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More Thanksgiving – Cranberry-Lime Salsa

One more bonus recipe for you – and it’s one of my favorites. Hubby makes it nearly every year and it’s perfect on the turkey, or on leftover turkey sandwiches. Cranberries with just a hint of heat. Divine. Yes, it has salsa in the title. And yes, we found it originally in a California cookbook, of course. It’s worth trying and super-easy to make. And when you take the seeds out of the pepper, it’s not that hot. Leave the seeds in if you want some extra heat. Try this and you’ll never go back to canned cranberry jelly.

Cranberry-Lime Salsa

12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. lime juice
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
3 scallions (green onions), chopped finely
1 jalapeño, seeded & minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper to taste

1. Take a medium saucepan and add your cranberries and some cold water – enough to cover. Bring it to a boil & cook for a couple of minutes — just until the cranberries begin to pop. Drain.

2. Grab a large bowl and combine the lime juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Then stir in the cranberries and the rest of your ingredients. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Flavor is best when you let it stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Better yet, make it the night before and put it in the fridge to let the flavors meld even more. You can serve it cool or room temp – depends on your preference.

Learning to eat healthier

loads of kaleLast week I got to listen to an awesome chef talking about how we can serve healthy, tasty food to our families without spending a lot of extra time in the kitchen. What? Sign me up! I know I need to buy fresh food — it’s the prep and cooking time that kills me. See what we learned that night.  

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Girl’s night out – a much needed respite

When you’re a work-at-home (or stay-at-home) mom it’s so easy to feel isolated. Hubby gets out of the house each day and goes to work. Sometimes you’re so busy that you don’t get a chance to leave. Or it can just be too big of an effort at times – especially when it takes you 30 minutes just to get out the door (we live on the 2nd floor and it’s not like I can just pop the kid in the car & run back inside the house if I forget something – so I have to make sure I remember everything in one trip & it can be exhausting).

I admit it – I’m a homebody. I can stay home for several days without really doing more than going to the store to pick up a couple of things. And when I do go out, it’s usually somewhere close: the bookstore, the library, or a coffee shop, none of which are more than five minutes away. I just don’t like getting very far away from home.

And that has prevented me from going to a local girl’s night out – until this evening. About 20 friends from Twitter got together tonight at a restaurant in Hillcrest, called Terra. A couple of the ladies arranged a tasting menu for all of us. It was so very good. The food was outstanding, as was the service. The chef came and spoke to us, letting us know about some of his work locally with schools and sustainable food.

I’ve seen this particular group of ladies two or three times now and the more I see them, the more I like them.

I have lamented – many times, to my husband’s chagrin – that I just don’t have enough girlfriends anymore. Since I left my previous job, it has been so much harder to meet other women. Especially fun, smart, savvy women who understand my love for social networking, blogging, and tech toys. But I think I have found them. They get me and my strange obsessions. We love food. And fun. And lots of laughter.

I think I’m going to fit right in with these ladies. And nights out like this are exactly what I needed.

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I think I’m slowly becoming a foodie

We’ve been watching Top Chef tonight. I’ve learned a lot about food, cooking, and a variety of techniques by watching it. I’m not sure I could duplicate any of them, but it has definitely showed me what’s out there.

It actually makes me want to learn more, too. I’m more particular about my food. I want good, flavorful food. We don’t have a big budget to eat out a lot, so we’re trying to eat more at home. With our budget, we’re not going to be able to eat at places like The Godfather (one of my favorite restaurants – I usually request that we go there for my birthday, but didn’t this year) all the time.

Face it, when you have an Applebee’s or Island’s budget, you’re not going to get blow-your-mind food. You can occasionally get decent food, but it’s nothing that makes you melt into your seat with the incredible flavors. And I want GOOD food. So we eat at home. Admittedly, I’m not in the mood to cook amazing food every night. But at least here at home we have spices and actually use them.

I’m trying to slowly document my food experiments more. Occasionally, I might like to recreate some of my dishes. But I never write anything down. So I am changing that. And really enjoying the process of playing with my food. I’m not into presentation at all (yet), but more into good, solid, simple food. I have a long way to go. It’s fun to enjoy the process though. (Even if I still don’t enjoy doing the dishes.)

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