Salsa 2 Ways!

Between what is ready to pick at my house and what I found at the farmers market last weekend, I had some extra jalepenos and poblano peppers needing to be used, so I made salsa!

Ingredients:

3 jalepenos, seeds removed

2 poblanos, seeds removed

2-4 tomatoes

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

Cilantro- I use a handful, it’s to your taste

Salt & pepper

I pulsed it, just long enough for there to still be some small chunks. My guy doesn’t like salsa too thin!

I do something some people don’t…I strain the salsa to remove the excess juices. Not all, but enough so it’s not juicy.

I put half into a reusable container to lid up and then…

Add the other half to a container with some fresh corn! Jon LOVES corn salsa.

*one thing to note: corn salsa only gets better as it sits in the fridge for a day or so. It melds with the onions and peppers and takes on a fab flavor.

I like easy “recipes” like this!

Enjoy!

-Mia

Amazing Slow Cooker Pot Roast!

I’m spoiled with one of those Cuisinart all-in-one slow cookers that’s non-stick. I’ve only had it about 1 year, but WHERE HAS IT BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE? Seriously, its worth it to splurge and have a non-stick version because the clean up takes just a minute. The stuck-on food on my old slow cooker was why I didn’t use it very often. That’s all changed!

Ingredients:

1 chuck roast (mine was 3lbs)

Olive oil

1 pound carrots, cut into chunks (I use rainbow carrots)

1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks

3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks

1 pound of small potatoes, cut in half (I use small purple potatoes)

2 cups beef broth

1 tbsp corn starch

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Seasoning for meat:

The meat gets its own section. 🙂

2 tbsps steak seasoning

1 tbsp sea salt or kosher salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp dried thyme

2 tbsp dried rosemary

Instructions:

Rub all over both sides of meat and sear meat in hot pan with olive oil. Remove from pan and set aside.

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Here comes the veggies! I use all organic veggies. Cook in same super hot and olive oil coated pan as you cooked the meat in and keep moving them around for about 5 minutes, until they have a nice sear on the edges.

Place meat in slow cooker, then seared veggies all around the meat. Cover the meat and veggies with the beef broth.

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It should look like this! 🙂

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Cook on low for 7 hours. After its all done, pull the roast and veggies out and set aside. Skim any fat off of the surface of the drippings. Pour drippings into saucepan with the cornstarch whisked in and cook 5-7 mins on medium heat until it gets to a slow boil. That’s some mean flavored gravy. I always go crazy and make mashed potatoes too. My fam loves them whenever possible!

Enjoy!

-Mia

Roasting Veggies!

Whether I’m roasting broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or potatoes, I’ve found that it’s important to make sure everything is close to the same size to ensure even roasting.

I always drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and cracked black pepper on the Silpat prior to loading the sheet pan with the cut veggies. After I top with veggies, I drizzle and sprinkle a little more, add 3-4 cloves of chopped fresh garlic and fresh herbs. In this roasting, I added fresh oregano and flat leaf parsley, because my herb garden is is going wild right now!

*One tip I’ve learned through failure is if you want to throw broccoli or cauliflower on with your other veggies, they take half the time to roast! Just add them after you’ve flipped the others and you’ll be great!

I preheat the oven to 400 degrees and then roast for 20-30 mins depending on how crispy you’re wanting your roasted veggies!

This Veronica Romanesco will be roasted soon! (I literally check on my Romanesco plants every day!)

I could literally eat roasted veggies every single day. When I pack my lunch, I love to bring them in a container and just munch on them, even if they’re cold!

Happy roasting!

Mia

It’s All About The Sauces Around These Parts!

This chick has been busy! Full time school all year, one graduation yesterday, another tomorrow, another kiddo coming home tomorrow too…It’s AWESOME! With everyone at home as of tomorrow, I made sure we have some of the favorite sauces for the kids…homemade pesto and tomatillo verde are both major hits here at my house and they’re so easy!

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I grew this organic Purple Opal and Genovese Basil in the garden and it’s amazing! The purple tastes just a tad more mild than the green and together they’re heaven!

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I have a hubby who has never loved Pesto. (He actually makes a face when he hears the name.) I decided to try something new and used the mix of basil varieties with almonds instead of pine nuts. (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parmesan & some fresh parsley too!) He loves it, which is really satisfying to me!

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I just pulsed everything in my Cuisinart a few times, topped with a light drizze of olive oil and sealed up in jars for this weekend. 🙂

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Verde. It’s flavor makes me happy. I especially love it drizzled on my carne asada tacos, which is what the plan is for this weekend. Tomatillos, shallots, Poblano peppers, garlic all coated with olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes and put right into a blender or food processor and pulse it up!

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It’s really that easy. (Always great!)

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I put in containers with a light drizzle of olive oil and seal them up until Asada night!

I haven’t posted in so long because I have had such a crazy work and school load, but I am thankfully getting close to a break and I am happy to get back to cooking and baking for joy! I have missed it tons! As always, if you have any questions about my recipes, shoot me a message!

-Mia

 

Homemade Salsa From The Garden

I’ve picked SOOOOO many tomatoes this summer, which I am grateful for. I’ve been inventive with many different ways to use them, but salsa is definitely one of the best! Pepper varieties, onions and cilantro are also picked for some bomb salsa ingredients!

Pulse several times in your food processor until you get the desired thickness. We love restaurant style salsa at our house!

This is my favorite salsa thickness, but if you like it chunkier, make it your way! I store some in jars in the fridge and always freeze a bag too. Yes, you can freeze salsa!

BONUS BEAN DIP TIP:

Throw some of that delicious, homemade salsa into your leftover refried beans. Pulse a couple of times in your food processor with a drizzle of olive oil and you’re good to go!

Homemade Bean Dip! Yes! Game day heaven.

SALSA RECIPE:

5lbs tomatoes

2 onions

2 bunches cilantro

6 hot peppers ( I used 2 red jalepenos, 2 Anaheim & 2 poblano peppers)

6 cloves of peeled garlic

Zest of one lime

Juice of one lime

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

Pulse all ingredients together in blender or food processor. I had to process these ingredients in 3 batches, due to the size of my processor. You definitely don’t want to overfill or you end up with salsa everywhere!

You can store in jars in your fridge that will keep a few months, can the salsa or freeze in quart size freezer bags. 🙂

Happy cooking!

Mia

Flash Freeze Your Veggies! (And Fruit)

I always harvest way more than we can consume and instead of letting the produce just sit in the fridge, I typically flash freeze my veggies & fruits for later. *Flash Freeze meaning that you do a quick uncovered freeze, then bag or put in container for long term freezing. * I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and let me tell you, we grow a lot of veggies and fruit here! My peaches should be ready in a week or so! Eek!

Our beans come on quick! It seems I just picked a ton and 2 days before and BOOM! I have to get creative!

Shameless plugging for a company who makes great products- Zyliss makes this great salad spinner that I also use to clean my veggies. It’s great!

Back to the beans- wash really well and cut the ends off. Pat dry. Lay all beans flat on a sheet pan and flash freeze for about 20 mins.

Put all flash frozen veggies in freezer bags and lay flat in your freezer. If you have them in proper freezer bags and remember to pat them dry before flash freezing, those veggies can last 6-8 months in your freezer.

Same exact thing for these peppers. 🙂 Wash really well.

Cut and pat dry. Flash freeze for about 20 mins.

Place in a freezer bag and lay flat in your freezer.

Regarding flash freezing fruit…

This is your chance to wash and trim and cut if you’d like because when you want the fruit later, it will be easy and ready to use. 🙂

Happy harvesting!

Mia

Homemade Pizza Sauce!

Pizza sauce is a lot thicker than tomato sauce. It needs to be more firm on pizza so it doesn’t run and get all messy. It’s easy!

Add everything to the pot, except for the sugar and fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have a tendency to blacken in the oven.

Roast the pan full of deliciousness for 2.5 hrs in a 300 degree oven. Let cool completely before processing.

In a food processor or blender, add all of the items roasted together in the pan, sugar and fresh herbs. Pulse until everything is small and a thick sauce emerges. Perfection!

Ingredients:

2-3 cups tomatoes

5 cloves of peeled garlic

Half of an onion, diced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

Drizzle olive oil

After roasting, add:

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp fresh chopped basil

1 tsp fresh chopped oregano

Pulse everything together in food processor or blender. I like to store in the fridge for use- mainly because we make pizza and calzones so much. You can store in the fridge for up to 3 months, sealed tightly. Make sure any utensil used is clean when grabbing some from jar. You can also store in a freezer bag in your freezer up to 6 months.

This recipe makes 1 pint of pizza sauce. You can easily double or triple this recipe, if needed.

Enjoy!

Mia

Fresh Organic Corn Salsa

I like to keep it simple. Simple meaning you grab fresh ingredients you grow yourself or can purchase locally and make something fresh and non-complicated. I try to save complicated for fall and winter when we’re inside more often and my kitchen doesn’t heat up too much from massive baking.

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I shucked over 20 ears of corn last week and then shaved the kernels from the cobs. I froze a lot of corn, we ate some and I made some fresh corn salsa last night since I was making Carne Asada street tacos for dinner. MY MOUTH IS WATERING REMEMBERING THE FLAVORS! Mexican food is in my soul, man. (I have some Mexican blood running through my veins, so not to surprised there! Portuguese, and other things too, hehe.)

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Ok, back to this amazing stuff. It’s simple. Just gather these ingredients:

2 cups of shaved corn (I par cook it- just enough that it’s not too tough, but not soft)

1 jalepeno, seeded & diced

1 tsp chili powder

1tsp cumin

Zest & juice of one lime

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 onion, chopped

 

That’s it! Seriously! Just put everything in a bowl and mix it up! It gets better as it sits, so make it ahead of time if you think of it. You can add more if you need or want to. Mix up the ingredients with what you have growing. You can double, triple or whatever to this recipe. It’s great! I have some left in my fridge to munch on with lunch tomorrow. Yes! The jalepeno we used was from our garden and it was SUPER hot. So much flavor! Get those kids cooking with you! These easy recipes help gain confidence in the kitchen!

 

Happy cooking!

-Mia

 

Can I Get Back To Cooking Please?

Life is nuts. My daughter starts back at school next week and I spent a good part of the last week improving my math placement scores so I could register for classes this fall. Wowza! It’s been a long time.

Back to kitchen stuff…I’m obsessed slightly with Bento boxes. Do any of you pull out just the pages of a magazine like me for later use? I just can’t hold onto a stack of magazines. I just can’t hold onto a stack of magazines. I hate clutter!

On a different note: My Royal Burgundy beans are finally producing! Yes!

My kiddos loved surprise Slurpees. They are so crazy sweet! End of summer tradition!

Seriously…how can you get anything done with this dude? 😻

I pick up a few shifts here and there at our local antique shop/espresso place. This weekend is a 3 day shift, so I’m slinging blended coconut milk mochas like a boss! 👊🏻

We picked about 25 ears of corn and shucked them right at the field where they were picked. I shaved all of them and have a huge bowl in my fridge, yet have been so busy that I haven’t made the corn salsa and handled any of the flash freezing. Soon, my delicious kernels. 🌽

Ok, back to this cutie. I CANT BELIEVE MY BABY IS STARTING HER SENIOR YEAR! What?! Jace & I have college this fall, and we are just so thankful for all of the love and patience that Jon gives us while supporting and pushing us to succeed. I’m excited to work on completing my degree in Sustainable & Organic Agriculture. It’s been a dream that’s finally coming to fruition. ❤️

My Homemade Freezer Jam

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been making freezer jam. Whether it’s with my Great grandma, Mom, aunt or whomever, it’s been a staple in late summer. Yum!jam6 (2)

We picked these berries this morning in the garden. I love how much sweeter home grown berries are vs. store bought from who-knows-where.

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Wash the berries, hull them and throw them in the pot. Just mash the crap out of them!

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When you add the sugar in, it becomes murky and heavier. Just let it hang tight until it’s time for the pectin. ***Side note: Yes, that is a super glittery spatula that I adore. I love Le Creuset!

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This is what the pectin and water mixture will look like when it barely comes to a boil.

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Here’s the berries that are mashed with the sugar and the super hot pectin mixture added too.

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I adore this kitchen tool. Blender Bottle makes their Whiskware line that I love! I cooled the mixture just slightly, then poured it into the Whiskware  bottle to easily squeeze into my freezer containers. NO MESS! Love that!

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These little Ball brand freezer containers are perfect for my freezer jam project. They’re inexpensive too! I was able to fill 5 with this recipe.

1 Box Sure Jell Pectin (you can find it on Amazon here!)
2 Cups organic strawberries, crushed
4 Cups organic white sugar
6 (8 oz.) Ball Freezer Jars

Once my jars are cleaned, rinsed and dried, I fill the sink with cold water and dunk my strawberries. I give them a bit of a dunk, but don’t let them sit in the water.  Since these are coming from the garden they were a bit dirty, so I always want to make sure the dirt is left in the sink and not in my jam.  Once they are clean I cut off the tops and place them in a colander.

After smashing the strawberries, I place them in a liquid measuring bowl.  I like to measure as I go as I’ll only need two total cups of crushed strawberries.  It’s easy to measure them little by little.

With my two cups of crushed strawberries ready, I measure 4 cups of sugar in a separate bowl.  It’s really important to measure your sugar correctly to have the exact amount when you’re canning. And then mix!  It seems like four cups of sugar would be a lot (and well it is) but it blends well with the strawberries.  It will be grainy.

The next step doesn’t get a picture because it moves fast!  Once your strawberries are mixed you’re ready to prepare the pectin.  Add 3/4 cup water to a sauce pan and mix it with one box of Sure Jell pectin.  (If you’re using a different pectin you will need to follow their directions.)  Even though it’s lumpy after stirring, place the sauce pan on the stove on high.  Stir until it comes to a boil.  Boil for one minute stirring continually.  You’ll notice that it looks a little more clear.

Once the pectin has boiled for one minute, take it off the stove and immediately add it to strawberry sugar mixture.  Stir for three minutes continually.  You’ll watch before your eyes as it becomes very smooth.  There may still be a few sugar grains.  Don’t worry.

Fill the 8 oz jars carefully.  You want to leave a 1/2 inch at the top to allow for expansion.  I fill them to the point where the rim just starts.  It’s perfect.  Let the jars sit for 24 hours at room temperature.  They should start to set right away.  After the 24 hours, place the jars into the freezer.  They will last for up to one year in the freezer.  Once you’re ready to enjoy the jam, place them in the refrigerator.  They will store for three weeks in the refrigerator.

I told you it was easy! 🙂 It always turns out just right! You can use the same recipe for blueberry and raspberry jam too. Have fun with it!

-Mia

Whiskware Pancake Batter Mixer with BlenderBall Wire Whisk

Ball Plastic Freezer Jar 8oz Pack of 3

Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin, 1.75 Ounce Box (Pack of 4)

Le Creuset Large Kiwi Glitter Silicone Spoon Spatula