Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve - Celebrate with Salsa!


What an amazing year this has been. Can you believe 2010 is almost over? I can't. It's been whirlwind - and I know that as I look back on the year I am very, very grateful for the community we have here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. You make it a joy to cook, to blog, to read, to comment. I love getting to know all of you, and I look forward to our daily conversations. So let me take this moment to thank all of you for sharing your recipes, your stories, and your lives with us!

I chose today's recipe because I'd like to end the year with a feature from the Chicago Tribune's Best Recipes of 2010.

Why the Chicago Tribune? Because 2011 will begin with a feature in the Printers Row book section I'm particularly excited about.

Editor Julia Keller interviewed me about my White House Chef Mysteries and my Manor House Mysteries!

They sent a photographer out here and everything. The piece runs tomorrow and I can't think of a better way to start out the New Year!

To thank the Trib, I'd like to return the favor and feature one of the items from their fabulous "Best of 2010 Recipes" where you'll find sauteed scallops with chermoula, chocolate peanut butter pots de creme, and sweet potato and coconut custard with toasted coconut, among other mouthwatering dishes.

Today, the last day of 2010, I suggest we all
Celebrate with Salsa!

I love salsa. All kinds. Our favorite local restaurant serves a tomatillo salsa I haven't been able to recreate at home (yet), but I keep trying.

This one is a spicy new addition to my repertoire. Delicious and easy! I used only 2 serrano chilies. If you prefer yours less hot, you may want to drop it down to one.

Salsa Verde

2 - 3 serrano chilies, stemmed and seeded (I used 2)
2 green onions, trimmed, roughly chopped (I used three because they were small)
1 or 2 cloves garlic (I used 3)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (I used cilantro and didn't exactly measure. I think it might have been a bit more than a 1/2 cup.... but I really love cilantro)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp salt

Drop chilies, onions and garlic into a food processor with the machine running to mince finely. (Very excited to use my food processor - got it for Christmas *last* year and I've been trying out new recipes all year.) Add remaining ingredients. Process, scraping container once or twice, until smooth. Adjust with a little more water if needed for a smooth, slightly thick sauce. (I didn't need to add any water.)

This is so easy and so delicious. I know that the Trib's food editors combed through hundreds of recipes to come up with these "Best" choices. I can't wait to try out another!


A little news here:

Buffalo West Wing received an amazing and wonderful review on Season for Romance here. I hope you stop by to read it (you have to click on the little brown bar beneath the cover to find the review).

Buffalo West Wing got ten out of ten stars! I am so excited. Not only that, but from what I understand this is the first time the reviewer "Kat" gave out ten stars. Am I excited? You bet!! Thank you, Season for Romance!

And a big thank you to Lori a/k/a Dollycas! She reviewed BWW yesterday on her blog here. Lori has a fabulous spot filled with great reviews and giveaways. Thank you, Lori!

I'm looking forward to another fabulous year here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Thank you, Avery (Daryl), Cleo, Elizabeth (Riley), Jenn, Krista, and all our wonderful friends here. You are the best!

Happy New Year's Eve.
Celebrate, enjoy, and be safe!

Love and hugs,


  1. Julie! That's fantastic! An interview--with pictures--in the Chicago Trib's Printer's Row section is a very big deal--congratulations! I'll bet we could find it online; I will certainly be looking.

    I absolutely agree--salsa is a great way to ring in the New Year. I'll try this one, but I'll use parsley, as I am one of those people whose taste buds interpret the taste of cilantro as "soap." Not pleasant to me at all. Parsley ought to be interesting!

  2. BIG congrats on the Trib feature and the release of WHC #4!!! You are off and running for a great 2011, Julie. The Trib's recipes look fabulous and I'm a sucker for salsa. I love cilantro, too, but it's great that the Trib put an alternate in there for cooks like Laine. :) To each her own, especially when it comes to food!

    Happy New Year's Eve!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. You sure deserve all the recognition, Julie. Buffalo West Wing is a great read!! I just finished it, loving every page, and will be reviewing and holding a give-a-way on Monday.

    A prosperous, healthy and happy new year to you and your family.

  4. Thanks for the congrats, Laine! I'm really excited about the Trib piece. And I'm very glad they suggested parsley instead of cilantro for you. Although I can eat cilantro every day I know what you mean. There are some tastes other people just adore that make me go "eew."

    Cleo - Thank you!! I'm pretty sure the Trib piece will mention our kitchen here. Hope so! This place is way too much fun to not share!

    Kaye - I'm so happy to hear about your upcoming review, Kaye. Can't wait to read it. I'll be sure to stop by Monday and woo-hoo! on the giveaway!

  5. Congrats on the interview and your upcoming release of Buffalo West Wing, which I loved.

    Happy New Years Eve!

  6. Thanks, Dru! I'm delighted you enjoyed it! Happy New Year's Eve to you, too!

  7. Congratulations on the interview. I have added BWW to my TBR list one of these days I might make it through the list ha.

    This will be a big hit at least with my hubby and me. We both love Cilantro. Looks like I will be making Salsa and cheese today :).

    Congrats again Julie you deserve it.

  8. Congratulations, Julie, on the interview, the review, the 10 stars. Everything. And thank you for your kind words. I feel the same. We have been so blessed as a community. Good wishes to all. Good eating to all. May the new year bless and keep you all!


  9. Thank you, Babs! And thanks for adding BWW to your TBR list. I hear you about making it through... mine is ready to topple! Thanks for the congrats and enjoy the salsa!

  10. Avery - I am forever grateful for meeting you and Krista at Malice two years ago. Without you guys I wouldn't be here and I am so happy to be part of this wonderful group!

  11. Can't wait to see the article, Julie. I'm so excited for you.

    I love making my own salsa. So much better than store bought!

    Happy New Year to everyone!

    ~ Krista

  12. Definitely picking up a Trib - I hope that section is in the version we get out here. The salsa sounds good - I usually prefer tomatillo myself, but may have to try this one.

  13. Julie - Yay! What great news for you!
    I am SO proud of you I could pop.
    Unlike our other Kaye who has already read your BWW - I (shamefully) have not. BUT, that is soon to be corrected, and I can hardly wait.

    Hugs and Happy New Year's Eve to Everyone!

  14. Julie,
    Congrats again on your upcoming release!! I have it pre-ordered for my new Kindle :-)
    We love salsa here at Chez Phillipe! Mr. Nanc always plants a salsa garden and we do admit to mouning a bit once the last of the tomatoes are gone for the season...I never thought to make a green version...We are a cilantro loving gang here and our market usually keeps it in supply so Mr. Nanc and I will venture out to get the ingredients today :-) The kiddles are out for the evening so it will just be the two of us...
    THanks so much for being such a welcoming group of friends...I love this kitchen and always feel welcome to prattle on here. Wishing each and every one of you a blessed and fruitful New Year!
    Nanc and the whole gang here at Chez Phillipe; Les (appearing as Mr. Nanc) Emily the elegant and loving daughter and Chef Connor...along with the gang of 4...the dogs!

  15. Krista - don't you know it! I love homemade salsa - just the best!

    Shel - I hope that section is in your edition, too. No idea exactly how it will run or what it will look like, but I'm hopeful!

    Kaye - Big hugs and Happy New Year to you, Donald, and Harley!

    Nanc - and we're thrilled you're here with us! Love your voice and your comments. Great idea to plant a "salsa garden"! I love that idea. I grow most of the ingredients, too, but never thought of it that way.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  16. What big news for you, Julie! Congrats on everything. Can't wait to read the article, along with BWW itself.

    Happy New Year to everyone in the kitchen!

  17. Congrats on the wonderful press in the TRIB and the terrific reviews. All so well deserved! Go
    get 'em, girlfriend!

    And I love the salsa recipe. We are salsa people and particularly enjoy a good green salsa. Yum!

    Happy New Year! Jenn

  18. Thanks, Lynn! Hope you enjoy both the article and the book!

    Thanks, Jenn! And congrats on BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF - coming next week, too!!

  19. Congratulations on the wonderful press and great reviews, Julie! I knew you were going to have another hit!

    Celebrating the New Year with some salsa sounds wonderful to me! Thanks for sharing this great recipe. :)