Forbidden Rice and Bean Salad with Orange Dressing

IMG_8070Labor day weekend has crept up on me all to quickly. The last two weeks we have been getting a stead stream of midday/afternoon rain and thunder storms, which were accompanied by a big temperature drop (we even got a little snow on the very top of the high mountains). All those rain clouds do make for beautiful sunsets!

I am feeling cheated out of the last few warm weekends of summer and so do the leaves on the trees… they are starting to turn yellow and orange, oh no! I start to feel that end of summer sadness when the air gets crisp at night and the smell of wood burning stove lingers in the air. I hate to see summer go, but fall is one of my favorite times of year! IMG_7878This recipe for forbidden rice salad is wonderful as a summer or fall recipe. It is hearty enough for lunch or dinner as a vegetarian dish, or it’s perfect as a side to steak, burgers or grilled chicken (like in the Blonded by Style and SBITK Mexican Fiesta). I think it’s even better when it sits in the fridge overnight, allowing the juices to meld and marinate.

Feel free to use green beans or asparagus for the salad (I personally prefer the flavor of the asparagus in this recipe!) However, I have made it both ways and both are equally delectable! I hope you enjoy!

Forbidden Rice and Bean Salad with Orange Dressing

  • 2 cups black forbidden rice, cooked to package directions and cooled
  • 2 14 oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12 oz. package shelled edamame, thawed/cooked to package directions
  • 1 bunch asparagus or 1/2lb fresh green beans, blanched and cut into ½” pieces
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped

For the orange dressing

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl using a whisk, combine dressing ingredients, set aside.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Blanch the asparagus (or green beans) for 3-4 minutes. Remove immediately from the hot water and place in an ice bath or run under cold water to stop them from over cooking and becoming too soft.
  3. Combine rice, garbanzo beans, edamame, asparagus, raisins, cranberries, and parsley and toss to combine. Drizzle half the orange dressing over the top and toss to coat all the ingredients. Add more dressing if desired. Cover and chill before serving (over night is better!)
  4. Extra dressing can be covered and stored in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Thanks to Mia from Blonded by Style for taking all the food pictures!

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Jalapeno Poppers with Pineapple and Bacon

IMG_7869It’s hard to believe that kids are starting to go back to school already! Park City public schools start on Thursday, some other schools in the state started last week! But, but wait… summer was just getting started!! Even crazier… some of the leaves are starting to change already! I am not ready for this!

One thing I am ready for… football season! We are just two weeks away from the start of regular season NFL games and I am so excited. One my favorite fall actives is getting together at someones house and watching the Patriots play. It’s one of my East coast traditions I’ve taken with me to the West… Sunday is Pats day. Ok, so you don’t need to love football or the Patriots to love these jalapeno poppers because they are down right delicious and perfect for any occasion. IMG_8015The spice from the jalapeno, the creaminess of the cheese, sweet from the pineapple and salt from the bacon come together for one popping popper! Bring this to your next cocktail party, cook-out or tailgate party and you’ll be everyone’s favorite person. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Poppers with Pineapple and Bacon

  • 10-12 medium/large Jalapenos (or 15-18 small ones)
  • 1 8 oz. block cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
  • ¼ cup shredded white cheddar
  • 3-4 pieces bacon, cooked

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy, place on paper towels to cool. Chop into small pieces and set aside.
  3. Remove the stems of the Jalapenos, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and ribs. Be careful not to touch your face or eyes during this process you will burn yourself and regret it!
  4. In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, pineapple and cheddar cheese.
  5. Using a spoon stuff each jalapeno half with the cream cheese mixture so it is even with the sides of the jalapeno (about 1 or 2 tablespoons of filling depending on how large your jalapenos are)
  6. Place cheese side up on a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool about 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped bacon and serve!

**Thanks to Mia from Blonded by Style for taking the pictures. This post was part of our Mexican Fiesta, check out the whole menu here.

Mexican Corn Off the Cob

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Good Morning! I am just back from a wonderful vacation with my family and friends! Celebrating weddings, birthdays and enjoying some time by the ocean. It was nice to unwind! Even though I was not posting recipes on my blog, I was doing some cooking and research on some delicious new recipes to post and boy did I test some good ones!! photo-604Since I was by the ocean, I was cooking a lot of seafood- clams, mussels, lobster and fresh stripped bass. There is nothing better than super fresh, local seafood. It is one of the things I miss most about living in a land locked state! Stay tuned for some of those tasty recipes, I will post them soon! But for now, one of my new favorite ways to eat corn… Mexican corn OFF the cob… because no one likes getting corn stuck in their teeth. IMG_8049Don’t judge the fact that there is mayonnaise in the recipe, a friend who hates mayonnaise, LOVED this dish. The comb of lime juice, cheese and the little kick from the chili powder is the perfect balance of salty, spicy and tangy! You’ll have trouble eating corn the “normal” way every again! This recipe was part of my collaboration with Blonded by Style, see our full menu here!

Mexican Corn Off the Cob

  • 8 ears of fresh corn, grilled with the husk on.
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija Mexican Cheese (You can substitute Queso Fresco or Kraft Parmesan cheese if your grocery store does not have Cotija)

Directions:

  1. Wet the outside of the corn-husks with water, and place them on a pre-heated grill. Turn ever 2-3 minutes until the outside of the corn is charred but not burned. Once the corn has cooled, shuck the husks off. Cut the kernels off the corn and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and generous pinch of salt. The dressing should have a similar consistency as creamy ranch dressing. Pour mixture over the corn, sprinkle with cheese and toss to combine.
  3. Season to taste with salt. Garnish with more crumbled cheese and a dash or two of chili powder on top. Serve immediately.