Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa is the best!  I love making it at home because you can keep it simple or add new ingredients for a different flavor.  It is never the same but always tastes delicious.

The inspiration for this recipe started with a precious friend of mine that I have known for over 30 years.  I met her as a teenager and she has inspired me in many ways;
~as a young mom she inspired me to love my children and teach them well
~as a wife to be patient and put my husband first
~as a Christian to seek the Lord daily
~and in the kitchen to challenge myself to make healthy, fun and delicious meals.

I guess that is a lot of inspiration from a salsa recipe!  While the recipe has evolved over the years, what I have learned from her has remained the same, steady and true.

I hope you are inspired to try this recipe.  Make it your own.  Enjoy!

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Salsa

1 white onion
1 bunch cilantro
3 Jalapeno peppers (seeded) add a few seeds for spicy flavor
5 Roma Tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
1/4 Red onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder

Mix together in blender.  Don’t puree, just pulse if you want it to have some texture.
Sometimes I just add a larger can whole tomatoes if I don’t have fresh ones.  Still delicious it just has a lot more sodium.

You can keep it real simple and just blend together…white onion, peppers, cilantro, and can tomatoes.  About as simple as you can get but so tasty!  Just add chips.  You can’t go wrong.

 

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

My inspiration for these cupcakes come from Joanna Gaines!  Every time I pass through Waco I try to stop at the Silos Baking Company and grab a few sweet treats.  I love her lemon lavender cupcakes and wanted to try to make some at home.  While they may not be as good as hers, I think the frosting turned out pretty tasty!

I posted the frosting recipe below.  I may need to eat a few more cupcakes from Joanna Gaines to get it just right…oh well, I will make the sacrifice!

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Lemon Lavender Frosting:
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of butter (2 sticks of butter) at room temperature
4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon edible lavender (for garnish) or you can add to frosting
pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS:
~Stand alone mixer use whisk attachment and beat butter for 2 minutes.
~Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream or milk, lemon zest and lemon extract.
~Beat on high for 2 to 3 minutes
~Add salt and if too thick add more cream or milk
~Add lavender and lemon zest to top of cupcakes

Healthy Homemade Hummus

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This is a basic hummus recipe that I enjoy making because it is easy, quick and healthy.  I don’t add a lot of salt, so you may want to add more to yours.  My daughter actually likes this version better than the ones I have made with a lot more salt and olive oil.  Give it a try and let me know if you like it or share your favorite recipe!

Homemade Hummus:
Ingredients:
1 garlic clove
1 can drained chickpeas or cook your own (garbanzo beans) according to package directions
1 lemon freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon Tahini paste
1/2 tsp salt (or 1 tsp if you prefer)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tblsp olive oil
Fresh parsley and paprika

Instructions:
In food processor pulse the garlic then add the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, tahini paste, cumin and cayenne pepper.
While this is processing, add the olive oil in a stream.  If you need more to make it smooth, continue adding. (I added a little extra lemon juice)
Place on plate or bowl and garnish with the parsley and paprika.  I used smoked paprika and it added a nice flavor. Swirl olive oil on top also.  Eat with veggies, pita chips, crackers, etc.

ENJOY!

Banana Nut Bread

Don’t let those ripe bananas go to waste!  Make some banana nut bread!  This is so easy and tastes delicious. I found the recipe at Brown Eyed Baker.

You will probably find that you have most of the ingredients on hand already.  So as soon as those bananas turn black, give this recipe a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

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INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium ripe bananas
1 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:
~Preheat oven to 350
~Grease 2 8″ loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans
~In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt (set aside)
~In a large bowl  whisk together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla
~Add the bananas (mashed) and fold into the sugar mixture
~Add the flour mixture and then the walnuts

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on loaf size and your oven)
Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean
Cool in loaf pan for 10 minutes, then set aside and let cool completely

ENJOY!

(You can go to her website for more detailed recipe)

 

Christmas Sugar Cookies

I love sugar cookies anytime of the year, but there is something special about making them at Christmastime.  These cookies bring back wonderful memories as I have been making this recipe with my mom since I was a little girl.  I helped her decorate these then and I love them just as much today!

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together shortening, sugar and vanilla.  Then add eggs and beat for about 1 minute, making sure all is creamy.

Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.

Divide dough into 4 bowls or separate in large bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Let dough sit out for about 20 minutes.  Then roll out on floured surface and cut into desired shapes.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes then put on wire rack.

Pecan Brittle in the microwave

Homemade Pecan Brittle in the microwave…so easy.

 

I am posting the recipe for you.  Keep in mind you really must adjust to your microwave, as some microwaves cook faster than others.  Mine tended to cook a little faster as I have my setting at 100%.

This is my copy of the recipe…

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If you find that copy hard to read, I added it below!  Try this recipe!  It really is easy once you know your microwave temps. I adjusted mine a bit over the years. I usually make 2 batches as the first one comes out a little dark.

PECAN BRITTLE
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup of lite Karo syrup
1 cup pecan pieces or halves
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:
Microwave the 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of Karo on high for 4 minutes using a clear medium glass bowl  (I did it for 3 in my microwave)

Take out then stir in pecans.  Put back in microwave for 5-7 minutes or until lightly brown.  My microwave took about 4 minutes to get light brown.

Remove and stir in butter, vanilla and microwave for 1 more minute.

Remove and add in the baking soda.  Stir together then quickly put on baking sheet.  I let the brittle slide from side to side until it evens out.  In a few minutes you will have pecan brittle that is easy to break and serve to your friends!

Enjoy! IMG_7117

Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili (skinny version)

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I love soups and chili on a cold winter day like today!  The ones I truly love are not the most healthy, but to my delight I found this recipe;  No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili by SkinnyTaste. 

My photo does not do this justice, but this Turkey Chili hits the spot.  I added cauliflower rice to the bottom of the bowl instead of white rice and it was not only delicious but very filling and not a lot of calories!

I am adding the recipe here below, but you can click on the link above and get her full version recipe with pics!

INGREDIENTS:
20  oz lean ground turkey
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
10 oz Rotel with green chilies
8 oz tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
1 medium sweet potato, diced
cilantro for garnish if you like

DIRECTIONS:
In large skillet, brown the turkey and season with salt and cumin
After meat is browned, add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes over med heat
Add Rotel, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika and bay leaf
Cover and simmer about 20 to 25 minutes for potatoes to soften
Remove bay leaf and serve
Add sour cream and cilantro if you desire (or rice)

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Be sure to go to SkinnyTaste  for full recipe!