Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Gold Salsa Guacamole

A few days ago a package arrived in the mail from Red Gold Tomatoes. I have consistently been choosing the Red Gold brand over Hunt's for several months, so when I was contacted by a Red Gold PR rep about receiving a "pretty cool tomato kit", I was stoked. However, I never anticipated the quality and care that was put into preparing and mailing the package. It was in a large box with a fruit crate-type label announcing that it was TOMATOES, so when the mail lady brought it to my door, she expressed surprise that anyone would mail fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter.

The box inside was a cardboard replica of a wooden crate and was beautifully packed and generously filled with four cans of tomato products, jar of salsa, reusable tote bag, magnetic clip and frame magnet, key chain, cookbook, recipe cards, coupon, AND a die cast metal SSR Model replica with doors, hood and trunk that open and a steering wheel that turns, which was immediately confiscated by my husband for his office bookshelf!

Red Gold has very attractive packaging and features my favorite kitchen color red!

This family owned company in Indiana has an interesting history. It was begun in 1942 as a venture to help feed the US Army after Pearl Harbor and has continued that humanitarian spirit through donations for 9/11, hurricane relief, and national food bank assistance, including the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. The Oklahoma event occurred in conjunction with the unveiling of a billboard featuring America's largest tomato cans in March 2010.

The website is very attractive and user-friendly, with interesting articles about the company and an online store, and features a recipe contest -"Release Your Inner Red Gold Chef" where everyone who submits a recipe is a winner!

Other blogs have featured giveaways for their tomato kits, but I have selfishly chosen to keep my products.

I found my inspiration for the guacamole here. I used meyer lemon juice instead of lime, forgot to add the cilantro, and I subbed salsa for the can of tomatoes and onions. The salsa, which is colorful and chunky with juicy tomatoes, onions, and peppers, has a natural sweetness from the tomatoes since there is no sugar added. I love simple and fresh when it comes to guacamole, and this one is deliciously simple and fresh. I am looking forward to trying other recipes from my new cookbook and from the website!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Great Blizzard of February 2011

The storm some have called "Snowpocalypse" generated this satellite picture detailing the massive coverage of this monster storm. Here in Oklahoma records were broken by The Great Blizzard of February 1 - 2, 2011. Oklahoma City and surrounding towns experienced whiteout conditions, heavy snow of 2 inches per hour, and high winds gusting to 50 mph. Our new Governor Mary Fallin placed Oklahoma under a state of emergency.

These are some of the area snowfall totals:
Owasso, OK 21"
Miami, OK 20"
Tulsa, OK 15"
Oklahoma City, OK 12"

It was 0 degrees on our patio this morning, and the forecast is for minus 5 tonight. Here are a few initial photos from my house.

My garden in the middle of the blizzard

Looking out the front window

These trash cans are about 4-1/2 feet tall

Patio chairs and table during the storm; thermometer is around 5 degrees

Night-time solar lights next to our drift-covered sidewalk

Early morning after

Deck chairs and table

In spite of our equipment running constantly, the pool had a thick layer of ice

Buddy had a great time running

The yard has 3 foot drifts

The drift on our side garage door

We haven't ventured out of the front of the house yet, nor have we opened the garage door to see what awaits us there. I was bundled so much I could barely move, and the parts of my body that were exposed to the bitter cold this morning - my thumb, which was operating my iPhone camera, and my face - began to hurt. We might even try the roads later. If so, more photos to follow.