And this time of year when tomato plants in our gardens are overflowing with more tomatoes than we can eat, it is the perfect time to make fresh salsa.
It is so easy to make and so healthy and versatile for snacking or cooking. I love dipping tortilla chips in it for snack. It is also my favorite baked potato topping. Skip the butter and sour cream for me, and pile on the salsa! Throw frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts in a crockpot on low, top with a pint of salsa, and ignore it for 8 hours. Return for a delicious, nutritous main course of Salsa Chicken.
There are gajillion ways to make salsa. You can add corn and black beans for a heartier twist. You can add chopped peaches or mango for a sweeter twist. You can add jalapenos or your favorite spicy, hot peppers if heat is your style!
When it is 109 days until Christmas…. (woohoo!)
and 105 days until the first day of Winter…. (while I paint in shorts in air conditioning)
and 72 days until the Mars Fall/Holiday Craft Show…. (the biggest, greatest craft show in our area!)
I can’t help but get a teensy bit excited for snow…
and holiday decorating.
And I had so much fun painting this wintery scene
while early September temperature hovered in the 90s,
but Autumn sunsets and breezes tantalized and teased.
And I dreamed of the warm glow
and frosty blanketed beauty
of a White Christmas.
And even though the temps lately have been in the 80-90 degrees F range, there is a feeling of Autumn in the air.
In the mood for soup, I decided to create a roasted carrot soup with some vegies I had in the fridge.
It turned out SOOOO good!
I mean – how can you go wrong with roasted vegetables that include onion and garlic and fresh rosemary pureed into a creamy, warm, soothing soup?
You could add some greek yogurt or cream to make it even creamier, but I loved the freshness and healthiness of this soup that tastes like it is loaded with calories, but instead is low-calorie and loaded with flavor!
Hope you will give it a try. I loved how it turned out!
Layer first 8 ingredients in a large stoneware bar pan or shallow roasting pan. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, and toss to coat. Roast 30-40 minutes.
Transfer roasted vegetables to a pot. Add chicken broth. Blend with Immersion Blender or in food processor or blender until creamy. (I love using an immersion blender as it is quick, efficient, and easy to clean up.)
Ladle into bowls, and top with croutons if desired.
Cheers & Hugs,
*I have become such a huge fan of Maldon Sea Salt! I’ve always been a salt lover, but these soft, flaky sea salt crystals have a clean salt flavor without the bitter after taste that table salts I’ve always used in the past leave. It truly provides a freshness that enhances the flavor of food. I so highly recommend it! It not only tastes wonderful, but it is also beautiful to season with. AND, as a watercolor artist, I love it to use to create textures in my artwork! I keep mine in a cute little bamboo salt box on the kitchen counter next to the stovetop for ease of grabbing pinches of for cooking. Bravo Maldon!! (and this is not a paid promotion in any way, shape, or form – I just seriously love this stuff!)
Last weekend we went to a Hawaiian Lua Party and Pig Roast.
Hubby “signed me up” to bring a dessert.
I had fun searching for a new cookie creation that could tie into the theme.
I found a recipe at Delightfulemade that included coconut and macadamia nuts that I slightly adapted.
Not only did they suit the theme, they were DELISH!
Not wanting to go to the grocery store, I needed to improvise on white chocolate chips. I happened to have some White Chocolate Cupcake Hershey’s Kisses left over from something, so I chopped them up for the white chocolate chips. YUM!!!
Next time I make these, I might try toasting the coconut first to step it up even one more notch. (Let me know if you make and try toasting the coconut first!)
I know coconut is one of those things people typically LOVE or HATE.
Haters can hate, but lovers…. you’re gonna wanna make!
2 1/2 – 3 cups chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer. Add sugars, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and coconut extract mixing until combined.
Add salt and baking soda, followed by flour, mixing until combined. Add white chocolate, coconut and macadamia nuts to the batter, and mix until incorporated.
Chill dough for several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make golfball-sized balls of cookie dough. Place on baking stone or cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven when beginning to turn golden brown. Press down on each cookie lightly to flatten. Cool for 10 minutes on baking stone before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Cheers & Hugs,
P.S. I am nuts about this adorable kitchen sign my DIL made for our McKinneyX2designs shop! Such a sweet gift for the bakers in your life!
Watercolor on the Weekend
makes me happy…
makes me feel fine.
Cheers & Hugs,
PS I’ve been known to have random songs pop in my head for almost anything – and then break into tune (or out of tune as it most often turns out) when they do. Can you guess the two songs running through my head when writing this post?