Corn & Bean Salad

One area of this website that is still quite neglected is the recipes. I love to cook and usually do so for a good-sized crowd. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at food photography. So you’ll have to trust me a little.

salad

This salad is delicious. Crisp, spicy, a bit sweet and so fresh. It is perfect with barbecued meat and so easy to toss together. It’s vegan and gluten free as well! This corn & bean salad makes enough to generously feed my family of six with leftovers. I don’t have step-by-step photos but there aren’t many steps! Here they are:

Corn & Bean Salad

9 ears of corn, shucked and lightly brushed with olive oil

3 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

the juice of 2 large limes and 1 lemon

5 teaspoons chili powder

3-5 teaspoons cumin (all depends how smoky you want your salad!)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a hearty handful of each cilantro and parsley, chopped

— Char the corn just until there are some grill marks. You can do this outside on the grill, on a griddle inside or even in a skillet.

— Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl while the corn is cooling.

— Remove the corn from the corn cobs by standing them on end and lightly running a knife down it. Add the corn to the salad and mix very well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

— Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

I think this salad would be great with some chopped avocado tossed in. Someone also suggested adding mango. Yum!

What’s your favorite summer salad?

The Easiest Homemade Doughnuts

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If you are a foodie or gourmet or anything like that – just stop reading now.

If you are on the lookout for easy, cheap, delicious treats for your family – even if they’re not so healthy once and awhile – this one’s for you. And this will also be the shortest recipe post you’ll ever read. I’m going to tell you how to make 20 hot and fresh doughnuts in about 10 minutes – for $1.

Ready?

This is what you need:

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Two tubes of biscuit dough and some powdered sugar. Not pictured is some frying oil. You want enough oil to give you about a half inch in the bottom of your pan.

Optional is a cute princessy helper.

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Preheat the oil until a sprinkle of water in the pan sizzles. While you’re heating your oil, show your princessy helper how to pop a hole in each of the biscuits. That hole instantly turns the biscuits into doughnuts.

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Get all your doughnuts ready while your oil is warming because once you start frying, this goes really fast.

doughnuts

The steps are pretty simple. Fry each doughnut for about 30 seconds on each side. Drain well on a cooling rack. Then you can dust with powdered sugar or  dip each doughnut into a powdered sugar glaze. You could also make a simple apple cider glaze (1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons apple cider, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla = simple & delicious) to bring a bit of autumn to this yummy treat. These doughnuts taste best fresh and warm.

The bonus? If you have an Aldi store near you, these tubes of buttermilk biscuits are only $.49. Forty-nine cents. For ten doughnuts. You cannot beat that price! Not to mention that this particular brand of biscuits is also dairy and egg free, making these safe for our daughter with food allergies.

This is definitely not a regular occurrence in our house but it is nice to have a couple of biscuit tubes hidden in the back of the fridge for an extra-special treat. What’s your favorite once-and-awhile snack?

doughnutpin

Look good? Pin it!

Five Things Friday, v.5

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On My Heart: Really, there is probably too much to share. It’s been a long week. We’ve had our share of battles. A highpoint was surprising the girls with a day trip to the Adirondack Museum, where we met up with my mom and nephews. They then followed us home for the night, on the spur of the moment, after the kids all begged for more time together. Having them here and then gone so quickly, not knowing when they’ll come back, was hard. Custody and courts and such rule their time and Aunts are not included in such things. Today, I sent Alyssa (my food allergy girl) off with her sisters to the homeschool enrichment program that we all love. It’s always a bit challenging, even though she’s older. In my heart, I want to believe that everyone is watching out for her and thinking about her safety. Deeper in my cynical heart though, I wonder if anyone is thinking about her or the ingredients in the snack they hand out or hearing the taunting words thrown around in the cafeteria. I know kids will be kids and I know she’s my kid, my responsibility. But my cynical heart would also like to think that someone is keeping an extra eye on her.

On My Mind: I’m so thankful that my children asked if we could have Momway for dinner. A few years ago, I was grocery shopping but didn’t want to cook that night. For a quick dinner, I brought home various lunch meats, rolls and sandwich toppings. The girls lined up on one side of the counter and walked me through what they wanted on their sandwiches, much like going to Subway. Someone (I think it was Josh) renamed sandwich night Momway and it stuck. We all enjoy it. Little cleanup, no cooking and perfect for a night that Josh is out at a meeting. Happiness all around.

On My iPod: I am currently in a music rut. There is no music being played on my iPod. I’m sick of all of it. Suggestions are welcome. I like to play Monopoly though. And I still don’t like Flappy Bird.

On My DVR: This week, it’s also on my Redbox… Grace Unplugged is on tap for tonight. My girls love Jamie Grace and she has a supporting role in this film. It received the Plugged In award for best Christian film of the year. I’m looking forward to watching it. I’m two episodes behind on Person Of Interest. And for some reason we DVR Highway To Heaven but no one ever watches it…

On My Schedule: Dinner with new friends, Monday night classes at our church, Upward basketball … all leading up to a short getaway for our family to the Great Escape Lodge with my parents. To say the girls are excited would be a huge understatement. To say that I’m excited would probably be an understatement as well. We haven’t gone away to do something vacation-like in a really long time. A day trip here and there, but nothing like this. I am fighting the urge to start making packing lists until after our pretty busy weekend. Then it’s bathing suit fittings, flip flop buying, Puddle Jumper finding, one more Friday School and away we go!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I haven’t done many recipes on here, mainly because I’m not a very good food photographer. I love to cook and bake. Having a child with food allergies has made this a little tricky at times. My mom reminded me of a recipe that she used to make every Thanksgiving – pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Bonus? No dairy or egg. They’re totally safe for my Alyssa.

Here’s the recipe:

1 cup sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix the first three ingredients until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips and stir well. Then fold in chocolate chips.

Not the most appetizing looking dough but just stay with me here.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes and remove from pan immediately.

Once they are cooled, these cookies stay soft and delicious. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. After tasting them again, I want to add a bit of nutmeg and ginger the next time we make them. But even with just cinnamon, these cookies are so yummy! You might want to double the recipe because these don’t last long. 😉

Alyssa

We’ve returned from Alyssa’s yearly check-up with the allergist. I feel like a deflated balloon. Again. This probably shouldn’t be a letdown to me each year but it was once again.

She hasn’t outgrown any of her allergies.
Her doctors don’t really think she ever will outgrow them.
Numbers and test results were so high, they recommend putting off testing for two years to save Alyssa the pain and grief of the needles, blood work, etc.

I know food allergies are not a horrible, life threatening disease. Alyssa is a healthy girl who isn’t deprived of anything. She has ice cream and cookies, macaroni and cheese, “peanut” butter and jelly…every food that kids are supposed to have available to them. She is getting better about speaking up and telling people she has food allergies.

The problem is me.
I have to relax and trust my daughter as well as the adults around her.

It’s very anxiety-provoking to leave Alyssa at a friends’ house or at the lunch period during her homeschool enrichment program. The whatifs are so numerous, I get butterflies just thinking about them. Are the teachers watching? Does she have her paper towel set out for her food? Are her friends crowding her area with their food? Does Mrs. ____ know she can’t have ____? Is someone teasing her again?
I hate it.
But this is life for her and for us.
She doesn’t hate it. And if I’m not careful, I’m going to make her hate it as well. God made Alyssa this way for a reason. Now to let her live her life so we can all see what those plans are for our sweetest girl!