Black Bean, Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Jalapeno Salad

Black Bean, Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Jalapeno Salad
Black Bean, Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Jalapeno Salad

Tweak, tweak, tweak.  That’s what most of us recipe-creating, home cooks do a lot of in the kitchen.  I make a lot of salads.  I really love them and when it’s warm outside, it’s the perfect dinner.  I recently posted one of my black bean salads that is sweetened with corn and a little sugar.  It’s delicious, but not as good for you as this version.  This one is really my favorite and it’s better for you.  That’s called a win for me. I’m also pretty excited any time that Jalapeno is added. 🙂

Black Bean, Avocado, Cherry Tomato & Jalapeno Salad

2-15 oz cans of Organic Black Beans-Drained and rinsed
2 tbsp of minced Jalapeno Pepper (usually 1/2 of a large pepper)
1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro (approximately half of a bunch)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes-washed and cut in half
2 large Avocados-cut in 1 inch cubes
Juice of 2 large Lemons
Juice of 2 Limes
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in one bowl and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.  This can be served as a summer side dish, with tortilla chips or by itself.  Enjoy!

Precious Time

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Yesterday, while many were celebrating Memorial Day at the beach or cooking out, I spent the day with my dad building a treehouse for my nephew.  It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.  My dad had a plan to replicate the same treehouse that he built by himself, for my sister and I when we were children.  We loved that treehouse so much.  It was our private world.

Construction begins
Construction begins

We started the day at dad’s house prepping everything.  We cut all of the boards so that all we would have to do at my sister’s house was to bolt it all together in the tree.  My dad had gone over to her house the day before and placed the posts and set them in concrete.

Stage 1
Stage 1

I felt pretty relieved after this was set.  I wasn’t sure what my 40 something year old body was capable of when it came to construction.  I’ve also watched a lot of Treehouse Masters that had me imagining that we needed heavy equipment.  Haha.  Obviously, their treehouses are a lot more elaborate, but in my mind…

Starting to take shape
Starting to take shape

At this point, I was feeling pretty confident and to be honest, I was getting pretty excited at the thought that we could actually pull this off.  I was also smiling a lot with my dad.  We worked really great together.  He makes a great leader in so many ways.

Checking out our hinges
Checking out our hinges

The sides open on both sides.  One side gives the kids a view of their backyard and their house.  The other view is of this cool field behind them where the neighbors are working on a community garden.  I’m imagining many baseball and football games there in the future.  We plan to put shingles on both sides, but my dad thought that my sister and the kiddos should have input on those.

And then they came home…

I think he likes it.
I think he likes it.

Last night as I thought about my day, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude for the time I had spent with my dad building the treehouse.  I thought about all of the time that my sister and I had shared together in our treehouse.  It seems like yesterday that we were in there giggling with our friends.  None of us know what tomorrow will bring us.  Time is so very precious.

Family Time at the Beach

Mr. Sugarbears found a huge root for me to toss back and forth at the beach.
Mr. Sugarbears found a huge root for me to toss back and forth at the beach.
After a day of boating and playing at the beach, we settled in for a nice fire and a great Cabernet.
After a day of boating and playing at the beach, we settled in for a nice fire and a great Cabernet.
The next day we stopped in for pastries and coffee at this lovely spot.  The breakfast was so good that we went back for dinner the same day.
The next day we stopped in for pastries and coffee at this lovely spot. The breakfast was so good that we went back for dinner the same day.
We started with this red blend, with notes of lavender, chocolate and bacon.  Yummy.  The bread was pretty fantastic, too.
We started with this red blend, with notes of lavender, chocolate and bacon. Yummy. The bread was pretty fantastic, too.
We couldn't resist the Flash Fried Scallop Spring Rolls.
We couldn’t resist the Flash Fried Scallop Spring Rolls.
Of course, we couldn't pass up the Patata Dulce; Roasted Sweet Potato Galette topped with black beans, Strawberry-jalapeno Jam and Crumbled Cotija Cheese.
Of course, we couldn’t pass up the Patata Dulce; Roasted Sweet Potato Galette topped with black beans, Strawberry-jalapeno Jam and Crumbled Cotija Cheese.
B said we had to try the Monk fish topped with apples, and a side of sticky rice with sriracha and the best pancetta and collards I've ever tasted.
B said we had to try the Monk fish topped with apples, served with a side of sticky rice topped with sriracha and the best pancetta and collards I’ve ever tasted.
This is what will bring me back to this place over and over again...Braised Pork Belly, Apple Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Scallions and Pecan Smoked Bacon.  Be still my heart.
This is what will bring me back to this place over and over again…Braised Pork Belly, Apple Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Scallions and Pecan Smoked Bacon. Be still my heart.
Mr. Sugarbears loved his time on the beach almost as much as his time on the boat.
Mr. Sugarbears loved his time on the beach almost as much as his time on the boat.

It’s Been A Great Week

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I’m learning more about Rhone region wines this week. This was a 2010 Gigondas or as I was told by my wine guy, it’s Chateauneuf du Pape’s baby brother and a little cheaper. I loved it. I paired it with besties and a variety of spicy Indian dishes.
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Mr. Sugarbears was determined to get B’s attention last night on the drive. (We always stop for bbq on this drive)
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This mornings view. I love this place so much. My mother calls it our family’s sanctuary.
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My new bike arrived and I’m a little tickled about its awesomeness.
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These two beauties bypassed the Indian food and went straight for the tater tots. ☺️