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Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Fresh Start

While I have chosen not to make resolutions this year, I cannot say the same of my daughter.  Kate informed me the other day that her new year's resolution was to eat healthier.  Now there's a resolution I can get my arms around.  You go girl!

Kate eats constantly.  She eats her meals and pretty much immediately needs a snack.  She's a good eater and has never been picky.  She likes fruits and vegetables but Kate also loves candy.  And her snack of choice would always be candy if I allowed it.  The resolution plan, she told me, was to cut back on the candy and sweets and "add more of the good stuff".

So, I started thinking about what I could keep around the house so that she could make better snack choices.  (Even if I'm an unsuccessful resolution keeper, there's no reason she should be one too.)  For starters, we need to ditch all the leftover candy hanging around the house from the holidays.  Done.

Next I need to get the right stuff into the house so there are good choices easily available.  I always have fruits and vegetables, but, let's face it, a carrot isn't all that thrilling.  So, what can we do to a carrot  (besides dipping it in a gooey sour cream concoction) that will make it more "exciting"?

Salsa.  Not just the crappy stuff from the grocery store, but really good homemade salsa.  Now we're talking.  Tomatoes, cilantro, peppers.   And the nice thing about making your own salsa is that you can control the heat.  Kate doesn't really go for the super hot so I can put some in a container for her and then add more peppers and have some for Ted and me.

Homemade salsa with fresh veggies or homemade tortilla chips sounds like a good start to 2011 to me.

Quick Homemade Salsa


4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let the salsa sit, covered, in the refrigerator, for an hour or so before serving so the flavors can blend.

Homemade Tortilla Chips


12 6-inch white corn tortillas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Brush both sides of the tortillas with the vegetable oil.  Stack the tortillas and cut the pile into sixths.  Spread the chips out in a single layer on one or two baking sheets and sprinkle with the salt.  Bake until golden brown, turning once, about 15 minutes.

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