Black Bean Salsa

Black bean salsa, party dip

Party Dip

After church this morning, we went to one of our favorite haunts and had a big lunch. I even devoured a heavenly slice of coconut cream pie. This evening when dinner time rolled around, we weren’t in the mood for another big meal. I saw something similar to this online, but I changed it to fit our taste buds. It was the perfect size for 2 of us to enjoy a healthy snack for dinner. This would make a tremendously tasty appetizer to take to any party, but you’d probably want to double or triple it for a crowd. The Rotel tomatoes add a little fire to the belly, so if you don’t want the heat, you could substitute the Rotel for a can of diced tomatoes.

1/2 onion, diced
1/2 poblano pepper, diced
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic
Salt to taste
1-2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl mayonnaise
Just a tad of lime juice
Cilantro, chopped
Avocado, diced
Tortilla chips for dipping

Pour olive oil into large saute pan or cast iron skillet. Stir together in pan the onion, pepper, corn, beans, tomatoes, and seasonings and on low heat, saute until vegetables are tender and beans have softened. Add mayonnaise and lime juice to taste. Remove from heat and add cilantro and stir. Garnish chips with salsa, diced avocado, and chives.

Extra flavor option: I made cheese nachos out of shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on tortilla chips and broiled until cheese melted and chips were golden brown. Then, we used these for dipping with the salsa. It was a really nice added layer of flavor. Dive on in!

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Tortellini Soup

I was looking for something rich and filling, but also quick and easy.  This recipe certainly did the trick. I used store-bought cheese tortellini. I didn’t have any spinach, so I substituted kale. The heavy cream makes it so smooth. Full of flavor and color, this will definitely be a soup I make for guests. Recipe comes from The Recipe Critic.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 9 ounce refrigerated tortellini
  • 2 cups spinach or kale
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat up the butter. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, white beans, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the chicken, tortellini, and spinach. Let simmer for 10 minutes to thicken up and for the tortellini to cook. Enjoy!

Favorite Blackberry Cobbler

Who doesn’t like cobbler? On our property, we have wild dewberries (like blackberries only smaller) plus I planted some blackberry bushes, so my freezer is full of beautiful purple berries. This recipe is easy and quick, which is the way a recipe for dessert should be so you can get right down to eatin’ it!

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blackberries (do not use blueberries)
1 cup sugar
1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted


  • In medium bowl, stir together blackberries and sugar. Let stand about 20 minutes or until fruit syrup forms. Heat oven to 375°F.
  • In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir in melted butter until blended. Spread in ungreased 8-inch square pan. Spoon blackberry mixture over batter.
  • Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until dough rises and is golden. Serve warm with cream, whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Crockpot Carnitas

I got this recipe from South Your Mouth and we love it!  The flavor is amazing and it makes a great meal for guests. I make a batch of flour tortillas or pick up hot and fresh ones at our local Mexican market and make pulled pork tacos. Just add chopped onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro for a meal you won’t soon forget!

Crockpot Carnitas
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lime

Combine salt and spices in a small bowl and mix well. Rub the roast with oil then coat with spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate roast to marinate in the spices overnight (8-10 hours).

Cook roast (without adding water) in crock pot on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.

Remove roast from crock pot and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour rendered cooking liquid into a measuring pitcher and let sit until liquid and fat have separated. Spoon fat off and set aside.

Roughly chop roast into chunks and spread onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cut lime into wedges or chunks and squeeze juice all over pork. I tossed the squeezed lime pieces into the pan with the pork for extra flavor.

Drizzle 1/3 cup of the rendered fat over the pork. Place baking sheet on the middle oven rack and broil on high until pork pieces begin to sizzle and crisp up. Remove from oven and serve.

Serve carnitas as-is or assemble into soft tacos using heated soft flour tortillas. I usually top mine (as-is or as a taco) with diced onion, chopped cilantro, avocado slices and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Credit goes to: