While visiting Mexico for my birthday celebration last December, we basked in the glory of an adults only, all-inclusive 5-star resort stay.

It was amazing.


We felt like kings and queens – royal royalty.
I could not have asked for anything more special or breathtaking in every experience from the accommodations, treatment, scenery, and life with my love.

We needn’t a thing while we were there, but decided to venture out using public transportation for a trip to the plaza. The main digs of Playa del Carmen.

It was a great night.

We found an open air bar, shared a drink, and sampled various salsas. I believe they teased us “gringos” more than once about the “spiciness” factor in each of the salsas. The last one we tasted was BLACK…it truly knocked my socks off – as well as created a domino effect of other bodily sensations.

In any case, my favorite of the salsas we tried that evening was deliciously simple: smoky pepitas with roasted tomatoes and salt and pepper.

I knew I could totally replicate that at home, and so I have…

along with a little of my favorite homemade guac, some whipped lemon parsnips, a little dash of carne asada, and freshly baked chipotle tortilla chips for my honey.

It’s a meal and it’s a memory throwback.

We miss Mexico…but we’re happy to be home – TOGETHER.

Smokey Pepita Salsa

1 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds, peeled)
1 giant tomato
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. hickory smoked salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

In a dry skillet, over medium heat, toast the pepitas until golden brown, stirring or tossing constantly to ensure the seeds don’t burn. Set aside. 
Over an open flame or under the broiler, roast the whole tomato for about 2-3 minutes on each side (holding with tongs over the flame or under the broiler). After about 7-10 minutes the tomato will be blistered and done.
Combine the toasted seeds and tomato with the olive oil, smoked salt, and black pepper. Process until smooth.

Serve as an accompaniment to homemade tortilla chips and guac, Lime Parsnip Puree, and Fire Roasted Green Tomato and Chile Salsa; even try it with some carne asada.

yum. Yum. Yum. and YUM!!!

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