Salsa Sunday

When Piper was little her Grandma Sally experimented and came up with a salsa she would actually eat.  She was beyond successful and to this day it ranks higher than ketchup in our house. This means every year when the local tomatoes come in we spend a day making the year’s salsa.  I had a few people ask for the recipe this year so I thought I’d put it up with some pictures of the process.

Tim peeling garlic and onions.  We grow our own garlic in the backyard.

Piper geared up for onions and the occasional tomato splatter.  She’s our resident tomato skinner.

Hot water bath for the tomatoes.  I use a pot with a pasta insert to make draining easy.

Cold water in the clean sink.

Peeled tomatoes These also need to be cored, seeded, and squeezed a bit.

One of the nice things about salsa is a good deal of the work can be done by a food processor.



No pictures of the onions, but I do those next and process them very fine.

Green peppers that Tim has squeezed out. You could make the salsa hotter by substituting other peppers for some of these.

Tomatoes only take a few buzzes in the processor.  They should still be a little chunky.

Then everything goes into a big pot.

Tomato paste

Salt and pepper

And of course red wine vinegar.  Yes, that pot is just a little bit too small for a triple batch. We did end up moving to a larger one.

Last year we didn’t make quite enough which lead to rationing so this year I decided to err on the side of caution and make six batches which yielded about 44 jars. The recipe below is pretty brief and assumes some knowledge of canning.  🙂

Piper’s Own Salsa (from Sally Wysocki)

1 c. onion
3 medium green or red peppers
10 cups tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 small cans tomato paste
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 T salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 T finely chopped cilantro

• Process the onion until there are no chunks.
• Blend peppers in the food processor until very small. Squeeze out the liquid so the salsa doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of green pepper.
• Peel (hot water bath 30 seconds (sometimes this takes a little longer as it depends on ripeness), ice water), chop, and seed tomatoes.
• In a large stockpot combine all ingredients. Simmer 10 minutes. Put into sterilized pint jars. Boiling water bath for 15 minutes.


WFK Workshop – Week 9

Breakfast Waldorf Salad – Tim and I can’t eat raw apples, but I thought this might be a fun breakfast treat for Piper.  While she did eat it all, she thought the dates were a “over the top” and said she would rather not have it again.  I used vanilla coconut milk yogurt because of Piper’s allergy, so it might be better with the more tangy lemon yogurt recommended.  We also do not do celery which might cut the sweetness of the date.

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Soup – This one sounded good in theory, but again was not a hit.  It doesn’t look quite like the provided picture so pureeing the rice less may have helped the texture.  There was something I couldn’t quite identify just a little off with the flavor too though so I don’t think I would bother revisiting this one.

Teriyaki Tofu – This was today’s lunch and it was delicious.  I only briefly marinated the tofu and it turned out fine.  For the wrap I mixed some grated carrots and leftover brown rice with a little of the extra teriyaki sauce and heat it briefly in a skillet and slice up an avocado.  Yum!

Raw Berry Cheesecake Pie – Yes, this cashew-based pie was worth two pictures.  The whole thing was mixed in the food processor so it was very easy to make.  It was much better the second day after the ingredients had some time to blend.  I’d recommend taking it out of the freezer a few minutes earlier to make it easier to cut and eat.  Oh, and not raw, but I plan on trying this with a little berry sauce next time.

WFK Workshop – Week 8

Red Lentil Dahl  – The family loves Indian flavors, but none of us really enjoyed this recipe.  At least on the first day the flavors were a bit overwhelming and there seemed to be far too much going on.  Tim did say he didn’t mind it so much the second day, but I don’t think I would make this one again.

Rosemary Garlic Crackers – My first go at making crackers.  As promised the dough was very easy to work.  I was a little worried about burning these, so they could have gone a little longer for that cracker crispness.  I can see myself possibly making crackers again, but would probably search out some different recipes to find a flavor combo that we liked a bit better.

Spring Rolls with Thai Dipping Sauce –   I made up a batch of Soy Maple Glazed Tofu earlier in the day, grated carrots, cut up avocados, and put out some spinach for make-your-own.  Despite the fact that our wrapping skills aren’t pretty these made for a happy dinner time.  The orange-peanut flavors sauce was delicious and everyone stopped just short of licking their plates.

Banana Nut Muffins – I couldn’t eat these because of the bananas, but they got a thumbs up from Piper and Tim.  We are strongly opposed to nuts in muffins so I left them out.  🙂

WFK Workshop – Week 7

Strawberry and Granola Parfait – We eat these for breakfast on occasion, but I generally just cut up a variety of fruit to layer with the yogurt and granola.  The strawberries here have an orange glaze on them.  I think it’s a fun idea, but wasn’t crazy about the orange clouding out my strawberries.  If I were going to bother with the extra step I think I might just go with a basic fruit sauce with a little maple syrup and thickener.

Hearty Mexican Lentil Stew – This is another recipe with those lovely southwestern flavors that seem to be so popular with my family.  I chose to serve it over rice since I thought it might be a bit much on its own.  Very tasty and probably would’ve been even better with the cilantro I hallucinated buying.

Orange, Sesame, Peanut Noodles – Kind of an interesting twist on peanut sauce using orange for the acid component.  Not bad, but other than the punchy garlic flavor we thought this was a little bland–more soy sauce helped.  It might not have been a problem if Tim and Piper weren’t rather strongly opposed to the more flavorful cabbage the recipe suggested.

Blueberry Lemon Energy Bites – I realized after I started the recipe that I did not have enough blueberries so these became Cranberry Lime Energy Bites.   They seemed a little dry when I was putting them together, but were very yummy.  All of us thought they tasted better than the Lara bars they were mimicking.  They also passed additional taste testing at the barn and I’m told they would make excellent horse treats.  😉

WFK Workshop – Week 6

Hummus – This recipe was almost identical to my standby hummus recipe which is based on one from the Whole Foods cookbook.  I did use pressure cooked chickpeas for the first  time though making it much smoother it its when I use canned.  Yum!

Strawberry Banana Oat Muffins – I could not eat these because of my bizarre problem with bananas, but they looked so good I made them for a breakfast treat for Piper and the other girls who went to this week’s horse show.  As far as I could tell they got a resounding thumbs up.  I had blackberry jam open so that is what I used.

Chocolate Berry Banana Smoothie – Another banana recipe so I am once again relying on my 11 year old taste tester.  She reports that it is very banana-ey and could use a little more chocolate but it grows on you.  I’m sure frozen bananas would improve this–I only had fresh–and the lack of chocolate flavor could be due to the fact that I ran out of cocoa and had to use my homemade hot chocolate mix though I did use a higher amount.

Lunchbox Noodles with Soy Maple Glazed Tofu – Both of these recipes were quite tasty and will enter regular rotation.  I did not add the chili paste to the pasta and left spicing it up to the individual and both Tim and Piper left it alone.  The tofu is wonderfully flavorful and a great protein match with the noodle dish.

WFK Workshop – Week 5

White Bean, Hazelnut, and Red Pepper Hummus – I’ve made this one twice now so I’d say it gets a thumbs up.  Similar to granola, you really can’t have enough hummus recipes.  No hazelnuts since I’m allergic so I used macadamias instead.  The first time was better because I remembered to adjust for the fact that a can of beans is closer to one and a half cups than two.  There are a lot of flavors going on here so it’s important to have the correct amount of beans in order to keep it from being overwhelming.

Brown Rice Salad with Lemon Cumin Vinaigrette –  Tim and I thought this was pretty good, particularly the second day after the flavors had a chance to meld.  I think it would be even better on the suggested wrap with black beans and avocado.

Tasty Rice and Beans – This was kind of a no brainer since we regularly eat rice and beans.  I typically use salsa, but really liked the tomato paste in this recipe.  Piper loves corn so I added that to make her happy.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars – These used the previous granola recipe and some brown rice krispie cereal.  As you can see I opted for golden raisins instead of chocolate chips.  I would be tempted to back off just a little on the coconut oil to see what happened since I thought it was just a tad high, but these were quite awesome.