Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cranberries meet Salsa

Day 1 of Operation Deep Freeze is over. I can't help but snicker when this happens here in Southern Arizona. Out temperatures hit 24 during the night, and the media and citizens pop a hernia over it. However, when I lived in North Dakota -- and night of only dropping to 24 meant spring is coming!

In the defense of the desert rats, the ramifications are a little different here when it gets cold. We have constantly running pool pumps. We grow gardens year round. Our pipes are only a few feet under the ground. So if your pipes are not well-wrapped and insulated -- you will not be showering in the morning.

I am speaking from experience. 2 years ago, I was unaware of this side effect of Tucson's deep freezes and didn't get to take a shower in the morning due to frozen pipes.

So far, the only damage is a dead geranium plant and a frozen Tulsi Tea plant. I pray I can revive the Tulsi plant! Love my fresh tea.

So enough "cold" talk....let's talk about something hot! So I reveal my Cranberry Salsa Recipe today. Super easy, super delicious, super versatile! Great for winter cocktail parties (which we hosted and attenteded several this Christmas season).

I unfortunately don't have any pictures to share. My nice smart phone got a virus, so I have shitty old phone. So food pictures look pathetic and sad. Use your imagination ;)

Cranberry Salsa:
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 anaheim peppers + 1 jalepeno (roasted) .....or you can you a small can of green chiles
  • 1/2 cup Stevia in the raw (or sugar...but I made this healthy)
  •  2 limes juiced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
Use food processor to blend your cranberries. Once nicely chopped -- Add in the chilies, stevia, lime juice. 
Pour into a bowl, and add your chopped cilantro, green onions, and seasonings. Enjoy!

I have used this recipe several times lately in various ways. Here are a few varieties I've played with:
  1. Simple salsa - serve with tortilla chips.
  2. Bake a chunk of brie cheese - pour salsa over it. Cut slices and serve with crackers. (this is my favorite)
  3. Have softened cream cheese - and pour cran-salsa on top. Serve with crackers.
  4. Use as a spread on a chicken sandwich.
It's healthy and delicious! I love the tangy kick of cranberries.

Hope everyone is having a warm and wonderful weekend. What are you doing to stay warm? I'm making beef stew and drinking a home-made latte right now...contemplating making a second one and adding a kick of baileys! ;)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bring it on, New Year

Is it really a new year? I didn't even get to make my bullet-point list of goals for the next year. I know one shouldn't make excuses for themselves, as it's a nasty habit. However, December wiped me out. Our house literally became the revolving door for entertaining, hosting christmas shin-digs, you name it! It didn't stop until the clock striked 12 on 01/01/13. And I realized, "Shoot, it started and I didn't even make any resolutions". (But I will say the month of December was an absolute BLAST. I love Christmas season!)

Another large influence for my lack of setting any goals is the big life-changer that is about to happen in....3 weeks. I kiss my best friend and love of my life goodbye. The 1st 6 weeks, he's allowed 1 phone call home. For the past 6 years, I don't think we've gone a single day without at least exchanging texts. Although the past 1.5 years he's traveled a lot and we've had months where he's out of town more than he's home. I am going to miss my husband dearly. But I can't hang my head low or be sad, for this is an exciting life changer! I'm looking forward to it.

Positive thinking!!

Come June, I will most likely be living in a small, Air Force town, in Southern-Belle-America. How can I set goals when I have so many unknowns coming up in 6 months. I will have to leave my beloved ER day shift job, and possibly take a step back and work on a surgical unit for a few months or even work night shift. It is not ideal -- but it is what it is. Work is work. And who knows, maybe Mississippi will surprise me.

So for 2013, I have one goal and only one goal. And that is to just let life happen and be open minded. I am well aware that this next year will have it's challenges. There will be moments that are so fun -- like seeing my husband be commissioned as on officer in March. Seeing my parents in March. Or moving into a completely new region of the US and getting know the customs and fun things it has to offer. Running on new running trails. Meeting new people. Attending military balls. Seeing green grass (we don't get that here in AZ) But I know there will be moments of frustration and loneliness. 

No matter what changes in my environment -- I will stay me. Will still have a kitchen to cook in, running shoes to lace up, and my electric piano to make music on, and my husband & family will always be there to support me. So bring it on, 2013! I'm ready for whatever you have in store.