Black Bean Salsa Recipe

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo, y'all!  It's a big day here in Texas.. We are always up for a reason to eat Mexican food and have a margarita on a patio.  To celebrate, I made my yummy black bean salsa and want to share the recipe with you! My aunt gave me this recipe years ago, and I have taken it to so many events and always get asked how to make it.  Everyone loves it, and it's super simple!

2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can tomatoes with green chilis
16oz jar hot or medium chunky picante sauce
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 cup dried cilantro

Just mix everything in a bowl and let sit in the fridge a few hours before serving..  I usually let mine sit in the fridge overnight and eat it the next day.. Believe me, it doesn't taste as good if you eat it right when you make it.. The flavors need to work together for a few hours.

Emyli xo

Farmers Cheese from Scratch

Monday, March 23, 2015

Y'all, I am such a huge fan of wine and cheese!  I love trying new wines and pairing them with unique cheeses while socializing with friends.. And one of my favorite things to do is entertain my friends with wine and cheese!
I was on my main etsy feed, and a make your own cheese kit popped up.. What?!  Why haven't I thought of this brilliant idea before?!  I searched the varieties, read the reviews and decided on the farmers cheese.. From the description, it seemed like it might be the most forgiving if I messed up and needed to add extra ingredients to make it into a spread..
I highly recommend this seller, Urban Cheesecraft.. My package came quickly, and the instructions were easy to follow.. I will be making more in my future!

Here is the cute little box and the things that came in it minus the instruction pamphlet.

This is what the curds and whey look like while they are cooking.

After cooking the curds, I drained them in the provided cheesecloth.

After draining, I added the provided cheese salt, and it was delicious!  The seller gave a few ideas of variations and things to add so I picked up some store bought pesto and added that.  Oh my goodness!!!  It was delicious!!!  I think she recommended 2 tablespoons, and I used closer to 4.. After mixing it in, I put the cheese back into the cloth to 'ball it up' for serving..

And here it is ready to serve!  The kit makes several batches so I will get to make more soon!  And I can't wait to try to mozzarella one!  

Cheers, y'all!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers & Corn Feta Salad

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I am a huge veggie burger lover!!  They are so tasty, and they don't make you feel as full and heavy as a real beef burger.  Plus, it's a kinder meal ;) .. I get veggie burgers in restaurants all the time, but I have yet to find a patty I really like to eat at home so I decided to make my own.  This one is pretty spicy!  My husband and I love spice so you may want to make a few changes if you are making this recipe for kids.  

1 can 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 green bell pepper
3 tablespoons-ish red onion
2 cloves garlic
3 teaspoons Fiagaro Hickory Smoke Flavor (you could use liquid smoke too)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Any toppings you'd like

Cook the quinoa according to instructions.  I did 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup veggie broth.  Bring it to a boil then simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Cut your green bell pepper and onion into slices and put in a chopper or mini food processor with the cloves of garlic.  Process until minced.  Mash your drained, rinsed black beans with a fork until they are pretty mashed, but you may leave a few whole.  Add the minced garlic/onion/pepper mixure and all seasonings and spices.  Stir until blended well.  Next add the bread crumbs, quinoa and egg, and mix with your hands then form into 4 large patties.  Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes flipping halfway between.  I added a slice of mild cheddar cheese and chipotle barbeque sauce on ours.

Go here for the corn and feta salad.  I cut the recipe in half and used the Trader Joes roasted corn and dried cilantro instead of fresh.  Those are the only changes I made, and it turned out delicious!  I'm going to use the left overs for a southwest salad! Mmmmmm

Cheers, ya'll!
Emyli xo

New Year's Eve Romantic Dinner for Two.. Fancy on the Cheap

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My husband and I love a good night out with friends, but on New Year's Eve, we'd rather stay home.. It's safer, we can spend quality time together and we can indulge in a really nice bottle of wine.

I try to make our special occasion dinners at home a little more festive..  I cook a lot so if it's a holiday, I like to make it stand out a little more.  However, I don't like to go all out and buy lots of fancy stuff so I try to get creative and use what I've got and only buy flowers and maybe one or two other things..

To make it extra special on the cheap, I did a burlap runner which I had because I stock pile burlap in my craft closet.. You never know when you'll need that stuff, right?  I used our silver chargers and regular plates that we usually use and added our nice napkins that I only bring on on occasion..  I printed out a little print that said "Cheers", wrapped silver washi tape to the napkin to make a shiny napkin ring, and I used a mini clothes pin I dressed in glitter to attached my print to the napkin..  I also did the same with the champagne flutes with a sign that said "pop fizz clink" and put pearl white gumballs in those until it was time to serve the champagne.  My centerpiece was hydrangea flowers from Market Street at 3 bundles for $12, and the vase was half off at Hobby Lobby.. The other crystal vases I already had..  I used silver votive candles that were on sale after Christmas, and I printed up a pretty menu and framed it to complete the 'fancy' dinner.. I had everything on hand except for the vase, flowers, mini clothespins, gumballs, and the little print ups I made.. I don't consider that too much to buy to make a special, memorable night at home..

Happy Celebrating, y'all!
Emyli xo

Fake it til you make it Truffle Popcorn

Monday, December 22, 2014

I die for truffle oil. It is seriously the most heavenly taste in the entire world.  I had it for the first time in Venice, Italy on our honeymoon.  You can read about that here.  I instantly fell in love with the flavor- the richness, the uniqueness, the oh so goodness!  The bad news is truffles are pricey!!!! Lucky for all of us, Trader Joes makes a truffle flavored olive oil for about $5.  What?!  Y'all, it tastes like the real deal too!  I had to snag it up to see what I could come up with.... Fake it til you make it tuffle popcorn!

The star ingredient!

I just pulled things from my fridge and pantry that I thought might taste yummy with truffle popcorn.  I mixed it all up, and it turned out fab!  It was especially yummy with red wine. 

Fake it til You Make it Truffle Popcorn
1.5 tbsn Trader Joes Black Truffle Olive Oil
1 bag of Skinny Girl Popcorn (sea salt and butter flavor)
4-6 springs of fresh thyme
Cracked Black Pepper
Shredded Parmesan

Make the popcorn as directed on the package.  In a small bowl, mix olive oil, a tablespoon of cheese, black pepper and thyme.  After the popcorn is done, put it into a large bowl and slowly pour your mixture over the popped corn.  I divided mine into two cereal bowls and topped with a little more thyme, pepper and cheese.

Emyli xo

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care......

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One of my most favorite Christmas traditions is stockings. My husband and I do stockings for each other every year, and I have such a great time finding little things to fill his.  He always does a great job filling mine too.
This year, I have slacked a little with my Christmas decorations because we have just moved into a new house, and I'm trying to finish the house details for family to come over on Christmas Eve.  I am doing a few Christmas things here and there, and I wanted to share my fireplace and mantle.  It's very simple, but I'm very pleased with how it's turned out!

Here are my details:
Fireplace glass::Amazon (60 pounds is what it took at $3lb..Every other site was $5+)
Mirror::Hobby Lobby
Live pine and cedar stems::Trader Joes (only $5 for a bundle)
Stockings::Mud Pie
Decorative Tree::Marshall's
Bottles::My dad found them on our land..They may or may not have been old moonshine bottles ;)

Merry Christmas,y'all!
Emyli xo

Little Putz House Display

Monday, December 15, 2014

I have loved the little glitter putz houses for some time now so I finally decided to make some.  I love shopping small businesses so I searched Etsy and found a great assortment of sweet little houses.  They arrived pretty quickly, and she even included a mini wreath which looks adorable on my church!

Luckily, I had lots of glitter on hand, but I made a trip to Michaels for a couple more options since I wasn't sure what they would all look like on cardboard.  

I did pull a few colors other than neutrals and actually used the green.  It looked cute, but I just love simple look without much color so I Mod Podged over the green glitter with silver.  The Martha Stewart glitter is so fab!  After my glitter dried, I cut squares of tracing paper for my windows and hot glued those inside my houses.  The Etsy shop has two options of solid back houses, or she will cut circles if you want to use battery operated tea lights to illuminate your houses.  Obviously, that was my choice! 

I thought about putting them inside apothecary jars, but my little houses only fit it one of the jars that I had on hand so I ran to Home Goods for a tray and incorporated the jars and my tray.  I had some trees on hand, but I found more at Walmart.  

Next year, I'll make more and put them on some shelving in my entry way to make a whole little village.  But for now, I'll enjoy my little glittery tray set up.
Merry Christmas!
Emyli xo