Creamy Black Bean Soup

IMG_0423Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and FUN holiday! I know I did! Even though it was super cold over Christmas (I’m talking Northern New England kind of cold) it was beautiful and the skiing was great! Now that the holiday rush is over… everyone is SICK! Turns out that flu shot you got this year was the wrong strain of flu and now you’re screwed (and sick as a dog). So between the cold weather and all my friends being sick, I thought it would be nice to make some feel better soup!!

This black bean soup recipe is one of my favorites. It’s so easy and its ready in no time. A few other bonuses… its vegan (shhhh don’t tell anyone because they won’t be able to tell, its so delicious!!!) it’s dairy free (if you’re crazy enough to leave off the dollop of sour cream) its gluten free and its filling! Seriously, this soup is a meal on its own! So if you’re feeling a little under the weather, throw on a pot of this soup, you’ll be enjoying it in no time!! Cheers to 2015!

Creamy Black Bean Soup (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 4 16oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (or more) canned low salt vegetable or chicken broth (if you don’t want it to be vegan/vegetarian)
  • Sour cream, sliced green onions and diced avocado for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in tomatoes with their juices, chilies, and thyme.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes more. Add beans and 2 cups of broth.
  4. Puree soup in batches or using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer.
  5. Thin with additional broth if necessary until soup reaches desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Garnish with sour cream, green onions and avocado.
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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!

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.

Drunken Chicken with Pineapple Salsa (BBS/SBITK Collaboration)

IMG_7852In order to throw the ultimate summer BBQ you need a few key ingredients. First, a theme is helpful (and fun!) to help guide your guests on what they can bring that will complement the meal you’re preparing. For the BBQ collaboration I did with Mia from Blonded by Style we chose a Mexican Fiesta theme with a few reoccurring ingredients such as Tequila, Jalapenos, Cilantro, Pineapple and Lime. See the whole menu here.

Using the same ingredients in all your dishes helps save some money at the store and helps tie the whole meal together! Second, come up with specialty cocktail or drink to go with your theme, everyone loves a specialty drink and it will help make your BBQ more festive! IMG_7988Premixing your cocktail, such as this Pineapple Tequila Crusher or Sangria will help save you time and allow you to mix and mingle more with your friends!

Lastly, festive table decor (plates, glasses and/or flowers) add a fun touch to your party. There is no need to go out and buy all new stuff, find some fun paper napkins or mason jars for your cocktails that you’ll be able to reuse for other parties. No matter what you serve or drink at your next BBQ being surrounded by great friends and food is all that matters! Enjoy!

Drunken Chicken (Blonded by Style & SBITK BBQ Collaboration)

  • ¾ cup Tequila
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño – partially seeded and diced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 9-10 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together ingredients.
  2. Place the chicken in a 9×13 baking dish, pour marinade over the chicken and allow it to marinate for 3-8hours in the refrigerator.
  3. When ready to cook, heat your grill (medium/high heat). Remove chicken from marinade and place on the grill about 5-7 minutes per side. Flip and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Serve with Pineapple salsa (recipe below).

 IMG_7936Pineapple Salsa

  • Half a pineapple, cored, skin removed and diced
  • 1 jalapeño partially seeded and diced
  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • ½ pint of cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 turn around the bowl)
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine pineapple, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro, and lime juice, mix to combine. Drizzle with EVOO and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve over chicken

**Thanks to Mia for taking all the beautiful photos!

Mexican Fiesta with Blonded by Style & SBITK

IMG_7800One of my favorite things about food and cooking is that it brings people together. No matter what language you speak or what country you are in, food is the universal language. I love bringing people together around my kitchen table to share a meal with good friends, drinks and food, there is nothing better! Last week my friend Mia, one of the stylish chicks behind the blog Blonded By Style, and I got together to throw a fun Mexican themed fiesta for our friends. She and her sister Zoe started their fashion blog to showcase their fabulous style with beautiful photographs, clothing and food! IMG_8064We thought it would be fun to collaborate on how to throw a stylish and delicious summer BBQ! Stay tuned for all the great recipes coming soon! To give you a taste of what we did here is our menu!

Summer Mexican Fiesta with Ski Boots in the Kitchen and Blonded By Style

  • Pineapple Tequila Crushers with Fresh Basil
  • Jalapeno Poppers with Pineapple and Bacon
  • Guacamole and Chips
  • Drunken Chicken with Pineapple Salsa
  • Forbidden Rice and Bean Salad with Orange Dressing
  • Mexican Corn off the Cob
  • Death by Chocolate Mexican Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Mia headed over to the beautiful farm stand at Copper Moose Farm to gather some fresh ingredients for our BBQ.

Fresh green beans, basil and flowers all grown here in Park City. The difference in flavors of freshly grown ingredients vs. store bought is amazing. Buying fresh and local is the way to go!

We had the best time cooking together… We even got a little silly and I put on some ski boots to show that sometimes, I actually do cook in my ski boots! The goggles were helpful when I was cutting the onions, my eyes didn’t water! Thanks to Mia for taking all the beautiful photos! Check back soon for the Drunken Chicken with Pineapple Salsa recipe and other recipes next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Recipes of 2013

Looking back over 2013 its been a wonderful year of food, friends, travel and new beginnings! It’s hard to believe 2014 is already upon us- it feels like last month I was ringing in 2013. Going through the archives of the last year I looked to see what were the most popular and search recipes on my blog- here they are for you to enjoy. I hope all of you have a happy, healthy and safe New Years with your loved ones! Cheers to you!

1. Red & Yellow Bell Pepper Sauce with Sausage Over Fresh Pappardelle photo-782. Healthy Whole Wheat Carrot Coconut Morning Glory Muffins

3. Black Bean, Kale & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette  Kale:quinoa4. Game Day Buffalo Chicken Dip photo-1985. Almond Crisped Peaches photo-324

6. Healthy Banana “Ice Cream” photo-343

7. Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Penne photo-156

8. One Pot Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal photo-69

9. Healthy Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili chili10. Ginger Soy Chicken Lettuce Cups

Thanksgiving & Holiday Menu Ideas

funny-sayings-580I realized today that there was no way on Earth that I was going to make all the amazing looking recipes that I wanted to before next Thursday. Its become seriously stressful, I’m thinking about taking the advice from the picture above. Every morning I wake up with my inbox full of new delicious dishes from cocktails, to turkeys and all the fixings in between. In the process of trying to planning my own holiday menu I put together about 30 others… But how do I choose what to make?! If I could have it my way we’d do 3 stuffings, potatoes 3 ways, Brussels sprouts 9 ways and I haven’t even got to dessert yet! So I decided to put together a few menu ideas. Mix and match from each menu, or supplement a few dishes on your own menu! I’ll be sure to let you know which ones make it onto my table! Happy cooking!

Traditional

Unconventional

Healthy

Favorite Holiday Dishes from Ski Boots in the Kitchen