...based on the salsa my cooking aunt would make on [more than] a weekly basis.
Apparently the aunt I lived with my first year of college (mentioned in the Chicken Salad post) will from now on be referred to as "my cooking aunt". 

Did I mention these relatives live in New Mexico? Salsa is a pretty big deal down there. Chiles are fresh. Tomatoes are fresh from the garden, then canned and kept year round. My aunt would whip up this salsa at least once a week—usually more.
This salsa is very simple. It highlights the essential star flavors of salsa, and doesn't try too hard with unnecessary embellishment. Because the simple flavors are perfect. 

...based on the fruit I had in the refrigerator before grocery shopping.
This fruit salad was not planned, originally. The first time I made it, I kind of just threw together what I had at the time to make a light but filling fruit salad.

The cheese I had at the time was feta—not as good as the rich, creamy goat cheese I used when I made it again for this post. Goat cheese wins by a long shot! 

...based on a simple recipe my dad made up once upon a time during my childhood.

Growing up, we always knew it was Sunday when we could smell pinto beans cooking on the stove all afternoon. My dad threw together this one-pot dish at some point while I was young, and it became a staple in our family. 
My husband was a little confused the first time I said I was making "pinto beans" for dinner ("Uh...just...pinto beans?"), but that's what my brothers and I always called this meal. I suppose, to be more descriptive, you might call it pinto bean soup

Served with some crusty French bread, it makes an easy, wholesome (not to mention inexpensive!) dinner that takes hardly any time to prepare.

...based on the time I bought dried cranberries that smelled soooo good and I had to add them to the applesauce I'd already planned on making.
Applesauce is so simple to make. And I love that it's a sweet, sweet treat you can make without adding any extra sugar...because if you haven't read the memo—apples have a lot of sugar in them. 

An average gala apple has 16 grams of sugar, in fact! So no need to add any extra sweetener, y'all! 
Apples. Cranberries. Cinnamon. 

That. Is. All.

(OK, plus a tiny bit of lemon juice.)