Just a Minute

  After talking about this in Sunday School twice, I just knew it was something important to share.  I think it’s something we all struggle with, if we are honest with ourselves……..

 How many times do we tell our children “Just a Minute,” but then never get to it? 

“Read me a book, Mommy!”  Just a minute.

“Can you hold me?”  Let me just transfer this load of laundry first.  (and make lunch and take a phone call and never get to it…..)

  What if our “Just A Minute” words (or our excuses) were replaced with the words:

“I don’t love you enough to stop what I am doing right now.” 

-Or-

“You are not more important than my _______.” 

                                     Fill in the blank: chores, facebook, cell phone, tv show.

  I know that is harsh and not at all the case, but have you ever seen those sagging shoulders and sad little faces as they turn and walk away? Don’t you think that despite what we are saying, that this may be what they are HEARING?!

  We can “just a minute” those kids right out the door, grown and gone before we know what happened.

  Do I always stop the second a child asks?  No.  Do I wish I could ?  Yes!!!!! 

  But, here is what I CAN do:

1)  Commit at least a half hour an hour a day to just sitting with them, holding them on my lap and reading them a book before nap.  Or rolling a ball back and forth between our legs.  Or laying on the floor together and coloring a picture. For us, morning time is best, or sometimes, between after school chores and supper prep.    Do I have a million things I COULD be doing during that time?! Of course. 

   Playing is hard for me, I am goal oriented and have a list of a million and one things I want to accomplish before the day is done.  But I will NOT go to bed feeling guilty anymore for lack of play time with my kids.  I am going to do better.  I want my kids to know they are loved, not just by my words, but by my actions as well!

2)  Stay off the computer when the kids are awake!!!! 

  This used to be my rule, but as I have started this blog, answering emails, writing new posts, and editing photos have become very time-consuming, I want to do better at balancing it all! 

My goal is to do as follows:

~Check morning email during TV time only. As soon as they are done, I am done.

  I have to come to my office to get on the computer, so it takes effort to come in here and check.  If you have email/facebook on your cell phone, set it down in another room when you are with your family, so that they have your FULL attention.  Mom’s FULL attention for 30 minutes is better than her half-hearted attention with wandering eyes looking at her cell phone, all day long.

~ Use nap time wisely, so that I can have time left in the evening to be with Destiny when she gets home from school, and time with Dale after the kids go to bed. 

Laundry, photo projects, editing, supper prep, whatever! The more I can get done during nap time, the better!!  Those are ‘free hours’ when no one needs me.

~Keep my priorities in order and ask myself:

“Does this activity promote the following?”  God first.  Family second.  THEN all the other things.

  ~In the evening, we try very hard to start bedtime EARLIER than we think we need to, so that we have time to read a Bible story, sing a few songs and pray together to close the day.  The kids LOVE that time and cry when we have to skip it due to a late night.

  After that, I blog and email and Dale watches a documentary or something on TV.  We have to be careful to shut those both down at a good time, so we still can have our devotions, prayer and talk time before we fall asleep.  This has been hard for us, since 10 pm sure comes quickly!

  Satan loves for us to be “too busy” to pray with each other, seek God together and converse and be friends with our spouse.  In fact, I think busyness is one of his sneakiest weapons!

  Don’t let social media and busyness rob you of the precious moments you have with your family.

   Your kids only spend so many years seeking YOUR attention, then you spend the rest of your life, trying to get theirs.

~T

Just For This Morning…..

 

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Just for this morning, I am going to smile when your whining at my feet, & laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.

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Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

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Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

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Just for this afternoon, I will set down my cell phone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

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Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble. Even when you scream and fuss, I will keep my cool and deal with it in a calm manner.017

Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won’t stand over you trying to fix them.new sis

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

077Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV show and computer time.

Just for this evening when I run my fingers through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.0363

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I will think about the mothers and fathers who are age 2searching for their missing children, the mommy’s and daddy’s who are kneeling beside their children’s graves, rather than beside their beds, and the couples who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can’t handle it anymore.ava2

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And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer……

It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except for one more day.

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Banana Caramel Pinterest Pie & Weekend Potluck #9

 I found this easy Banana Pie on Pinterest. And when I saw it had a can of homemade caramel in it, I was IN!

It didn’t disappoint, and we gobbled it up in no time!

Banana Caramel Pie

(click title for easy printable version)

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Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1-½ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • ⅓ cups Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 3 whole Large Bananas, Sliced (more If You Desire)
  • 14 ounces, weight Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups Cool Whip

To make the Graham Cracker Crust:
Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into 8-9 inch pie plate. Bake at 375* for 6-9 minutes. Cool.

For the homemade caramel sauce:
Remove the label on the condensed milk and submerge the unopened can in a large stockpot of water. Cover and boil for 2 1/2 hours. WARNING: be sure to keep the can covered with water AT ALL TIMES! (I had to add water every 20 or so minutes.) When 2 and 1/2 hours have passed, remove pot from heat. You just made caramel! YUM!

Slice bananas into cooled crust and pour still warm caramel over it. Add cool whip and refrigerate at least an hour to set.

ENJOY!

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Now, on to Weekend Potluck, where Friends and Foodies meet and eat all weekend long!

Last week, we were pleased to see a strong Irish presence in our recipes and that is why today we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

The recipe with the most clicks was…

Chicken Pasta recipe

Wicked Chicken from The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen

Recipes that had our Irish eyes smiling…

minty trifle

Irish Cream and Chocolate Mint Trifle by Little Rays of Sunshine

St Patrick's Day recipes

Irish Soda Bread Muffins by Flavors by Four

St Patrick's Day recipes

Shepherd’s Pie from Carolina Heartstrings

St Patrick's Day recipes

Shamrock Shakes by Everyday Mom’s Meals

If you were featured today, please feel free to grab the red “featured” button from my sidebar.

Your hosts ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FOUR blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

We want you to get as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested.Linky Guidelines: If you wish for us to promote your recipe or want to be a featured recipe, you must follow these instructions. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog. Also, LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this.) You can use the button or a direct link within your post. If you have a recipe to share, please be sure that you are following ALL co-hosts (The Country Cook, Baking Bad, 4 Little Fergusons, AND Meet Penny) by either RSS feed, Daily Email Digest, Facebook or Twitter. Thanks so much for participating!

Click on the link below to be taken to a new page just FULL of yummy things for you to try!


Tijuana Torte

  This is another family favorite from my childhood.  It is easy and delicious! Only one down-fall, this is the one and only dish I have found that does NOT work when you substitute whole wheat tortillas for white.  In this particular case, you need the white because they get soft and disappear.  You could serve it with homemade guacamole and wheat chips to make yourself feel better!   :)

Tijuana Torte

(click title for an easy printable)

Tajiana Torte (4)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Hamburger Cooked With Onion
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning
  • 16 ounces, weight Sour Cream
  • 29 ounces, weight Tomato Sauce
  • 4 ounces, weight Can Green Chilies
  • Mexican Cheese
  • 8 whole Flour Tortillas, Regular Size

  Brown hamburger with onion, drain.  Add tomato sauce, green chilies and taco mix. Simmer 10 minutes. Layer in casserole dish the following: (I have a round 3 Qt.Pyrex that is perfect tortilla size) a teeny tiny amount of meat sauce (less than you think, it’ll run out fast) then spread a tortilla generously with sour cream, place in dish on top of meat mix and add a layer of cheese. Repeat meat, than a sour cream-spread tortilla, then cheese. Keep going until you are out of meat mix, making sure you are ending with the meat mixture after the 8th tortilla. Cover top meat layer with cheese. Bake 350* for 30 minutes. Serve with chips.

Gooey and delicious!

~T

Before baking:

Tajiana Torte (5)

After baking:

Tajiana Torte (2)

Serve it up!

Tajiana Torte (4)

White Trash Dip

  My friend, Mary who runs the darling B&B out east, gave me this recipe and I just HAD to try it for Sunday night snack supper. She said she found it on Pinterest, which lead to THIS blog.  But she found it from another blog, and who knows where that person found it.  Now that everyone has been given credit, where credit is due, let me just tell you:

It was great! I loved the presentation in the pie plate too!

  Not sure how it got it’s name, but if easy ingredients for a yummy dip, makes it “White Trash”, then SO BE IT!   :)

White Trash Dip

(click title to print)

White Trash Dip 2

Ingredients

  • 15 ounces, weight Canned Chili With Beans
  • 2 packages (8 Oz. Each) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 pound Bacon, Cooked, Drained, And Crumbled
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Chopped
  • Tortilla Chips, For Dipping

Preheat oven to 350* while you cook and crumble your bacon. Mix together chili, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon and chopped green onions in a large bowl. Spread into a glass pie plate and bake at 350* for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with chips!

Thanks for sharing, Mary!

~T

Sock Monkey’s & Snuggles

This is post 2 for today, head back 1 post for Creamy Onion Potatoes.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if all your problem’s could be easily fixed:

Say, by Sock Monkey’s and Snuggles?

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  Paxton’s world is made complete by his Sock Monkey, Binky  named “Bink” and his blanky.

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{SIGH}  Wouldn’t it be nice if we adults could be so easily comforted?

My baby is growing up.  He no longer will rock and sing with me before morning and afternoon naps, or night-time for that matter.  He just points to his bed and grunts.  {WAH!}  This part of independent baby-hood has always been a hard one for me, but with this being my last little one, I find it even more difficult to accept.

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  {Sniff-sniff}

Can I have a blanky and a sock monkey to snuggle too?

~T

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Creamy Onion Potatoes

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new side dishes. These Creamy Onion Potatoes came together easily and tasted GREAT!

Creamy Onion Potatoes

Creamy Onion Potatoes (3)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups Cubed Red Potatoes, Cooked
  • ⅓ cups Chopped Green Onions
  • 16 ounces, weight French Onion Dip
  • White Pepper And Salt To Taste
  • 4 ounces, weight Shredded Cheese

Wash and cube potatoes. In a large stock pot cover cubed potatoes with water, salt and bring to a boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Remove from heat and add onions, onion dip and seasonings to pot. Stir carefully. Transfer to a 1 1/2 Qt baking dish and cover with cheese.
Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes at 350* or until cheese melts.

Dig in!

~T

 

Creamy Onion Potatoes (4)

 

Clothing Chaos

  This is Post 2 for today, be sure to head back 1 post to check out some delicious and easy Creamy Italian Chicken for your Crock pot!

    Staying up on my kids clothes is a FULL TIME JOB!  It seems someone is always outgrowing something, or just when I am on top of things, its time for a Season change, and I pull out almost all of the Winter to make room for the Spring things.  These transitions are hard, because I can barely fit all of one season in the children’s shared closets, let alone leaving in half of the last season, plus the new, in one tiny space!!!

  IMG_2916 My favorite way to stay on top of things in the Clothing department, is have an empty Tupperware bin that lives in each child’s closet.  As soon as I know something is too small, whether its coming back to the room in the clean laundry basket, or whether I have deemed it too small after they put it on and it needs to come back off, it goes into said bin.  When the bin is full, I clearly label the bin with size, season and gender.  Then to storage it goes!  Easier than rummaging through drawers and closets later, trying to remember what fits and what doesn’t!

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   If my younger 2 outgrow their things, they go into a different set of bins.  These bins are full of things that will be sold next time I get around to having a private clothing sale in my home.

   Here is the current state of my bedroom:

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That’s because I am getting ready to consign all of these clothes of Avery and Paxton.  I will use the money I make from this sale to buy clothes for the big kids this year.  It is SO nice that I had girl, boy, girl, boy….the younger 2 literally have bins and bins of clothing from the older two, just waiting for them to grow into. I LOVE it!

  I just switched out Avery and Paxton’s closets, swapping out red, black and winter colored clothing, anything fleece or lined, and putting in their Spring clothes.  It stays cool (or even COLD and snowy) where I live for a good month or so, but I LOVE to see them in those bright colors, so I get them out first part of March and the kids can wear cotton long sleeves, wind breaker play pants and colorful sweaters for school and church. 

  To church now, the boys will wear cotton spring colored button downs and sweater vests instead of winter colored full sweaters and plaids.

{Good-bye Winter Clothes}

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{Hello, Spring!}

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  No more Velvet, fleece or red plaid dresses for the girls! 

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  IMG_2917They will wear bright colored spring dresses with tights and white sweaters.  Gone are the black shiny church shoes and in come the white patent leather.    As it warms up we will exchange tights for lace socks, and this summer we will lose the white sweater yet too. 

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This allows these dresses to be used for 2 full seasons: Spring AND Summer!!! Bonus!

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Avery loves all of her summer play dresses, so we have been making those “weather appropriate” by adding sweaters over or long sleeve shirts under them with warm tights and cowgirl boots.  She insists on a dress nearly everyday, this way I can say yes! :)

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  What are your favorite tricks for staying on top the ever-growing pile of “Too Small” Kids Clothing?!

~T

Creamy Italian Slow Cooker Chicken

This is comfort food at its finest! Easy to throw together and tastes like you worked all day on it!!!!

Creamy Italian Slow Cooker Chicken

Italian Crockpot Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta

Ingredients

  • 6 whole Bonless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
  • 1 envelope Italian Dressing Mix (about 1 Oz. Packet)
  • ¼ cups Water
  • 1 package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 can (10 3/4 Oz. Can) Cream Of Chicken Soup
  • 1 can (4 Oz. Can) Mushroom Stems And Pieces, Drained
  • 1 pound Angel Hair Pasta

Rinse and pat dry the raw, thawed chicken. Place in a slow cooker. Combine salad dressing mix and water, pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and soup until blended. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken. Cook 1 hour longer, or until chicken juices run clear.

Serve over cooked angel hair pasta. Tastes great with steamed fresh broccoli and garlic bread sticks!

Enjoy!  This one’s a family favorite!

~T

Cream Cheese, Bacon, Egg & Veggie Ring and Weekend Potluck #8

  We love Saturdays at home! It means we get to make a big breakfast and enjoy it all as a family.  I am always trying new egg bakes and breakfast cakes, or Dale makes his famous cheesy scrambled eggs and pancakes.

  This particular Saturday, I had 2 rolls of crescents that were screaming, “Make me for breakfast!”  I hate that there is no Wheat version of these by the way. (Pillsbury, are you listening? I would be such a happy camper if you came out with whole wheat versions of everything you make, thankyouverymuch!)

   So, I have seen these “Wreath” recipes forever from Pampered Chef!  I am not claiming it as something new, but what I will tell you, is that I added something in that made it SO SO SO yummy!

  You know cream cheese is my weakness by now, right?? :) And I just so happened to have 4 oz. of Cream cheese leftover from the other breakfast dish I made.  I also just so happened to have some veggies that needed to be used, so I made up this bacon, veggie cream cheese mixture to put inside the breakfast ring.

    Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but it made it SO SO GOOD! 

{pats self on back just a teeny-tiny bit}

Cream Cheese, Bacon, Egg & Veggie Ring

(click for an easy printable)

Cream Cheese Bacon Egg & Veggie Ring

Ingredients

  • 1 can Refrigerated Crescent Roll Dough, 8 Ounce Can, Set Out 20 Minutes Before Starting
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons Chopped Veggies (you Know, The Ones Lurking In Your Veggie Drawer) I Had Green Onions & Red Pepper To Use Up.
  • ½ package (3 Oz Size) Real Bacon Bits
  • 6 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Shredded Colby-jack Cheese

Set out the crescent roll dough 20 minutes before starting.

During this time you can soften cream cheese and chop veggies. Put the cream cheese and veggies into a medium-sized bowl. Stir these together and add bacon bits.

Beat the eggs in a bowl. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add eggs. Scramble your eggs until they reach your desired firmness then remove from heat and set aside.

Lay out the crescent roll triangles on a baking sheet. You want to form them into a circle (see upper left photo). Use a rolling-pin to seal the seams and create a wide area to layer other ingredients. Layer the cream cheese mixture, then scrambled eggs, then cheese on to the wide area of each triangle.

Pull each triangle tip up and over the wide part and tuck ends under. This will form a “wreath”. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with fresh tomatoes if you have them.

Enjoy, its incredible!

  Sooooo, funny story, I was photographing the finished product, when I heard a noise, and glanced to my left:

 I had company!

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  Silly chickens, this is not for you! 

I turned back just in time to see two thievers eye-balling the breakfast I was photographing!

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And…..

BAM! BAM!  At the exact same moment, like they counted to 3, they both dove for a bite.  

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Silly girls! Egg bake is not for you to enjoy! That’s like caniballism or something!

  With the other half of your Cream cheese, make these Strawberry Cream Cheese Croissants by Rumbly In My Tumbly, whom I found on pinterest.

YUM!

On to Weekend Potluck, where Friends & Foodies meet and eat, all Weekend Long!

The recipe with the most clicks ~

best chocolate cake recipe

“Suck It, Betty Crocker” Chocolate Cake from South Your Mouth

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Meatless Stuffed Shells recipe

Skinny Italian Stuffed Shells from Skinny Kitchen

unique potpie recipe

Chili Cheese Dog Potpies from Sunflower Supper Club

If you were featured today, please feel free to grab the red “featured” button from my sidebar.

Your hosts ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FOUR blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

We want you to get as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested.  Linky Guidelines: If you wish for us to promote your recipe or want to be a featured recipe, you must follow these instructions. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog. Also, LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this.) You can use the button or a direct link within your post. If you have a recipe to share, please be sure that you are following ALL co-hosts (The Country Cook, Baking Bad, 4 Little Fergusons, AND Meet Penny) by either RSS feed, Daily Email Digest, Facebook or Twitter. Thanks so much for participating!

Click the link below to be taken to a whole new page of Deliciousness!!!!!

 

Share with: http://eatathomecooks.com/2012/03/ingredient-spotlight-cream-cheese-2012-and-giveaway.html

Dip Dilemma

  I have a Dip Dilemma and I need your help!

This is the dip I made for Super Bowl Sunday.  It is missing a KEY flavor or taste and I can’t for the life of me, figure out just what that taste should be!  So here I am asking for your help!  And, so that I could have helpers that had actually TASTED the dip, I handed out samples to some of my foodie friends. 019

First of all, they all said they LOVED it and agreed it had the potential to be amazing.

Here are their suggestions:

~Less sugar. I TOTALLy agree, I’d say 3 T. instead of 6, is a good place to start.

~3 people suggested the addition of Cilantro (or as Ty’s teacher said in her darling accent: “CEEElantrooo”) {be sure to roll your r’s in your head when you read that part}

~Another friend suggested, chopped Mangos.  Mmmm!

~A more flavorful cheese like Herb and Garlic goat cheese or Mediterranean Feta

This has the potential to be reallyreally good!  If you come up with something clever, comment away, I want to hear it!

Chunky Black Eyed Pea Dip

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  • 16 oz. dry black-eyed peas, soaked and cooked according to package directions
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh corn (I used fresh-frozen from this summer)
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (this was the perfect amount of heat for me, but add more if you like it hot)
  • 3 T. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 oz. feta or goat cheese

Mix all ingredients together until sugar dissolves, then make the following dressing:

  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 6 T. sugar (VERY sweet, I’ll do less next time!)

Pour over dip and stir very well.  Serve cold with chips.

  It’s good, its hearty, its healthy, but it is MISSING SOMETHING! Help!!!!!

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    Now, this next dip got RAVE reviews! It’s my Aunt Regena’s recipe and it was a DELICIOUS!!!!  I will make it again as soon as possible! It is mild with a hint of sweet and is all kinds of good.

And look how pretty it is!

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Corn and Black Bean Salsa

(click title for easy printable)

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Ingredients

  • 2 cans (14 Oz Each) Shoepeg Corn
  • 1 can (15 Oz.) Black Beans, Rinsed And Drained
  • 1 bunch Green Onions, Chopped
  • 5 ounces, weight Feta Cheese
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • ¼ cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil

Rinse and Drain beans. Wash and chop green onions. Mix in large bowl with shoepeg corn and feta cheese. Combine sugar, vinegar and oil before pouring over everything. Let marinade several hours before serving with Tostitos scoops.

Delicious!

  Ok Dip Connoisseur’s, time for you to weigh in about Dip #1, I am listening!!!!

~T