Traditional Hot Salsa

Salsa makes a good snack served chips for any occasion with lots of people. This particular salsa instructable makes alot of salsa, so be sure that you plenty of people to eat it!

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While this salsa is rather hot and spicy, it is easy to change the ingredients to make it mild or medium.


 

Ingredients:

1 (14.5 oz) can of tomatoes, with juice

3 whole tomatoes

4 large clumps cilantro

4 large cloves garlic

2 jalapeno peppers (for milder salsa, use 1 jalapeno)

1 medium onion (use less for milder salsa)

½ teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 lime, juiced

 

DIRECTIONS:

Cut your fresh tomatoes into large chunks.

Pour HALF of the tomatoes from the can with their juice into the blender. Leave the OTHER HALF in the can.

Coarsely chop the garlic, as shown.

Remove the leaves of the cilantro from its stems, and throw the stems away. Its the leaves you want.

Cut open the pepper(s), and dump the seeds out. Then cut into smaller pieces.

Also prepare the onion, so that it looks like it does in the picture.

Throw all this prepared produce into the blender.

  • Lime juice into blender, and the sugar and salt.
  • Then Blend all the ingredients on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

Now that you’ve combined all the other ingredients, and pulsed them on medium speed:

Dump in all the fresh tomatoes and THE OTHER HALF of the canned tomatoes.

Pulse on LOW speed for a bit until the texture is coarse and chunky. I learned to do this the hard way, and pulverized most of the salsa….

You can store your salsa in the fridge in an airtight container.

Take out to serve at parties, lunches, dinners, breakfasts, and whatnot.

See step-by-step picture instructions on my original post of this recipe on instructables.

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Chocolate & Candy Cane Coated Marshmallows

These delicious and simple treats make perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family.

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Ingredients: (Serves 3)

3 medium marshmallows

1/4 cup chocolate chips

3-4 mini candycanes (= 1 medium candycane)

 

NOTE: Medium size of marshmallow is most preferable, and nothing smaller, but if you choose larger marshmallows, be sure to use more chocolate chips, and lengthen microwave time.

As shown, you can use mini candycanes or one medium candycane.

It is easier to keep them in their wrapper and crush them in there, and then you can pour it from the wrapper.

DIRECTIONS:

Place chocolate in small bowl and place in microwave for about 1 minute and 40 seconds, stirring in between. The time just depends on your microwave.

Leaving them in their wrappers, crush them with something like the handle of the knife coarsely. Size of normal chunks that candy-cane should be crushed into are shown above in bowl. Cut the wrappers, and pour all of it into a wide bowl that is good for rolling marshmallows in.

Place marshmallows on a paper towel or parchments paper (parchment paper works best). Using toothpicks to help holding the marshmallow without grabbing it with your hands, use a silicon scraper to spread the melted chocolate onto the marshmallows completely and evenly.

Roll chocolate covered marshmallows in candycane before chocolate hardens. Place on a platter and cool in fridge for ten minutes before serving or putting in gift bags.

To see more step-by-step  pictures, visit my original post of this recipe on instructables.

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Homemade Peppermint Bark

This peppermint bark is very easy to make and uses three ingredients: white chocolate, dark chocolate, and candy cane. If you use just these ingredients with chocolate chips, it turns out to be softer than most other peppermint bark.

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Ingredients:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

3 classic candy canes

 

DIRECTIONS:

Place candycanes out of their wrappers in one heavy duty bag inside another heavy duty bag. Pound evenly with a heavy blunt (preferably flat) object. A dough roller would work great for this. Pound until they are coarsely crushed as shown in bowl.

Place semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on low for about 3 minutes. It is IMPORTANT that you take out the chocolate chips to stir every thirty seconds. Chocolate chips are done when after stirring a bit, most of them are melted.

Prepare baking sheet by putting some wax/parchment paper ontop of it, making sure it is perfectly flat. spread melted chocolate with a silicone spatula (preferably) onto the wax paper carefully, using your hand to hold the wax paper in place. Spread until flat and thin as shown.

Chill in fridge while you prepare the next layer on next step;

Use the same process with the white chocolate. But, with the white chocolate, it will melt alot faster, and it will harden alot faster.

Put in microwave on low for about 2 minutes or until most of chips are melted. BE SURE TO: take out regularly from microwave every thirty seconds to stir well.

Spread upon not-completely-chilled dark chocolate and quickly sprinkle candy cane crumbles on top of it and press it lightly in before it hardens.

If white chocolate hardens too quickly, you can always get it melted quickly by placing it in a preheating oven (set to 170 degrees if it can) for about two minutes. Then proceed to press candy cane evenly in.

Place in fridge for at least thirty minutes before serving or placing in gift bags as Christmas gifts!

To see more step-by-step pictures, visit my original post of this recipe on instructables.

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Christmas Spritz Sugar Cookies

These are really cool little sugar cookies that you can give as Christmas gifts to friends and family.

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Ingredients:

(makes 6 dozen mini cookies)

12 tablespoons butter, softened

⅓ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 large egg

½ tsp. vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 ¾ all purpose flour

¼ whole wheat flour

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whip butter with salt and sugar until creamy.

Add vanilla, egg, almond extract and mix until combined.

Add flours (whole wheat & all purpose) and stir until combined.

Option no. 1: You can roll out the dough and cut out the cookies with cookie cutters.

Or Option no. 2: You can do it the ‘Spritz’ way and use a cookie press (I used OXO cookie press) and press cookies. Place/Press cookies onto ungreased baking sheet or silicone mat on baking sheet.

Add sprinkles if you want to make it look pretty.

Bake for about 8 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.

Cool before serving. Makes 6 dozen small spritz cookies.


Overnight Soaked Flour Sandwich Bread

This Soaked Flour Sandwich bread is healthier than regular bread, in that the flour soaks overnight before baking. This has numerous health benefits, even though it is time consuming. But even though it is ‘time consuming,’ you don’t have to spend a relatively long amount of time in the kitchen; and you can eat healthier. The time is worth it.

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Sally Fallon, author of the book “Nourishing Traditions” explains some of the reasons why soaking your flour before baking is healthier:

-activates the enzyme phytase, which breaks down phytic acid (phytic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc)

-provides lactic acid and lactobacilli, helping to break down complex starches and proteins

-increases vitamin content

-makes the nutrients in grains more readily available

-softens whole grain flour, making it more palatable

 


 

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves):

2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

2 ¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup buttermilk (or make your own, see directions)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup room-temp water (or more if too dry)

½ cup oil

¼ cup warm water

2 ½ teaspoons active-dry yeast

2 ½ tablespoons coconut sugar (or honey)

2 teaspoon salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

If you don’t have 1 cup of buttermilk, then you can make some; in a 1 cup liquid measuring dish, pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Then fill the rest of the cup up with milk. Let rest for a few minutes, or until curdled.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, combine flours. Then add buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, ½ cup water, and oil. Mix and stir until thick, tough, and homogeneous. Plastic wrap the bowl, and let rest on counter overnight. (12-24 hours).

The dough, after sitting overnight, will be slightly larger, browner, and less tough.

When ready to complete bread, place the dough in a warm oven (170 degrees) to warm up, for 10 minutes.

In a small dish, combine very warm water (¼ cup) and active-dry yeast, and coconut sugar. Mix, and let rest for 5 minutes, or until yeast has bloomed.

Pour yeast mixture into soaked flour dough mixture, and mix/knead in until fully combined. Let rest for 30-45 minutes, in a warm place.

On a floured surface, turn dough out. Sprinkle over with all the salt, and knead and knead for a few minutes, until all the salt is mixed in, and dough is smooth. Separate dough into two smooth logs. Place each of these logs in two greased loaf pans.

Set pans atop the warm oven, and let rise for another half hour.

When you are about ten minutes away from being done with rise time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When dough is done rising, place in oven to bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Take out of oven, and let cool a bit. Take loaves out of pans, and let them cool some more before cutting into slices and serving.

Once loaf is entirely cool, you can store it in a Ziploc plastic bag.


 

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Healthy Fruit and Nut Snack Balls

These healthy fruit and nut snack balls make a perfect snack anytime.

They are essentially dates, cranberries, cherries, almonds, and walnuts, and deliver the nutrition of the fruit and the protein and fiber of the nuts.

They are also very easy and simple to make.

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Ingredients (makes approx. 24 balls):

40 medjool dates

¼ cup cranberries

¼ cup cherries

¾ cup almonds

½ cup walnuts

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Optional, but recommended:

½ cup mini chocolate chips

 

DIRECTIONS:

Place dates, cranberries, and cherries in a food steamer.

Steam for about 10 minutes.

Place steamed fruits in a food processor, and blend them until creamed. Add cinnamon and salt and blend a bit more.

Place almonds and walnuts in a blender, and pulse until nuts are in very small little chunks, as shown.

Dump both the nuts and fruits into a large bowl, and mix and stir until completely incorporated.

If using chocolate chips:

Let fruit/nut mixture cool in fridge before attempting to stir in chocolate chips.

If you are using chocolate chips, now’s the time to mix those into the fruit mixture.

Roll mixture into little 1-inch balls with your hands, and place all on a parchment/wax-paper lined tray.

Place in fridge for 10+ minutes before using.

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Mix it all together…

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Healthy Lemon Poppy-seed Muffins

These Lemon Poppy-seed muffins are made healthy by using coconut oil instead of butter, coconut sugar instead of cane sugar, and some gluten free flour replacing some of the all-purpose flour. These make a great snack anytime of the day.

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Ingredients: (makes 12 muffins)

½ cup softened coconut oil

½ cup coconut sugar

2 eggs, separated

½ cup + ⅓ cup all purpose flour

½ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons poppy-seeds

2 tablespoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup buttermilk (to easily make your own buttermilk, see step #_)

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins, or place little muffin papers in each.

(Optional but preferred: Put the lemon zest and sugar into a food processor and blend until zest is all blended in with the sugar. This is good to impart a more lemony flavor. )

In a large bowl, cream coconut oil and coconut sugar. Add eggs one at a time, until creamy and combined.

Place the egg whites separately in a medium deep bowl.

If you don’t have buttermilk, then you can easily make this substitute, that works just as well:

You’ll need 1/2 cup of buttermilk, so in a liquid measuring glass, pour in 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar. Then pour in the milk till it is filled up to 1/2 cup. Let sit for a few minutes, until curdled.

In a separate medium bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy-seeds, and lemon zest. (if you already blended the lemon zest in with the sugar like I earlier suggested, then obviously, you won’t be putting it into this bowl)

Dump the flour into the sugar/oil mixture. Alternate this with pouring in the buttermilk, and lemon juice, and then vanilla, until everything is combined.

With a high-speed handmixer, whip the egg white until tall peaks form, and it is light and fluffy.

Carefully fold in the egg white into the batter until completely incorporated. Spoon evenly into the 12 muffin tins.

Bake in oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

See some step-by-step pictures below, or go to my original instructable recipe.

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Beat the egg white…
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Mix it all together…