Eat it like a gazpacho!
It’s pretty ugly and brown before it cooks.
I now have three full jars. This should last us for at least the next two weeks.


What I’ve Been Eating Lately

Grilled mini portobello mushrooms stuffed with sundried tomatoes, spinach, sauteed onion and gruyere.
Grilled artichokes
Roasted cauliflower seasoned two ways. (I was making enough cauliflower that I needed two pans, so why not?) Left: curry cauliflower. Right: my usual. (garlic powder/paprika/cayenne/salt/pepper)
Thai iced tea. One of the best things I’ve done with my life lately is buy a bag of Thai tea from Amazon. I brew a few ounces in my AeroPress and pour it over ice. (If you’re unfamiliar: http://www.amazon.com/Aeropress-Coffee-and-Espresso-Maker/dp/B0047BIWSK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400537373&sr=8-1&keywords=aero+press)
Mascarpone keto crepes, made with cashew meal.
Homemade salsa (spiced up with a serrano from my garden! – and also a few from Safeway)


Sorry to do another post (and again without a recipe!), but I saw this earlier today, and realized that only you all could understand the joy that I feel knowing that our visa application is being considered, and that soon Alvaro and I will be in the land of TJs, and able to sample all of these products (TJ customers’ favorite products in 2013).


I’m confused about a few things- seriously, who is buying pre-packaged guac?  But some things, like goat cheese logs and that amazing looking kale and spinach yogurt dip, seem like no-brainers. I really love the caramelized onion cheese, and all of the spiced nuts. TJs, we’re coming for you (in 6 months to a year)!

Someone Ate This

Just a quick post to share this gem with you all. 


This is essentially the exact transcript of several multiple hour Skype conversations Rach and I have had while scrolling through Pinterest, looking for the worst photos of the worst food. 

I’ve been sick lately and have been weirdly craving and eating a lot of couscous and have been decidedly uninterested in eating any veggies, but what have you guys been eating? Hopefully I’ll get inspired and get out of my veggie-less couscous funk! 

Chile Relleno Casserole – or Chiles Rellenos for Lazy People

I looooove a good chile relleno, but making it at home is a little more work than I’m usually interested in doing. Roasting the chiles; peeling them; removing the seeds without damaging the chile; stuffing them without damaging the chile; battering them without making a huge mess – it’s a hassle. A couple weeks ago, it was pointed out to me that traditional chiles rellenos are completely keto-friendly. And then I happened upon the idea of making it into a casserole/lasagna. Perfect. This recipe removes some of the more tedious aspects of chile-relleno-making and it is really damn delicious.


  • 8-10 large chiles, poblano or anaheim. I used anaheim.
  • 6 oz pepper jack, shredded. Trader Joe’s jalapeno monterey jack worked great.
  • 4 oz cheddar, shredded
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • chicken/chik’n, if desired. I used two Quorn chik’n cutlets.
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion and/or corn and/or tomatoes


  1. Roast and peel the chiles. If you have not done this before, here’s how. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Remove the stems and slice chiles lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
  3. Lay half the chiles out flat in the bottom of a greased 9×13 glass baking dish. You want to more or less cover the whole surface. If this requires slightly more than half the chiles, that’s fine.
  4. Mix together the cheeses. Spread the mixture evenly over the chiles.
  5. Add protein and vegetables of choice. I didn’t think to add onion until it was too late, but I’m sure it could have only improved matters. Corn or tomatoes would also be good.
  6. Lay out the rest of the chiles on top in a single layer.
  7. Whisk the eggs and cream together until foamy. Pour over the casserole.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until egg mixture is set.

IMG_2138 IMG_2140 IMG_2142 IMG_2143


I would also like to add some unrelated photos to show off the tarts I made for a friend’s bachelorette party tonight. The crust is made of almond flour with lemon zest and honey. The filling is a combo of whipped cream, coconut cream, mascarpone, lemon juice, powdered sugar, and vanilla. I topped them with toasted coconut and berries.

After taking this photo, I noticed that I’d missed a blackberry.


Peanut sauce tofu and broccoli rice bowl and other food musings


I’m not sure who around here is eating tofu these days, but this recipe (also the source of the beautiful photo) pretty much combines my love for peanut sauce with my interest in getting some protein in my diet. I’d never thought to bake the tofu with the peanut sauce already marinating on the tofu, but it was delicious! I’ve also been using my bamboo steamer to steam veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, corn), so when I invited my pre-dinner cocktail buddy to stay for dinner (I already had the tofu marinating in the fridge but no ideas for other parts of the meal), the easiest thing was to steam up some broccoli and add everything to some brown rice.

Since I had the steamer out, I steamed some small potatoes and roasted them up with some garlic, rosemary and thyme and smashed them for eating later in the evening, a la this recipe. I highly recommend this method of roasting potatoes because they’re both crispy and soft at the same time, but definitely urge you all: don’t smash as much as you think you should. The potatoes will fall apart!

I haven’t really made anything all that impressive lately, but because it’s Passover, I’ve been eating lots of beans and corn products, (aka less pasta and pizza than usual) which reminds me of my favorite polenta recipe that I made a few days ago. A friend brought it to a party and I asked her for the recipe, and it’s my favorite way to eat polenta. You cook the polenta according to the instructions with a 3:1 ratio of water or broth and milk (the original recipe calls for cream- that’d be great for you, Nuna!), and then you add real corn kernels near the end of the polenta’s cooking time (frozen or fresh are fine). The polenta should have a “gruel-y” texture at the end (not the thicker texture that you cool and cut into squares). Add some grated cheese (parmesan and some other melty cheese work well) and a tiny bit of butter and basil leaves, and your polenta is delicious! Top it with many spoonfulls of tomato/basil salsa- chopped tomatoes, a tiny bit of garlic, and a generous amount of salt, olive oil, and basil. You guys, this polenta is my new comfort food!

What else are other people eating? On my list for this week is a kale caesar salad (sans croutons if I make it before Passover is over, and with a modified version of the dressing and no bacon…basically, using the above recipe just as a template), this lemongrass tofu bowl (don’t read the text to avoid frustration at apostrophe errors), and I want to try making this vegan chili mac and cheese once Passover is over! Cashews are expensive here, but when used to make a fake cheese sauce over pasta, it seems like it’ll be worth it!