Thursday, June 9, 2011


That's what I'll be doing this summer. Lots and lots of it. I love to do it. This week, I've cooked or baked something every day and I'm thinking I might make something else today. I can't get enough of it. I also want to keep a record of all the recipes I try here.

Unfortunately, this week, I don't have any pictures of the food... because I didn't get around to taking any and now most of the food is already gone. But in the future, I promise I will at least try to get a good picture. Anyway...

So, my goal is to cook dinner once a week for the summer. I started out this week with a challenge to put together a meal for $10 or less. I made it just within my budget, thanks to the fact that we already had some of the ingredients... hopefully as I go I will learn how to be a little more frugal.

First, I made Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa.
Let me tell you, this stuff is amazing. The recipe uses canned tomatoes, but the fresh cilantro, jalapeƱo, onion, and garlic give it a homemade taste.
This recipe also makes a huge batch of salsa. About 6 cups. If you do the math, the cost of all the ingredients should technically be cheaper than jarred salsa (and way better). But... maybe not because it disappears twice as fast.

Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa


1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice

2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)

¼ cups Chopped Onion

1 clove Garlic, Minced

1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin

¼ teaspoons Sugar

¼ teaspoons Salt

¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin

½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)

½ whole Lime Juice

Preparation Instructions

Note: this is a very large batch. Recommend using a 12-cup food processor, or you can process the ingredients in batches and then mix everything together in a large mixing bowl.

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.


I also made Spicy Bean Burritos from Annie's Eats. Just a warning, this recipe uses chipotle in adobo sauce and the burritos really are spicy! Really! Although I am not a big fan of spicy foods, I love the sweet and smoky flavor that the chipotle adds to the bean mixture.

Spicy Bean Burritos

Yield: about 6 servings

For the bean filling:
2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. minced chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
6 tbsp. fresh salsa

For serving:
6 (9- or 10-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
Shredded cheese
Diced tomatoes
Shredded romaine lettuce
Chopped green onions
Low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt

To make the bean filling, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin, salt and cayenne; stir, cooking just until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add the beans and the water or broth to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the salsa and mash the mixture with a spoon or fork.

Spoon about a third of a cup of the bean mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top each serving with a pinch of shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions and sour cream.Roll the tortilla up tightly, burrito style, and serve immediately.


Both of these recipes were easy and yum - I will almost definitely make both of them again. By the way, if you have never checked out Annie's Eats, do it now! It is a beautiful site and I have found plenty of great looking recipes that I want to try, including chicken gyros with homemade pita bread... in fact, I plan on making the Ginger Beef Stir Fry next week. And I will try to post at least one picture.

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