A Lighter Side

IMG_2745

Asian Slaw

Someone told me before I moved here that Atlanta is really just a big forest.  I thought he was exaggerating, but this past week,  I’ve witnessed the forest bloom into existence. I wake up to bird babbles and pollen soaked everything. Spring has taken over the city.  I’ve even spotted some forest dwellers on their back patios sharing food and drinks, a sure indicator of warmer weather, longer days, and lighter fare.  Last week, I made an Asian inspired slaw–a delightful companion to any barbecue or sandwich.

You can use bags of pre-chopped slaw, or you can buy a head each of red and green cabbage. I prefer the latter for a few reasons. 1. It just tastes better. 2. The road to freshly chopped cabbage is much more exciting. If you take this route, PLEASE remember to stop and marvel that a red cabbage cut in half looks like a Van Gogh painting, even more than his own cabbage still lifes.  Here is the recipe!

Asian Inspired Slaw

1 head Red cabbage

1 head Green cabbage

OR a bag of pre-chopped slaw (the boring shortcut)

2 carrots, chopped or shaved

3 large scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped as  garnish)

Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2  tablespoons brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:

1/2 red onion, chopped

1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1-2 teaspoons chopped Jalapeño, if you’re feeling hot

Directions:

Chop the vegetables and whisk the dressing separately, then unite in a big bowl. Garnish with cilantro.

IMG_2744

Lauren’s Debut

IMG_0349I moved to Atlanta with my beau in mid January. We had been here about a month and while I was slowly carving my spot teaching at yoga studios around town, I knew I needed another job. Serving is always an option, but as my love for cooking has escalated over the years, I wanted a back-of-house experience. One night, a glass of wine in sight as I chopped vegetables in our tiny kitchen, I pondered my next move. With little experience in a restaurant kitchen, I thought and said out loud, “I would love to work for a small private catering company, where I could learn the intricacies of the kitchen without being in a high pressure restaurant kitchen”. The next day, I saw Mandy’s ad mirroring what I had verbalized the night before. I had applied for numerous other jobs with very few responses, but Mandy called me back within the hour, and I knew it was going to work out. When I met her a few days later at Inman Perk, it was more of a reunion of old friends than a job interview.

Our meeting has transpired as we transition into new phases of life. This is the first time I’ve lived outside Kentucky for longer than a few months, and first time writing on a blog, though I’ve edited other people’s blogs and been a writer my whole life. After 8 years of odd jobs, travels, and soul wanderings, I’m now in my first year of teaching yoga and ready to move forward with my writing. Novels, story lines, and screenplays simmer at my forethoughts as I try on the shoes of graduate student (but I mostly write and teach barefoot). I’m not yet married, don’t have any kids, and have 3 months left as a 20-something.

Mandy is weathering a different type of transition. As she grows her business and steers her daughters into young women, she is growing, too. Not only as a business owner and parent, but as an artist. I jumped on board to help her, like any new, old friend would do. I arrive in the mornings to find Mandy in a skylit kitchen aglow, music frolicking around her as she scans her yellow legal pad of tasks. I put on my apron and we jump into a recipe. She teaches me discernment techniques, like when to buy campari tomatoes v. roma tomatoes, and we share stories, secrets, and gossip. We laugh A LOT. I get to practice operating fancy mixers, choppers, spinners, smashers, juicers and zesters, and am always astonished to see how many items Mandy can cram into the dishwasher.

When I come home to my own kitchen, I practice techniques I’ve learned or try out similar recipes. Last night, as I poured a real silver tablespoon of balsamic into the pan (I couldn’t find my measuring spoon), it reminded me of when my parents poured cough syrup into one when we were sick. This food is medicine– it brings comfort to the people that eat it and is just as comforting to make.

Another childhood memory comes to mind: sitting up on the counter as my mom makes sugar cookies in the big brown mixing bowl. After mixing the sugar and the butter, she would let me lick the beaters. Sugar and butter are a magical combination and a delightful part of the recipe. But what about trying the oil mixed with egg, yet another phase of the journey? No thank you. Transitions don’t always taste yummy, but you practice patience and keep going, because you know it’s not done yet.

This is simply the beginning and I’m grateful to be here:)

Believing and Receiving

IMG_0404I put an ad in Craig’s List looking for help.  I have had great people working with me sporadically but I needed someone on a more regular basis.  I had no time to comb my hair and brush my teeth and that wasn’t so good for business or those who love me.  I was a little hesitant because that would mean more responsibility.  It would mean instead of feeding three little mouths, one big guy, a feral cat, and all my clients, that I would need to add one more to the list of depending on me.   When fear lurks, adding someone to that list can be quite overwhelming.  The what if’s start to rattle in my brian.  The “how in the hell am I going to accomplish this?” wakes me up at 3am.  I was at a cross-road.  Could I continue at this speed, drinking coffee at all waking moments, not practicing what I preach about balance and eating healthy, and looking as if I had stuck my finger in an electrical socket?  Or could I actually trust, ask, and most importantly receive help graciously?

I had an idea of what type of person I wanted to hire but I had no idea what was heading my way.  I received about 50 inquiries to the position and almost all of them started out with a few words that made little to no sense.  I am not a professional writer, but I am pretty sure that what I was reading was not sentences.  I had hired people before when managing at a local bakery.  I knew what hiring someone “difficult” could mean… stolen goods, eye rolls and a big pain in the ass if ever you asked them nicely to take out the trash.  When I told people I put an ad in Craig’s List they looked at me like I was crazy.  I know this look.  I have received it many times before.

I met with two people from those 50+ resumes.  I knew they weren’t a good fit.  In this business there is a lot to weed out.  The number of people with drug and alcohol addictions seem to permeate this industry. Then, I received this email from a sweet young woman who had just moved to Atlanta from Kentucky.  She is a Bikram Yoga instructor, an artist, a dreamer, and most certainly a hard-working individual.  I knew from her first message that she was the one.  We did an interview and afterwards I was skipping home on cloud nine.  She was the perfect fit!

When we worked together the first day, she introduced me to a book, The Artist Way by Julia Cameron.   I mention the book because she gives so much more than just a sandwich.  She’s smart, grounded, generous, and loves to live life to the fullest.  Shes great at organization, taste and writing.   And now, I am flattered to call her my friend.

IMG_0341

I believed a person was out there who could help me with my next transition at Grits and Honey.  I knew she was going to be fabulous but I had no idea how wonderful she could be.  I am super happy to introduce Lauren to all of you!  She will be writing some blogs and helping me with getting recipes out.   I know you will enjoy her humor and wit as much as I do.  Here’s to you, Lauren!  Welcome to G&H!  This is ging to be so much fun…stay tuned!

 

This Too Will Pass…Thank Goodness!

IMG_6549

jardin congelés

 

 

 

All those hard things that I’ve put off, like taxes and the empending move, are fast approaching. Excitement had turned into paralizing fear.   The creative work in the kitchen, which is the work I am passionate about, is now needing to be on the back-burner for a bit, while we look at the books.  The fear is there and I am swimming in tears.    I so dislike this part of the job.  When I talked to the book keeper, AKA, Guardian Angel, she says, “I am part accountant, part psychologist”.  It is true, she needed to talk me off the edge.  My head races, will she tell me I need to get a day job, and quit this silly quest of owning my own business?  Will she tell me I am working so hard for absolutely nothing?  Who will take care of the girls if I have to get a 9-5 job?  Will she say I am the dumbest client EVER to make all these bookkeeping mistakes?  The self-doubt in my head is amazingly ridiculous.  If you could hear the chatter going on in my head, you wouldn’t believe that we had accomplished what we had in the last year.  In fact, I HAD forgotten.  I had forgotten all the people we have helped to make their lives simpler, healthier, and more joyful with each event or dinner we had prepared.   I HAD forgotten what this quest was all for, helping those that need it.  We all face different challenges that can seem overwhelming.   Some worse than others but it is all relative to our own lives.  I know I felt hopeless and stopped believing in myself.  Heck, I was having trouble recognizing the woman staring back in the mirror.

Through these trials we get a little bit stronger.  We are all a little stronger after going through difficult times and we WILL get through them.  Whether it is the business books, a loved one who is sick, a child whose tantrums seem to be unruly, or just a rotten day at work, we push forward.  The clouds do move out, leaving the sun to shine.   The clouds come and go, but the sun is always there.  I saw this once on an airplane.  The sky was so crystal clear, beautifuland sunny above the clouds, then we dipped down to land and it was the most grey day below.  The visual will forever be with me as inspiration to be patient for the clouds to move out.  Mimi Thorrison, model, writer, mother and chef wrote in her last blog post on Manger this, and it speaks directly to my heart even though there is a huge ocean between us and she was writing of something much deeper.

In the past week I’ve come to realize that simple things like sharing a table at dinner with the whole family are never more important than in times of turmoil. The comfort of good food, the healing power of a shared moment is never more needed than on a cold January night when bad news reaches your door.
So we continue to lead our lives, cook, eat, laugh and cry together and hope that by raising our children to the best of our abilities will help create a better world.

Today, it is time to get back in the kitchen.  All the hard work isn’t over, but I want to give myself a little sunshine before trudging through the mud again later this week.  I am going to treat myself and my little ones with a little creative fun that I hope you will enjoy too.  This dish is a wonderful rainbow!  My Dad says, “you want every color on your plate”.   This one serves that purpose!

IMG_6509

Rainbow Thia Chicken Salad

 

Here’s Ali’s recipe for Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad-

INGREDIENTS

3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 (large) carrot, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, cored and julienned (or diced)
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
PEANUT DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce (if you are gluten-free, use GF soy sauce or tamari)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
juice of 1-1 1/2 lime
DIRECTIONS:

Toss all your salad ingredients in a bowl leaving out the peanuts and some of the cilantro for garnishing the finished salad.  In another bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients.  You can set aside until ready to serve.  When you are ready to serve, mix together your salad and dressing.  Top with peanuts or cashiews and cilantro.

I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven‘s website.  I thought her peanut dressing was a little too thick but she mentions that may happen and to add hot water.  I added more fresh lime juice and tamari (gluten free soy sauce) as well as hot water.   Again, the most important thing is getting all these wonderful colors on your plate.

The rainbow makes its way into your mouth and then to body and soul.  It will be sure to bring out the sun, if even for a moment at lunch!  Whatever clouds may be hovering around you, remember the sun is there, we just may not be able to see it.  Here’s to the sun during this cold February!  Cheers!

 

 

Oh, So Graceful

Well, I have gracefully done it again.  As I peck away at my computer, cast around my right hand, I am feeling a little more optimistic than yesterday.  I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my right hand.  I cant even say I was having a wild and crazy night of table dancing.  No lifting, no cutting or chopping, no wrapping, no writing, no pony-tail making, no yoga, no stirring, no use with this right hand for 6 weeks.  As the Doctor says, I am lucky the bones didn’t shift.  If they do, I need surgery to pin them together. That sounds promising…

I have got to think outside of the box and I have to learn to ask for help.  I think I am pretty good with the first but terrible with the later.  I despise feeling like a burden on anyone.  And right now, this hand is burdening me.  I have had to think a lot of what I am grateful for… yes, the bones didn’t shift and I don’t have or know of anyone with Ebola.

Onward we march!

Lets work on the yummy biscuit recipe I brought back from France.  First of all, 100 grams is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon, so that isn’t correct on Petit Pavot Biscuit.  What is correct is that the cheese, flour and butter are equal measurements.

I used 2 egg yolks with 2 cups butter, 2 cups cake flour and 2 cups parmesan cheese and a tablespoon poppy seeds.  They are very flakey. The taste, however, is still just as delicious here in the states as it was in France. I may add another egg yolk to see if they will hold together a bit better.

IMG_5974

Since I am handicap at the moment, instead of mixing with my hands, I put the flour, frozen butter, and cheese in a food processor and blended until course.  I then blended in the egg yolk into the same bowl.  I laid it all out on a floured surface and pressed into a flat disk about an a half-inch thick.  I sprinkled the poppy seeds over the dough while pressing.  Lastly, I cookie cut out circles and baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.  These would be so good with bacon or ham pieces in them…just say’n.

Take very good care of yourselves and be careful until next time we chat!  It is dangerous out there!  Cheers!

 

Petit Pavot Biscuit

IMG_5670It is 2:30am here in France.  I can not tell if it is the late night petite café or the excitement I am having over the most glorious dinner that I have eaten.  We traveled about 30 minutes outside of Vaison-la-Romaine to a small town called St. Cecile Les Vignes.  After a couple of wrong turns my school mate from Patricia’s cooking class safely drove us to the wonderful restaurant Campange Vignes Gourmandises.

I would like to first say, a woman, who I believe is the chef’s wife, was the most kind French woman I have met thus far.  As we all know, my french is terrible.  Her English wasn’t perfect but she took the time to explain to me what she thought was the best thing on the menu when I asked her what she thought I should get.  I agreed with her choice and got the lamb for my main course.  It was by far the best and most perfectly cooked lamb I have ever put into my mouth.  I am still trying to figure out how exactly he made it so moist and also added those delicious roasted garlic and vegetables.  The kind woman said the lamb was from the region and I am sure that it played a role in the freshness that the meat gave.  It was divine.

What also struck me as devine were these perfect little, what I will call, Small Poppy Seed Biscuits.  They were brought out at the beginning of our meal with some olives.  These little biscuits where what I think all southerners are trying to perfect when we make biscuits.  They were the size of a quarter, they were moist with butter and sharp with parmesan cheese, and light with the right touch of kneading.  These same words rang true from last week’s eating while in California’s gardens.  Was I still in heaven?  I think so, just on the other side of heaven’s earth.

At the end of the meal, I couldn’t help myself.  I had to ask for the recipe and if not, could I have a bag of those little biscuits to take back to my apartment?  To my astonishment, the chef was obliged to give me the recipe.  He had no more biscuits, of course, for me to take home, because why would any be left?  They were that good.

I must share this with all of my devoted readers.  How can I keep something this good to myself?   I haven’t made them, as I am still traveling but how hard can it be?  Just remember to use fresh ingredients and the best butter and cheese that you can find.   I’ll let you know how mine comes out when I return.  When I do get this down, they will most definitely be on the menu!  

Ingredients

1oog parmesan

100g flour

100g salted butter

25g poppy seeds (could also use sesame seeds)

1 egg yolk

Directions

Mix the first four ingredients by hand and when incorporated, mix in your egg yolk.  Make little balls with the dough and place in an oven that has been preheated to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Simple and delicious just the way we like things.

At the end of the meal, I did ask for my petit café with dessert.  Note to self, the french do NOT take their coffee with dessert.  That comes afterwards, making yet another course.

Bon Appetit!

My GPS Guardian Angel

IMG_5464

Patricia Wells – Monday Lunch

I have flown for over 8 hours, been on a train from Paris to Avignon and rented a Fiat that I am driving to Vaison la Romaine.  Not only am I unsavy on technological stuff but I don’t speak any french.  I am really just now getting comfortable saying Bon jour and Merci.  So when I set up the GPS to guide me 40 miles to this beautiful place that I can’t pronounce, I was a little frazzled.  I just began doing everything the GPS said to do.  She directed me in with no problems.  She even spoke english!  I am forever grateful GPS Angel.

When I say, I hope I make it back home in two weeks, I really hope to be coming home.   If for some reason I am not home when I should be, please know I am lost.  Please call reinforcements.  I must look like a deer in headlights but frankly, I don’t give a damn.  I am having the best time and meeting some of the most wonderful people.  This experience has already surpassed what I could have imagined.  Tonight, I dined with 10 of the most amazing people from all over the United States, Canada and France.  Patricia and Walter Wells are two of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met but yet they exude brilliance and authenticity.  I want to absorb every word they speak like a sponge.  I love the fact that they are teaching these cooking classes as a team.  Both of them used to be journalists which I also find so magnificent.  Another one of my own aspirations that one day I will write something worth reading.  HA!   For now, I will do it for fun!

One of the things we all have in common here at Patricia’s  is the love of great food.   And, we get to sit under the Provençal Stars with a breeze of the Mistral and bottles of fabulous wine and talk about how we all came to this one spot in Chantanduc.  One of the students said what I was thinking – “it is like our souls have known one another and came here to congregate under the stars”.  This whole experience really is spectacular.

IMG_5488

Selfie in the Fiat

I personally wish that I could freeze frame moments because I don’t want to forget or miss any of this experience.  It is more than I could have wished.  I am super proud to say, I am doing it even though I have doubted my decision.  I have felt I couldn’t afford it, that I couldn’t get away from the girls, that I couldn’t leave my cooking in the states.  The list was long but I didn’t listen to the nah sayer in my mind (and some who said it to me) because I am doing it.

I can’t imagine how foolish I look here in Vaison la Romaine trying to pronounce anything in French.   But everyone has been so helpful and kind.  A father even hopped on his daughter’s bike as his family was walking and he led me to the driveway of Patricia’s home.  Her driveway is almost a mile long.  And, don’t believe a word people say about snobby french.  They may be in Paris but they aren’t here in Vaison la Romain.  Again, warm hearts all around.

I want all the Mom’s and women that may be reading this to please give yourself something wonderful.  Whether it is a trip by yourself for a weekend, a week trip with your significant other, a two-week trip with your children, a month summer trip with all the family.  This trip took three years to make happen and the planning and anticipation of the trip was just as much fun as the trip.  I know I am a better mother and person for it.  Not to mention, a better cook.  Here’s to saying  “Life is too short, I am doing this!”   Au Revoir!

 

 

Heaven on Earth

IMG_5176

Sonoma County

The saying “Ive died on gone to heaven” keeps coming into my mind. When we arrived in California, the air was the first thing to take my breath away.  It is so clean and crisp in San Francisco.  It brought me to the thought of if we are stuck in a place where we don’t experience anything more than the four walls around us, we may only think that those four walls are all that exist.  When I was growing up in the small town of LaGrange, Georgia, I didn’t know what else was out in the world.  LaGrange was a lovely place to grow up but it is also very sheltered from other parts of the country not to mention, the world.  My father wanted me to be close to home when I left for college.  I could have traveled over two states to Mississippi (I know, crazy far) to attend school but one of the reasons I chose not to was because my Dad didn’t want me so far away.  I really didn’t want to be far away from them either out of fear.  But, I remember vividly my first trip past the Mason Dixon line.  I had traveled to Nantucket and we were at a cute little restaurant in the town of Nantucket but, the waitress was from Switzerland.  I began a conversation with her and she explained to me how she and many of her friends traveled every summer over to Nantucket to work.  My eyes grew big at this new thought.  That thought was – there are so many beautiful places to see and experience in this world and there is nothing to be afraid of.  How simple is the thought?  This thought had never occurred to me and it isn’t something that can be taught, only experienced.  People are mostly kind and generous no matter where you go.  I feel lucky and grateful to have learned this.  I do know, not all of us get to travel to far away places, but if we can, I recommend it.  If anything, it teaches us to appreciate our home that we return to.

We began driving north on “the 101”  into the Alexander Valley.  The view alone is spectacular.  Our destination was a beautiful estate on a vineyard that is over 5,000 acres.  There really is nothing like it that I have seen.  In my mind, this is what heaven would be like.  Your eyes could look out in every direction and see beautiful rolling hills, blue sky, white clouds, and green grape vines.  The vegetable garden is probably 4-6 acres large with every food imaginable growing.  There are very few bugs because of the dry air.  We pulled strawberries that were the deepest red, different varieties of pears, peaches, and apples that were the sweetest, most flavorful, juicy fruits to ever come into my mouth.  I never understood the love of figs until I ate one from a fig tree and added a little almond butter and dark chocolate.  My eyes and my mouth are watering with the joy these simple things brought to me.  I want to cry with joy now as I write about it on a plane back home to Atlanta.  It was and is such a special place.  We broke off leaves of dinosaur kale and ate them right on the spot. They weren’t so bitter that you needed something to wash it down.  They were refreshing and warm with the taste of the sun that was just hitting it.  I believe we can have this in Georgia.  It inspires me to crusade for farm to table food and better food in our lunch rooms for our children.  There is no reason why we cannot have more of this here.

IMG_5154

Everything tangible was so heavenly, but what really hit me to be so angelic, were the people.  We were in Northern California for a wedding.  I had never experienced a wedding so beautiful before.  And I don’t mean beauty with the eyes, even though everything was beautiful to my eyes.  I am talking about two people, whom I had never met, exuding love to each other and to all those who had come to share with them their love for each other.  It was amazing.  When the female minister spoke, it was so soothing and more like a meditation than a service.  The wind that blew in the air and rustled in the trees while the couple made their own vows was like a whisper from god blessing them and all of us lucky enough to share in their moment.
There was also the family we stayed with during our visit.  Tara can make you feel as though you had known her for a lifetime.  She has this beautiful way of showing you a comfort and a feeling of being right at home 3,000 miles away from it.  She must have had a thousand other things on her mind and exhausted from being up all night with her little ones,  but she never showed it.   She inspired me to be a better woman, mother, partner and friend.

IMG_5124

Sweetness 

All of this experience, the vision, the tastes, the warm hearts, it is what heaven on earth is to me.  I was lucky enough to experience it.  This, I will bring back with me to Atlanta.  This, I look forward to sharing with all of you.

There is no recipe for this.  Here is to the simple tastes of eating right from the garden, to the mouth, and straight to the heart.  Cheers!

Taking the Wheel

Summertime Black Bean Salad

Summertime Black Bean Salad

I was just thinking how I haven’t had the time to sit out back in the morning, sip my coffee, do a little blogging, and get creative, which are some of the things I cherish and enjoy most and keep me balance with the daily “to do’s”.  I can see myself withering if I haven’t had a moment of creativity.  Lately, I have been doing things at full speed, not taking the time to really enjoy what I have been doing.  And then, I read the wonderful words from “My Daily Om” written by Madison Taylor. This is what she said so beautifully.

It’s easy to go through this fast-paced world feeling as if you are being dragged through your weeks on the back of a wild horse. Many of us go from one thing to another until we end up back at home in the evening with just enough time to wind down and go to sleep, waking up the next morning to begin the wild ride once more. While this can be exhilarating for certain periods of time, a life lived entirely in this fashion can be exhausting, and more important, it places us in the passenger’s seat when really we are the ones who should be driving. When we get caught up in our packed schedule and our many obligations, weeks can go by without us doing one spontaneous thing or taking time to look at the bigger picture of our lives. Without these breaks, we run the risk of going through our precious days on a runaway train. Taking time to view the bigger picture, asking ourselves if we are happy with the course we are on and making adjustments, puts us back in the driver’s seat where we belong. When we take responsibility for charting our own course in life, we may well go in an entirely different direction from the one laid out for us by society and familial expectations. This can be uncomfortable in the short term, but in the long term it is much worse to imagine living this precious life without ever taking the wheel and navigating our own course. Of course, time spent examining the big picture could lead us to see that we are happy with the road we are on, but we would like more time with family or more free time to do whatever we want at the moment. Even if we want more extreme changes, the way to begin is to get off the road for long enough to catch our breath and remember who we are and what we truly want. Once we do that, we can take the wheel with confidence, driving the speed we want to go in the direction that is right for us.

I am going to take the wheel today.  I will smell the gardenias blooming out my front door.  I will sit a minute longer with my coffee.  I will dance with my daughters while the music is playing in the background.  I will take a moment to smell each fresh herb I am chopping.  AND, I am going to get creative with a new dish!  Yum, I just tasted it.Fresh Veggies

I had some time this early morning before the girls woke up to go to the market to see and buy whatever fresh veggies struck me as inspiring.  I don’t always have the time to do this because my menus somewhat stay the same and time doesn’t always allow it.  This is what I came up with.

Ingredients

2 Fresh Corn on the Cob  (I found some beautiful white and yellow mixed)

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

1/2 purple onion diced

3 cloves garlic minced

1 avocado diced

1 orange bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño pepper finely diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

2 cans organic black beans drained and rinsed

1 fresh lime

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, boil some water and add your corn on the cob to cook for 5 minutes.  When the corn is done, remove them from the water and let them cool so that you can cut the kernels from the cob. In a large bowl mix cooked corn, cilantro, onion, garlic, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomatoes, black beans, and fresh lime juice.  Let this mixture sit out at room temperature for an hour or refrigerate for a few hours to let all the flavors mix.  This can be eaten as a salad or a side to grilled fish.  Either way, the dish is excellent and another perfect dish for the summer.  With every bite, your mouth will sing.

My father always taught us when cooking to see how many colors you can get on your plate.  I think we have accomplished the rainbow with this one.

“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”  -Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf knew the importance of dreaming and creativeness in the midst of the mundane.  I know I have written about it a 1000 times but I have to be reminded 1000 times that I have the wheel to my own life.  Here’s to driving, creativity and a damn good summer salad!  Cheer’s!