Susie finding treasures
Susie and Mom check on treasures
Patty and Courtney have a glass of wine
Mom in the kitchen with unpacked treasures
ed mccartan paintings
ed mccartan painting
Courtney and grandma have a moment
Leksy shows off her ring with Kelly
Pico de Gallo is a no-cook salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, chile pepper and lime juice. This chunky salsa is delicious with tortilla chips, or as a topping on fish, meat or poultry.
On my recent trip to Mexico, I tried freshly made pico de gallo for the first time ever and fell in love with the bright flavours.
Previously, my only experience with this salsa was the soggy store-bought stuff, which explains why I didn’t think it was anything special. It’s meant to be an uncooked salsa, but of course, anything sold in a jar has to be processed for canning (and sometimes contains preservatives too), so the flavour just isn’t the same.
In order for this fresh tomato salsa to shine it needs to be made with fresh ingredients. Then it becomes a symphony of fresh, bright and juicy flavours! Luckily, it’s also a cinch to make so you’ll never be tempted by the bottled stuff for the sake of convenience.
My easy pico de gallo recipe requires throwing a handful of ingredients into a large bowl and stirring. That’s it!
The hardest part of the recipe is the chopping, which honestly doesn’t take long and if your pieces aren’t all the same size, it doesn’t matter. It will still be delicious and full of fresh flavour!
The snack bar at the resort served their pico de gallo with tortilla chips and guacamole, but I’ve found that it’s also tasty with tacos, quesadillas, burritos (can you tell I love Mexican food?) or used as a topping for fish, chicken or steak.
I’ve been told that it’s tasty with eggs too, but I haven’t tried that yet.
One of the servers at the snack bar in Mexico told me that pico de gallo translates to “rooster’s beak” in English. If there’s a backstory to that, I’d love to know what it is!
It can also sometimes be referred to as Salsa Fresca which translates to “fresh sauce”, which makes sense. I think in North America we tend to think of a smooth or pureed liquid as a sauce, but that’s not always the case. No matter what you call it, this simple salsa is at peak deliciousness when made with ripe tomatoes.
Use the best quality tomatoes that you can get your hands on.
I think classically, this recipe is made Roma tomatoes but if you’ve got fresh cherry tomatoes in your garden go ahead and make the dish with those!
I used juicy Campari tomatoes when I photographed this recipe because I had some really nice ones on hand and wanted to use them up. The type of tomato doesn’t really matter, so long as it’s a tomato that you enjoy eating raw.
Some people like to salt their tomatoes (which pulls the moisture out of them), let them sit for a while, then drain them. This can help improve the texture of the tomatoes and prevents your salsa from becoming soggy.
That being said, I don’t think this is completely necessary. If you’re in a rush, you can skip this step.
Just know that if you put your leftover pico de gallo in the fridge (in an airtight container, please), the salt you seasoned the dish with will pull the moisture out and you’ll have a pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. You will need to drain the mixture (and probably re-adjust the seasoning) before eating it again, but it will still be tasty.
I managed to find serrano peppers in the produce section of my local Walmart, but if you can’t find them you can use jalapeño peppers instead.
Keep in mind though that a serrano is a spicier pepper than a jalapeño.
You may want to leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapeño peppers to get more heat out of them, whereas doing so with the serrano peppers might make the pico de gallo too spicy for you. It really depends on how spicy you want the final dish to be.
As for the fresh cilantro, I know that herb is not everyone’s cup of tea.
If you don’t have the gene which makes cilantro taste like soap and enjoy the flavour of it, use it!
If you hate cilantro, or just can’t find it, leave it out. I promise that it’s still a very tasty salsa without it.
Traditionally, I think the cilantro is supposed to be roughly chopped and then added to the dish, but I like it when it’s chopped finely because the flavour is more subtle.
I make my homemade pico de gallo recipe when I want a quick and healthy snack, or when I need to use up leftover bits in my fridge.
If you look closely at the photos in this blog post, you’ll notice that there are bits of both red and white onion in my salsa. I had half of a white onion leftover from culinary school, and a piece of red onion (the rest was used for pizza) in my crisper, so I chopped up both and threw them in.
Although white onion is more traditional for this recipe, red onion works just as well. You could even use green onions in a pinch, I’m sure.
If you’re not a fan of eating raw onion (I’m not), you can soak the chopped onion in a bowl with ice water in 10 minutes or so, then strain before using. This helps to reduce the “bite” of the onion.
The lime juice in the recipe will also help to balance out the sharpness of the onions. It kind of pickles them, which makes the onions more palatable to eat raw.
As for the seasoning, it’s really up to you. I’ve seen pico de gallo recipes that are made without fresh lime juice, but I personally really enjoy the brightness that a squeeze of lime adds to the dish.
You will also want to add enough salt to bring out the flavours of the vegetables. Start with a small amount of salt, and then taste the mixture. Then add more if you need to.
I use sea salt in my kitchen, but if you use kosher salt or table salt the amount of salt that you need will be different from the amount that I needed. Plus, you may need to adjust to suit your taste.
My Mexican friend likes to add a garlic clove and black pepper to his mix, which is also yummy. It reminds me of a Caribbean dish called chow.
I know that my recipe may not be an authentic pico de gallo recipe, but that’s because I’ve tailored it to suit my preferences.
As with all recipes, experiment with this and figure out what flavour combinations you enjoy most! I’d love to hear what you come up with, so leave me a comment below after you make the recipe!
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It was time to explore a new stretch of the River Plym. On previous trips I had turned back mid-Beat, baulked by a sheer rock face, fallen trees and a lack of waders. I would travel light and cross the river to the true right bank when the path ended. I walked past the stretch I normally fish and looked for a crossing point. I needed both hands free to wade across the rocky pool and scramble up the steep bank opposite. I secured everything and took my time. It was good to reach firm ground without breaking anything or getting soaked.
I set up my rod and fished the long pool alongside the rock face. I had a gentle take but I wasn’t paying attention, the scenery was a big distraction.
The woodland and river were pristine, no litter or other signs of human activity. It was a bit spooky. Silent, soft moss and damp leaves underfoot. The trees were starting to shed leaves but not to the extent that it interfered with the passage of my nymph down the pools.
The tree tunnel didn’t hamper my casting and a combination of roll casts and short overhead casts enabled me to confidently search the runs along the far bank, the deep pots and crevices. I had another rattle on the rod tip and missed that as well. The trip was turning into a riverside photo session, I stopped every few paces to admire the scenery, fishing took a back seat.
The light changed every few seconds, highlighting the leaves, the moss on the rocks and tree trunks. The rocks and trees provided lots of places to hide while casting.
After a couple of hours scrambling along the river bank, I was exhausted and turned back, not quite having reached the lower section of the Beat. I would have to explore the rest of the Beat next season.
Today’s Art: ‘Child’s Dream’ – painting by Michel Montecrossa
Michel Montecrossa Homepage: www.MichelMontecrossa.com
Become Michel Montecrossa’s friend on facebook: www.facebook.com/michel.montecrossa
All Michel Montecrossa Paintings and Drawings are available as High Resolution Digital Art Prints on canvas, either in standard-size A1 (59,4 cm x 84,1 cm) or on demand in other formats. See here previews of all paintings & drawings: http://michelmontecrossa.com/gallery/paintings-drawings
Send your order to: Filmaur Multimedia, Danziger Str. 1, 82131 Gauting near Munich, t: +49 (0)89-8508555, eMail: Filmaur@Mirapuri-Enterprises.com
Visit exhibitions of Michel Montecrossa’s art:
Read here about ‘THE ENERGY OF ART’ ART EXHIBITION of Michel Montecrossa paintings and drawings at the Mirapuri New Art Gallery (Mirapuri-Coiromonte, Italy)
Read here about the new ‘ART FOR FUTURE – KUNST FÜR DIE ZUKUNFT’ EXHIBITION 2020 – 2022 of Michel Montecrossa paintings and drawings at the New Art Gallery at the Filmaur Multimedia House (Gauting near Munich, Germany)
Wooden walkway to the beach.
Sunshine, ocean and sand!
A calming sunset at Tops Sail, NC.
Wave patterns in the sand.
A golden sunrise at Wrightsville Beach.
Sea gull wings spread on blue sky.
The end of another day at the beach.
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”(Mahatma Gandhi)
“There is no remedy for love but to love more.” (Henry David Thoreau)
Our All Star Road Trip now reached its third week as we made our way north on Interstate 25 from Fort Collins, Colorado. For some intuitive reason, I strongly felt the need to show my iconic cast of historic figures what country life was like amid the wide open spaces of Wyoming. So we slowed down our travel pace and made our way westward along backroads into Jackstown, our next destination. How fun it would seem to observe their honest impressions of this authentic western town over the weekend as time travelers comparing their accustomed past to now.
Yet I soon experienced some skepticism about this choice as I discovered a popular gun show would be beginning in Jackstown on this busy weekend of our arrival. For it seemed that we might have walked right into a potentially dangerous situation as I observed hordes of armed gun rights advocates lingering in mass along Old Town Square. As we gathered together for a hearty breakfast at the Horse – Collar Diner the next morning, my premeditated unease about this visit no doubt would remain. For I suddenly heard shots across the street at the main entrance to Town Square. Within a few minutes, a panic crisis unfolded when local police rushed into cordon off the Town Square vicinity, causing hundreds of panic stricken people to spill out on busy Main Street then.
So as I continued to watch the chaos unfolding from our breakfast seating window, a sudden thought crossed my mind that our group should seize the moment now to restore some much needed peace to Jackstown. For each of my esteemed companions, without question, had efficiently practiced social activism in some form through performing their craft in the past. So it was with no surprise that each of them wholeheartedly agreed with my new proposal. My thoughts now turned to finding suitable a time and place where we could expediently resolve this potential riot crisis, in Jackstown today.
Fortunately for us, an opportunity to act quickly surfaced thirty minutes later as I listen to local gossip that the annual town ceremony for “Veterans of Past Wars” would be drawing a large crowd of “undesirables” in the town arena at 6:30 pm. tonight. Assuming the free public event would go on as scheduled, I desperately sought speedy approval from the town council so I could manageably arrange our stage setup assistance for us to participate at tonight’s gala event. So while we waited for for the official “go-ahead , I discussed with each of the group members a performance “for the ages” where each of them would accept the challenge of convincing this tough crowd to “stand down” for peace.
So in this proposed agenda of All Star unity at work, our charismatic Mr. Morrison would step on stage first remembering to forget his wild antics tonight and perform a softer acoustic setlist of late 1960 songs from his “Doors” repertoire. Mr. Monet’s turn would come next as he moved toward a podium to honor those superlative images of tranquil countryside that he painted in the 19th century. I can sense that this often stubborn artist would be astonished to know that these iconic works of “Impressionistic” design could be flashed on a giant, electronic screen behind the stage as props when he spoke. The grand finale of our appearance would now take place as the eloquent words of Mr Thoreau and Mr. Gandhi resonated powerfully throughout the venue. For each of these “larger than life” figures would captivate the audience by reliving those emotionally gripping episodes in their lives of unselfish, self- sacrifice and peaceful “ Civil Disobedience” then.
Yet such a masterful performance of my road trip companions remains dormant in my mind as I will never know if they ever succeeded in restoring peace to Jackstown. For how wrong it seemed that my imaginative dream would abruptly switch off to 2021 again as I awoke the next morning to witness only the sights and sounds of daily life chatter.
So what have I learned most concerning my intimate encounters with these time travel heroes from the past? Know then that it’s been no accident of fate that these four historic men wandered into my dreams to “lend a hand” for peace. For by serving as powerful role models for me in my intuitive memories, they’ve given me a “better grip” in handling the contentious negative behaviors festering in my country today. So for every instance of intense confrontation involving hatred and bigotry I experience in the future, I would gladly “shoot” each of them a warm peace sign “in a flash.”
16 September – World Ozone Day
World Ozone Day is observed on 16 September annually. On this day in 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed. Since 1994, World Ozone Day is celebrated which was established by the United Nations General Assembly. This day reminds people about the depletion of the Ozone Layer and to find solutions to preserve it.
The Lord Almighty- great creator of the Universe
Provided us with what all we need out of NATURE –HIS GRACE
Air, Light, Gas, water, heat and all that give health and happiness
To make the world a heaven to live in peace and poise!
OZONE prevents the ultraviolet radiation
From reaching the ground, creating normal condition
For the life on the planet; protects us from the sun rays
And forms suitable light and warmth conditions of the world!
Depletion of the layer increases radiation
Causing skin cancer, cataract, and weakens immune system
Making us suffer the infectious diseases!
Today is WORLD OZONE DAY- let us think and protect Ozone!
WE have to, by all possible means in our own
Interest and for our own well being! Let us carry on!
What God in the form of Nature has provided
We cannot afford to ignore and fritter away!
Let us take care!
Celebrating with this 268th blog post the ‘Hot Tracks’ series presenting Top Songs by Michel Montecrossa and Mirakali recorded live at the Spirit of Woodstock Festival 2016 in Mirapuri, Italy.
Sinnlich Mit Dir – Sensual With You (by Michel Montecrossa); Genre: Dance-Electronica / Cyberschlager
Küss Mich Noch Einmal (by Mirakali); Genre: Dance-Electronica
Festival Of Love & Freedom Song (by Michel Montecrossa); Genre: Cyberrock
More songs and movies: www.MichelMontecrossa.com
Mirakali’s Homepage: www.Mirakali.net
Download Michel Montecrossa’s albums on iTunes – choose from this selection: https://michelmontecrossaliveblog.wordpress.com/michel-montecrossas-albums-on-itunes/
Their house was going to burn tonight.
It was only because of a coincidence that a neighbour of their friend’s niece overheard the plan while cleaning as a janitor. The invaders weren’t satisfied with taking over their town, they were going to wipe out their history too. A few hours wasn’t enough to save all their relics, only their lives.
But there were things more important than their lives. Her family had been archivist for generations. Keeping history alive was in her blood. While the others ran, she turned back and grabbed all the treasures she could carry. She hid them everyone she could. The hidden underground cellar, the ancient stone walls around the grounds sturdy enough to last until the end of time. As long as there was a space, it was good enough for her. Not everything would survive, but she would stay and burn with her home if that would let her save one more relic.
“What are you doing?” Hands tightened around her arms and threw her over a broad shoulder. She kicked and writhed, but her strength was not match for her father’s.
“Let me go. We can’t let them destroy our history,” she said, hoping words would work where brute force failed.
“They can destroy the physical reminders of our past, but as long as we live, so will our stories. Rather than stay and die, live and remember.”
She watched the house shrink as they ran, watched as the light of the sun gave way to a blaze that devoured the stars.
Her father never looked back once.
Tears streaming down her face, she made a vow. This wasn’t goodbye. She would return and restore her home to its rightful state. However long it took.
September post count: 4/12