Apricot Brie Appetizer (Video)


1 wedge or round of brie cheese 
Apricot preserves 
Toasted chopped pecans 
Assorted crackers and fruit for garnish
Heat brie in microwave for approximately 30 seconds or until soft. Heat preserves in microwave until warm (20-30 seconds) and spread over brie. Top with toasted pecans and arrange on platter with crackers and grapes or other fruit. Quick, pretty, and delicious!

Balsamic Vinaigrette (Video)


½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey 
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together first 7 ingredients until blended.  Gradually whisk in olive oil until blended.  Serve over fruit or salad greens.  Yield:  2 cups. 

½ cup balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons honey 2 large garlic cloves, minced 2 small shallots, minced ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 1 cup olive oil Whisk together first 7 ingredients until blended.  Gradually whisk in olive oil until blended.  Serve over fruit or salad greens.  Yield:  2 cups. 



Banana Bread


¾ cup butter or margarine
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups mashed banana
¾ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Take the cream butter and sugar, then blend them in with the bananas, eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, soda and salt; add to the banana mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Mix thoroughly; add nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 325-degrees for about an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. If I have bananas getting too ripe I'll stick them in the freezer and use to make banana bread when I have time. 
NOTE: I like to use mini loaf pans instead of large loaf pan. This recipe will fill 4 pans. They need to bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. Also, to keep them from sticking to pans, I line pans with parchment paper or wax paper with the ends extending up over the sides of the pans. That way, I can just lift the banana bread out when it is cooled, and it comes out better.



Black Bean and Corn Salsa (Video)

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans white whole kernel corn, drained
1-2 yellow, red, or orange peppers, chopped
1 small can chopped green chilies
2-3 green onions, chopped (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander (optional)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste 


Mix sugar, vinegar, oil and seasonings and pour over combined vegetables. Toss lightly and chill. Sprinkle with Feta Cheese crumbles before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or FRITOS scoops.

Note: Recipe from DeeAnna Carney 


Black Bean Soup

½ pound hot smoked sausage, cut in thin slices
1 onion
3 or 4 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
3 cups canned black beans
1 small can diced tomatoes (with green chilis)
1 teaspoon cumin
Chili powder to taste (about 1/4 to start)
Process onion, garlic, and celery in food processor or chop into fine pieces, then set aside. Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in dutch oven. Brown sausage in oil, then put in food processor and mince. Sauté onion, garlic and celery in drippings from sausage. Add the cans beans (no need to drain), the tomatoes, and cumin. Simmer for about an hour. Put in food processor and whip until most of large chunks are gone. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a dab of salsa, sprig of cilantro. You can mix a little cumin with sour cream for more flavor. The salt from the sausage seasons, so no need to add salt or pepper if the sausage is very hot.