Tag Archives: peach

Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa

Byrd doesn’t know she’s a posh poodle. When her ears are all askew and she’s running through the apartment with a half-decapitated stuffed hedgehog in her mouth, posh is the last thing that comes to mind. She’s a rough and tumble fetchin’ machine, and in case you couldn’t tell, she is finally recovered enough from her knee surgery to play again! We couldn’t be more thrilled.

Though she’s not posh, Byrd does eat posh food of mommy’s choosing. In a roundabout way, I have her to thank for this Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa recipe. I was at the local organic grocery store last week picking up a bag of her select kibble when I noticed a bowl of this surprising salsa sitting out to sample. I usually pass up samples, but the unexpected combination of peaches and cucumbers caught my eye, so I took a small nibble.

Suddenly, it was the 4th of July all over again — fireworks in my mouth! Spicy chipotle; refreshing cucumbers; succulent peaches all mingled on a cayenne-pepper laced blue corn chip. There were so many experiences in each bite: tangy, sweet, hot, acidic, cool, juicy. I’d heard of mango salsa, pineapple salsa, but this salsa was a revelation for me. A delicious, tasty, yummy revelation. So much so that I thought about it the whole way home.

The next day after my Jazzercise class (are you still laughing about that?!), I drove back to the organic grocery determined to find the recipe’s creator. And find him I did! Michael works at the grocery and is quite the home chef himself. After spending months in Mexico, he now lives in North Carolina and has his own garden plot replete with tomatoes. He was kind enough to share his recipe, and I scrawled it down on the back of an old grocery list.

My aunt and uncle recently visited from Missouri (hello, Show Me State readers!) and I served them this salsa before a delicious cookout on a balmy day. Mine wasn’t as spectacular as Michael’s, but it was still a success. This is really one of those recipes where you have to add a little, taste a little, add a little more. Fiddle with it until it suits your taste, and then let it sit in the fridge for a half hour or so and meld. I’ll keep practicing until mine is as fantastic as the original!

Also, a note about chips. I tried this salsa on Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues, and I can’t recommend them enough. This is not a sponsored endorsement (though I will accept as many free bags of these chips as they feel like sending me — are you out there, Garden of Eatin’?), just good ol’ fashioned personal opinion. These organic blue corn chips are coated in a fine speckle of cayenne pepper and were the perfect complement to the cool sweetness of the salsa. If you’re not a fan of heat, Garden of Eatin’ also makes a regular blue corn chip that I’m sure is fantastic as well. And everyone likes eating blue chips, right?

I know at first you might have some salsa skepticism — peach and cucumber is definitely an unusual combination — but give this recipe a try. One tiny bite of this salsa inspired a day of obsessive googling and a half-hour drive just to get the recipe. It must be good. And Michael, if you’re reading this, make sure to drop me an email or comment to let me know you saw the post — in true Julie fashion, I’ve lost your email address!

Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa

Recipe by: Michael
Yields: 3 cups of salsa

1-1.5 cups diced, unpeeled cucumber (about 1-2)*
2-2.5 cups diced, peeled, pitted peaches (about 3-4)
1/4-1/2 can of chipotle peppers, diced (depending on your heat tolerance)**
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons peach preserves

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt. Prepare up to 2 hours ahead, cover, and refrigerate until serving. Stir to blend before serving.

*I recommend doing an even finer dice on your cucumber and peach than I did, for texture’s sake.
**Chipotle chiles come canned in adobo. Make sure to wear gloves while chopping and not to touch your face or eyes.

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Happy Pi Day! My math geek boyfriend had never heard of it, so go figure.

Here are my favorite pie recipes (and okay, some tarts for good measure). Whether you’re a math nerd or just want another excuse to eat pie, you have my blessing.

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Red Berry Pie

Mini-Pies! Pumpkin, Sour Cream Apple, Peach Crisp

Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart

Chocolate Tart

Peach Crisp Pie

Apparently there’s also a Pie — er, I mean Pi — Approximation Day in July?! Score!

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Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

The students have all closed their novels and packed up their supplies for Thanksgiving Break, so it’s time for me to take a deep breath and relax — until the baking begins tomorrow, of course! Because I enjoyed reading Jillicious‘s list of things she’s thankful for this year, here are a few of my own:

  1. Jesus, who made the greatest sacrifice for me.
  2. My family — they’re crazy, wonderful, and so supportive.
  3. Mike, who has never disliked anything I’ve ever cooked, whether overseasoned, underseasoned, burnt, or weird.
  4. Cake.
  5. Friends, for joining me in ridiculous escapades.
  6. My students, who make me laugh every day and (usually) make me feel like I’m making a difference through my teaching.
  7. Writing.
  8. Byrd and Squirt, my poodle and red-eared slider. One is fluffy and hyper, the other is scaly and . . . frowny; nevertheless, they’re both the sweetest pets anyone could ask for, and have made my little apartment a home.
  9. My snuggie. Shut up; it’s comfortable!
  10. Food, which is one language through which history, family, culture, and emotion has been communicated to me. I love joining the conversation.

On that note, here are some dishes that have warmed the pages of Willow Bird Baking in the past months that would be lovely on your Thanksgiving dinner table. May you enjoy the sharing of mirth, love, and calories with your family this year!

Mini-Pies: Pumpkin, Peach Crisp, and Sour Cream Apple — Add some variety to your Thanksgiving pie choices! Everyone gets to choose their own flavor. The pumpkin and peach pies are especially scrumptious.

Jack-O’-Lantern Whoopie Pies — These cakey cookies are hearty, moist, spicy, and addictive. Whoopie pies should be part of every family’s Thanksgiving tradition.

Peach Crisp Pie — Delicious, gooey peaches and crispy oats fill a tender, flaky crust. This is my favorite pie of all time!

Best Ever Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Easy Caramel Frosting and Spiced Apples — This moist, dense, finely-crumbed cake is heavenly with or without some spicy cinnamon apples on the side. “Best Ever” is not an exaggeration!

Chocolate Tart — Tired of pumpkin? If you’re a chocolate lover, this tart is a must-eat. Rich, indulgent chocolate fills the buttery tart crust, and a pile of freshly whipped cream accompanies each bite. This post also includes a bright and tangy Raspberry Cream Cheese Tart.

Overnight Yeast Rolls — These fluffy, delicious, buttery yeast rolls are part of my family’s annual Thanksgiving tradition. When I realized I was old enough to make them myself (and at any time of year, too), it was one ecstatic day in the kitchen!

Cardamom Pumpkin Macarons — Having an elegant Thanksgiving? These gluten-free cookies combine cardamom with traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin. Macarons are the perfect bite: crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside.

Barefoot Contessa’s Carrot Pineapple Cake — Looking for a big, beautiful cake to adorn your Thanksgiving table? Barefoot Contessa’s Carrot Pineapple Cake is brimming with hunks of pineapple, carrot, walnut, and raisin. With cream cheese frosting slathered on in a thick layer, it’s an elegant and decadent Thanksgiving dessert.

Green Chile TURKEY Enchiladas — Okay, these don’t quite fit on the Thanksgiving dinner table, but maybe you find yourself wondering what to do with all your juicy turkey leftovers? These Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas can be transformed into turkey-filled treats, and what a great way to spice up leftovers. The recipe is so seductive, yet very simple — it won’t take up all of your Black Friday!

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