Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Party and Black Bean Salad

My friend, Nancy, is having her annual pumpkin carving party this evening. This party is usually pretty fun - some good artists that know how to carve pumpkins, a few fellas with guitars that can also carry a tune, a bon fire, good food and drinks and of course, fun people.

This evening's food includes enchiladas and guacamole. So, I thought I would whip up something complimentary ... Black Bean and Corn Salad.

Black Bean and Corn Salad
2 cans of Black Beans, drained and washed
1/2 cup of Grilled Corn from the cob (I grill corn in the summer and then freeze it)
1/4 of a Red Bell pepper, diced
3/4 of a Jalapeno, diced
1/2 cup chopped Red Onion
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Lime zest

Combine all of the above.

Make the dressing:
Juice of a Large Lime (~1/4 cup of juice)
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt

Toss dressing with salad. Chill and serve.

I have to say the toasted pine nuts make the dish! Yum!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cheese Straws and Goat Cheese Toast

My sister, Jill, and her 4 yr old son, Wade, will be visiting me this coming weekend. Wahoo!

As a special treat, I usually try to make her a batch of cheese straws. So, I ended up spending a couple of hours this afternoon, making cheese straws. Shh, don't tell her. ;)

By the time I finished, I wasn't up for cooking dinner. So, I made a simple and delicious appetizer that I love: Goat Cheese Toast (well, that's what I call it anyway).

Goat Cheese Toast

Bread, fresh - I like to use a baquette or ciabatta
Goat Cheese, fresh
Chili oil (I used Villa Toscana Chili Oil - flavored, exra virgin olive oil)
Piquillo peppers (I used Fire Roasted Piquillo Peppers from Lodosa)

Slice bread.

Lightly brush 1-side of bread with the chili oil and broil the oiled side until lightly toasted. Flip bread over and toast another few minutes. Try not to burn it.

Let cool slightly. Then spread on goat cheese and top with sliced peppers.

Yummy! This is extra delicious! The chili oil I used is pretty spicy and the peppers are so awesome.