The Baker Upstairs

9.17.2019

Fresh Salsa

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This delicious and flavorful salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and peppers. It's the perfect way to use up those garden tomatoes!

This delicious and flavorful salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and peppers. It's the perfect way to use up those garden tomatoes!

We moved into our house at the end of last summer, so this year was our first full summer in our own house, and I was really excited to plant a garden this year! We've had a few small gardening experiences in our various rentals, but this was our first time growing a garden on our own (tiny) patch of land. We're planning to do some major landscaping in the next year or two, but this year we just used the raised garden beds that were already there. I don't have a lot of experience with gardening, and I probably did everything wrong, but I managed to actually grow some things this year! I'm so proud of myself. I kept up with watering religiously all summer, and we managed to grow a ton of cherry tomatoes, a variety of full sized tomatoes, as well as bell peppers, jalapeños, and zucchini. It's not much, but it makes me so proud to eat food that I grew myself!

We planted our garden pretty late this year (because I was reading so many conflicting resources about the best time to plant in our area), so we didn't get very many ripe tomatoes until the middle of August, and then they all turned ripe at once! I have a big basket of tomatoes on the counter that are ready to be used in recipes, and another little basket full of cherry tomatoes that I've been sending in my daughter's lunches every day. Since we are huge fans of chips and salsa at our house, it was only fitting to use some of our tomatoes to make some fresh salsa. It turned out super delicious, and we've all been snacking on it constantly! The fresh tomatoes add a ton of flavor, and I love that we were able to use jalapeños from the garden as well. I added one jalapeño and the salsa was pretty mild, but add two if you like a little more of a kick. This salsa is delicious!

This delicious and flavorful salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and peppers. It's the perfect way to use up those garden tomatoes!

Fresh Salsa

4-5 small to medium tomatoes (I used Roma tomatoes)
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 - 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until the salsa is the desired consistency, but be careful not to over-process. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

adapted slightly from Cooking Classy

This delicious and flavorful salsa is made with fresh tomatoes and peppers. It's the perfect way to use up those garden tomatoes!

9.15.2019

20 Awesome Apple Recipes to Make This Fall

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It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!

It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!

The fall weather is finally here in Oregon, and I am thrilled! I've been wearing fleeces and rain jackets all week, and I'm so excited for all things cozy and warm. One of my family's goals for the fall is to pick apples at a local orchard and make our own apple sauce, so I've got apples on the brain lately. I thought it would be fun to round up some of my favorite apple recipes for you! I've included a wide variety of delicious apple recipes, from apple pecan chicken salad wraps, to dried cinnamon apple chips, to my favorite tropical green smoothie featuring green apples. Savory and sweet recipes, breakfast and main courses, desserts and drinks - this list has it all!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!


It's apple season again, and here are 20 amazing apple recipes you'll LOVE to make this fall!

Happy apple season!

9.13.2019

Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

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These homemade Cheez-It crackers are so deliciously cheesy, and even better than store-bought!

These homemade cheez-it crackers are so deliciously cheesy, and even better than store-bought!

Have you ever made homemade crackers before? Somehow I always thought they would be difficult or time-consuming to make, but they are surprisingly easy! I love making things from scratch that I usually buy at the store, and these homemade Cheez-It crackers are one of the best I've made. We make them often for after school snacks, or adding to lunchboxes, and they are always a kid favorite. They're crunchy and cheesy and completely addicting!

These homemade cheez-it crackers are so deliciously cheesy, and even better than store-bought!

The dough is quick and easy to mix together (only five ingredients!), and once it's mixed you'll let it chill for a little while before rolling it out very thin. The thinner you can get the dough, the better the crackers will be in the end. Make sure the thickness is consistent throughout, so you don't have thinner crackers that get burned and thicker crackers that don't crisp up in the oven. Cut them into squares (as you can see mine aren't exactly perfect!) and then make a hole in the middle of each cracker with a toothpick or skewer. My kids especially love to help with that part. Finally, sprinkle them with some coarse salt before baking. My favorite is this Jacobsen salt that tastes amazing.

These homemade cheez-it crackers are so deliciously cheesy, and even better than store-bought!

Bake the crackers until they're crisp and lightly browned on the bottom. They will puff up a little as they bake, but they don't spread very much, so it's okay to place them pretty close together on the baking sheet. Let them cool completely, then store them in an airtight container for up to a week. They have the most delicious cheesy flavor, and are completely irresistible. Yum!

These homemade cheez-it crackers are so deliciously cheesy, and even better than store-bought!
Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons cold water
coarse sea salt for sprinkling

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl using a handheld mixer, cream together the cheese, butter, and salt. Add the flour and water and mix until the dough is smooth. Shape into two discs, and chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheets. Roll each disc out to 1/8 inch thickness, and, using a ruler, cut into 1 inch squares. Transfer squares to baking sheets, using a skewer or toothpick to poke a hole in the center of each one. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake 10-15 minutes, depending on desired level of crispiness. Store in an airtight container.

adapted from Baked By Rachel

These homemade cheez-it crackers are so deliciously cheesy, and even better than store-bought!
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