We have been traveling a lot toward the end of this summer (including the vacation with the running!) and have also been otherwise busy with various things, which means that our garden has gotten away from us a bit!
Faced with a countertop full of quickly ripening tomatoes and a couple of jalapeños, I was reminded of a recipe I had pinned on Pinterest a while back.
So I made salsa! And took pictures of it! And posted it on my blog! But first, some background…
Under normal circumstances, I think I have a pretty great job. But this week, we got to do something new and exciting and inspirational. We hosted the 2014 Food Blog Forum conference, which was two and a half jam-packed days of food, friends and lots to learn. There were about 120 bloggers—some who were just starting out and some who made a living off of their blogs.
During the conference programming day, the educational sessions covered recruiting your family into blog work, working with publications, and food photography. These sessions were hosted by some super smart people, and I really enjoyed hearing from them.
And although during all of this I’m picking up tips I might be able to use at work—to capture more compelling Instagram photos in restaurants, for example—I’m also thinking about this little blog and what the future might hold for it.
I still don’t really have an answer to that question. Being someone who was always pretty interested in writing, I have to admit that I find blogging to be quite the chore. And I have no idea where these successful bloggers find the time and energy to launch their sites when they still have full-time day jobs, not to mention the courage to go pro.
Plus, there’s the whole issue of an angle. I love cooking as much (if not more) than the next girl, but I don’t know if I could do food ALL THE TIME. This blog concept started with an eye toward simple living and minimalism, but I will be the first to admit that I have major doubts about my ability to pull that one off.
Nevertheless, everything I learned and heard and saw this week got some wheels turning, and I thought: Why not just try some of these tips and see how they feel?
So here we are.
One of the things I have an eye toward simplifying is the food that we eat, and one of the ways to look at simple eating is to look at the ingredients list.
Salsa is an easy food to whip up at home, and it’s also not too hard to find a store-bought salsa with a list of pronounceable ingredients. In fact, I hesitated to make this recipe at all because I love the chunky mild salsa that we regularly purchase from our local Ingles.
But those garden tomatoes were not about to eat themselves!
So I threw those tomatoes and jalapeños into my food processor with some onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and a splash of red wine vinegar, and pulsed my way to a hot and healthy, from-scratch garden condiment.
This recipe also provided me with the opportunity to try out something else I picked up at Food Blog Forum, this time from the swag bag. (Ooh… Aah…)
I was particularly excited about the reCAP Mason Jars Pour Cap in my goody bag because I love storing things in jars, whether they’re properly canned or just thrown into the fridge or pantry. But sometimes, pouring directly out of the jar gets messy, especially if it’s something slick like salad dressing or sticky like syrup.
The reCAP secures to the top of any canning jar and comes in both regular and wide-mouth sizes. There’s a rubber gasket on the inside to keep everything nice and tight, and a flip cap on top for easy access to whatever yummy thing you’ve stored inside.
Apart from how handy it is, I also love the reCAP’s design, with the classic silver look and threaded shape on the sides, reminiscent of traditional Ball jar lids. So stylish!
I taste-tested the salsa with some unsalted white corn tortilla chips from Trader Joe’s, but it’s destined for a yummy bowl of black beans and rice this evening.
If I could make it again, I think I would have seeded at least one of the jalapeños—it came out pretty spicy! I’ve noted that change in the recipe below, but I think this batch will be just fine once the cheese and sour cream come into play.
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 medium red onion
- 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded
- 1 clove of garlic
- small handful of cilantro
- 1 splash red wine vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- Core tomatoes, halve or roughly chop and add to bowl of food processor.
- Add onion, peppers, garlic, and pulse until tomatoes are uniformly chopped.
- Add half of cilantro, vinegar and half of the lime juice. Pulse to combine. Taste.
- Add salt and pepper, and adjust amounts of cilantro, vinegar and lime juice to taste.
- Pour in jars, and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!