Texas Caviar Dip

Texas Caviar

This is one of my go-to recipes for entertaining, pot luck dinners or easy dinners at home. It is great with tortilla and pita chips or on top of a chicken fajita salad or tacos. And, it is a cold dip so it is so refreshing in the summer!

Most traditional Texas Caviar recipes include black eyed peas, but I prefer the taste of black beans so this version has a little more of a Tex-Mex kick!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Rotel (mild or hot)
  • 1 can strained black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1 chopped avocado
  • The juice of one lime
  • 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons Italian dressing

Instructions:

So easy: mix everything together and refrigerate! Since the dip is so easy to make I love making homemade tortilla chips to go with it! No real “cooking” required!

Anti-vase flower vase

There’s almost nothing better than decorating my home with flowers – especially when we are entertaining. I love using colorful seasonal flowers (like beautiful peonies that are in season right now!) and soon enough I’ll have my own little garden to grow my favorites for the freshest picked varieties!

For dining table centerpieces I adhere to the rule of keeping flowers either lower than eye level or above 18 inches, but every once in a while, I want to mix it up.

I recently saw an eggshell vase similar to below and it inspired me to compile a go-to list of other unique flower “vases.” I mean how cute is the eggshell centerpeice for brunch?

Some of my other favorites:

 Antique mason jars = my favorite

In a chalice/ glass with dirt

Love using wine/ glass olive oil bottles

 Pitchers are also one of my favs. This one is from an earlier post

 Flowers displayed in a simple tin!

What’s your go-to anti-vase?

Homemade Almond Butta

I love Almond butter!! When I ran out the other day I thought it was perfect timing to make my next batch from scratch! If any of you aren’t hooked already, almond butter is nutty, creamy and much better for you than peanut butter.image

I put it on my toast, in smoothies and in baked goods! I use a VitaMix so this easy recipe took my me just 15 minutes. If you don’t have one [which I highly recommend], I found these other food processor recipes here and here.

Roasted Almond Butter

Ingredients:

3 cups of raw almonds

1/4 cup of canola oil

Making it:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spread your raw almonds along a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden and fragrant but not burned.

image

Cool the almonds and place them in the Vitamix with the canola oil. Turn the blender on variable speed and quickly increase the dial from 1-10, then flip to high for 1 minute. You should start to see buttery, creamy deliciousness and you know it is done!

I moved mine to a glass jar and added about half a cup to a small mason jar for gifting. Perfect as a part of any hostess or party gift!

‘Need This’ List for Spring

Warmer weather and sunshine gets me super pumped for springtime! Its time for some spring cleaning and some thoughtful spring shopping. I am loving the nude/blush hues, really soft palettes and peplum silouhettes. Of course, I always love navy stripes and cropped pants (classic take-me-to-the-beach attire!) and fun wedges.

I can’t quite get into all of the florals and mixed patterns but I might warm up to it as the weather does!

On my 'Need to Purchase' List for Spring

Link Love: Shopping

Wanted to share soome fun posts that caught my eye this week…enjoy!!

  • Completely agree with Sandra’s thoughts about Phillip Lim’s new ’31 hour bag’…love! here
  • Discovered my favorite new term for spring: turquoise & caicos here
  • Saw these great photos from Free People’s limited edition dresses here
  • Am now completely inspired to get a fun, bright pair of wedges here

St. Patrick’s Day Green Treats

So… St. Patty’s Day is upon us. I typically don’t do anything special for this holiday but it certainly is a good excuse to hang with friends and [over] indulge in some fun food and drinks!

This year we have a St. Patty’s day brunch at a friend’s house, a St. Patty’s day bar-b-que later that afternoon and a wedding that night! Needless to say, I will not be hosting any parties but I wanted to share some recipes of what I would be making for those of you looking for ideas.

Let me know if you try any of them!

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Shamrock Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or vanilla
  • Few drops green food coloring
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Green colored sugar
Directions1.In a large mixer bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until softened (about 30 seconds). Add sugar and salt and beat until fluffy.2. Add the egg, peppermint extract or vanilla, and a few drops of green food coloring. Beat mixture well.

3. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour to butter mixture and beat well.

4. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into a roll about 1 inch thick and about 8 inches long. Roll each in green colored sugar. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

5. Unwrap rolls. Slice crosswise so the slices are 1/4 inch thick. To shape each shamrock, place 3 slices of dough with sides touching in a shamrock shape on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut a stem from a fourth slice and attach to the shamrock (save the rest of this slice for cutting other shamrock stems). Gently push the slices together so each leaflet curves in slightly.

6. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. With a pancake turner lift the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool. Makes 32 cookies.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens here.

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home

St. Patrick’s Day Pistacio Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Green food coloring, optional
  • Cream cheese frosting

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and mix until blended.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Add food coloring to frosting if desired; frost cupcakes. Yield: 1 dozen.

Recipe from Taste of Home here.

Photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

Ingredients

1  pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract

6  to 8  drops green food color

1 egg

1  cup creme de menthe baking chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions 

  • Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chunks.
  • Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm or cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Recipe from Betty Crocker here.