Thursday, August 7, 2014

Experimenting with New Recipes

Since I do about 95% of the cooking and 100% of the baking around my house, it is sometimes easy to get stuck in a "rut" and make the same things over and over again. I used to be of the mind that you to had follow a recipe EXACTLY as directed.  Since starting my food blog over 2 1/2 years ago, I have definitely become more adventurous and will "experiment" with new recipes, substituting ingredients or sometimes leaving out a certain ingredient entirely. I make tacos fairly frequently, but if you can believe it, up until a few months ago, I had never made fajitas! They are so easy to make, especially if you use a seasoning packet. Anyways, since I was planning on making steak fajitas for dinner last night, I decided that I wanted to try and make my own salsa to have as an appetizer. I pulled out our blender, chopped up some red peppers I had in our fridge and then went to the pantry and grabbed a can of both black beans and stewed tomatoes. Next, it was on to adding the spices. It took me about seven tries and Lauren's assistance to get just the right "mix." I didn't want it to be super mild, but I also didn't want to have steam coming out of my ears either! After letting it chill for an hour, it was ready to serve. When we were eating this before we had the fajitas, Lauren said she liked the homemade salsa, because it sticks to the chip and doesn't drip!!  Salsa is a bit like chili, because you can turn up the "heat" if you want. Feel free to add a few drops of your favorite hot sauce to this salsa if you would like to "experiment!"


Ingredients

14.5 ounce can sliced and stewed tomatoes, undrained
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup red pepper, membrane and seeds removed, chopped
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

Put all ingredients into a blender and turn on high for 20-30 seconds (less if you want a chunkier salsa). Pour into a container or medium bowl and cover. Refrigerate for one hour. Serve with tortilla chips.  Makes three cups.

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