Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Sunday, June 27, 2010

corn and black bean salsa

every salsa recipe uses tomatoes in some quantity, but this one is very different.  this salsa recipe omits the tomatoes and adds black beans.  perfect for tostito chips, this salsa is a great topping and wonderful appetizer.  using 1/2 cup of drained and rinsed black beans, add 1/2 cup of thawed frozen corn, 1/2 chopped red onion, and 1/4 cup chopped red pepper.  mix and if desired, add a mixture to taste of lime juice and olive oil.

this easy recipe can be adapted to taste and will be a treat for your guests.

orecchiette pasta salad

over the years i have tried many pasta salad recipes, but this one is the classic.  i vary the type of pasta used but the ingredients usually stay the same.  this recipe can be made in any amount for a large or small crowd.  i usually only boil 1-2 cups of pasta, and then cool the pasta in a colander under cold water.  to the pasta i add, chopped celery, green and/or red pepper, green onion, salt and pepper. 

for the dressing, i usually use 1/4 to 1/3 cup of low fat light mayonnaise thinned with milk.  i whisk in milk until the dressing is creamy and able to be easily added into the mixture.  by adding a little milk at a time, it is easy to obtain the correct consistency.  another option for this pasta salad includes adding part mayonnaise to prepared peppercorn dressing.  this is a great option and also delicious.


one of the best things to add to a salad is fresh croutons.  somehow the crispy bread cubes make a difference in the overall salad 's appeal.  i visited the midland farmer's market and purchased a loaf of Russian black bread from the whole grain country bakery and made these wonderful croutons for our dinner salads.

after slicing in small cubes, i place the croutons on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle the cubes with olive oil.  then, select the seasonings.  today, i used Mary's gourmet seasoning along with parsley.  other choices would be a garlic and herb seasoning or any other herb mixtures.

bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until browned and crispy.  serve and enjoy.