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Mesquite Smoked Salsa Verde

Monday, July 23rd, 2018
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Our Local Albertsons has a really great produce department, even for Wyoming. To be fair, the other grocery stores have good produce too, it’s convince items that I like. Pre packaged and/or prepped produce, costing a couple dollars more but my time is worth it. This year they added a new item, prepackaged do-it-yourself salsa verde, with instructions! I was a little nervous about FOUR habaneros but it sounded good so I thought I’d give it a try.

In short, the instruction said to blister at 350 on a grill or oven, about 3-5 minutes, de-seed, and put in a blender, salt to taste. When working with peppers, most recipes do not want the peppers cooked, just blistered so the skin can be removed. This recipe uses the skin, I followed the instructions.

My blender was a 30+ year old low tech blender that could not even make a decent frozen drink, (but that’s another story). I did not want to hassle with it so i put the peppers in my manual food processor, it came out like chunky salsa, but I was happy with the consistency but I think it did not work for this kind of salsa. I gave it a taste… HOLY HOT PEPPER BATMAN! The flavor was there but the heat was through the roof. I could not eat it, it overpowered whatever I put it on.

I looked out the back door at our new Treager Smoker Grill and a lightbulb went off… Cooking the peppers mellows the heat, and adding smoke just sounded yummy. Once we cooked a few meals on the Treager and got the hang of using unit, I tried again. But first I purchased a Ninja Blender, and it lives up to all the hype. It makes awesome frozen drinks, and for this recipe it worked perfectly. I smoked and grilled the peppers and tomatillos per my recipe below. When I took the lid off the blender, WOW, the aroma blew me away, literally. I had to stand back, the heat from the peppers filled the air. I was a little nervous, I gave it a taste, the flavor was there, it still had heat, but the bite from the heat was gone. It did need salt and I have a variety of salts in my pantry. I smelled my concoction, then smelled the garlic salt, not a fit. I did this with my different salts and the Himalayan sea salt was the best fit. I added the salt to the blender and gave it a few pulses. Winnner winner chicken dinner! The salsa came out perfect, just the right amount of heat, the Himalayan sea salt added a great note of flavor, and the salsa was oddly addictive. So, I thought I better write down the recipe so I can repeat the flavor.

Mesquite Smoked Salsa Verde

Cooking the peppers mellows the heat, and adding smoke gives this green salsa a mellow and flavorful heat.
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Hot Sauce, Treager
Author: TetonTrekker


  • Mesquite pellets for the smoker
  • 4 Tomatillos
  • 2 Anaheim Chili Peppers
  • 4 Habanero Chili Peppers
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers
  • 3 Santa Fe Grande Peppers
  • 3 Serrano peppers
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste


  • Wash the peppers. Remove the husks and stems from the tomatillos, clean, and cut in half.
  • Bring the Treager to smoking temperature (160º) using the mesquite pellets.
  • Smoke the peppers and tomatillos for five minutes then turn up the heat to 350º, leaving the lid closed until you turn the peppers. When the temperature reaches 350 cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning the peppers when they start making a popping sound.
  • If your smoker does not have a temperate gauge, the popping started about the same time the smoker reached 350º.
  • You want the peppers cooked, with some marks, but not charred.
  • Take the peppers off the smoker and let them cool for a few minutes. Remove the stems and seeds from all the peppers, and cut the larger peppers in half.
  • Put all the cooked peppers and tomatillos in a blender and purée. Taste the salsa verde and add the Himalayan sea salt to taste, I used about a teaspoon.


If you make this with a different wood pellet than the mesquite please comment below and let me know how it turned out.

A Pirate Hat with Style

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Every year the Jackson Hole Community band performs a Halloween Concert and the whole band wears a Halloween costume. The concert is for the children but adults enjoy it as well. In 2014 I decided to be a pirate.

When I started planning my pirate costume, [future post],  I knew I wanted a unique pirate hat to bring it together. I browsed Pintrest for ideas, adding the word “steampunk” to the search terms to find that swashbuckling look I wanted.

Once I had an idea in my brain of what I wanted my hat to look like, I dug through my craft supplies, and shopped dollar stores, craft stores, and yard sales for unique bobbles and scraps that would work in my color scheme.




I needed a plain pirate hat that would fit my head and I could glue and hand sew things onto. I found this hat on, I would not recommend this hat for someone with a small hat size, but it worked perfectly on my medium to large hat size head and it is very comfortable. The price is well worth it.  I gathered my supplies and spread them out to see my palette and went to work.

Junk and broken jewelry and some perfectly good pieces from the 80’s. Funny how the jewelry I wore in the 80’s is now appropriate for a Halloween costume!

Sewing box, buttons, tools, craft flowers, doilies, and some fabric scraps to get me started.


The first thing I wanted to do to the plain hat was dress up the smooth top into something more feminine. I had a few lace and crocheted scraps I picked up at garage sales. I dyed them brown to use in various places on the pirate costume, [future post]. Learning from the mess I made dying some things black for my Gray Lady Costume, I used the liquid, not the powdered Rit dye. 


I used the crochet scrap with the peacock design and some Tacky Glue to glue the doily to the top of the hat and let it dry completely before doing anything else. I dry brushed the scrap with some gold craft acrylic paint to give it some depth and sewed some old looking buttons to the front to give it a finished look.

For a really great costume remember to add detail as many places as possible. With this in mind, I added bobbles to all three sides of the brim.

On the left brim I stacked some doilies with parts of a burlap flower I took apart. I added an old broken broach to the center and used my jewelry tools to add some dangles. When I sewed it all together I added a couple peacock feathers behind the flowers. Later I added some felt to the back of the dangles because it was making sounds while I was playing my flute.


On the right brim I sewed on an old broken bracelet with coins, added a trio of buttons near the front, and a skull and cross bone button above the bracelet.

Fot the back brim I used a fancy Gothic black lace choker i had purchased for another costume but didn’t use. I used a needle and thread to tack the ends down, allowing it some movement. 

To finish it up I added a big set of pink ostrich plumes behind the brim, by the peacock feathers, and secured it by sewing it on with a heavy duty needle and thread, (a thimble on my thumb and finger was a life finger saver for this project). The bottom of the set of plumes is tied with a leather strip so if seen it looks finished, and the plumes stay in place. I found the plume at a garage sale back the 80’s and had used it on a couple other costumes and for decoration over the years.


In 2015 I brought the pirate costume, [future post], with me on a trip to to Cabo San Lucas, we planned to attend a Halloween event on the marina. I had to wear the hat on the plane because it would not pack, it made for an interesting flight. While there I was given this mask that gave the costume a less kid friendly look. And when I returned… I was wearing the hat when customs took my photo.

I took the photos with the black background with my new iPhone 8.

Herbie vs. Cousin It

Monday, January 1st, 2018

I had to keep Cousin it locked away in a closet for Halloween until he made an appearance with the Jackson Hole Community Band at their annual Concert for the Kids.

Where’s Cousin It?

Pintrest is a fun place to find new ideas. While surfing one day I found easy instructions for making a Cousin It Halloween prop. All you need is:

  • A tomato cage
  • Plastic Wrap (I added this to keep skirt in place)
  • 2 or 3 Hula Skirts
  • A wire tie
  • Hat
  • Child’s sunglasses


  1. Tun the tomato cage upside down and bend down the stakes.
  2. Wrap the cage in plastic wrap.
  3. Wrap the hula skirts around the cage. If the cage is taller than the skirt is long start low and use wire ties to hold in place.
    • Use enough skirts to cover with a full head of ‘hair’. They are only a buck, don’t be stingy.
  4. Use wire tie to secure ends to top.
  5. Place hat on top.
  6. Place glasses appropriately, it can be stuck through the plastic wrap or taped to it.

That’s It! Well, almost….
Keep the cuz out of your cat’s reach. I proudly put my new decoration on the kitchen table and went to get my camera, I came back to a hula mess on the kitchen floor. Herbie could not resist for a minute, he had cousin it on the floor in pieces and was still torturing his prey.

Herbie killed Cousin It!

Hanging from a ceiling hook did the trick.