Hello, Hot Stuff

Lei ChicA third set of roses just paraded past your desk.

You survived a four-minute serenade of "I Love You Truly" from a barbershop quartet to your co-worker on the left.

You're feeling not so sweet, and just a little salty as you steathily watch anti-Valentine's Day e-cards in your cubicle. So even though your stomach's growling, you snarl at the 10-pound box of Godivas wrapped in the arms of an obnoxiously pink teddy bear that's making its way around the office.

Fortunately, there's a fresh way to spice up your snack life; a new salsa with a saucy name.

Marjie Beaton developed her specialty homemade salsa  20 years ago when she couldn't find any in Hawaii that satisfied her Hispanic taste. Now since both of her kids will soon be in college, the former Liberty House designer has turned her hobby into a business.

It takes 20-plus ingredients to make her "Salsa Mama" salsa, including tomatillos and fire-roasted green chiles. Six different peppers go into a picante version that has a little heat, but not enough to make your mascara run.

Beaton makes the salsa  each week out of ingredients picked fresh from farmer's markets and some local distributors. It's available at a few stores, and Beaton just got a deal to sell at Hawaii's commissaries.

Making it easier for you to dip, even with a chip on your shoulder.

Salsa Mama is available at Kale's Natural Foods, the Kailua Racquet Club, and select locations of Down to Earth and Tamura's Fine Wines. It's slated to be in commissaries by the end of February. Click here for more details.