Tag Archives: spicy

Bob’s Salsa

so, it’s been awhile. . . how is everyone?!  . . .anyone still there? ?  i hope so!

my dad {bob … baab … boob, or whatever you might call him} makes a mean {& delicious} salsa. 

the only issue i have ever had with it {past tense} was the heat. you see, i didn’t like spicy foods when i was younger -i missed out on a lot of good stuff!  so reader beware, this salsa can pack a bit of a punch, but now, that’s what i  l o v e  about it!

we made this salsa for a lazy football sunday the other week.  that’s my favorite part about sundays… football & food – emphasis on the food, though i do love me some football, especially when we play pick’ems!  {pick’ems: go through all the games for the week and pick which team you think will win}

and because i am the one that’s writing this, i get to throw in that i’m pretty darn good at it… sometimes i think matt wishes he had my talent  : )

i hate to share my secret for predicting the winning team, but i’ll give you a hint: teams always play better when their outfits {uniforms} are cuter.  hey, good luck to you!

Bob’s Salsa

an original recipe from my dad {slightly adapted by matt & rachel’s kitchen}


  • 3 large tomatoes diced + 1 small, if desired {for chunky} diced {we used heirlooms in this recipe, hence the lack of a rich red color}
  • 1 medium purple onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
  • 2-3 jalapenos, diced {majority of seeds/insides removed for less heat}
  • 5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp black pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • drizzle of olive oil


Mix 3 large diced tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, diced jalapenos, lime juice, salt, pepper, pepper flakes and olive oil in a large bowl.  Add mixture to blender or food processor and pulse on low for 10 seconds or so.

Once salsa reaches desired consistency, pour back into bowl and if desired, add the smaller diced tomato to add a little “chunk” to your dip.

as specified from Bob: serve with your favorite chips {here are ours} and an “adult beverage” or two…   enjoy!!

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Cayenne-Caramel Popcorn

so i don’t particularly like caramel popcorn.  for Christmas my family was always gifted those popcorn tins, ya know the ones with cheddar popcorn, regular popcorn and then the big section of caramel popcorn.  i never ate the caramel stuff… just not my thing.

and then one day, a few weeks ago…it all changed.  matt and i decided we wanted to spruce up our plain, no butter, no salt popcorn.

of course, we always go straight to our favorite food blog, smittenkitchen.com when looking for recipes.  not only are her recipes amazing, she has incredible photos to go along with them. there it was, she had caramel popcorn photos that made me salivate.  we decided to give it a try, putting our own spin on it.

WOW.  W  O  W  !

it must be that kick of cayenne pepper, because i am officially in  l o v e  with caramel popcorn, or maybe only this recipe in particular.  just enough sweet, just enough salt, and just enough spice. oh and the crunch . . . heavenly.

i’m glad there were two of us for the first time making it, because it was certainly a little messy, and i was happy to have 4 hands.  for this post however {my 2nd time making it}, i made it on my own {matt was at work} and i think it turned out pretty well.

i’m still not sure if i’m happy that it’s so easy to make, or if it worries me and i should start to fear for my figure/teeth…

Cayenne-Caramel Popcorn

slightly adapted from: smittenkitchen.com


  • 2 – 2.8oz bags of unsalted popcorn, popped {ingredients should read: “popcorn”} NOTE: for less caramel coating, use 2.5 bags – i preferred more popcorn…
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • .5 cup water


Lightly coat two large, heatproof rubber spatulas, a very large mixing bowl, and two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray (or rub a little oil on).

Go through popcorn to remove kernels – be sure they are all removed so no one breaks a tooth!!!  Add kernel-less popped popcorn to mixing bowl.  {I found that my bowl was a little too small for two and a half bags of popcorn, so I actually used two bowls}

In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and cayenne pepper.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, salt and water.  Resist the urge to stir.  Cook over high heat,  without stirring, until the mixture becomes a light golden-yellow caramel.  Original recipes says this should be about 10-14 minutes, but we found it took about 15-19 minutes {though we are at high elevation here in Denver}.  Are your baking sheets and spatulas ready? {they should be}

Ready for the fun part? Once it reaches a light golden color, remove from heat and carefully whisk-in the baking-soda mixture — the caramel sauce will bubble up!

Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, or in the case of using two bowls, half in one bowl and the rest in the other.  Work quickly with the spatulas to toss the caramel and popcorn together, until the popcorn is well coated.  This is a little more difficult when you are working with two bowls, but it can be done!

Dump the popcorn onto the two baking sheets and spread them out.  Separate the larger chunks into smaller pieces while still warm.  Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes… if you can wait that long.  Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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Spicy Black Bean Burgers (w/ avocado topping)

hang on,   before you cringe at the idea of eating a “veggie burger” hear us out, we’re meat-eaters too. in fact, a big juicy burger is one of our favorite meals.

but there is something special about these meatless burgers; they’re not like the patties you’ll find in your grocer’s freezer aisle, or at the new hipster/vegan/hippie hangout down the street.

these are satiating burgers filled with beans and spices and herb g o o d n e s s. don’t tell your man and serve them to him as a ‘burger’ …they are surprisingly similar to the cow-version visually…

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

adapted from: “Recipe of the Week: Burgers,” by Sally Sampson (Wiley). {recipe states that it makes 4 burgers, but we find that it yields 5 or 6}


  • 4 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans {we use 2-15oz cans}
  • .5 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 scallions, both white & green parts, minced
  • 4-5 tbsp cilantro, chopped {we love our cilantro, we use 5}
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper {we use 1.5}
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place 2 cups (or 1 can) of the black beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until chunky.

 !!Absent Appliance Alert!! – since we don’t have a food processor, we put the beans directly into a large mixing bowl and use a potato-masher to, well, mash them! does the trick!

Transfer beans from processor to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining whole black beans, along with the panko, scallions, basil, garlic, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes and mix until combined.  Add eggs and mix again until well combined.

Divide the mixture into desired portions [original recipe suggests 4 portions of 3/4-1in. thick patties].  Toss the portions back and forth between your hands {after they’ve been washed, for goodness sake!!}.  Set on a plate and sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper.  Place a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and when it is hot, but not smoking, add the burgers to the dry pan.  Cook until well seared on both sides and heated throughout, about 4-5 minutes each side.  Serve with Avocado Topping {recipe below} & enjoy!!

Avocado Topping

Original Recipe from: Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen **not to be confused with our famous guacamole!**


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • half a lime
  • half a white onion, chopped {the “slap-chop” saves lives here…}
  • 3-4 tbsp of cilantro, chopped {or more, if you love it like we do!}
  • .25 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • sea salt, to taste


Halve the avocados, removing & discarding the pit.  Use a spoon to scoop out the avocado into a medium mixing bowl. Depending on the ripeness of the avocados, you may be able to mash them easily with your average cereal-spoon, but I find that a potato-masher does a great job to “cream” the avocado into a lovely texture. Halve the lime-half {which will create 2 quarters… look at that math!} – and squeeze the juice onto the mashed avocado.  Use a spoon to mix in.

Add chopped onion and cilantro.  {Just a note: We pick the cilantro leaves off their ‘stalks’ which can be time consuming, but so worth it!  To save a little time, you can use a slap-chop -if you own one- for both the onion and cilantro.}

Add the garlic salt and cumin.  Take a little taste to see if your tastebuds desire a little more salt, then add sea-salt as desired.  {We found that only a couple twists of our salt-grinder was needed}  Enjoy!!

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