Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe~Cowboy Caviar with Grilled Corn

I wanted to get this one out to you before the holiday weekend begins. I made this a few days ago to test run for an upcoming catering event. I also had a friends birthday party to go to and it went perfect with the rest of the BBQ style menu.

Cowboy Caviar with Grilled Corn


1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears of corn, husks removed and grilled until tender
2 avocados, diced
3 medium tomatoes (yellow and red)
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced 
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped fine
1/4 cup cilantro
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Put everything but avocado in a medium size bowl. Combine well and fold in avocado. Serve right away or chill in fridge until ready to use. Serve with tortilla chips or eat as is.

I hope you all have a great and safe Holiday weekend!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Replacing the old with the new.....And the list goes on.

It's hard to believe we have been at my mom's for almost two months now. Wasn't it just yesterday we were packing all our stuff and making the long thirty minute drive up north? I can't help but feel that we're busier now that we have moved, than when we moved initially. 

Either way our stay has been really great and the hick-ups we've had have been pretty minor. Can I just say though that I absolutely can't wait to have my bed back. Even if our bed is twenty five years old, it smells like old bed, and I roll to the center when Justin lies down. It's my bed. I miss it. 

On the flip side, we've planted more in the garden, made a date for the big garage sell, and Ave is gearing up for her lemonade stand on the next hot day. That is if we ever get the "next hot day". 

I do miss home. 

For many reasons.

I miss the quiet mornings. I miss our dirty old gravel road. I miss yelling at my dog to stay in the yard.......and the list goes on.

Our home was grounds for hardship, laughter and change.  I guess a lot like my moms.

It was Ave's first home. Where she learned to eat, roll over, crawl, walk and talk. Where she had her first bath...her first sleepover...and her first rug burn. Her first cold...her first flu...and the list goes on. Nothing will ever feel quite like our first home. But just as much as I'll miss that old mauve colored house, with the poopie brown trim, I'm equally excited to nest in our new one.

It's a work in progress.

But with two little red boots and a daddy to help, we will hopefully be moved in by fall. 

For now, we live out any purpose we have right here at moms. We build patience...We give lots of grace...We surly bite our tongues...And we eat lots of Abby's pizza........

And the list goes on.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recipe~ Gardener's Dream

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. This was one of those I was dreaming up in my garden last week after I spotted it in a "clean eating" magazine. I did a few things different but over-all it was sooooo good. Don't be upset though......this traditional dish doesn't have meat. But I promise you wont be disappointed. The flavor and heartiness of this dish was so scrumptious  my sweet little gardener  wolfed this down. 

Shall we.....

Gardener's Shepherd's Pie


5 medium size baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced 
1 fennel, quartered and sliced thin
1 cup fresh green beans, cut in thirds
2 zucchini, diced in cubes
3 cups Swiss chard, chopped
two sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups low sodium quality vegetable stock
2 Tb low fat quality sour cream
1/2 cup sharp quality cheese
1 Tb flour
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400

Place potatoes in large pot with cold water. Boil until fork tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile: In large deep pan heat olive oil and add onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, carrots, fennel, green beans and zucchini. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1/2 cup broth and cook another 5 minutes. Add chard and thyme; saute 5 minutes. Add cannellini beans and remaining 1 1/2 cups broth; season with salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. Mix flour with 1 Tb water and pour in pan over veggies. Stir until thickened. Set aside.

Add milk, cheese and sour cream to potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and smash with potato masher. 

Put veggies in deep pie dish and top with mashed potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes or until top is browned. Sprinkle with fresh chives.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recipe ~ Garden Inspired......

For two weeks now I have been anxious to plant a garden here at my moms. We finally had it tilled last week so my excuses were running out and no longer seemed justified.

On top of things to do we celebrated my mom's birthday this last weekend. My sister-in-law made this "garden pudding pie" knowing how much my mom appreciates veggies. Little did she know that it was all I needed to get my lazy butt out back and plant my garden.

Ave had to contribute........

Because no garden should be without a white pumpkin.

As I was working up a good sweat, I was also dreaming up all my favorite fresh veggie recipes, all the canning I want to do, and the convenience of picking right from my backyard. Leaving my garden with all these ideas left me hungry and convinced that I didn't need to wait til' the end of summer to enjoy my long thought-out recipes. 

This "Green bean salad" is so fresh in flavor, perfect to pair with any main dish, and Totally easy.

Fresh Green Bean Salad 

1 pound fresh green beans, stems removed 
and cut in 2 inch pieces
1 Tb Kosher salt
1 garlic clove, whole
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tb capers
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tb fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper


In a medium size pot bring 2 quarts water to boil. Add 1 Tb kosher salt, whole garlic clove, and green beans. Boil for 3-4 minutes and put directly into large bowl of ice water. Pull out garlic clove, cut in half, and mince 1/2 of the clove. (discard the other piece unless you really want it garlicky) 

Drain green beans, and put in a medium size serving bowl and add the minced garlic along with the other 5 ingredients. Season to your liking with salt and pepper and toss to coat all the beans. Serve right away or chill in fridge until ready to serve.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Disappointments and Achievements

I set myself up for disappointment when I thought things would slow down once we moved in with my mom.

(Hence the last blog entry was nearly a month ago)

I set myself up for disappointment when I thought my mom and I would have most of her house organized by now.

I set myself up for disappointment when I figured all the spare time I would have would give me plenty of opportunities for blogging and sharing new recipes.

Can you tell I'm disappointed?

If your a blogger like me, and like to read blogs like me, than you know how important blogging is.

Can I say blog one more time? Bloooooooooooooog!


Anyway......we live about thirty minutes from the city we came from. Ave is out of school now, but with work and our big project, we spend nearly everyday traveling back and forth. 

Oh, I also set myself up for disappointment when I thought we would save on gas. 

I shouldn't complain, since I'm sure folks elsewhere are seeing numbers peek at nearly $10.

Maybe life will slow down. Maybe not. But we're all doing great, and the best part is.......I finally have a recipe for you

Wooo Hooo!!!

This is my favorite time of the year for food. Everything is fresher and lighter, and yummier too. My friend Jen had us over a couple nights ago for a early summer BBQ. We had grilled dogs, BBQ chicken wings, Cole slaw, and a nice glass of red. I was in charge of bringing some sort of salad, so I pulled out one of my stashed-away-cookbooks and found one of my favorite summer salad recipes. 

Strawberry Salad

It's really hard not to eat the entire bowl, and then slurp all the dressing off the bottom with a straw.

Quick Summer Salad

1 container(10 oz) of mixed baby spinach and butter lettuce
1 quart fresh strawberries, stems cut and sliced thin


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tb toasted sesame seeds
1 Tb poppy seeds
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp Worcestershire
1/8 tsp paprika

*Put lettuce mix and strawberries in large bowl. 
*Shake up all dressing ingredients in medium size mason jar, and drizzle over salad until    desired amount.


Aside from any disappointment I have throughout, it's no match for all the little achievements that bless me along the way.

My baby. Riding her bike without training wheels.

Let Summer Begin!