Whoa. Summer got busy folks. Like in the blink of an eye. Bam. Busy. My head is spinning but we are having so much darn fun! We have had lots of house guests, which is my favorite calling in life. I had a friend once tell me “my heart is so full every time every bed in my house is full”. I agree, friend. When the SweeterThing house is full of people, the fridge is full of food, including homemade salsa. The recipe has taken me a year to perfect. It started out as a copycat Chili’s salsa recipe, using canned tomatoes. Then we became OBSESSED with Chuy’s and their fresh pico style salsa. So I switched it up, messed with the spices and the peppers, and I believe I have the perfect homemade salsa recipe for you. You can customize how hot it is by what kind of pepper and how many you use. I use one serrano pepper and one jalapeño pepper and it’s perfect for my pansy tastebuds but hot enough to satisfy Mr. SweeterThing’s needs for heat. It doesn’t make him sweat or anything, so if it were up to him he would probably add another serrano pepper. I would be stuck in an eternal hot flash if I ate that. Ouchie. 

Start with 8 plum tomatoes , cut into large chunks. Why 8? Because Aldi sells them in packages of 8, that’s why. Add half of one white onion, chopped. Seed and finely chop one entire serrano pepper and one entire jalapeño pepper. Add it all to your food processor or blender. 


Add spices. I use the following line-up: cumin, salt, sugar, garlic powder, and cilantro. Depending on what I have, I either use fresh chopped cilantro or a heaping tablespoon of cilantro paste. Add lime juice. 


Pulse 6-8 times, until you have the consistency you want. I go for a finely chopped consistency but not a puree. I don’t like large chunks of tomatoes because I actually don’t like tomatoes. Not fresh at least. Love me some ketchup. Tomatoes on my sandwich? Gag. I can’t do the texture. In fact, I’m having trouble just writing about it. Somehow salsa is completely different though, the salty chips and a good beer might have something to do with that. 


At this point, test it to see if it’s to your liking and then adjust accordingly. If you add more spices at this point, I suggest stirring them into your salsa so you don’t over-process it. Keep in mind that as this sits in the fridge, the flavors really come together and brings out some more intensity in the peppers and spices. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Enjoy! 


Yields 4
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  1. 8 plum tomatoes, cut into large chunks or quarters
  2. 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  3. 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  4. 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  5. 1 handful of freshly chopped cilantro or 1 heaping tablespoon of cilantro paste
  6. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  7. 1 tsp. cumin
  8. 1 1/2. tsp. salt
  9. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  10. 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  1. Combine everything in your blender or food processor
  2. Pulse until you reach the consistency you like
  3. Adjust spices, peppers, lime juice as desired. Stir anything new into the salsa at this point instead of processing in the blender.
  4. Pour into containers and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
  1. I keep this in the fridge for a week. Mr. SweeterThing says it stays fresh much longer than that but it makes me nervous so after a week, I freeze any leftovers flat in freezer bags and use them later for salsa chicken in the crock pot.
A Sweeter Thing