Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category


Restaurant Style Salsa

I finally decided to make a homemade Salsa, like the one you get at a restaurant. The one that there’s no stopping once you get started, the mouth-watering one, the spicy one, the one they bring you refills on which you gladly accept. Yep, that’s the one ! This is Ree Drummond’s recipe and she hit it right on. I was a little afraid of how spicy it would turn out so I did not include the jalapeno seeds and that made it “mild”. The next time  I was more adventures and included all the seeds and that gave it a little heat. This salsa is fresh and simply put “delicioso”.  

Salsa Ingredients


1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (San Marzano)   

2 cans (10 oz) Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)    

1/4 cup chopped onion   

1 clove garlic, minced   

1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin   

1/4 tsp sugar   

1/4 tsp salt   

1/4 tsp ground cumin   

1/2 cup cilantro   

juice from 1/2 Lime   


Combine tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get desired consistency. Test seasoning with some Tortilla chips and adjust as needed. Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with your favorite Tortilla chips.   

Pulse away


Source: Pioneer Woman Cooks   


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Lettuce Wrap

Lettuce Wrap

Lettuce Wraps are so popular these days and I can see why. These Wraps are not exactly like the ones that you get at that famous China Bistro everyone is flocking to (me included, if I can persuade my husband), but they are pretty darn close. Once you get all the specialty ingredients together they are a breeze to make. A couple of  things though, next time I would double the sauce portion. I would have liked the filling to be a little more moist. Also I used Iceberg lettuce simply because I couldn’t find Boston lettuce, I use ground chicken and I choose to use red bell pepper and peas which gave the filling a nice splash of color. I served the Lettuce Wraps with the leftover Chinese Dumplings I made earlier (which froze really well).

Lettuce Wraps Ingredients


For the Sauce: (for a more moist filling you may want to double the sauce portion)

1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce

2 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

freshly ground black pepper

For the Filling:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 stalks scallions (green onions)

1 pound ground turkey or chicken

2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen pea/carrots, finely diced bell peppers, etc.)

1/2 green apple, finely diced


1 head Boston  lettuce, leaves washed and separated


Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

To make the filling, heat wok or large frying pan on high heat with cooking oil. When oil is hot, add scallions, ginger and garlic and fry a few seconds until fragrant. Add ground turkey or chicken and fry until almost cooked through. Add the vegetables and cook 1 minute. Add sauce ingredients. Let simmer for 1 minute to thicken slightly.

Add the apples. Toss to coat. immediately remove from heat. You don’t want to “cook” the apples, keep them nice and crunchy. Serve in lettuce leaves.

Lettuce Wraps

Source: adapted from Steamy Kitchen


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