Monday, May 24, 2010

Feeling Fresh

There is just something about a trip to the grocery store that feels very satisfying. It's like a clean slate, a fresh start, to plan out foods that are both healthy and yummy. It's another chance to try again to get the bad junk out and keep the good stuff in. Am I making any sense to anyone but myself? I just love picking out fresh fruits and veggies and meats and cheeses and filling up a cart with good things to eat. It's cathartic and relaxing and invigorating all at once. (Yes, this is the part where you may think of me as a bit strange, if you don't already, LOL). This morning, I let the boys sleep in a bit (after our LONG weekend of traveling), so we got a late start. We all ate breakfast together, and then I dropped them off at school, surprisingly only about 15 minutes late. From that point, we had about an hour to pass before it was time to pick Lilly (the cat) up from the boarding place, so I figured we could use the time for a quick trip to the grocery. We just got some fresh veggies (as ours had sort of gone wilty over the weekend), a few blocks of cheese, some lunch meat and some milk. It was a quick trip, but like I said, there's something just simply satisfying about it all. After lunch, I got Meagan situated with a resting movie, then I decided to put some of our food to use. I had some applesauce that I needed to use up, so I dumped it into the dehydrator, sprinkled it with cinnamon, and set some fruit roll-ups in motion. Then I decided, for who-knows-what reason, to make some salsa. This, mind you, is NOT something I've ever attempted before, and I had no recipe to work with. I figured how bad can chopped tomatoes and onions turn out? Right? I started out with just that - some chopped tomatoes and onions, and a bit of cilantro. Not quite enough flavor or substance, so I set off to the pantry to see what else I could throw in it. it was an odd, unplanned concoction, but in the end I think it turned out quite tasty! I found a canning jar in the pantry for keeping, and stuck in in the fridge. Aaaaah! The feeling of fresh foods and a new recipe accomplishment. Truly, ten years ago, I never would have believed you if you would have told me that THIS would be the thing that I enjoyed doing with my time. Here's the recipe I came up with if you want to try it (I tried to go back and write it all down right away, so hopefully it's fairly accurate?): 2 tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 medium vidalia onion, coarsely chopped fresh chopped cilantro (no idea how much... maybe about 2 tbsp when all was said and done?) 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes less than 1 tbsp vinegar a few pinches of sugar (maybe about 1/2- 3/4 tsp?) garlic powder cayenne pepper black pepper 1) drain the stewed tomatoes of most of the liquid; empty the can into a blender; puree 2) add the chopped veggies and cilantro, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings to taste 3) set blender to "stir" or "grate" (low setting, low speed) until fully blended 4) adjust seasonings, etc. to taste Pretty easy I guess, although it seemed to take a lot longer and feel more complicated while I was doing it. I think I'll make another stop at the grocery now and get some chips to go with it... we'll have a taco night tonight.

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