Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Recycle a K-Cup

People think I'm crazy but I totally do this.  As I've said before, I drink very little coffee.  I can't say the same for my husband.  He drinks a cup every morning when he wakes up.  I am a freak about throwing things out. Not in the weirdo hoarder sense, but in the sense that I hate the idea that anything I throw into my trash receptacle goes into a giant hole in the ground.  We have limited space on this earth and it bothers the living shit out of me how so many people just throw stuff away without even the smallest attempt to recycle, reuse or re-purpose anything.

Just like when a tenant moves out of one of my rental properties, it is their duty as a renter to leave the property in the same or better condition than it was when they took possession of it; It is our responsibility as decent human beings to leave this earth in the same or better condition for our future generations.

I started breathing this planets air over 31 years ago and unfortunately, I won't be able to leave this earth in better condition.  I can do my part though.  This is one of the dumb things I do so that every stupid K-cup my husband uses.

A K-cup Deconstructed

A K-cup has 4 parts.  Sometimes 5.  

Peel off the foil.  Rinse and Recycle.  
Pour the coffee grounds into a bowl.  Reuse.*
Tear out the paper filter.  Toss it in your Compost.
You are left with the plastic cup.  Recycle.

Use these ideas at Mother Nature Network to reuse your coffee grounds.  I pour the grounds into a tall plastic cup and take it into the shower with me.  I use them to exfoliate.  They are suppose to work magic on cellulite too!  The caffeine in it is known to tighten skin, so I use them daily in the shower!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Copycat Starbucks Frappuccino ('s Sugar-Free!)

Tired of spending five freaking dollars for a damn frozen coffee?  But can't seem to perfect it at home?  I've been there.  The ice dilutes the coffee, the coffee doesn't taste right, the ratios are all wrong....yada yada yada.  I started drinking Starbucks years ago almost daily.  When I changed my diet, I was thrilled when they started making dairy-free frappuccinos.  I would drink the caramel ones until I realized the caramel drizzle (despite what one uninformed barista told me) was dairy based.  So, I started getting the cafe vanilla.  Well, that's made with syrup.  Guess what? That syrup?  Artificial crap.  So, I got a regular.  Then I found out each tall sized frappuccino has freaking 3 TABLESPOONS of SUGAR!!  Holy crap!  Wait....let me say that again....THREE FREAKING TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR!  Humor me....go get your sugar out.  Now measure three tablespoons onto a plate.  Yep...that's what you consume when you drink a single mother-lovin frappuccino.  Ugghh...  Instead, use stevia extract.  I'm not a fan of the powdered crap.  The powdered stevia has a funny taste to me.  Go buy this stuff now if you don't have it.  Either go to your local health food store or buy it here.  It's fricking amazing.  It's not cheap, but a little goes a LONG way.  So, really....that little bottle will last a LONG time!

I limit sugar in my diet and even when I do use it, it's organic sugar.  Starbucks surely isn't using that.  So, how could I make a similar frozen coffee that wasn't loaded with sugar, artificial cancer causing bullshit and didn't get watered down when I blended it?  It took a little while, but after my sister got me my mini espresso maker, I have finally made something that satisfies the occasional craving for a frozen treat.

Go buy yourself one of these high-tech el-cheapo espresso contraptions and make you one!  For a single or double shot, this little thing is amazing.  I always thought I needed some big expensive machine that took up valuable real estate on my kitchen counter to make a stupid shot of espresso.  Not true!  This handy little gadget is easy, quick and awesome.  

If you are not familiar with this thing, let me give you the quick run-through.  This picture is terrible and was taken with my phone, but bear with me. it unscrews into 3 parts.  The part on the far left you fill with water.  Then you put the middle part in and pour in your ground espresso (which is just finely ground coffee.  Go to your local grocer and in the coffee aisle they usually have a coffee grinder that you can set to 'espresso').  Screw on the top part with the handle and sit it on the stove on medium-high heat until you hear it starting to bubble out a little.  Thats it.  Turn off heat and you're done!

The water steams up through the grounds and ends up as espresso in the top of your handy little thingamabob.

Sugar-Free Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino

1/2 c espresso, fresh and then cooled to room temperature
1/2 c non-dairy vanilla creamer (or use another flavor!  Regular?  Hazelnut? Whatever strikes your fancy!)
3/4 c ice
4 drops liquid stevia extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)

Blend and you are done!  You can top with a non-dairy whip cream and a caramel drizzle if you want to make it even more unhealthy, lol.  (But sooooo good!!)  See recipe below.

Caramel Drizzle Syrup
The caramel sauce recipe is perfect as a coffee or ice cream topping!  Considering this is far from healthy due to the high sugar content, just use the damn vegan butter too.  Don't eat a lot of this at once!

2 Tbsp vegan butter (optional)
1 c organic brown sugar
1/2 c non-dairy creamer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Do not scorch.  When butter is melted, add the brown sugar and non-dairy creamer.  Whisk slowly for 5 minutes.  If mixture starts to bubble too much, turn heat to medium-low.  Sugar gets HOT when heated, so don't let it bubble up and splash you!  After 5 minutes, add the vanilla and stir to incorporate.  Remove from heat.  Mixture will thicken as it sits.  Pour into a re-purposed plastic squeeze bottle when cool and keep in the fridge.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What am I? Chopped Liver?

No!  Not chopped liver, a nice healthy liver!  Well, a nice one that takes some minor abuse but a healthy one that bounces back stronger each time!  

A reader asks: "...I was wondering if you had any ideas (or can point me in the right direction) on how to cleanse and detox your liver?"

I drink.  And when I say I drink, I mean a weekend is not a weekend unless margaritas are involved.  ;)  That said, I am VERY careful about what things I put into my body to 'counter-balance' the minor harm a Saturday night may cause.  Is it the healthiest option I could make?  Hell no; but here is a short list of things I do to keep my liver functioning properly.

1.  Juice leafy greens (mixed with fruits to make it palatable).   Kale is among my favorite.  See the recipe below for Liver Detox Juice which consists of fruits and veggies known for being nice to the liver.

2.  Green smoothies.  Instead of juicing, you can throw a bunch of crap in a blender and voila!  Instant healthy goodness!  (see my favorite green smoothie recipe below that incorporates baby kale, an uber-healthy addition that your liver will love!)

2.  Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeine at least mostly.  Alcohol and caffeine are both rough on the liver.  Since I have chosen my poison, I avoid the other...mostly.  I choose organic margaritas and wine, so I drink very little caffeine.  

3.  Take raw garlic.  This is Uh-mazing stuff.  It does wonders for your immune system, your liver and tons of other areas of your body.  To take raw garlic, chop up a raw clove into pill-size pieces.  Swallow like a pill.  Do it several times daily!

4.  Dry Brush.  Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which can increase the ability for the liver to cleanse itself.  First, you purchase a dry skin brush and each morning, first thing after rolling out of bed, dry brush.  The rule of thumb is to start at your feet and brush your whole entire body in upward or circular motions towards the heart.  

5.  Milk Thistle.  You can purchase Milk Thistle extract at your local health food store or online.  Follow the recommended dosing instructions on the bottle.  Milk Thistle is a miracle liver formula.  Made from the thistle of a flowering plant in the daisy family, it is not made of dairy like many would assume.  It is a well known liver detoxifier.

6.  Turmeric.  Again, like garlic, another SUPERfood!  Turmeric will benefit you in a million ways and cleansing your liver is just one of them.  Sprinkle is on freshly popped popcorn, put it in hummus, add it to sauces and smoothies, sprinkle it on edamame...just consume it however you must!  Remember: nutrients and such are better when they come straight from the source...not from over produced supplements.  You can also buy turmeric root at an Indian store or a health food store and juice it!

Megan's Favorite Green Smoothie

1 medium organic  banana
2 handfuls organic baby kale
1 Tbsp flax oil
1 Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 drops stevia extract
dash cinnamon
dash turmeric

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high for about 20-30 seconds until smooth.

Liver Detox Juice (use organic ingredients)

1 grapefruit (peel removed)
1 beet
1 carrot
1 apple
1/2 bunch kale
1/4 lemon (peel also)

Juice all ingredients together.  Stir and enjoy.  To boost the liver cleansing abilities of this juice, add in the recommended dose of milk thistle extract.

Monday, May 20, 2013

You put the lime in the...

...Bowl of raw fish?  Save the coconut for a pina coloda and whip up some ceviche!  Nothin says Summer Lovin like ceviche served up alongside avocado slices, crispy tortilla chips and a big ol' margarita!

Many people I know are weirded out by the process of making ceviche, since, well, you don't heat the fish to cook it.  In actuality, the acidity of the lime juice prevents bacterial growth and also denatures the proteins in the fish, just as heat does when cooking fish.  It is then, essentially, 'cooked'.  But, its not.  Get it?  Good.  If you are unfamiliar with ceviche, it is definitely a crowd pleaser and one of the best dishes I can think of to serve on a hot summer day by the pool.  You can serve it with chips, stuffed into the hollow pit in an avocado half, in a margarita can even throw in a splash of tequila (organic of course!) and mix it up.

If you serve it with chips, and you have not tried Xochitl chips yet....splurge.  I bought these at Whole Foods years ago for $6 a damn bag.  I was HOOKED.  Better than any chips I've had in a Mexican restaurant.  Thin, crispy and they have an organic variety!  They now sell them at my local grocer for under $4 a bag.  They are the only chips I will buy and everyone who tries them  can't believe how good they are.  Trust me.  Splurge.  If you can't find them at your local store, don't fret!  Amazon and other online retailers sell them.

**See note below for a vegetarian version!

Summer Lovin' Ceviche
Makes enough for an appetizer for 6-8 people

1 1/2lb your choice mix of shrimp (peeled & deveined), scallops, cubed halibut or cubed sea bass.
Juice of 8 limes
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 c seeded, peeled and diced cucumber
2 green onions, diced (white and green parts)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalapeƱo, diced
generous pinch salt
generous pinch pepper
small pinch sugar

Put seafood into a shallow bowl.  Pour lime juice over and add remaining ingredients.  Toss together, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, stirring occasionally so that all of the seafood gets coated and 'cooks'.  Serve cold with a slotted spoon to lightly drain the juice off.  If not serving all of it at once, keep the remaining ceviche stored in the juice in the fridge.

**Note: Oh yeah....this recipe is also naturally Gluten-Free and if you are vegetarian, I am that covered too!  Just substitute roughly chopped oyster mushrooms and add a dash of black Hawaiian salt.  The oyster mushrooms have a briny flavor, much like seafood and the black Hawaiian salt has a little ocean-y flavor.  Just a dash so it doesn't overpower.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gluten-Free Chinese Stir Fry Noodles

Another happy mistake while not even trying!  While sitting at my computer thinking 'Oh shit, it's dinner time and I have a hungry family waiting', the angels in heaven made a post appear on Facebook that said 'Make this for dinner tonight!'.  It called the picture Moo Shu something.  I looked at the image and thought, I have broccoli, snap peas, carrots and noodles....Stir Fry it is!  That turned into my rummaging in the pantry for the right noodles.  I came up with some Gluten Free (quinoa based) noodles and though I assumed my husband would ream my ass for using them, I did anyways.  This was, anyhow, a 'thrown-together' meal.  When I stood up with my noodles, low and behold there was a can of water chestnuts!  Hallelujah!  And in my fridge, a block of Firm Tofu!  This meal was looking up already, even if I had to use Gluten Free noodles because I didn't have any Chinese ones or time to make rice! (My husband would have preferred white rice...but I won't make that crap...I love my GF noodles!)

Read the entire recipe through before attempting.  It uses 3 freaking separate pots/pans on the stove...but its easy...I promise!

Gluten-Free Chinese Stir Fry Noodles

2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided (I use peanut or sesame when cooking asian meals)
1 16oz block Firm or Super Firm tofu (Not Silken)
1 package Gluten-Free spaghetti or linguine style noodles (I like Ancient Harvest Quinoa Noodles)
1 1/2 c shredded carrots
1 1/2 c chopped broccoli (frozen is fine)
1 1/2 c sugar snap peas (frozen is fine)
2 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos or GF tamari (or other GF natural soy sauce)
1/4-1/3 c hoisin sauce, + 1 Tbsp
1 tsp or more to taste Sriracha sauce (optional)
1 can sliced water chestnuts
salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet (I prefer cast iron when pan frying really works best!) over medium-high heat.  Cube tofu into bite size chunks.  When oil is hot, toss in tofu.  To make tofu the right consistency  this can take up to 15 minutes or more.  After tofu has just started to lightly brown, add the 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce to it and toss the tofu with it.  The hoisin sauce creates the dark glaze on the outside and helps the tofu keep that look and consistency we want.  Cook until tofu is browned on all sides, then turn off heat.

While tofu is cooking, bring water in a large pan or spaghetti pot to a boil.  When water begins to boil, toss it in.  You can salt the water a bit if you like and toss in a dash of oil to help the noodles separate.  Cook the noodles until they are al dente.  GF noodles can be tricky.  I promise they can taste delicious!  Don't read the box instructions...just cook until they appear soft.  Take out a noodle and try it.  Noodle should be soft but just a little firm.  When it is, drain and rinse with cool water.  Set aside.

Heat last Tbsp of oil in a wok on medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, toss in your broccoli, carrots and snap peas.  Stir fry a few minutes until veggies begin to soften.  Toss in the Braggs, the 1/4 c hoisin sauce and the sriracha if using.  Toss together for just a minute.  Add water chestnuts and noodles.  Stir fry and toss to coat.  If you need more hoisin, add a little more at a time.  Toss in tofu at the end, mix until all noodles, veggies and tofu are coated and remove from heat.  Serve immediately 

Note* While I really do love these noodles, they are best when eaten soon after cooking.

Since I was not anticipating adding this recipe because it was thrown together, this is the best photo you are getting!  ;)

Friday, May 10, 2013

45 Uses for Tea Tree Oil - A Must-Have for your medicine cabinet!

Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is the oil extracted from the Melaleuca tree.  It has a similar smell to Eucalyptus oil.   Hands down, this shit works better than any prescription medication or other over the counter junk you can buy.  My daughter was 4 years old when she had what appeared to be a pimple on her cheek.  I gently popped it, cleaned it and she went to bed.  The next day it was a cluster.  Holy crap.  I had popped a wart and now it had spread.  Determined not to use chemicals, I tried a week of blotting it with cotton balls drenched in warm salt water.  I tried a week of apple cider vinegar.  I tried about a dozen other remedies and my efforts were going nowhere fast.  Then, I tried tea tree oil.  I broke the head of it a little bit and applied tea tree oil, hoping for the best.  This was my first real experience with this miraculous stuff.  The next day it was bigger.  I freaked out, but applied more.  Every morning and night I would apply it with a cotton swab.  If it looked like it had a head, I would pop the tip of it to allow the tea tree oil to really go to work.  It got bigger for about 2 days, then it started shrinking.  Quickly.  In less then a week it was gone.  Completely.

On another occasion  my mom had basal cell carcinoma.  AKA: skin cancer.  She had a few spots removed and months later another spot appeared.  I told her about tea tree oil.  She used it daily and by the time she got to the doctor it had shrunk to almost nothing.  It was removed and the biopsy showed that is was also cancer.  Since basal cell carcinoma stays skin deep and doesn't spread within, is it possible she could have gotten rid of it altogether?  We will never know.  

Exhibit Three: A pedicure about a year ago left me with a gross toenail fungus.  Fricking gross.  I had never had a fungus of the nail before and I was horrified and repulsed.  It was so bad that the nail had thickened and was pulling away from the skin.  Finally, I started putting tea tree oil on it.  Straight from the bottle, Id put a few drops into the 'space' between my gross ass toenail and my toe, hoping it would really get in there and take care of it.  It did.  After weeks of dealing with a nasty ass fungus, it only took 3 days for my toenail to completely and painlessly fall off and a new un-fungi-fied nail to grow in its place.  Hallelujah!  

If this hasn't convinced you, try it yourself.  It is beyond amazing.  It is antiseptic, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory  antiviral and antibacterial.  In one word, it is:  Amazing.  

30 Uses for Tea Tree Oil Used Topically

1. Warts
2. Acne
3. Nail fungus
4. Lice
5. Athlete's Foot
6. Ringworm
7. Scabies
8. Mites
9. Dermatophytes
10. Jock Itch
11. Candidiasis
12.  Boils
13. Shingles
14. Thrush
15. Chicken Pox
16. Herpes
17. Cold Sores
18. Burns
19. Regenerates Scar Tissue
20. Diaper Rash 
21. Insect Bites
22. Chicken Pox
23. Rash
24. Wounds
25. Radiation Burns
26. Eczema
27. Ingrown hairs
28. Dandruff
29. Blisters
30. Razor burn 

15 Other Great Uses for this Miracle in a Bottle

1. Add a few drops to shampoo for dry scalp, fear of lice, etc.
2.  Add a few drops to dog shampoo to stave off fleas!
3.  Put a few drops in a pot of boiling water and inhale to clear sinuses 
4. Diluted doses can be used in fish aquariums to treat bacterial and fungal infections.
5. Add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion
6. Add a couple of drops to your laundry washer to make germs disappear.
7. Add several drops to a bath for body odor
8. Put a couple of teaspoons into a water bottle filled with filtered water for an all purpose cleaner
9. The same above solution can be used as an insect repellent.
10. Add a drop to your dishwasher detergent dispenser for a super germ free dish load.
11.Add a drop to your toothpaste
12. Add a few drops to a cup of water to use as a mouthwash.  Make sure to spit it out.  Do not swallow.
13.Mix a few drops with Vitamin E or Aloe and apply to a sunburn.
14. Apply a couple of drops to a tick to remove.
15. Add a few drops to a small spray bottle plus a drop or 2 of lavender oil for a yoga mat cleaner.

A highly reccommended brand of essential oils is DoTerra.  Check them out if you haven't yet.  =)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Girl Talk

Looking to make your lady bits a little more luscious?   Everything we eat has a direct effect on our health, our looks, our tastes, etc.  From armpit sweat to poo, every smell can be related to what we shove into our faces.  But for now, lets talk Girl Talk.  Boys, go away and chase a car or something.

So, ladies, proud owners of the punanis, how does it happen?  What can you do to make your 'juice box' more juicy?  I'll tell you!

Here's the scoop.  Everything you put between those lips of yours (no.....not those lips...silly! the lips on your face!) and swallow is digested.  What we digest is absorbed into the intestinal walls and carried into the bloodstream where the molecules of the food that we ate end up all over our bodies, in sweat glands, secretions, etc.  What we ingest can negatively or positively effect the smells and tastes of those glands and secretions.  

So what foods may give you a vile vagina?  Onions, garlic, red meat and dairy are among the worst offenders.  Want your meat flaps to smell like well, meat?  By all means, keep shoveling bacon into your face and we'll keep the fishy jokes flying in your general direction!  Phew!  Are you smuggling a fish market in your pants or did you just over consume a rump roast?  No one wants a stinky snatch.  Furthermore, no man  (or woman...) wants to stick his face anywhere near your junk if it stinks of week old fish.

What foods can make your lady-bits smell and taste like dessert?  Glad you asked!  Recently made famous by the Kim and Kourtney's pineapple binge on their stupidly famous reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, (I'm a closet fan myself, bleh!), pineapple juice ranks at the top of the list for a smooch-worthy cooch.  They actually went on a pineapple juice binge, consuming as much of the stuff as they could for days, went to wipe their naughty bits with a towel and their disgustingly willing sister, Khloe actually did the official sniff test.  F*ing gross if you ask me.  The day I ask my sister to sniff my snatch will be a cold day in hell.  I digress....Anyhow, a little lesser known fruit known for helping jazz up your juice box is the cranberry.  While most of us are aware of the great benefits cranberries have for urinary tract infections and other issues like that for the area 'down there', few are aware that cranberries are also number two on the list for a heavenly hoo-ha.  Fruits in general, thanks to their sweetness, can in turn, make you smell and taste sweet too.  

So, there you have it.  Fruits = sweet and succulent.  Meats = well, lets think of it this way....the meat you consume...err....even better....the dead animal you consume is cooked, eaten, and digested.  Any idea what rotting meat smells like?  Well, your stomach ain't no freezer!  Yes, that meat you cooked and ate is now digesting, aka rotting, in your belly and what little nutrients it had (assuming you are eating conventional crap) are being absorbed into your bloodstream and the faint smell of it is being excreted by your body.  AKA: Yo vag is stank!

Lesson: Eat more fruit.  And: Eat less meat and maybe someone will eat yours.  ;)

Did I prepare a recipe for this occasion?  You bet your sweet smelling ass I did!  I call it Vagilicious!

Vagilicious Juice!

1/2 pineapple
1 C cranberries

Juice.  Yum.  Your vagina will thank you.

Did I end up using all my vag euphemisms   I think so.  Wait!  Pink Taco.  Beaver.  Moose Knuckle.  Pipe Cleaner.  Ok...whew!... I'm done.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! (belated!)

Stupid Sundays. If ever there is a holiday that revolves around gorging yourself on Mexican food and guzzling margaritas, it does not belong on a freaking Sunday.

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. In fact, it is not even a national holiday. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Mexico May 4th 2 years ago, eager beaver to partake in some authentic Mexican parades and parties, preparing myself for the likely inevitable event that I would end up drunk off tequila in the streets of Puerto Vallarta and have to be carried home, only to find out that the people there could care less about it. How I wanted to party and celebrate Cinco de Mayo the right way! Nope. Not even a mention. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico is like any other day. Banks and schools are still open. There are no giant raves or street parades. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Cinco de Mayo is simply the day way back when that Mexico won the Battle of Puebla. Supposedly the state of Puebla celebrates this otherwise insignificant holiday, but I'll believe it when I see it. That's when I realized how creative and desperate for excuses to party America is. Really? We celebrate a Mexican battle that had nothing to do with us, and we celebrate it with more gusto than even the Mexicans in Mexico!! Then I started thinking, why in the hell don't we celebrate the Zanzibar Revolution? In Tanzania, it's at least a national holiday. Or better yet, why don't Americans without Asian decent celebrate the Lunar New Year? Now that's a damn celebration in the Chinese community, and its a real holiday! From now on I'm going all out for that. Dancing in the streets, dragons, parades, Asian cuisine, lanterns, sake....that's my kind of party! 

It is it because of the tequila?   Is it because 'Cinco de Mayo' runs off the tongue so smoothly? Who knows. Somehow. Someway. The unpopular Mexican holiday has overtaken America with overflowing margaritas and bountiful bowls of chips and salsa that is also very unauthentic to at least the Mexican culture that I have experienced in my 4 trips there to 3 completely different parts of the country.

In Mexico playing with baby tigers!  Cinco de Mayo 2012! Mexico. I'm just showing off.  I'll stop.  ;)

All in all, I'm not complaining. An excuse to party is an excuse to party. :)

To celebrate, I'll be doing the same thing as the rest of American: emptying margarita glasses into my gullet and devouring tomatoes, tortillas, jalapeƱos, onions and garlic in a variety of different dishes that despite the overuse of the same ingredients, taste distinctly different from the next.

Before I divulge my new recipe for salsa, let me say that in my trips to Mexico, I have never had salsa. There is a big difference in what is traditionally placed on your table at a Mexican restaurant in America and what is served as your appetizer in Mexico. In Mexico, they don't serve salsa. It's pico. Pico de gallo is served with thicker freshly fried chips. Everywhere.  In America, for some reason we serve a thinner salsa with thin crispy chips. I love both versions. Pico I have made a number of times. The salsa served in restaurants here, has been a challenge. I have tried tons of times to create the right recipe but never quite got it. I was determined to use only 100% fresh ingredients. Finally, I gave in. Reluctantly, I made salsa using canned tomatoes. The result? Damn near perfect. Sonofabitch!  I was thrilled to finally have made a restaurant quality salsa but was so upset that it was only because of the stupid canned tomatoes. (Now I need to learn to can my own tomatoes!).

Here's the recipe, plus 2 recipes for margaritas I'll be pouring into my piehole tonight.

Restaurant Quality Salsa
If you like more heat, add more jalapeno, or add habanero!  This is a fairly mild salsa, but as my husband (a self proclaimed hot pepper connoisseur, has noticed, jalapenos vary tremendously in heat.  While generally considered mild, we have come across plenty that have been as hot as habaneros.  Make the recipe as it is below, taste and if you need it hotter, just add more in.)

1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1/3 onion (use yellow or red, whichever you have on hand)
1 large garlic clove
1/2 jalapeno
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 c cilantro (stems and all...just pack it into a 1/2 cup)
1/2-1 tsp salt (to taste)
pinch sugar

Process all in a food processor.  Start by only using 1/2 jalapeno and 1/2 tsp salt.  Add more as needed.

Frozen Mango Margarita
Serves 2
1 mango, peeled and flesh cut from pit
Juice of 2 limes
3 drops liquid stevia extract
2 c ice
3/4 c organic tequila

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Serve in a glass rimmed with smoked salt.

Knock Your Socks Off Margarita on the Rocks
Serves 2.  This makes a small sipping drink, so choose glasses that are relatively small.

1 Lime
1 shot Cointreau
2 shots organic tequila
4 drops liquid stevia extract
pink Himalayan sea salt

Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of each glass.  Rim each glass in salt.  Cut the lime in half and cut each half into 4 wedges.  Place 4 wedges in each glass with 1/2 shot Cointreau in each and muddle.  Top with several ice cubes and pour 1 shot tequila and 2 drops each stevia into each glass.  Stir lightly.  Bottoms up!