Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm feelin' hot, hot HOT......

Wherever you are within the "sound of my voice" you know that this summer is a HOT one. I hate eating big heavy meals when it's hot outside and so have come up with some "beat the heat" ideas for this summer.

I'm crazy over salsa....I have so many salsa recipes it isn't even funny. Having spent years living in Southern California (always will be "home" to me, doesn't matter where I was actually born) I think I started collecting the recipes there and just have continued since moving to Florida. Salsa is a great way to get a variety of vegetables (and fruits!) into your diet. It's fun, it's easy, and it's nutritious. It can be made ahead (and even actually tastes better if you DO make it ahead) and used for parties and get togethers. My favorite use of salsa right now is to top fish and sometimes chicken (I'm not a big chicken fan, sorry) with it. Makes them taste even better. Fried fish filets (yup, I live in "the South" we fry EVERYTHING down here!!) in flour tortillas with some freshly made salsa are a great, quick idea for a meal. Add some sorbet or frozen yogurt and you have a quick, easy, inexpensive meal that everyone will love.

So here's one of my salsa recipes for you to try (hats off to Aimee Thomas, who provided me with this's a crowd pleaser and a real family favorite)

Mango Salsa
12 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red onion, diced
5 jalapenos diced (you could use less if you don't want it as spicy)
2 mangos diced (use a vegetable peeler to peel your mangos, those little devils can be TOUGH to peel!!)
1 c. finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp tabasco sauce

Mix together in a bowl and eat a LOT!

here's another one, for some variety

Watermelon Salsa
4 c. diced and seeded watermelon cubes (you can buy seedless as well, if you prefer)
1 c. diced and seeded cantaloupe cubes
2 green onions, white AND green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 tsp sea salt (or you can use regular salt, but only use 1 tsp then)
1 tsp raw sugar (again, if you don't use raw sugar, use just a bit less of regular table sugar)
1 tsp chili powder
1 T. chopped cilantro (you can use kitchen scissors and just snip finely, directly into the bowl.....MUCH EASIER)
1 T. chopped basil (break out those scissors again!!)
the grated zest and juice of one fresh lime

combine all ingredients into a large bowl, mix and chill for at least 30 minutes.

So there you have it, some great ideas so "spice up" (pun intended) your meals, get some fresh, in season fruits and veggies in there, and beat the heat!!!

Today's food quote: "So are we going to measure, or are we going to cook?" Frances Mayes "Under the Tuscan Sun"

Today's cooking term: dice: to cut into tiny squares or cubes.

Recommended cooking tool: kitchen scissors, you can use these babies for ANYTHING!! I even snip bacon into tiny pieces to fry up and add into recipes. Just pop them into the dishwasher when you're done with them and they're clean as a whistle!!

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