If you can’t find it, make it

So yay! I’ve resolved to go back in time by about 10 years and start using Photobucket again. I cry. Basically, I can’t figure out if it’s WordPress or my browser that’s having issues. No more captions! Yikes!


Well, since moving to Albany, I’ve been, well, disillusioned when it comes to the array of food these people eat. Allow me to illustrate: One of my friends is trying to start up a bakery here, and she’s really into being healthy and fit, and eating things that are light and delicious. However, to make her food marketable, she’s said that she needs to make heavier, not-healthier, super-sized goodies like brownies, heavy cakes and breads, and biscotti. So much for lowcal!

I’m not so concerned with that (although I AM concerned about the lack of good coffee around here), as much as I’m concerned about the serious…SERIOUS lack of Mexican food.

Not that Portland is the epicenter of Mexican food, but there are at least carts and options and stuff! So far, I’ve been to two Mexican restaurants, one was pretty good, and the other was DREADFUL…I should have listened to my friends when they said that the further you go from the border, the worse the Mexican food gets. I’ve even been to several grocery stores looking simply for CORN TORTILLAS. Seriously! What gives!

In any case, I’ve sort of realized that if I want good Mexican, I’m just going to have to make it myself. Including some delicious salsa.

A few weeks ago, I went to a friend’s house for a movie night, and I brought some. It was definitely a hit. I made two kinds: mango salsa and salsa de nopal. They both went FAST.

Anyway, here’s how to make YOUR own, if you want something delicious to go with your chips. This is what I call the “base” recipe, which is great on its own, and if you want, you can add other things like the mango or fresh nopal cactus (despining is a pain, but it tastes so much better than the jarred stuff). Also, this will make a big, party-sized batch.

Elle’s Pico de Gallo (base/party-sized)

6-7 Tomatoes (if they’re out of season, buy small, cherry or grape tomatoes for better flavor concentration)
1 White onion
1 Bunch of cilantro
4 Fresh serrano chilies
1 Fresh lime
4 Cloves of fresh garlic
Chili powder to flavor
Salt, onion powder, garlic salt to flavor

This couldn’t get easier. Really! Dice the tomatoes and onion, and place in large mixing bowl. Coarsely chop cilantro, add to bowl. Chop the serrano chilies (avoid putting seeds in the mix, unless you like it extra spicy), and mix in bowl. Squeeze lime juice in mixture, and press garlic cloves in, too. You might notice that the mixture is a bit bland. Not to worry! Add a good amount of chili powder (depending on how much heat you like–I like lots!) and salt, and then add onion powder and garlic salt until your perfect flavor is acheived. Now that you have the base, you can divide it in bowls and add things like cubed mango or de-spined nopal for a real treat!

My next cuilinary adventure? Making guacamole for one, without sour cream and without using salsa (and this was probably the best guac I’ve made in a while).

Elle’s Guacamole por Uno

1 Ripe avocado
1/3 Fresh lime
1/8 White onion
1 Clove of garlic
Chili powder to flavor

Mash avocado meat and a dash of salt in bowl with a fork until it’s coarse. Squeeze lime juice over mash (adds flavor, and prevents oxidation). Coarsly chop onion, and mix in with avocado. Press in garlic. Mix in chili powder until it acheives the heat you’d like.

Sorry I don’t have guacamole photos…I devoured it before I could take out the camera.

Bon appetit!!


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

One thought on “If you can’t find it, make it”

  1. Guacamole recipes sounds awesome! I LOVE guacamole but generally have to avoid it because of the sour cream (don’t *do* dairy). So thank you thank you for an easy do-it-yourself version – off to hunt down avocados tomorrow!


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