Roasted Salsa

July 28th, 2015

I had never tried making salsa before, and now that I have I don’t know how I’ll ever go back to store-bought. This roasted salsa recipe is phenomenal. It’s the best salsa I’ve ever had, and I’m sure the special trip I made to the farmers market for perfectly ripe tomatoes didn’t hurt. I loved that I could customize the heat level to the sweaty eyelid, drippy nose inducing level of spiciness I prefer. (Please tell me I’m not the only weirdo whose eyelids sweat while eating spicy foods.)

roasted salsa recipe

roasted salsa recipe

roasted salsa recipe

roasted salsa recipe

…and then I ate the entire bowl.

Oh, and don’t worry. The tomato cores didn’t go to waste.

roasted salsa recipe

8 tomatoes, quartered and cored
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
12 serrano peppers, caps removed
5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon salt (more or less to taste)
1 bunch cilantro, thick stems removed

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up in a baking pan or on cookie sheet with a rim (they will ooze). Arrange the garlic cloves, peppers, and onion halves (cut side up) on the pan as well.

Roast until the onion starts to look translucent and the peppers are blackening. The original recipe said this would take 30–40 minutes, but I roasted mine for 1 hour 20 minutes before the onions finally seemed translucent-ish. Then I broiled everything for another 2 minutes at the end to char the peppers a little. So, you’ll have to keep an eye on it and go by feel on the roasting time.

Once roasted, let everything cool for a few minutes and give the garlic a squeeze to peel it. Then run all that roasty goodness and the cilantro through your food processor—adding peppers and salt to taste. If you put all 12 peppers in, it will be INSANELY hot. I ended up putting in 6 or 7 peppers to achieve the medium/hot heat level I like. When the salsa was done, I processed the remaining peppers separately and set them aside for Daniel to stir into his salsa as desired. He likes it super hot, and he’s so smug about it.

Eat it up with chips, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, or whatever other salsa-friendly foods you like. You can store the salsa in the fridge for a week. I’d imagine you could freeze too, but I haven’t tried it yet myself.

This recipe makes a lot of salsa—roughly a medium sized mixing bowl full.

Adapted from One Particular Kitchen’s salsa recipe.

5 Comments

Now & Then—The Yard

July 23rd, 2015

We bought our house 7 years ago, and it was kind of a fixer upper. It wasn’t horrible, but it was outdated and the yard was a mess. A lot of my earlier blog posts documented my home improvement projects. As much work as it was fixing up the inside of the house, working on the yard has been much harder. After 6 years of slow progress there’s finally a noticeable difference between when we moved in and now, so here are some before and afters (which are really “durings”, because it’s still a work in progress).

In the beginning our front yard looked like this (below). The previous owners told us they liked it “natural”, which was code for “a wreck” and entailed plenty of poison ivy and thorny brambles that were nearly impossible to pull out by hand. We hired a guy with a bulldozer to scrape up the “natural”, and we planted grass. The grass didn’t really grow due to the dense shade, so now we have a sparse moss/weed blend that we keep mowed short to somewhat resemble grass. Whatever, it’s better than poison ivy. I’m still waiting for the rhododendrons I planted along the foundation to fill out. You’re going to fill out, right guys?

Before (2009):

front yard, curb appeal, before after

After (2015):

front yard, curb appeal, before after

A couple years ago my parents helped us rent a tiller and prepare a big garden bed along the street (documented on my Dad’s blog—pardon my suspenders). We added a fence to keep it from becoming the neighborhood dog toilet, and I’m slowly filling it with the tangle of flowers I envisioned. This summer things are finally starting to fill out nicely. My goal is not to be able to see the ground due to all the flowers. Oh, and remember those trees I mentioned we were considering removing? We did it a few weeks ago! I like it so much better without them—no regrets. It’s like our house escaped tree trunk jail.

Before (2009):

front yard, curb appeal, before after

After (2015):

front yard, curb appeal, before after

So… I got distracted by this butterfly and took a million photos of it and forgot to take anymore “afters” of the yard, but surely you got the gist of it. I love butterflies. I’m such a girl like that.

front yard, curb appeal, before after

front yard, curb appeal, before after

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Six Years of Wit & Whistle!

July 20th, 2015

Today is Wit & Whistle’s sixth birthday! The last six years have flown by, and I’ve loved every minute. To celebrate you can use the coupon code SIXYEARS to take 15% off everything in the shop through the end of the day tomorrow. Thanks a million for sticking with me all this time—your friendship and support mean the world to me!

wit & whistle anniversary

(The coupon code is only valid for purchases made on witandwhistle.com, and the offer expires on Tuesday July 21st at 11:59pm EST.)

10 Comments

Let’s Talk About Wholesale

July 17th, 2015

I know a bunch of you are fellow makers and small business owners, so let’s talk about wholesale for a minute. Do you sell your products to retailers? When I started Wit & Whistle I didn’t even consider selling wholesale, but one day a store wrote and asked for my catalog. I quickly googled “selling wholesale”, whipped up a makeshift catalog, and sent it over. Since then selling directly to stores has become a big part of my business.

I recently did an interview for One Woman Shop (along with Mei Pak and Jennifer Hill) about selling wholesale as a “solopreneur”. If you’d like to check it out, you can read the interview right here.

wit & whistle wholesale

6 Comments

Crepes

July 15th, 2015

I didn’t eat my first crepe until college, and it was one of those I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-try-this-sooner moments. If you’ve never made your own crepes, they’re really easy. My favorite crepe recipe is below. You can stuff them with whatever you like. Nutella, fruit, jams, whipped cream, ricotta…yum. Sometimes instead of stuffing them I’ll roll them up and drizzle a little maple syrup on top.

easy crepes recipe

easy crepes recipe

easy crepes recipe

1 ½ cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk in the flour, sugar, salt and melted butter until well blended.

Heat a *non-stick* crepe pan over medium heat until hot. (Really make sure it’s hot before you pour the batter in, or your first crepe will get all screwed up.) Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and tip to spread it until you have a thin, round crepe-shaped batter puddle. When bubbles form on the top and the edges are dry, flip with a large, thin spatula and cook until lightly browned on the other side and edges are golden. (Hint: flip them when they look like this.)

Repeat with remaining batter. (If you don’t want to make all the crepes at one time you can refrigerate the unused batter and cook it the next day.) Fill the crepes with your favorite fruit, cream, caramel, ice cream or cheese and eat them up. This recipe makes roughly 10-12 small crepes.

The original recipe is from allrecipes.com with a few tweaks from me.

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