Corn and Black Bean Sauté

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Black Bean and Corn Saute

This is one of my favorite summer side dishes. It comes together quickly, and makes a nice alternative to a rice side for Mexican dishes. It would probably be more purely Mexican if you use cotija cheese, but I have feta on hand a lot of the time, so I just throw it in there.

I could pretty much just eat this for dinner. How about you?

Corn and Black Bean Sauté

Yield: 4 side servings

This quick side dish goes well with tacos or enchiladas.


  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T minced yellow or sweet onion
  • kernels from two ears of corn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of one lime (1-2 T)
  • 1 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (or so) crumbled feta cheese


In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add corn kernels and garlic; stir and cook for a few minutes, until the corn starts to brown a little. Add in beans and stir to mix.

When beans are warmed through, add lime juice and cilantro. Remove from heat. Stir in feta. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed. (The feta is pretty salty by itself.)

Family Recipe Fridays: Serious Salsa

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Why serious? Well, because it takes a lot of chopping (or hand work with your food chopper–that thing takes some arm strength!).

But this is some good salsa. My mother-in-law cans some each year using tomatoes and anything else she can use from her garden. Despite my disdain for fresh tomatoes, I really like salsa, and I especially love this one because the tomatoes are in itty bitty pieces. Mr. V steals as much as he can each year; but I haven’t seen any appear in our pantry this summer, so I guess I’ll be making my own soon.

On an extreme side note, one of my favorite things is guacamole mixed with salsa. Apparently BooMama, BigMama, and Rocks in My Dryer took a little trip to visit Ree, THE Pioneer Woman, this week. And she served that exact thing to them. Why wasn’t I invited? I mean, BooMama replied to one of my Tweets once, so, really, we’re tight.


OK, anyway, here’s the recipe!

Serious Salsa


  • 1 c. green pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 large tomato, cored and chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped fine
  • 1/4 cu. onion, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 T cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • for hot salsa, add:
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. hot sauce


Combine all ingredients and mix. Cover and let refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before tasting. Adjust ingredients to taste.


This is one of those recipes you can take with a grain of salt. Use however much of everything you like and want.

Join the carnival! Write a post about a family recipe you have, click on Mr. Linky and add the PERMALINK to your post, and then click around to visit the other recipes here. What a good start to the weekend! If you don’t have a blog, feel free to add your recipe in the comments.

Family Recipe Fridays: Mom’s Enchiladas

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I cook a lot of recipes. Cooking Light, Southern Living, and recipes saved in my Google Reader are my go-tos for recipes on any given night.

But I also have a treasure of family recipes—my family, Mr. V’s family, close friends’ families. These are recipes I come back to again and again, because they are not only tasty but also sentimental.

When we were engaged, Mr. V’s mom gave us a small 3-ringed book, filled with pages on which you can write your own recipes. The green (YES GREEN. Mr. V thinks it’s blue, but he’s obviously blind) book is tattered, stained, and was obviously chewed on by our dog, but there’s no way I would let it go.

I remember spending nearly a whole day at their house, going through my MIL’s own stash of recipes and copying down the ones Mr. V insisted were keepers. I did the same at my home with the collection of church cookbooks and recipe cards my mom kept stashed in a cupboard above the microwave.

I thought it would be fun—now that I think I am at a place in my bloggy “career” where people might participate—to start a carnival where people share their family recipes. These are usually the BEST recipes because they are tried and true, perfected over time.

Here’s my first great recipe.

Mom’s Enchiladas

Mom’s Enchiladas


  • 1 lb. ground beef or cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz. taco sauce or salsa
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T flour
  • 2 tsp. chicken bouillion
  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 4 oz. diced green chiles
  • 2/3 c. sour cream


Cook beef and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. (If using chicken, just saute onions then add in cooked chicken.) Drain fat. Divide meat into tortillas. Top meat in each tortilla with 1 oz. of taco sauce/salsa and 1 Tablespoon cheese. Roll the tortillas up and place them seam down in an oblong baking dish.

In saucepan, melt butter, then whisk in flour and bouillion. Stir in water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then stir in chiles. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Pour the sauce over the tortillas.

Cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted, another 5 minutes or so.

In case you’re not familiar with carnivals, here’s what you do! Write a post on your blog about one of your family’s “hand-me-down” recipes. Link here to THAT POST, not to your main blog page (if you need help doing that, you can e-mail me). If you don’t have a blog, leave the recipe in the comments. Then we all visit each other’s blogs and see the wonderful, delicious recipes that we can make over the weekend.


WIN IT! [CONTEST OVER!] Everyone who links their post here or leaves a recipe in the comments will be eligible to win this Cath Kidston Recipe Organizer so you can have a place to write all your treasured recipes. If you Twitter about this carnival, you’ll get another entry (just leave a comment that you did). Same for Stumbling/Kirtsy-ing/Digg-ing this post. US and Canada only, please. (Please still link if you’re international, you just won’t be eligible to win.) I’ll pick a winner on Saturday.

Bon Appetit!

[since Mr. Linky went down after this post, I’m inserting the links myself.]

Mom’s Pasta Salad (Lattes and Life)
Cornbread Salad (The MawMaw)
Broccoli Casserole (It’s Come to This)
Chicken Lime Soup (Shannon)
Rainbow Slaw (The MawMaw)
Chicken Parmigiana (Once a Month Mom Tricia)

Publix Bargain Meals: Mexican Stuffed Shells

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Since this was such a big hit at our house last night, I’m going to recommend you make Mexican Stuffed Shells for your bargain meal this week!

ground chuck 2.69/lb
Pace chunky salsa 1.40
Publix shredded cheese 1.66

Mexican Stuffed Shells (adaptations in red)
12-18 large pasta shells, cooked [for unstuffed adaptation, use small shells or other shaped pasta]
1 lb ground beef [or turkey]
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups salsa, divided
1 cup grated cheese, divided (jalapeno Monterey Jack is especially good, but cheddar will work well too.)
750 ml tomato sauce [huh? I think this is 3 cups. I used a 15 oz. can and it was plenty.]
chili powder, to taste
green onion, for garnish [I omitted, cause I’m not crazy about green onions.]


1. Brown ground beef and onion, drain.
Add seasoning, water, onion, and 1/2 cup of salsa and 1/4 cup cheese.
3. Mix together remaining salsa, tomato sauce,and chili powder.
Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking pan.
Fill each shell with the ground beef mixture and place in pan. [OR–make a layer of sauce, layer of pasta, layer of ground beef mixture, and layer of cheese. Repeat. Ignore step 6.]
Pour remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese on top and garnish with green onion.
7. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
If desired sprinkle additional cheese on top after baking and return to oven for 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts.

Mr. V loved this dish AND John McCain’s ribs, which we had earlier in the week. He doesn’t usually rave about my dinners, so we are going to put both of these into the rotation!

For more Bargain Meals, check out $5 Dinners. Thanks, Tricia, for the link to this yummy dinner!

Taco Mac & Cheese

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Last week ended up to be much stranger food-wise than I thought it would be. I managed to give Mr. V a mini-version of the sickness I had, so neither of us were really hungry Monday or Tuesday. Monday I made lasagna–I ate about three bites, he ate nothing. Tuesday he decided Arby’s curly fries were the only thing in the world he wanted, so we had Arby’s. I think Thursday night we both had lasagna, Friday night we had the beef barbecue sandwiches, and I ended up making double the taco mac and cheese and had five people over for Valentine’s Day. So then tonight (Sunday) we ate leftovers. And we still have 2 servings of taco mac, probably half a lasagna, and one slice of meatloaf from last Sunday. And a pork chop meal I didn’t make last week.

So here’s the plan.

Monday: leftover taco mac and cheese (see below), watermelon
Tuesday: leftover lasagna–freeze the rest
Wednesday: chicken fried steak at church (or hamburgers, for those of us who are not chicken fried steak fans–me)
Thursday: Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes
Friday: Stouffer’s french bread pizza–on sale 1/2 price at Publix this week
Saturday: supper club–gotta figure out that menu now!!
Sunday: supper club leftovers or sandwiches or soup

Thus–I don’t have to go to the store this week except for supper club stuff! Score!! And since I usually spend a decent amount on supper club, especially since the hostess usually makes the main dish and that would be me this month, it’s not a bad thing.

I altered Erin‘s taco mac and cheese and thought I would give you the recipe!

Spicy Taco Mac and Cheese

Taco Mac & Cheese

Yield: 6-8 servings

Taco Mac & Cheese

Adapted from $5 Dinners, this is a great twist on a classic!


  • 1 12-oz. box whole wheat pasta
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1 T. butter or margarine
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 c. Mexican-blend or cheddar shredded cheese
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can Rotel (I prefer mild because I am a wimp about spicy things)


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown hamburger with onion. When browned, remove from skillet with slotted spoon, leaving the drippings. Set aside meat/onion. Add butter and flour to skillet; whisk together. Let bubble 1 minute. Whisk in milk. Stir constantly for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese.

Add hamburger mix, taco seasoning, and drained Rotel to the sauce. Toss with pasta and serve immediately. Add sour cream, extra cheese, and/or crushed tortilla chips if desired.

Menu Plan Monday / Parmesan Fish, Taco Bake

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Y’all, I just could NOT think about the menu yesterday. I tried. I really did. I even asked Miss Carolyn what I should make this week, as she is the best cook in the world. And even she had no idea. I was at a total loss. I went out to eat with a friend for dinner and then came back and didn’t feel well.

So today was another day. I really planned on going to Kroger on the way home from the doctor today. But I was SO hungry I decided I might chew off my arm if I had to wait to get groceries, cook something, and then eat. Not to mention, I might have bought half of Kroger. So we had canned soup and grilled cheese. And then, finally, went to the store.

So here’s the plan! My mom is coming in on Thursday and she is doing South Beach Phase II, so I needed to plan things that would be OK for her.

Wed: church dinner
Thurs: I have to go on this video shoot and will be eating with crew and author at what is supposed to be the best down home restaurant in Nashville (Sunset in Lebanon).
Fri: Parmesan Tilapia, broccoli with cheese, something else??
Sat: Taco Bake on bed of lettuce
Sun: I have some chicken, I have a crockpot, we have restaurants…we’ll figure it out!
Mon: Hashbrown casserole with ham (back to Mr. V and me)

Here are recipes for ya:

Taco Bake

1 can refried beans (vegetarian if you are on South Beach, they don’t have lard)
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 can diced green chiles
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or more, if you’d like)
2-3 TB chili powder
1 TB cumin
1-2 t garlic powder
2-3 TB tomato paste
2/3 C shredded cheese

Garnish – any, all work well: chopped green onions, chopped black olives, sour cream, chopped lettuce and tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped white or bermuda onions, salsa

Preheat oven to 450. Take a flat casserole dish, spray with cooking spray and spread refried beans on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, saute meat, onions, bell pepper, garlic (season with S&P) until all brown. Drain fat and add all spices, and cook for about 2-3 minutes until spices toast. Add green chilies and tomato paste, along with a little bit of water, if needed. The mixture should be moist but not runny.

Take the casserole dish with the beans, pour mixture on top and top with cheese. Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just starts to bubble. Serve with generous heaps of lettuce as a bed (romaine, red leaf, and iceberg work really well here), and garnish if you like.

Parmesan Fish

2-4 fish fillets (firm, white fish works best)
2 egg whites
2 T milk
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated fine
salt and pepper to taste
1 T parlsey flakes or fresh parsley

Beat together the egg whites and milk. Mix together all other ingredients except fish on a plate. Dip the fish fillets in the egg white, and then coat well in the Parmesan mixture. Let sit at least 5 minutes to set. Meanwhile, coat a nonstick skillet in olive oil or a mix of OO and Canola oil to hot but not sizzling (med to med-high). Cook the fillets for 3-4 minutes on each side, until fish flakes easily. Enjoy!