Friday, December 30, 2011

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette~by Kelsey

I found this recipe on via Pinterest.  It is really good, fairly easy, and fairly healthy.  I chose to use canned corn, even though it calls for fresh.  I will also cut back on the oil a little next time I make it.  Also, the avocados don't keep very well once you put them in the salad, so make sure you add them just before serving.

Serves 6 - 8


2 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ears fresh corn, cooked, cooled and kernels cut off the cob
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced shallots (you'll need one medium shallot)
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I like Colavita)
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)
½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more to garnish
2 Hass avocados, diced


Combine all ingredients except avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with a few springs of freshly chopped cilantro if desired.  Serve at room temperature.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Spicy Chicken-Corn Chowder ~ by Sarah

I got this recipe from Aunt D'Lynn.  (I think she got it from Better Homes and Gardens.)  It is good, but yowzers it's spicy!  And I even was very conservative with the spicy stuff.  So if you like spicy, you'll love it.  If you're like me and spicy things make you run for a glass of milk, you might want to just barely spice it up.  Because it would be delicious even without the heat!  I think next time I make it I will eliminate all things spicy and maybe add some smoked paprika.

8 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb. (about 4 boneless, skinless breasts) bite-sized raw chicken pieces
1 1/2 c. chopped red sweet pepper
1 c. chopped sweet onion
1-2 chopped jalapeno peppers (I used half of one and it was spicy enough for me!)
4 minced garlic cloves
1/3 c. flour
6 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
2 large Yukon potatoes, chopped
2 c. frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 t. and it was plenty for me!)
2 bay leaves

(I used my Dutch oven to make this in--worked perfectly!)  Cook bacon.  Remove.  Reserve 1 T. drippings.  Add chicken.  Season.  Remove.  Add pepper and onion.  Cook till tender.  Add jalapeno and garlic.  Cook 3 minutes.  Stir in flour.  Cook 1 minute.  Add broth and potatoes.  Boil, then reduce heat.  Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes.  Stir in bacon, chicken, corn, cream, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves.  Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

I stole this picture from Better Homes and Gardens.  I forgot to take my own and Wes loved this (he loves spice so much he even added Frank's Hot Sauce!) so it didn't last long!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fudge~by Kelsey

From  It works best to double the recipe and put it in a 9X13 pan.

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Place the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in large microwave-safe bowl.  Zap in microwave on medium until chips are melted, about 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.  Stir in nuts, if desired.  Pour into well-greased 8X8 glass baking dish.  Refrigerate until set.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies~by Kelsey

Lydia found this recipe in Grace's Williams-Sonoma Cookbook for Kids.  I am a sucker for chocolate and peanut butter!

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium speed until blended.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed until blended.  Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, placing 12 balls at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Dip fork in flour and press each cookie twice to make a criss-cross pattern.  Bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the pans for five minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl.  Add the shortening.  Microwave on high for one minute, stir, then microwave again for 30 seconds longer or until melted.  One at a time, dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator just until the cookies set, about five minutes.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.  Makes 24 cookies.