Tag Archives: spice

{Spicy} Homemade Salsa

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The definition of spicy equates to flavored with or fragrant with spice. Isn’t there just a ton of spice in life everyday? Throughout our lives we can have pretty bland, boring days sometimes, but other times the day can be packed full of colorful, lively, exciting events that make the day seem “spicy” in a way. 

Lately I have begun to notice how I react to those hot, pungent moments in life and how it affects my mood. I see others around me and the amount of strength and courage that they put forth as they encounter immense struggles. I find that understanding the struggles of others has helped me to grasp the sheer power of how your mindset affects your attitude and ability to push forward in life. 

Life can really toss your some crazy curveballs, but having a positive outlook during those times of struggle can totally change the whole ballgame. 

This salsa recipe mimics that mentality. You can add just as much heat as you want, the more heat you add, the spicier it gets. It’s all about how much you put forth. If you put forth a positive attitude, you will get more out of life. If you don’t put in the time, effort, or power, your life may just be a little more bland. And if you walk around with a negative attitude and your head hung low, your life with carry that same persona. 

This recipe is the perfect combination of all your favorite garden produce and it can be savored all year long with the right canning process. So stay positive, add some spice to your life, and make the salsa….you won’t be disappointed. 

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Homemade Salsa

INGREDIENTS
12 c. tomatoes, diced, not peeled
2 c. onions, diced
1 c. green pepper
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded or unseeded
1 6 oz. tomato paste

SEASONINGS
1/3 c. vinegar
1/2. t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. black pepper
2 T. salt
1/2 t. basil leaves
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder

GUIDANCE

Put tomatoes in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a slow boil for 1 hour. Add seasonings and simmer at a low boil for 1/2 hour. Add onions and peppers and simmer for 15 minutes, add tomato paste and simmer for 15 minutes more. Process for 15 minutes in hot water bath. 

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As a new parent, patience has become a virtue that commands my full attention. Gone are the days of worrying only about myself, sleeping in, or making an outing without sippy cups and toys. Learning to be patient with my toddler and myself has been a new undertaking.

Parents today often feel it’s their responsibility to live up to a certain standard or set of rules. Your child should sleep at this time, wean off the bottle now, learn new things at certain times. When in the end, each child learns at their own speed. I struggled with learning to be patient with this mentality. I saw other’s children meeting milestones, while we were still climbing an up and down battle with certain things. Learning to be patient in these instances offered a great peace of mind for me. 

So how do I find patience? Look for the bigger picture. Being a parent is hard, but it’s a journey that you have to discover for yourself and it is not a straight path. That’s what makes parenting so interesting, each day is a new adventure. Sometimes it’s an adventure that makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs, but hence still an adventure.

Incorporating self care into my regime helped to strengthen my patience. For me, cooking has been a nice escape that helps ground me. Baking these bagels also incorporated new techniques in patience building. These bagels are the perfect combination of comfort and autumn all baked into one. Baking any type of bread has always been a struggle for me, because I am often too impatient to wait for my bread to rise! But with these bagels it was worth the wait. 

At the end of the day, being a parent is an epic journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything. If anything it has made me stronger and evoked a new mindset on how I see the world. My patience level has definitely gone up. So the next time you need to wait in that long line at the grocery store with your screaming child, just think about how much patience you are gaining in the long run. 

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Pumpkin Spice Bagels

INGREDIENTS
2 t. active dry yeast
2 T. sugar
1 1/4 c. water {you may need 1/4 c. more}
3 1/2 c. bread flour {extra flour for kneading}
1 1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. cloves
cinnamon-sugar {optional}

GUIDANCE
In 1/2 c. warm water (70-80 degrees) pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir the mixture until all sugar and yeast is dissolved into water. Mix the flour, salt, and spices. Make a well in the middle and pour in the sugar/yeast mixture. Pour in 1/3 c. water and pumpkin puree. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. You are looking for a moist, firm dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Place dough into a bowl that has been brushed with oil. Cover with a damp dish towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. 

Dive the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll on your countertop to smooth the edges. Coat a finger in flour and press your finger into the center to make the bagel hole. Use a circular motion to create a larger hole. Place on an oiled baking sheet and let rest for 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place bagel dough into the boiling water for 2 minutes on each side. After done boiling, sprinkle each bagel with cinnamon and sugar. Bake bagels for 20 minutes, until golden brown. 

Makes 8 bagels

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