Recipe for Pico De Gallo

“Recipe for Pico De Gallo”

Need a recipe for Pico De Gallo?  Here is my go to recipe for Pico De Gallo.

Pico De Gallo

Recipe Yield: 3 cups


Recipe for Pico De Gallo


1 each                  Large Sweet Onion – Diced

1 each                  Lime

3 each                  Roma Tomatoes – Diced

1 each                  Fresh Cilantro Bunch – Minced

1 each                  Medium sized Jalapeno (optional)

             Salt and Pepper to taste                                              




  1. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly until completely combined.
  2. Serve immediately.


The hardest, or I should say, the most time consuming part of any recipe for Pico De Gallo is actually preparing the ingredients.  So regardless if you are using this recipe for Pico De Gallo or any other recipe, just be prepared to do some chopping, mincing and dicing.

recipe for Pico De Gallo


Sweet Onions are the way to go for most recipes, but the best to use for this recipe for Pico De Gallo.  I like to dice them up as small as possible so you don’t chomp down on big chunks of raw onion.


recipe for Pico De Gallo


Fresh Lime juice is the only way to go for this recipe for Pico De Gallo (or any recipe in my opinion) because the taste is so much cleaner and aromatic than that reconstituted and condensed stuff.


Simple Guacamole Recipe


For this recipe for Pico De Gallo you will need to dice some tomatoes.  I use Roma tomatoes in this recipe for Pico De Gallo because they are usually the cheapest and the slender form makes them easy to work with.


recipe for pico de gallo


Next, I always mince up the Cilantro last because it tends to leave a nice dark green chlorophyll stain on the cutting board that tends to rub off on whatever you cut on the board next.  In this recipe for Pico De Gallo that doesn’t matter so much, but in general that is what I do.



I actually like a jalapeno in my recipe for Pico De Gallo as well as a clove or two of fresh garlic, but some people just want the basics.  So feel free to add these if you like, but this recipe for Pico De Gallo works without it too.

Must add the flavor enhancers, Salt and Pepper, to most anything-even some baked goods, but most definitely to this recipe.

An added benefit to this recipe for Pico De Gallo, you can mix it with some smashed avocado and you have a great guacamole!

Want to see more than just a recipe for Pico De Gallo?  Check out this Simple Guacamole Recipe!

Try out this recipe for Pico De Gallo then check out The First Timer’s Guide to Vegetables from whence it came right here!



Cooking Barley

“Cooking Barley”

Cooking Barley is just like cooking most other grains.  A basic 2 to 1 ratio of liquid to Barley is the basic idea behind cooking barley.

Barley has gained popularity the last few years because it is a nutritious, gluten-free, filling option.  Cooking Barley is just like cooking rice and has a similar texture, which most people are generally familiar with, but it has a little more robust flavor than just regular white rice.

Included are a few recipes to help you in the pursuit of perfectly cooking Barley (let’s be honest, everybody who wants to cook whatever they are cooking, everyone wants to do it perfectly).

When cooking Barley, I like to use a rice cooker to make things just a little easier.


Easy Barley and Tomatoes                                                                     

Yield: 6 cups                                                                                          


Volume                              Ingredient

2 cups (1 box)                    Quick Barley

1 can   (14.5 oz)                 Diced Tomatoes

1 teaspoon                          Salt

1 teaspoon                         Pepper

1 each                                  Bay Leaf

1 teaspoon                         Dry Thyme

4 cups                                  Beef Stock



  1. Combine all ingredients in a Rice cooker and mix until consistent throughout.
  2. Press “cook” and let it cook until it beeps and says it is ready.


Cooking Barley












Mushroom Tomato Barley                                                                     

Yield: 6 cups                                                                                          

Volume                                    Ingredient

2 cups (1 box)                        Quick Barley

2 tablespoons                       Canola or Vegetable Oil

¼ each (about ½ cup)           Medium Yellow Onion or Green Onions

1 tablespoon                          Minced Garlic

1 cup                                       Sliced Mushrooms

1 can   (14.5 oz)                      Diced Tomatoes

1 teaspoon                              Salt

1 teaspoon                              Pepper

1 each                                       Bay Leaf

1 teaspoon                              Dry Thyme

4 cups                                      Beef Stock



  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan and add barley, onions, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for      approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and cook for an additional minute.
  3. In a separate container, combine salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, and beef stock and mix until      consistent throughout.
  4. Add liquid mix to ingredients in sauce pan and mix until consistent throughout.
  5. Cover the pot and allow to the mix to cook until liquid is absorbed, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaf, and serve.


So there you have it.  A great way to start cooking barley.  These simple recipes should get you comfortable enough to help you become a cooking Barely expert.  As you can see, cooking Barley doesn’t have to be a strenuous or complicated task, cooking barley can be quick and painless-and flavorful!


Want to see more than just a quick explanation on Cooking Barley?  Check out some other stuff here!

Try out these recipes on Cooking Barley then check out The First Timer’s Guides right here!


Easy Fish Taco Sauce

“Easy Fish Taco Sauce” 

Creating an easy fish taco sauce is a great way to spice up a boring fish taco.  One of my favorites is an easy fish taco sauce that is unique, but familiar, a signature easy fish taco sauce of mine-the Coconut lime sauce!

For a while I was calling it a “Limon Colada Sauce,” which might sound a little bit exotic and fancy, but the truth is out of all the easy fish taco sauce recipes I have tried, this has to be one of the easiest of the easy fish taco sauce recipes.

First, start out with a coconut concentrate product, such as a pina colada base from the drink section of the store. For this easy fish taco sauce you will need a nice thick sweet coconut base, so don’t use coconut extract or coconut rum or anything like that.

Simple Guacamole RecipeNext, add some fresh lime juice.  Fresh is the best, so regardless if I’m making an easy fish taco sauce or anything else that calls for lemon or lime juice-I always use fresh squeezed (that I usually squeeze myself). Easy Fish Taco Sauce

As far as ingredients go, that’s it.  But if you want to add a little more of a lime flavor to your easy fish taco sauce you can take some of the zest off of the lime and add that to the mixture too.  I use a microplane to do this so that it is very fine and easily mixes in.

Lastly, just mix the coconut base and lime juice (and zest if you decide to use it) together till is mixed thoroughly and there you have it, an easy fish taco sauce.  A unique and flavorful easy fish taco sauce too.


Coconut Lime Sauce

Easy Fish Taco Sauce


Serving Size: 8-12

1 each                  12oz Can of Coco Lopez

3 each                  Limes





  1. Zest 2 limes and place zest into a bowl.
  2. Add lime juice and Coco Lopez to the zest.
  3. Mix thoroughly until completely combined.
  4. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 6 months.


Now of course part of a great fish taco is great fresh fish and vegetables and all the other fix ins-one of which is a flavoring component.  This easy fish taco sauce can be what makes this taco great, not just edible, but desirable.

Easy Fish Taco Sauce



Want to see more than just an easy fish taco sauce recipe?  Check out some other stuff here!


Try out this easy fish taco sauce recipe then check out The First Timer’s Guide to Vegetables right here!



Simple Guacamole Recipe

Simple Guacamole Recipe

Sometimes a simple guacamole recipe is not that simple.  Rest assured, this simple guacamole recipe on the other hand is very simple

The key to a good simple guacamole recipe is really the same for any recipe, starting with the best ingredients possible.  There are only a few ingredients in a simple guacamole recipe, so getting the best shouldn’t be too hard (especially if you live somewhere like California or Florida).

Simple Guacamole RecipeAvocados – The main and defining ingredient in a simple guacamole recipe.

Tomatoes – Not everyone uses these in a simple guacamole recipe, but I do because of the texture, color and sweet-acidic taste they bring to the party.

Onions – Whatever variety you prefer, scallions (green onions), red, yellow, white they all can be used in a simple guacamole recipe.

Limes – Notice how I didn’t say lime juice?  It’s because fresh, straight-from-the-citrus membrane is the only way to go for this simple guacamole recipe.  That bulk, shelf stable stuff you see on the store shelves isn’t even in the same category.

Cilantro – What a glorious and international flavor defining herb this is.  One of my favorites, and a must have in this simple guacamole recipe, or any other in my opinion.

Garlic – Fresh is best when it comes to garlic, but if you have to do the dry stuff, stick with the granulated, the powder is a step down and the “Garlic Salt” is a no no.

Salt & Pepper – Of course.  What would we do without these crucial flavor-enhancing main stays?


Simple Guacamole Recipe                                                                         

Yield: approximately 5 cups, 10-12  people                                                                                            


Simple Guacamole Recipe

Volume                                  Ingredient

3 cups    (3 each)                 Large Avocados – Diced or Smashed

1 cup      (2 each)                 Medium Tomatoes – Diced

1 cup      (1 each)                 Small Yellow Onion – Diced

1/8 cup  (1 each lime)        Lime Juice

¾ cup     (1 bunch)               Chopped Cilantro

2 Tbs                                      Fresh or Granulated Garlic

1 Tbs                                      Salt

1 Tbs                                      Pepper





  1. Combine all ingredients and mix until consistent throughout.
  2. Serve chilled or at Room temperature with Tortilla Chips.


And there you have it, a simple guacamole recipe, fit for . . . Well, anyone.

Want to see more than just a simple guacamole recipe?  Check out some other stuff here!

Try out this simple guacamole recipe then check out The First Timer’s Guide to Vegetables, from whence it came right here!


Homemade Butter Recipe

“Homemade Butter Recipe”

Want a good homemade butter recipe?  Here is a good way to start making your own butter.

When making your own homemade butter recipe, keep a few things in mind.

#1 – Go with “Pasturerized” not “Ultra-Pasturized” heavy cream for your homemade butter recipe.

#2 – When you have whipped it for a long time and it still hasn’t seperated . . . Just keep going, this homemade butter recipe takes a while.

#3 – When it does seperate, keep the liquid-it’s usable buttermilk!  So not only are you getting a great homemade butter recipe, you’re getting a great homemade buttermilk recipe as well.










Homemade Butter Recipe (& Buttermilk Recipe)                                                             

Yield: Approximately 1 Cup                                                                                                       


Volume                  Weight                   Ingredient

2      cups               10 oz                      Pasteurized (not ultrapasteurized) Heavy Whipping Cream 

1      Tsp                                                 Salt (Optional)



  1. Allow Heavy Cream to come to room temperature sitting it on the counter for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Pour Heavy Cream into mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for approximately 20 minutes, or until fat and liquid separates.
  3. Stop mixing and remove liquid (buttermilk) from bowl and reserve for future use.

(Optional) – Mix in Salt to Butter if desired at this point.

  1. Using a spatula, remove the fat from the mixing bowl and place it on a flat piece of plastic wrap.
  2. Roll the plastic around the butter and close tightly. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for future use.


So try making your own homemade butter recipe, it’s a good way to understand your cooking and/or baking ingredients!

You’re now a pro with your Homemade Butter Recipe!

Get some other ideas like this homemade butter recipe from The First Timer’s Cookbook here!

Like this Homemade Butter Recipe?  Check out more on the First Timers Books & DVD here! 



How to make Corn Syrup

“How to make Corn Syrup”

When Learning how to make corn syrup, keep in mind that learning how to make corn syrup will only peak your interest in learning how to do more things thatn just learning how to make corn syrup . . . For example, why not learn how to make your own butter?  Or how about learning how to make carmel sauce in a can?  What about making your own sour cream?  We can help you with all these things!  First, lets learn how to make corn syrup.

Before we dive into how to make corn syrup, it is important to know a little about corn syrup.

Corn Syrup – Available in Light and Dark versions.  Carmel coloring and molasses are added to dark corn syrup so it has a darker flavor of the two.  Corn syrup is one of the sweetest sweeteners out there and is used in making candies and brittles primarily.  It is also sometimes used to sweeten cakes, cookies or to make frostings really glossy and shiny as well as making ice creams and sorbets very smooth.

The easy way to get the corn syrup you need is to simply buy it.  But lets learn how to make corn syrup so you can try making your own.

how to make corn syrup

How to make Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup

Yields: 2 cups

Volume                                  Ingredient

2 cups                                    Granulated sugar

¾ cup                                     Water

¼ teaspoon                           Cream of tarter

1/8 teaspoon                        Salt



  1. In a saucepot, combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir till mixture until it comes to a slow simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture comes to 240 degrees or “Soft Ball Stage.”
  3. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.

*For “Dark Corn Syrup” add 1 teaspoon of carmel color and 1 tablespoon of molasses.

So there you have it, a quick guide on how to make corn syrup.

Now that you have learned how to make corn syrup, click here to learn to make homemade butter! 

Get some other ideas beyond how to make corn syrup from The First Timer’s Cookbook!

Like what you saw with how to make corn syrup? Check out more with The First Timers Books & DVD

How to make Caramel in a can

“How to Make Caramel in a Can”

Want to learn how to make caramel in a can?  Simply put, to make caramel in a can, you simply cook the can full of sweetened condensed milk.


Some might tell you that it is dangerous learning how to make caramel in a can, but once you learn what to do and how to safely learn how to make caramel in a can, you will have nothing to worry about.

What people are worried about when learning how to make caramel in a can is that the can will explode.  This is true.  If you don’t keep the can covered with water when learning how to make caramel in a can it can explode-possibly harming anyone that gets the hot caramel on them.  So to safely learn how to make caramel in a can, just be sure to keep the can covered with water.

Now, with that said, let’s learn how to make caramel in a can.

How to make Caramel in a can                                                           

Yield: Approximately 1 Cup

*Warning: This is a great and easy way to make Carmel (or Dulce-De-Leche), but be sure to keep the can covered with water while cooking.                                                                                                        

Volume                  Ingredient

1      10 oz Can     Sweetened Condensed Milk


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (high heat).
  2. Drop a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk in the water and reduce temperature to a low simmer (about medium heat).
  3. Let can sit in the simmering water for approximately 3 hours (about 45 minutes if using a pressure cooker).  *Keep in mind that you may have to add more water throughout the cooking process to ensure it stays covered.
  4. Remove can from water and allow it to cool to just above room temperature before opening.

There you have it, a First Timer’s guide to how to make caramel in a can.

Like what you saw about how to make caramel in a can?  Check out more with the The First Timers Books & DVD

Now that you have seen how to make caramel in a can, check out how to make your own corn syrup here!

Making Halloween Caramel

Here is a Halloween blast from the past . . . Check out a video I did a few years ago for a morning show.


Chcolate Chip Cocoreos

Chocolate Chip Cocoreos                                                                           

Serving Size: 1 dozen Large or 2 dozen Medium                                                                                                     


Volume                  Ingredient

2½   cups               All Purpose Flour

1      teaspoon       Baking Soda

1      teaspoon       Salt

1½     cup               Shredded Coconut

2      sticks             Unsalted Butter (melted)

1      cup                 Granulated Sugar

1      cup                 Light Brown Sugar (packed)

2      each               Large Eggs  

1      teaspoon       Vanilla

1      each               Oreo per Cookie

3      each               4 oz         60% Chocolate Bar


           1      each               12 oz     Bag Chocolate Chips



  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine and mix flour, baking soda, ½ cup shredded coconut and salt in one bowl.
  3. In another bowl, combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and whip until frothy and consistent throughout.
  4. Slowly combine flour, baking soda and salt mix to the bowl of mixed eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla and mix until totally combined.
  5. Chop chocolate bars (skip step if using chocolate chips).
  6. Fold in chocolate chunks or chips to dough.
  7. Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a bowl and roll cookie dough portions in shredded coconut until coated.
  8. Place cookie dough portions on two half sheet pans.

*For large cookies distribute 6 cookies throughout pan.

*For medium cookies distribute 12 cookies throughout pan.

  1. Bake one pan at a time for 5 minutes and then rotate pan 180 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and push an oreo into the center of each cookie while they are still hot, let sit on hot pan 5 minutes before removing. Let pans cool completely before placing more dough on them.


Fresh Strawberry Lime Pie

Fresh Strawberry Lime Pie                                                                        


Serving Size: 1 9inch Pie                                                                              

Volume                  Ingredient

3 pounds               Fresh Strawberries

½ cup                     Agave Nectar

2 tablespoons       Cornstarch

2 tablespoons       Pectin for Low/No sugar recipes

3 tablespoons       Fresh Lime juice

1 tablespoon        Lime Zest

1 each                    Pre-baked/Par-baked Pie Crust





  1. Clean and top strawberries, cut each one in half lengthwise.
  2. Combine agave, cornstarch, pectin, lime juice, lime zest and about 2 cups of strawberries in a food processor.
  3. Puree in food processor until smooth, approximately 1 minute.
  4. Remove from food processor and place in a small sauce pan and heat on high until puree begins to bubble.
  5. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Mix remaining strawberries with cooked puree and fold together.
  7. Pour mixture into pie crust and refrigerate for 2-3 hours and serve immediately. 

Chef Shawn Bucher    801-675-8091