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I know I have been severely lacking on the posts lately, and really I have no excuse, seeing as I am not currently employed.  Well until next Monday.  I have been painting a TON (14 foot high walls means lots and lots of paint, tape, and trips to the Home Depot, which is conveniently down the street), and have sort of been neglecting other parts of my life.  The good news is that my main living room wall is done, and looks great.  I’m still working on the magnetic chalkboard wall in the kitchen, which requires a million coats of paint.  I will be sure to share it when it’s done, as it will be quite the achievement.

Now that summer is officially here (well, not really, but it sure feels like it), I have a great summer party recipe for you.  One day Brad and I were waiting for some friends who we were going to dinner with, and we needed a snack, but had nothing to eat.  We discovered that we had a ton of corn tortillas leftover from another meal, and he set out to find out how to make them into chips.  Well I am really glad he did, because homemade tortilla chips are so delicious and way less bad for you (we bake them), and actually pretty easy to make.  So no more store-bought bags for us.  I’ll be requesting he make them all the time this summer.

We recently had a LOST finale viewing party (although only one of the guests actually stayed to watch LOST) and I figured a great starter would be these chips paired with an easy and delicious black bean and corn salsa that my mom had shared with me a few years ago.  It involves both canned corn and beans, and fresh veggies like onions, peppers, and cilantro.  The two together are great, and I definitely plan to make this combo many times over the course of the summer.  It’s also super easy to double, and everyone generally loves it.  So go out and make it for your next party, I promise it will be a hit!

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Corn tortillas
Olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400.  Brush tortillas with small amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Stack a few in a pile and cut into sixths (depending on size of tortillas, we use smaller ones).  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for anywhere between 5-10 minutes.  We don’t set the oven, just kind of watch them to make sure they brown properly but don’t burn.  If they are slightly brown they will be crispier, which I prefer.  Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

16 ounces canned black beans
16 ounces canned corn
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped orange pepper
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 TB olive oil
1 TB ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato

In large bowl, combine beans, corn, cilantro, scallion, red onion, orange pepper, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and chill at least two hours, up to overnight.  Just before serving, stir in tomatoes.

This weekend is our official housewarming, a few months after the fact.  Sadly we won’t have our farm table for it (more on that later), but we’ll have tons of friends and family over to celebrate.

We’ll be having….

…just to name a few.

Have a great weekend!

This recipe comes from my friend Wicks (I think it is actually his mother’s), who happens to be living my dream of going to culinary school.  It’s always a crowd pleaser, I certainly loved it the first time I tried it, and I’ve made it for multiple groups of people, who always love it and/or want the recipe.

One of the first fancy (well, fancy for a couple of college kids) dinners my husband and I went on, we went to this great Italian place in Boston’s North End.  He took the iniative and ordered some bruschetta for us.  Mind you, I didn’t really know what it was.  I am not usually a fan of raw tomatoes, and I hadn’t really shared that with him yet, and so he was both horrified and dismayed to hear that I wasn’t really into that bruschetta.  He still doesn’t let me live that one down, although 6 years later I’ve gotten much better and am making leaps and bounds with trying to eat tomatoes raw.

Anyway, on to the food.

1 baguette
2 tomatoes
fresh basil
scallions (green onions)
Italian salad dressing
black olives
thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

Finely chop tomatoes, scallions, basil and black olives.  Add enough salad dressing to cover, and marinate for at least an hour, the longer the better.

Thinly slice the baguette at an angle.  Very lightly toast the bread rounds in the oven, just enough to give them a light crunch.

Top the toasted rounds with the tomato mixture and a very thin slice of mozzarella covering the tomato.  Then broil the bruschetta just until the cheese is melted, and serve immediately.

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