A Trip to the Punahou Carnival and a Salsa Recipe for Mom

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What football game?  The highlight of my weekend was the Punahou Carnival.  Each year Punahou (the President’s alma mater) puts on the event to raise money for financial aid.  If you’re ever visiting at the first weekend of February, definitely put it on your list of things to do.

Besides the standard carnival rides, there’s a White Elephant, vintage/antique sale, local produce stand, and all sorts of activities for kids.  Just come ready for crowds.

The main draw?  The food.  People come from all over the island for the malasadas, Portuguese bean soup, teri burgers, gyros, Saimin, etc., etc.  Want to try it all?  They stock plenty of boxes so you can take a couple meals to go.

I was relegated to the few gluten-free items that they sell, but you could do worse than an Orange Dream smoothie and beef nachos.  Although I wouldn’t have minded a salsa upgrade.  I  haven’t bought the jarred stuff in years; the lack of fresh cilantro is a total deal-breaker.

And so now it’s one of those basics that I always make myself… super easy and so much better than store bought.  People are always surprised to find out that I use canned tomatoes but I find that they’re more reliable than standard supermarket tomatoes.  Plus they’re always available,  inexpensive, and I invariably have a can or two in the pantry.

I’ve been meaning to post this for over a month now.  My mom wanted the recipe and I told her to just wing it and throw some tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lime juice together.  Apparently that wasn’t satisfactory.  So mom, this one is for you…  I’m still working on that chicken tortilla soup recipe.

Fresh Cilantro Salsa

* 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
* 1 red or yellow onion, chopped
* leaves from 1 bunch fresh cilantro
* 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, partially seeded and diced (or use a couple jarred jalapeno pepper rings)
* 2 Tablespoons lime juice
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.  Use an immersion blender to pulse several times until the ingredients are chopped finely and well combined.  Alternatively, pulse in a food processor or blender.

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