The Salsa Contest

May 22, 2010 by

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You may have seen the salsa I made the other day.  That was for a salsa contest I entered at a local festival in town.   It was The Wild West Fest and they had cowboys running around, a bull for the children to ride, ponies and the whole deal.  The salsa contest sounded fun so I joined.

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The festival was a lot of fun and the salsa competition was a blast.   Everyone was so nice and we had so much fun.

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Here is my salsa area.   Notice the Americana motif.  Splurged a little at the dollar store for those.

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Here is my salsa and the samples out for everyone to take.  Everyone seemed to like it.

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The local Mexican restaurants also donated their salsa’s to the event.

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They had a very cute bluegrass trio.  They played some great tunes and were a lot of fun.

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Cowboy walking through

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They also put on shows during the festival with big gun shootouts.

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The event was at the Leo Carrillo park and it was a lot of fun.  I had never been there before or even knew it existed.

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And for some reason this park had wild peacocks running all over

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These are weird and beautiful looking birds and they were everywhere!

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Alas, even with my determined face, I did not win the salsa competition, but many many people came back and said they really liked my salsa and that was all I needed to hear.

Here are some things I learned about a salsa competition:

  1. Don’t put “fire” in the name of your salsa.  It scares people away.  Mine was spicy, but not crazy hot
  2. Go before the guy who has the hottest salsa ever made.  Basically he liquefied some crazy Indian peppers that are 10 times hotter than a habanero pepper.  You want to go before that guy.  If you go after that guy, everyone can’t taste anything and they are still crying from the pain.
  3. They are a lot of fun.  I’m totally going to do this again.

Ben…

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Build a garden for less than 3 dollars

May 19, 2010 by

This is the “you have no excuse not to” garden post.

Did you know you could buy bags of top soil from the dollar store?  Guess how much? Only 1 dollar!

Did you know you could buy potting containers from the dollar store?  Guess how much?  Only 1 dollar!

Did you know you could buy seeds from the dollar store?  Guess how much?  Nope… only 25 cents per pack!

I didn’t know this until I walked into my local dollar store looking for who-knows-what and I noticed big bags of potting soil near the entrance.  “These can’t be only a buck” I thought to myself, but as the big sign outside clearly states, it was only 99 cents.

Then I did some scouting around the store and found the seed stand.  All seed packets, even though priced at 99 cents on the packet, was only 25 cents each.  I bought a ton of seeds and that is what I planted in my big garden.  Seeds packets at Home Depot run anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00 and I had to buy a few of these to fill in the missing vegitables i wanted to grow, but I found about 90% of what I wanted to grow at the dollar store.

All that to say… you can build a little herb garden or plant some smaller garden containers for next to nothing!  You have no excuse not to plant something editable in your backyard or apartment patio area.

Here is a quick project I put together for less than 3 dollars

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Whats for Dinner: Salmon Caesar Salad

May 18, 2010 by

IMG_9052 This is a super easy recipe that only has a few ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Salmon Caesar salad is awesome.  I love the way the flavors mix, with the nice flaky salmon and nice crisp lettuce.  So yummy.

This was also a nice first for me as I was able to eat something out of my garden for the first time! Yipee!!

This recipe only has a few ingredients and its very easy to make.

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Ingredients:

  • Lettuce (iceberg is preferred)
  • Salmon (Trader Joe’s or Costco has some really good salmon)
  • Caesar dressing (whichever kind you like)
  • Kraft BBQ sauce (yes I know this sounds weird, but its not.  trust me)

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First get some lettuce.  I was lucky enough to be able to walk outside and just grab some from my garden.  First time eating anything from my garden.  I was so excited.

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Wash the lettuce

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Take some tinfoil and grab yourself a big piece for each salmon fillet.  Pour a tablespoon of olive oil on the tinfoil.

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Lay the salmon on the olive oil.  Pour a layer of Kraft BBQ sauce on top of the salmon.   I know this sounds weird, but Kraft BBQ sauce is all sugar and all of the BBQ sauce will burn off leaving an amazing glaze flavor.  Trust me, its amazing.  It wont’ taste anything like bbq fish.

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Spread the BBQ sauce and throw on a pat of butter.

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Wrap up the salmon in the foil.  Fold all edges in to seal it in a pouch.

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All sealed up and ready for the BBQ.

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Throw these on the grill and cook them for 4-5 minutes per side

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After you flip it over you’ll start to see the pouches filled with steam and all that tasty goodness

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Toss the lettuce in the Caesar dressing and lay the salmon out on top of the salad.  Add some croutons if you have them.  I didn’t have any on hand.

That’s it.  It really is super simple to make this and its oh so tasty.

Enjoy

Ben…

If you’ve got a recipe you like and want to share it with me please leave me a note in the comments below.

Also please take a second to sign Jamie Olivers Food Revolution petition.  He is encouraging people to cook more at home and thus have healthier lives and I encourage you to do the same.

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Fire and Ice Salsa

May 16, 2010 by

IMG_8739 I am making 2 gallons of salsa right now.  That is A LOT of salsa I’ve come to find out.  I have entered a salsa competition at the Wild West Fest in Carlsbad tomorrow.

I have never been in a salsa competition before.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  But I’m having a ton of fun doing it.

Salsa is one of those easy things to make.  You really just get a bunch of onions, peppers, tomatoes and mix them all together.  Its a little of this, little of that, no wrong-way to do it kind of recipe.

I’m just taking some of my favorite ingredients from different salsa recipes and throwing them all together to make some award winning (hopefully)  Salsa.

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Lets get started

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Remembering Jim Henson – 20 Years Later

May 14, 2010 by

20 years ago Jim Henson passed away.

I was raised on the muppet show.  I have the most distinct and fond memories of watching that show with my family, and I still own the muppet show on VHS.

Jim Henson was one of the most creative minds of our time and had a huge influence on me. His characters and vision has lasted well beyond his lifetime and I am truly sad to imagine what we might have seen had he still been around today.

His creations were genius.  His characters were real and filled with life, and true emotions.  You could connect to them far beyond what most sitcom characters are portrayed as today and they were made of felt and had ping pong balls for eyes.

I loved his work and his passion. The muppet show was brilliant. The muppet movies were a lot of fun. The music was inspiring and rememberable.  The later movies that followed like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal still hold up better than some of the new CGI 3D crap that comes out today.

I am truly sad he is gone but I am so thankful for what he gave the world.  He will always be remembered.

Thank you Jim.

Jim Henson (1936-1990)

Who was your favorite muppet?  I’m a big fan of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.  Also love Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys up in the balcony.

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