Sunday, July 5, 2009


As I've aged I have learned to appreciate food more and I've developed a love to be in the kitchen cooking something new. Obviously, it's best when Brad is in there helping me create some new dinner for us to try. And now with the addition of our grill we already have a list of creations to try in the coming weeks. 

For our 4th of July party I had alot of food to make to keep my guests happy and entertained. I thought I would share two recipes with you since I think both of these are worth trying. 

Corn Salsa (or Fiesta Salsa as I call it)

This is my favorite appetizer recipe currently and works for any setting. I will not claim this recipe as my own as I first tried this when my friend Hillary made it. I had to ask her for the recipe as soon as I tried it, and it's been a staple in my recipe collection since. I've changed a few things, and I recommend anyone to add what you like and customize as you see fit. This recipe makes a HUGE batch, so I recommend to half the ingredients otherwise you will have tons left over. Also, I tend to chop my ingredients to small pieces (even the olives) so that it's not too chunky and hard to scoop up. I serve it with either pita chips or tortilla chips.

First, the ingredients:

16oz bag of frozen sweet white corn -thawed 
4oz can of sliced black olives
1 large red bell pepper ( I also use orange and yellow for additional colors)
1 small red onion chopped finely
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic 
Fresh cilantro chopped (approx 3/4 cup, or to taste)
1 can black beans drained (optional, but I always add)
Cherry tomatoes chopped in small pieces (optional, but I always add)
2-4 ripe avocados chopped

1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for those non-Rachel Ray watchers)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper (or to taste)

I prepare everything before hand by combining all the ingredients (except the avocados and dressing) and keeping refrigerated until serving. Just prior to serving, cut up the avocados and add to salsa mixture. Then whisk up dressing and pour over salsa and mix well. Viola! 

Potato Salad

I found this recipe on Food Network by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and decided to try it for our party. I must was delish!. I'm very particular about potato salad, and it's either good or it's not good, no in between. The dill in this dish makes to flavors intense. Also, watch the salt. I used way less than what was indicated (also if you use regular salt it will be saltier than if you use Kosher salt). 

3 lbs small white potatoes (I used red potatoes and didn't remove the skins)
Kosher salt
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk (I didn't have this, so I used about 1/4 skim milk and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup copped red onion

Boil the potatoes and 2 tablesppons of salt in a large pot of water. Once the pot is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen town. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15-20 minutes. 

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together in a small bowl the mayo, buttermilk (or milk) dijon and whole-grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Set aside. 

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarter or half (I made small pieces). Place the cut potatoes in a large bowel. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temp. 


Courtney said...

Oh those both look fantastic!!

Mom said...

Can't wait to try out the recipes. They look delicious. Yeah, it is fun and relaxing to cook. We loved the meals you cooked for us while in Houston. Love you daughter