I love to cook...that said I don't do it as often as I could/should. My mom got me started cooking - watching her and seeing how important it was for us to always have a balanced and home-cooked meal set me on the road to creating meals. Being an Italian family (there is some dispute about just how Italian we are...but I remain determined..I AM ITALIAN) means that all activities are in some way connected to food.
My grandfather, who we affectionately called Honey, was the one in the family who cooked like me. Standing in the kitchen he would just add ingredients until he was happy with the result.
Look at that precious smile...he was the sweetest man...
Don't get me wrong - I do use recipes - I love trading with friends and family and finding a new fun cook book. ( My favorite cook book right now being The Pioneer Woman's new cook book. Thank you Stacy!!!)
And...sometimes I even use them without changing them! But, what I love to do is to get a feeling about the flavors I want to experience and then try to just add ingredients until I am happy with the result. Sort of like Honey!
Following is one of my latest concoctions. It is so fresh tasting, perfect for a warm summer evening at the pool!
You will need:
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can black olives
Now, all these ingredients are going in a bowl together -
So rinse the beans and dump them in the bowl and as you add the olives just crush them with your fingers to break them in half.
Chop 1/4 of a bunch of cilantro and add that in
along with 1/2 of a red onion diced
2 tomatoes seeded and diced and 1/2 of a medium jicama peeled and diced.
This is what a jicama looks like in case you haven't cooked with it before!
Add the juice of one lime....
and the zest also
In this picture are two of my favorite kitchen helpers! First the zester...it makes the job of zesting so much easier, just rub it across the lime and the zest piles up on the other side ready for you to drop into your bowl! Then the other gizmo my mom brought me from Mexico...it squeezes the juice right out of your lime...check the local Mexican markets. Here it is in action....
It works great for Mojitos also!
So, all of the above items are in your bowl...add garlic salt to taste and 1/2 cup of salsa and Ta Da! your fresh summer salad is complete.
Sometimes we crush tortilla chips over ours...sometimes we just dig in.
For convenience sake here is a list of the ingredients:
1 can black beans - drained
1 can kidney beans - drained
1 can black olives - crushed
1/4 bunch of cilantro chopped
1/2 medium jicama - peeled and diced
1/2 red onion - diced
2 tomatoes - seeded and diced
juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup salsa
garlic salt to taste