Black Bean & Corn Salsa

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

  • Servings: approx. 3 cups
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

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.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lightened Up Vinaigrette Broccoli Salad

Lightened Up Vinaigrette Broccoli Salad.

I love broccoli  – cooked or raw.
And I love broccoli salad.

The traditional version has a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing, and it is delicious!

But I was looking for a way to “lighten it up” a bit when making dinner one day this week, so I tried it with a vinaigrette dressing instead.

And it is DELISH too!

It is lighter and fresher tasting, and it is about half the calories of the traditional version!

This really is a nice twist on a classic that is healthier and just as yummy.

Here is how I made it.

Lightened Up Vinaigrette Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 thinly sliced, chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 large sweet red pepper, thinly sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices bacon, diced and cooked
  • Vinaigrette:
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider (or your favorite – red wine, white, etc.) vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl.  Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over salad and toss to coat well.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Four Seasons with Jodi – Exploring Color

With Jodi’s kind permission I’m sharing some of my favourite posts from her fantastic blog, of which you could say that I’m a devoted follower. If you enjoy beauty, art and inspiration (not to mention mouth-watering food recipes) then Jodi’s blog simply has it all! I feel honoured that Jodi so generously allows me to […]

I was so honored by this beautiful post created by Liz at Exploring Color, I had to share.  Thank you my sweet friend Liz from the other side of the world in New Zealand!

I hope you enjoy this beautiful post she created about the Four Seasons from my blog.   My heart is so touched.  I hope you will check out her lovely blog.

Four Seasons with Jodi


Autumn

I’m starting with Autumn because this recent post of Jodi’s prompted me to do ‘Four Seasons with Jodi’. It touched my heart…

Let the Rain Fall

goldfinch-in-the-rain
Goldfinch in the Rain – Autumn, Mars, PA

I watched you as you sat proud and beautiful
while the rain fell on and around you.

You didn’t need
the sun to make you shine.

In fact,
you stood out even brighter in the cloudy drizzle.

And I was reminded
true beauty comes from within.

It can’t be soaked or drenched
or washed off.

It can’t be dampened or doused
by the storms of life.

Let the rain fall.
Let the storms crash.

And continue to shine
your authentic beautiful self.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Link for original post:  Let the Rain Fall


Winter

Snowy Pines Watercolor

winter-landscape-snowy-reflections-11x14-400-lb-cold-press
Winter Snowy Pine Reflections Watercolor – 11×14 140lb cold press

Is anything crazier or more unpredictable than the weather?!

Where I live, we went from record highs one week
to record lows the next.

From open windows and shorts and bare feet –
to snow flurries and wool socks and sweaters.

And one cold day I painted this winter scene
(inspired by a photo I saw that I cannot find credit for).

It’s funny how the cold scene
gives me a warm feeling.

Almost as crazy as the weather!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Link for original post:  Snowy Pines Watercolor


Spring

A Brief Visit

dogwood-tree-blossoms
The Old Dogwood Trees’ Blossoms

Your visit is so brief….
but your memory lingers,

and it is ceremoniously revived
each Spring when you surprise me yet again.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Link for original post:  A Brief Visit


Summer

A Bumble Bee Named Buzz

bumble-bee-buzz-watercolor-8x10-140lb-saunders-cold-press
Buzz the Bumble Bee 8×10 Watercolor 140lb Saunders Cold Press

On the edge of a meadow lives a bumble bee named Buzz.
He lives near his aunt and his uncle and his cuz.

Aunt Sally, Uncle Sam, and Sherman they was.
They love Buzz more than any other in Americas.

Sherman and Buzz love to play and dance because
It is what all the bumble bees in the meadow does.

So if you see dancing bees and think your eyes are a fuzz,
don’t be surprised if it’s Sherman and Buzz.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Link for original post:  A Bumble Bee Named Buzz

One of Jodi’s friends left a wonderful quote in the ‘comments’ on this post:

“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden”

– Elizabeth Lawrence


Buzz the bumble bee is one of many cute animal characters in Jodi’s newly published children’s book Klaus The Mouse

Klaus The Mouse

Klaus the Mouse by Jodi McKinney – Amazon

Available for order HERE.

Jodi contributed a guest post in my Where and What is Beauty? series.

 

 Please visit Liz’s beautiful blog – Exploring Colour.

via Four Seasons with Jodi — Exploring Colour

I hope you are enjoying whatever season of weather and of life you are in!
Cherish the Moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie.

Looking for something to do with the abundance of fresh, juicy, sweet, beautiful tomatoes in your garden or available this time of year?

How about an old-fashioned tomato pie?!

It’s like a deep dish pizza  in an old-fashioned crust….

Layers of tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil and parsley… topped with cheesy yumminess.

Make one, and enjoy it hot, warm, room temperature, or even cold.  It is a wonderful treat to celebrate the end of summer’s bounty and the delight of vine-ripened tomatoes.

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • Single Pie Crust
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/3 cup Crisco shortening
    • Dash of salt (6 shakes)
    • 1/3 cup cold water
  • Filling
    • 2-3 lbs tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used a variety of red and yellow heirloom tomatoes)
    • 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil and parsley
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
    • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Gruyere cheese
    • 1/8-1/4 cup cup mayonnaise

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare pie crust by blending flour, shortening and salt with a pastry blender to create coarse crumbs.  Add cold water, and mix until just combined.   Do not overwork (this is the secret to flaky pie crust).  Roll out dough on floured surface and line a 9″ pie plate with dough – folding overhanging dough under itself along rim to create rustic edge.

Line piecrust with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans (or pie weights) to keep crust in place.  Bake for 20 mins.  Cool completely.

To prepare filling, place thinly sliced tomatoes on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt.  Let stand 10 mins.  Pat dry with another layer of paper towels.

While tomatoes are resting, saute onion and garlic, sprinkled with salt and pepper, in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until tender.

Layer tomatoes, then onion/garlic mixture, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs into pie crust.  Continue layering until all tomatoes, onions, and herbs are used.

Combine shredded cheese and mayonnaise.  Spread over top of tomato pie.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, shielding edges with foil or pie shield (the GREATEST invention ever for pie bakers!) to prevent excessive browning.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, whichever you prefer. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Recipe adapted slightly from Myrecipes.com.

The BEST Summer Sammie

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sandwich - Best Summer Sammie

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sandwich – Best Summer Sammie

The BEST Summer Sammie.

My tomatoes
are FINALLY
ripening!

We planted
a bit late
this year.

But
it was well worth
the wait.

I can now
eat my FAVORITE
summer sammie…

For breakfast,
lunch,
or dinner!

Fresh tomato slices,
fresh sweet basil,
and toasted ciabatta slathered with mayo.

Who needs a burger?
Who needs a dog?
When these rubies and golds have finally arrived!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Quick and Easy Peach Puff Pastry Tartlets

Quick and Easy Peach Puff Pastry Tartlets.

This Sunday, we had the family over for dinner.  Hubby made the most amazing BBQ spare ribs, which we served with grilled sweet corn on the cob, cowboy baked beans and a caprese salad.  A fresh peach dessert seemed the perfect ending for this BBQ, but I didn’t feel like fussing much.

Knowing I had a package of puff pastry in the freezer, I quickly googled “peaches and puff pastry” and found this wonderful recipe at Natasha’s Kitchen.

These only took about 10 minutes to throw together and 15 minutes to bake for a beautiful and super delicious dessert.

Well – at least that is what I hear…. You’ll have to take my family’s word for how delish they were as I didn’t get to try one.  They’re gone (which is always a good sign).

When your sons ask for a second (or a third), you happily feed them and drink a glass of wine instead <wink>!  I can make these anytime I want again, but feeding my guys and daughter-in-laws and granddaughter and a bestie – – – seeing smiles, hearing yums, and getting hugs – – – well – that’s all this momma needs.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making these again!  I’m betting sliced apples and walnuts would be a wonderful Autumn version as well as loads of other fruit and nut combinations.

Here’s Natasha’s recipe as I made it.

Quick and Easy Peach Puff Pastry Tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed 20-30 mins.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large fresh peaches
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Cut thawed puff pastry into 9 equal sized squares and place on parchment lined baking sheet or baking stone.

Beat egg in a small bowl and set aside.

Slice peaches and place in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle with sugar,  flour, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Gently fold together.

Place 3 -4 peach slices in the center of each pastry square. Avoid getting peach juice on pastry edges. Brush edges generously with beaten egg. Sprinkle sliced almonds over pastry and peaches.

Bake at 400˚F for 15-18 minutes or until puffed and golden on the edges.  Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.

While cooling, make the glaze by stirring together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.   Drizzle over cooled tartlets.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#Natashaskitchen

Cantaloupe Margaritas

Cantaloupe Margaritas.

Summer is coming to an end, but there is still plenty of time for celebrating!

And what is more summery than melons…. and margaritas?

Combined…….. they create heaven in a glass!

We were invited to friends’ house for dinner one evening this week, and I was asked to bring wine.

Well – I love my wine (and took a bottle with us), but I thought something a little more creative was in order for our little get-together, so I decided to make a pitcher of this amazingness!

We LOVED them!  (and can I admit I actually doubled the recipe provided below… which is already doubled from the original I found?)

Sooooo worth it!  Even if you don’t think so the next morning! <wink>

Create this beautiful sunshine in a glass before summer is over.   You will be the hit of the party!

Cantaloupe Margaritas*

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 medium cantaloupe, seeded, skin removed, and cut into small pieces (to produce 2 cups of strained pulp)
  • 1 cup Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 cups Silver Tequila
  • Coarse Salt or Raw Sugar for rimming glasses
  • Cantaloupe balls and lime wedges for garnish

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil.  Stir until clear to create a simple syrup.  Remove from heat and add the lime juice.  Set aside to cool.

In a blender (or food processor), blend cantaloupe chunks into a fine pulp.  (You may need to do in small batches.)  Pour pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a large measuring cup or small bowl and strain, lightly pressing the solids until you get 2 cups of liquid.

Combine syrup and lime juice with cantaloupe in pitcher.  Add triple sec and tequila and stir.  Chill.

Pour over crushed or cubed ice into glasses rimmed with salt or sugar.  Garnish with melon ball and lime slice if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe Source:  The Brewer & the Baker