Did everybody have a good Easter weekend?! The real question: is everybody still full from Easter dinner with a candy hangover from the weekend like me? Philip and I made the trip down to Peoria, Illinois, to be with his family for the weekend and I can honestly say I got my fill of candy over the weekend. It actually started last weekend when my parents came to visit us and brought me, among other candy, a 5-pound bag of Starburst Jellybeans (my absolute favorite since high school)…talk about sugar overload! I’ve been doing well to limit myself, though, and haven’t even made it to the jellybeans yet. You know what I say—everything in moderation! It’s not everyday I get pastel colored M&Ms, malted milk ball eggs, and jellybeans galore.
Besides the candy, I had such a fun weekend! Peoria is not only where my in-laws live, but also where I did my internship and met my husband (still holding out for the perfect time to tell you about that one), so it’s near and dear to my heart. I think I saw Philip’s parents during the year of my internship more than Philip himself, so I always love coming back to see them, too.
Plus, the weather was absolutely gorgeous! With the sun shining without a cloud in the sky on both Saturday and Sunday, it was just what I needed to feel like it was finally spring. On Saturday, I made it outside for a good, long run at a trail I used to visit frequently that’s shaded with an awning of trees. It was my first time running outside for the season and it felt great! I’m a wimp and hibernate on the gym’s treadmills all winter long when it gets even remotely cold outside, so I had somewhat forgotten how much more I like running outside. Not to mention, Philip joined me for the first stretch of my run, which made it that much more enjoyable.
My day was already off to a great start after my refreshing run, but it just kept getting better. Right after my run (literally 5 minutes later), I met up with two really close friends I met through my internship at a local coffee bakery and chatted it up with them about practically everything in life while sipping on coffee. There’s something to be said about really great friendships.
The rest of the day was just as enjoyable and relaxing. With the weather picture perfect, the fam all enjoyed sitting out on Philip’s parents’ patio, soaking up the sun. After the long winter and not being able to be in the sun for months, I was totally okay that my face and arms got a little pink from “all” the sun…that being only a couple hours worth. Gotta love being a fair-skinned redhead!
We’re a rebel of a family and had Easter dinner on Saturday (gasp!). It worked out perfectly, though, so that everybody could hit the road on Sunday at a decent time. And boy, was dinner good! I’m glad I didn’t have to wait until Sunday to have it. Philip’s dad cooked up an extra tender and flavorful beef tenderloin that could be cut with a butter knife. #nomnom I was so excited to eat this meal that I forgot to take a picture of it for you guys, but just trust me—it was good! We all declared it was “blog worthy”. I may just have to ask Philip’s dad to make it again for a guest blog post…as long as he’s paying for the meat and I get to have a taste again. :)
On Sunday, we enjoyed a great message from Philip’s dad at the church he pastors (which is also where I first met them when I was living in Peoria), ate a light lunch (including several more malted milk ball eggs), and was off on the road again by the afternoon. Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend!
And now it’s back to the daily grind of work and everyday life…which somehow seems a little bit better now that the weather has turned itself around a bit. Although I debated showing you another favorite dessert of mine today, I knew that if you were anything like me this weekend, you’d be ready for something not so sugary. So, I thought it was time to release to you a healthy snack to get back on track—Fresh Salsa!
I know it’s a little early for the tomatoes and green peppers to be in season in the Midwest (okay, so a lot early!), but this way you’ll have it in your back pocket for when your tomato plants start to produce fruit this summer. And in this modern age we live in, it’s not like we can’t just go buy some tomatoes, onions, and green pepper from the grocery store if you’re like me and just can’t wait ‘til summer for fresh salsa.
I absolutely love fresh salsa. It’s a snack you can feel good about eating. Fresh salsa is just loaded with vegetables, making it a low-calorie, nutrient dense option that fills you up—volumetric eating at it’s finest. Not to mention, it’s delicious—double win! Pair it with whole grain tortilla chips, and you’ve got yourself a great snack.
Salsa you buy from the grocery store can still be good, but it just can’t compete with fresh. Plus, canned salsa almost always has salt added to it, which we want to try to limit where we can. And, unlike canned salsa, by not heating up the salsa in fresh, all the nutrients are preserved and not lost during the heating and canning process.
If I haven’t convinced you enough already, fresh salsa is also a snap to make! Oh yeah, and it can be tailored to exactly how you like your salsa. Want it spicier? Feel free to throw in an additional jalapeño. Like it extra limey like my husband? Squeeze in another tablespoon of lime juice. The sky is the limit! The recipe I’m giving you is what Philip and I really enjoy; we think the ratio is juuuust right. The lime and cilantro really give this recipe the pop of freshness it needs (just like my favorite enchiladas!) and combines well with all the other ingredients.
Here’s the colorful line up (minus the jalapeño, which I forgot to add). Not too many ingredients and certainly nothing you can’t easily find at the grocery store. Just what I love!
You definitely don’t have to have a food processor to make this salsa, but it certainly makes it go a lot faster! A few pulses for each ingredient, and you have yourself some salsa. It’s best if it sits for at least a few hours in order for the flavors to combine and get happy together.
Doesn’t it look so bright and pretty? Who could resist. It makes quite a bit, so it’s perfect for a group, but it also lasts for quiet a few days in the fridge—and trust me, it won’t last long!
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 large Roma tomatoes (or 3 small tomatoes)
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 small red onion (1/2 of medium)
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and deveined
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Juice of one lime (~1/4 cup)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel garlic and mince in food processor (about 15 seconds).
- Cut tomatoes, pepper, and onion into large, unified chunks. Add tomatoes to food processor and give 6-8 pulses, depending on desired consistency. Empty tomatoes and garlic into a large serving bowl.
- Put the pepper in the food processor and give 8-9 pulses and empty to the serving bowl. Do the same for the onion and jalapeño and add them to the bowl.
- Remove the cilantro leaves from their stems and chop in the food processor (about 10 pulses) until finely chopped.
- Add lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper into the bowl; stir.
- Let salsa rest for at least an hour for the flavors to combine.