Black Bean, Corn, and Pepper Dip

Quite a few years ago a friend of mine made this Black Bean, Corn, and Pepper dip for a party and I found it was one of those dips that once I tasted it, I had to use every once of will power to walk away so I wouldn’t devour the entire bowl. I of course got the recipe from her and have since shared it with friends, cousins, and a number of party guests because once you try this dip you want to make it over and over. We had some friends over to watch the Patriots game yesterday and we served 2 versions of mac & cheese for dinner. When we thought of a couple appetizers to serve first this dip came to mind – it’s full of veggies and black beans and even though it’s pulled together with a creamy sauce, it tastes light and fresh – a perfect starter for our heavy, cheesy dinner. And then I realized I had never shared the recipe here – blasphemy! And I am pulled out of my (always) unintentional blogging hiatus with a fabulous dip recipe to share with you for the current football Sunday season and upcoming holiday party season.

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PrepĀ  your veggies, all the chopping is the only time sync of this recipe.

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Prep your sauce and pour over all the veggies.

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Get your sous chef to stir…

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…and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chip!

 

Black Bean, Corn, and Pepper Dip Recipe (source unknown)
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
1C finely chopped red pepper
3/4C finely chopped green pepper
1/2C diced red onion

1 Tbs parsley
1/2C sour cream (we use light)
1/4C mayonnaise (we use light)
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tsp ground cumin
1 Tsp chili powder
s&p

Follow directions above!

Anatomy of a Cheese Board

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‘Tis the season for picnicking! If you’re like us, you will eat a lot of meals outdoors now that the weather is cooperating – from outdoor concerts, to picnic lunches, to playground snacks. One thing we love for these sort of occasions is a cheese board. And a well constructed cheese board is one of my very favorite things. In my opinion, the perfect cheese board should have at least 2 varieties of cheese (really 3 is best but that depends on how many people are dining), a salty meat, fruit, crackers and/or bread. Some people like olives too but since I’m the only olive-lover in our house I don’t put those on the cheese board.

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I used to throw some things together on our large Boos Board until a friend of mine gave me a slate cheese board for Christmas and ooooh, how I had always wanted one! If you’ve ever been to a party at our house you know I’m pro labeling appetizers when we put them out so no one is guessing what anything is. So what is better than to put your cheese right on a board that you can write all over! The cheese board in these photos was for a naptime lunch for my husband and I. We had an herbed soft cheese and a semi-hard cheese with fig jam to top. I included a flavorful cracker and a more plain cracker for the herbed cheese. A tiny bit of salty salami and a generous pile of fresh strawberries.

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By the way, if you get one, your slate board will probably come with chalk to use but I prefer one of these chalk board makers for a sharper look.

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Happy cheese-ing!

Baked Kale and Ricotta Dip

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I was flipping through the most recent issue of Martha Stewart Living late last week and came across a quick one-page recipe for an alternative to spinach artichoke dip. Since it’s fall and football season and we’re always looking for snacks to enjoy while we watch games on Sunday afternoon, I immediately tore out the page to save. The recipe called for just 2 main ingredients – ricotta cheese and a leafy green. Since we had a bunch of kale in the fridge from our CSA that week we decided to make it for Sunday’s game-watching. I was totally surprised at not only how easy this was to put together but also how delicious it turned out. *Warning, I didn’t chop the kale quite enough and some bites were tricky to eat. I suggest chopping the kale (or whatever green you choose) smaller than you think is appropriate.

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I sauteed the kale first to cook it down and then chopped even more.

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Mix with ricotta cheese (the ratio is 1C ricotta to 1C chopped green) and season with salt and pepper. I then sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

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Bake for about 12 minutes at 425 until the edges start to brown. Serve with toasted bread and ENJOY!