Black Bean Salsa from our friend A.F.

Black Bean Salsa



1 16 ounce bag frozen sweet corn, thawed to room temperature and drained

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, cooked until tender and drained)

1 large (or 2 small) white onion, finely chopped

one 10-ounce package cherry or grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped

leaves from 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

3 large jalapeño peppers, minced (Remove seeds from 1 or 2 of the peppers before chopping to control the spiciness; the “heat” is in the ribs and seeds.)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

salt to taste (start with about 3/4 tsp)

Heat the butter over high heat in a large sauté pan until foamy. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is browned and very fragrant.

Place corn in a very large mixing bowl and add all remaining ingredients. Toss gently to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Feel free to add a little cumin or a minced garlic clove or a little Adobo seasoning or chili powder, if that suits your taste. Of course, you can always adjust the proportions if you prefer less onion, more
tomato, etc.

Serve with tortilla chips (these are fun and hold lots of chunky salsa) or use
in quesadillas, soft tacos or nachos.

This recipe makes a HUGE batch, fit for a large BBQ or potluck, but it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days or the quantities are easy to adjust, if you’d prefer to make a smaller batch.



Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer

Recipe here. Saag paneer is one of our favorites dishes when we go out for Indian food, but this is the first time that I’ve made it at home.

This recipe was really easy and quite yummy. I skipped the step of chopping the spinach beforehand and just gave the mixture a few pulses with the immersion blender, instead, after adding the buttermilk and yogurt.
I added a bit more seasoning than the recipe called for, because we really love the Indian spice palette.

I forgot to buy some naan, so just served it over rice, instead. Very nice.

Pistachio-Orange Biscotti

Biscotti on my great-aunt Laddye Lee’s vintage china plate.

This recipe (scroll down) from our local newspaper is a favorite of all four of us. The dough comes together quickly (zesting the orange is the most time-consuming part) and unlike most cookies, there’s really no rolling, cutting, dropping or really even forming of the dough at all before baking. These are easy-peasy and very delicious. They keep well for a long time and are perfect for care packages, because they’re very sturdy.

Herbes de Provence


Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe

2 Tbsp dried savory
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried marjoram
2 Tbsp fennel seed
1 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 Tbsp dried tarragon
1 Tbsp dried dill weed
1 Tbsp dried chervil

Stir together and store in an airtight container. I usually make a half-batch, because I don’t go through this stuff super quickly. FYI – half of a Tbsp is equal to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.


Another delicious Giada recipe. Recipe here.

I adapted this soup to be flexitarian by using veggie broth instead of chicken and by cooking the pancetta separately and offering it as a garnish on the side, rather than cooking it in the soup.

I also used gigante beans, instead of cannellini beans, because I had some on hand that needed to be cooked and used up. I also had already used my Parmesan rind for a previous batch of soup, so just sprinkled Parmesan on top of each individual bowl, instead.

This was quite tasty and came together very quickly. It did require quite a bit more stock (almost double) to get the soup to a liquid enough consistency and my ciabatta (which was bought this morning, so very fresh) took more than the suggested 5 minutes (about 8 or so?) to toast adequately, so your mileage may vary…

I prefer this Herbes de Provence blend, which is easy to mix up quickly and keep on hand, plus I added a little extra oregano.