Suzi's Blog

Pineapple-Habanero Salsa from Diane Morgan


We were window shopping in Crate and Barrel when I saw it. A book by Diane Morgan. I peeled off from Suzen who had her own shopping plans.

Twenty minutes later, we were checking out and I slipped Delicious Dips on the counter.

“Really?” Suzen sometimes questions random additions of cookbooks. We have almost four thousand so we have just about every topic covered. You like Tibetan? I actually think we have one. I know we have Burmese and a whole row of Indian.

“Diane Morgan,” I said peacefully.

“Oh, fine.”

End of argument.

I chose this salsa to inaugurate our Thanksgiving feast for multiple reasons. First, by at least American traditions, the pineapple is a sign of hospitality. That’s why, especially in New England, you’ll see carved pineapples on fences, porches and doors.

Second, this salsa has no cilantro. I have nothing against cilantro. But, my God, there are days when I have it three times, from dawn to dusk. I needed a respite.

Third, the heat. There is certainly habanero heat here but it is so offset by the pineapple and brown sugar that all is fine in your mouth

Lastly, the colors: pineapple yellow, red bell pepper, scallion green,… A bowl of this, as the picture show, is absolutely festive.

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

Yield: 5 cups


  • 1 pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 4 green onions, including green tops, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 habanero chile, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • A teaspoon kosher salt


In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, bell pepper, green onions, habanero, lime juice, sugar, thyme, and salt. Stir gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and set aside for 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

This dip is best made with 8 hours of serving. It can be made the day before and refrigerated. Diane suggests bringing it to room temperature before serving. I like the chill of cold pineapple

Source: Delicious Dips by Diane Morgan

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-53MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO 400



Summer Punch: Mango Tango


I love weekend bartending. For four or six or eight people, it’s fun to make and shake. In fact, when I retire, if I retire that is, I plan on opening a B&B: a bar and brownie establishment. A good bourbon, neat, can go a long way paired with a deeply frosted brownie.

In the meantime, I keep my day job. And my weekend job of help Suzie when we party. So, I can handle those four+ people with ease. But, playing bartender for ten or more, well, that’s different. I end up wishing I had another pair of hands or so. I’m not well coordinated so quickly pouring and dashing among bottles can be a tad overwhelming. There are spills, and sticky juice and sugar on Suzen’s marble countertop.

Some sins are forgiven. Some are not. Some are just sticky.

To make beverage serving, and the construction feasible, it is time for punch. And when the summer days are hot, definitely time for punch. That picture above is meant to inspire your summer imagination. Avocadoes are destined for guac, or salsa, or salad, or to top off a trout.

The mangoes? Time to drink. This wonderful mango punch is fruity with a soft punch. There’s far more fruit juice here than rum. The result is pleasure without any sense of dizziness. There’s plenty in the outside world to make you dizzy or perplexed. What you need is something breezily sweet with just enough alcohol to let your relax and dream about life six months from now. You know, when it will be the middle of January and you won’t be drinking tropical juice with your rum! Just rum with rum.

This recipe comes from Punch by Colleen Mullaney, potent little book. As with any punch, experimentation and personalization is open for you. Peach juice can substitute for the apricot. Banana nectar for the guava. It’s tough to go wrong and easy to find your own way to satisfaction.


Mango Tango

Yield: serves 10-12


  • 4 cups mango nectar or juice
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups dark rum
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 1 cup guava nectar or juice
  • 1 cup apricot juice
  • ½ cup lime juice


Combine the ingredients in a punch bowl and mix well. Add either several cups of ice or an ice form to bring on the chill. Alternatively, refrigerate for at least two hours before serving, but still do with ice.

Source: Punch by Colleen Mullaney

Photo Credits: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second at ISO 100