Daddy Memories – Butter Bean salad

As a little girl, I vividly remember my dad preparing what I think was his favourite salad, which in turn became my all time favourite of course!

So today I decided not only to re-live that memory, but to take it to another level in honor of  the great guy that he was, ❤ and I am sure that instead of being insulted by the changes, he would be proud of his little girl.

The original salad was very simple, below is a list of the ingredients:butterbeans

  • Butter Beans
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Dusting of oregano

As you can see, it’s pretty simple, just mix the above ingredients and it’ oh sooooo tasty, and the best part was dipping  pieces of a fresh baguette into the leftover juices!

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In those days there was no fancy vinegar, no cilantro and goodness know’s what else, especially in Uruguay.

But nowadays, with the available ingredients, new flavours, fancy vinegars, etc…. I decided to take this salad to the next level.

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Not too many changes, just a few additions, so here it goes………

  • Butter Beans – stayed the same I used 2 cans
  • Sliced Tomatoes – stayed the same, used 2 medium tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions – stayed the same, used 1/2 medium onion
  • Salt and Pepper – stayed the same, tsp of each
  • Olive oil and vinegar – used olive oil but replaced the vinegar with same fabulous Lemongrass Mint infused White Balsamic vinegar from Mount Dora Olive Oil Company
  • Dusting of oreganoreplaced this with some chopped cilantro
  • Added a can of sliced Hearts of Palm that are easily available nowadays but when I was a kid they were an expensive commodity!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, and I do recommend that you try both versions, they are both great 🙂

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Some rules are meant to be broken……

For all of you avid cooks out there you know what I mean.

There is an art to cooking and certain rules that have to be followed, but as long as we follow the basics, the rest is up to our imagination.

Years ago I was given a recipe of a delicious black eye pea salad which I thought was perfection and didn’t need any changes.

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Here is the recipe for the original salad:

  • 4 cans of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Since then I replaced the parsley for cilantro and the tomatoes don’t always make it in. Also I prefer more veggies so I only use 3 cans of peas and add extra chopped peppers.

The dressing (did I mention this is the best part)consists of:

  • 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (I use splenda most of the times)
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper

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Today of all days I was really craving this salad as it’s great on its own, as a dip (scoops work the best), on toast as a bruschetta topping and its great tossed with cold pasta turning it into the best pasta salad ever!

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Low and behold when I found that I had no cilantro, no parsley and wasn’t in the mood to put tomatoes into it……..so instead I,

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  • Chopped some watermelon
  • chopped some fresh mint from the garden
  • chopped some fresh basil from the garden

And added it to the peas, peppers and onions, and I have to say it turned into the best of the best black eye pea salad ever!

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So now you understand what I mean by rules are meant to be broken!

Let your imagination run wild, experiment and enjoy!

Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic……..it’s that simple.

Yes my followers, Mount Dora is back on the map!

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Tonight I came across these perfectly ripened  plum tomatoes, remembered the abundant basil growing in my yard outside and decided that with the addition of garlic it was time for some Tomato Bruschetta.

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Chopped up my tomatoes, garlic and basil, added some olive oil, salt and pepper and for the drum roll finale, added some delicious ( and by this I mean you can drink it with a spoon) Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar from the Mount Dora Olive Oil Company!

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Slight technical hitch, there is no fresh french baguette in the house to serve it on! So I had to settle for some last minute crostini made from several types of leftover sliced bread, not ideal but who’s complaining right?

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I went from a totally unplanned dinner, to a delicious satisfying appetizer which will pair very well with a new wine I got to taste recently. The wine is called Apothic Dark which has a blend of blueberry and blackberry with notes of coffee and dark chocolate, need I say more…

Perfect scenario would have been to be enjoying this appetizer at the Wine Den in Mount Dora in the company of some crazy lovely ladies but instead I will settle for the loving hubby ❤ ! What can I say, I am a lucky girl, always surrounded by good company 🙂

Mount Dora Olive Oil Company – A must!

Just came back from a fantastic weekend road trip to a little town in Central Florida called Mount Dora.

One of the highlights of this trip other than the wonderful hostess with the mostest, was the fact that this fascinating town has one of my all time favorite stores! You have to visit the Mount Dora Olive Oil Company~

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I think I got a bit carried away but what can I say, these are long lasting ingredients that will allow me to experiment big time with some stunning and original flavors!

Prior to coming back home I got to really sample the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar on a rich Vanilla Ice Cream over a yummy dinner with Ann Kaar! Heavenly indeed!

Here is the list of the goodies I brought home with me, she said modestly…..

  • Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lavender Balsamic Vinegar
  • Violet Balsamic Vinegar
  • Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
  • Oregano White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemongrass Mint White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Coconut White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Peach White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Harissa Infused Olive Oil
  • Basil Infused Olive Oil

So next time you are in Mount Dora, don’t forget to visit this great store!

Urgently thinking of purchasing some oil/vinegar pourers to be able to use my goodies in a better way! You an never have too many pourers :-)!

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Heaven, I’m in Heaven…….

This is a posting to brag about how happy I am with my new found ingredients that my hubby and I purchased during our visit to Arizona. Excitement is so great, that I am walking around the house thinking I am Fred Astaire as I sing along to his wonderful “Cheek to Cheek” song where he clearly states that “I’m in Heaven”!

We recently got back from a wonderful trip where we visited as many hidden off the beaten path little towns as we could in the limited time we had.

Out of tradition, we had to visit Sedona. Yes its a bit too touristified, but forget the shops and tourists and get lost in the wonderful mountains and views surrounding this gorgeous city!

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After once again taking in the sights we turned our attention to a few of the little speciality stores such as the lovely Chocolate Factory and the highlight of our trip, The Sedona Olive Oil Company!

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Today’s excitement is caused by the fact that the box with heavy stuff that we shipped home from Arizona just arrived with all my goodies and of course my new Sedona Olive Oil Company Balsamic Vinegars and Olive Oil.

There were too many flavours to choose from and after tasting way too many I settled on the following:

  • Pear Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Cucumber Melon Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (apparently fantastic drizzled on some vanilla ice cream and of course chosen by the husband!)
  • Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

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So my dear followers, with my excitement, I am off to concoct some dishes where I can make these new ingredients shine as I keep on humming my tune!

PS: Looking forward to getting my sausage stuffer contraption for my kitchen aid from Amazon!