Mmmm, salsa…

I am attempting to make salsa for the first time today! Here’s a before picture…

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Ingredients:

3 cups chopped tomatoes – I used one can of diced (all natural) tomatoes – 14.5 oz and one large, ripe, tomato
1 medium diced yellow onion
1/4 cup minced fresh(!!) cilantro – really must be fresh for best taste
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tsp chopped fresh jalapeno pepper – I used one pepper, with the seeds out of half. Be very careful – I wore gloves for handling the pepper.
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (I eyeballed this with my fresh grinder)

Mix them all together. Place in a blender (I love my Magic Bullet) and blend until you reach your desired texture. Refrigerate to allow flavors to meld. I love the lime tortilla chips they have now. Yum!

I didn’t measure all of this exactly. It isn’t very spicy so if you like more spice, you could add in another jalapeno or some of a Serrano pepper.

This is my first time making salsa. I think this is a great base recipe to add to, so if you’re feeling adventurous, go for it! My kids love salsa, but not spicy salsa, so I made this with them in mind – and how healthy all that is!! This is inspiring me to add jalapenos to my garden. ๐Ÿ™‚ YUM!

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Banana Chips

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These were super easy and perfect for those bananas you need to use up. I made these to go along for a trip as an easy, non-squishable snack for my kids. They were a hit with the kids and the adults! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thinly slice 2-4 bananas – firm are easier to work with – if they’re mushy, put them in a freezer bag in the freezer and I’ll get to my banana bread recipe later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Toss the banana slices gently in about 2-4 tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed is always better, but I used bottled lemon juice since I couldn’t find my lemon). Add a sprinkle of sugar (more or less – or omit – to taste). I made these without the sugar and my kids didn’t notice.

Lightly spray/grease 1-2 baking sheets (depending on how many slices of bananas you have). Place slices with a tad bit of space around them so they don’t stick and bake in an oven preheated to 215 degrees F for 1 – 1/2 hours. Flip over. Continue baking for another 1 to 1 – 1/2 hours. When they’re crisp, they’re done.

Honey Wheat Bread

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Honey Wheat Bread

(makes 3 medium loaves, or 2 large loaves – read through before beginning)

Ingredients:

3 c warm water (NOT hot, but a tad warmer than body temp)
1.5 TBSP active dry yeast
1/4 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey (I might have used just a smidge over 1/4 cup) ๐Ÿ˜‰
1.5 TBSP coarse sea salt (use only 1 TBSP if using table salt)
3 C. white bread flour
3 C. whole wheat flour
small amount of room temperature butter

If you’re using a stand mixer (highly recommend) attach the large mixing bowl and pour in the water (not too hot, or you’ll kill the yeast) and mix in yeast gently. Let stand until the yeast proofs – it will look super frothy. I usually walk away and find something else to do for a bit – it’ll take around 15 minutes. Maybe a few more, maybe a few less.

After it froths, add the dough hook to your mixer. Pour in the canola oil, then measure and add the honey and sea salt. (TIP: If you measure and add the canola oil, then use that cup for the honey, the honey will slide right out!) Stir that around a bit. Add the flour one cup at a time, with the mixer on low (or stir). I started with the white flour, adding two cups, then a cup of whole wheat, followed by a cup of white, repeating until you have a soft dough. Mix for several minutes until thoroughly combined on slow or up to a 4. Turn out onto a lightly floured pastry mat, counter, or parchment paper. Lightly flour hands and begin kneading. Place in a bowl and cover with a clean, damp cloth (or paper towel) and let rise until doubled (at least an hour – and a warm spot will help it rise faster). Punch dough down, turn out to knead again. Lightly grease (or spray with canola cooking spray) 3 9X5 loaf pans or 2 loaf pans and a baking sheet if you wish to make rolls as well.

Separate the dough into three equal loaves. Shape two into loaves (three if you’re making three med. loaves and no rolls). The third batch, separate into 1.5 to 2 inch rolls and place on baking sheet with a small amount of space in between. Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees F 20-30 minutes or until tops are golden (rolls may take less time, so check in 15 – 20 minutes to prevent overcooking).

Remove from oven when golden on top. Smear a small amount of butter over the tops of the loaves while still warm and let sit 5 minutes. Turn out onto cooling racks to finish cooling before slicing. Use a long serrated for slicing.

Alternatives: Use butter instead of oil. You can also use shortening, but I prefer canola oil. I hope your family enjoys this bread as much as mine! Happy baking!

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