Black Bean & Corn Salsa.
One of my favorite new healthy snacks is black bean and corn salsa.
It makes a wonderful “scoop” with tortilla chips.
It is also great all by itself as a salad or piled on top of a grilled chicken breast or fish.
It is light, healthy, crunchy, tangy, low-calorie, high-fiber, and absolutely DELISH too!
Here is how I make it, but you can surely tweak to your liking. It would be great with a bit of fresh cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand when I made this batch on Sunday. You could also switch it up with any other kind of bean you like or other veggies like cherry tomatoes or cucumbers.
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn*
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- Balsamic vinegar to taste (approx. 2 Tbsp)
Combine all vegetables in a bowl. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar to taste.
Serve as a salsa for tortilla chips, as a salad, or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.
Store well in airtight refrigerator container for several days.
*TIP: When we buy fresh corn on the cob in the summer, we always buy a full dozen, though we never eat all of that for the two of us. We cut the leftover off the cob, throw it in a Ziploc freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer for the winter months or times when fresh corn is not available. It is so much better than canned corn.
Cheers & Hugs,
Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes.
If you are looking for a super special, absolutely rock-your-world delicious treat to bake for your special Valentine(s), look no further thank these amazing Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes!
I have always admired beautiful cupcakes and love those special gourmet ones that have surprise fillings and are extravagantly decorated, but I have never had much success making them.
I had the urge to give it another try yesterday after purchasing some fun sprinkles I was dying to use somehow.
Disclaimer – I have a weird “thing” for sprinkles and buy way more than I ever use! I bought three different kinds of red/pink Valentiney ones and one big container of regular ones. My granddaughter had fun shaking them in the cart while we were shopping!
I found a recipe at RockRecipes.com that I tweaked up a bit. I was so excited with how beautiful and YUMMY they turned out.
When I handed one to Hubby to taste test, I said, “Are you ready to have your world rocked by this?”
He loved it!
Here is how I made them. Hope you give them a try.
Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 oz. water
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Add baking powder and salt, then fold in flour. Finally stir in milk to create batter.
Pour into paper-lined cupcake/muffin pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
While cupcakes are baking, prepare raspberry filling by stirring 1 cup raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in water, and slowly pour into boiling berries. Stir constantly until thickened. Allow to cool.
Prepare frosting by blending together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy consistency.
When cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer to remove a small section from center of cupcake. Fill with raspberry filling.
Decorate with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles and fresh raspberries if desired.
Cheers & Hugs,
Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Poppy Seed Cake.
One of the things I love to do around my birthday is bake Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Poppy Seed Cake.
Having a birthday so close after Christmas, when everyone is really “over” sweets, Grandma made this simple cake for my birthday every year for as long as I can remember until she passed away.
May sound kind of strange that I like to bake my own cake these days, but I really do. For me, it’s more than baking. It’s reminiscing. It’s sweet, loving memories. It’s kind of a tribute to my Stella Star.
I use Grandma’s old tin measuring cup as I measure out the flour and sugar. I grease and flour the pan – a square tube pan – because that is the way Grandma did it. I crack eggs and stir and think of conversations Grandma and I had in the kitchen while she cooked and baked. I put it in the oven and wait for the smell…. That smell that takes me right there to her kitchen. Right back to that feeling of comfort and peace and unconditional love.
So yep – baking my cake gives me almost as much joy as eating it!
I love the way the outside is crisp and crunchy, and the inside is tender and moist and just a little sweet, but packed full of flavor.
This is a very basic cake. A cake likely made in times when ingredients were simple, money was tight, and everything was made from scratch with love. And I love it!
Do you have a recipe like this that is just as much of a memory as it is something to eat? Something that is a ritual of love?
Here is our recipe:
Grandma's Easy Poppy Seed Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 10 inch tube or bundt pan.
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.
Make a well in the center and add eggs, vanilla, oil, and milk. Mix well.
Fold in poppy seeds.
Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn onto rack to cool.
When cool, sprinkle generously with sifted powdered sugar.
Cheers & Hugs,
Perfect Prime Rib Roast.
On Christmas Eve this year, we decided on a Simple Surf and Turf Dinner menu to have with the family. The Surf was Bacon Wrapped Scallops. The Turf was Prime Rib. Both were prepared simply, and turned out delish! Baked potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Salad of romaine lettuce, apples, dried cranberries and walnuts accompanied the entrees.
I managed to quickly snap this iPhone photo of Hubby cutting the prime rib. Not the best photo, but this recipe I found and slightly modified is such a keeper, I had to share! The roasted vegetables not only help to make the perfect base for the au jus, they also taste great too as an extra veggie.
Whenever you want a simple, but elegant entree, this is a winner you will want to try.
Perfect Prime Rib Roast
- 7-8 lb Prime Rib Roast (with bones)
- 1-2 Tbsp Horseradish
- 1-2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 4-6 stalks celery, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 cup carrots, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 large sweet onion, quartered
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp water
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub roast with horseradish and mustard.
Combine salt, pepper thyme and garlic powder, and sprinkle over roast.
Place celery, carrot, and onion chunks in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place roast on top of vegetables.
Roast for 30 mins. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and roast until meat is 135 degrees F.
Remove from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 30 mins.
Make au jus sauce by placing pan drippings in roasting pan (veggies removed and reserved to serve) over a burner set to medium. Stir in beef bouillon and water. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water, and whisk into sauce. Allow sauce to thicken slightly, and serve with roast.
Cheers & Hugs,