Monday, June 22, 2009

The things you learn at TJ's

It is getting HOT. I am not a happy camper in this humid, high 80's weather (with 90's looming in the forecast for the next couple of days). So when we did a big grocery shopping trip this weekend, I gravitated towards mostly cold and refreshing items, or things that wouldn't take long to cook. And after abstaining from "adult" beverages for many months, I picked up a Pinot Grigio at Trader Joe's for Matt and I to share after the baby is born. When I told the guy who was bagging our groceries that I was excited about enjoying a cool and refreshing wine in a couple weeks, he shared a great tip! He said a great way to keep your wine cold on a hot day is to keep some frozen grapes on hand and to put them in the glass with your wine. It's like having ice cubes that won't water down your drink, and you'll have some icy fruit to eat when your glass is empty! It also sounds really cute. Thanks, TJ's guy!


Speaking of refreshing, I should share a recipe I love for a great summer salad. I like it because it's very easy and it can keep in the fridge for a couple days. I know lots of people make variations on this, but this is how I learned to make it:

Black Bean and Corn Salad

The salad:
1 can black beans, rinsed
1.5 cups frozen sweet corn
1.5 cups peeled and chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or to taste)

The dressing:
.5 cup lime or lemon juice (and some of the zest, if you prefer)
.5 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp cumin
4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste--I prefer a sweet dressing, and the lime in the dressing is quite tart)
Salt to taste

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or shake in a bottle. Toss enough of the dressing with the salad ingredients in a large bowl to coat and flavor the salad. You may not use the whole cup of dressing, but you can save it for use on another salad if you have some left.

I had this salad with a hot dog and some tortilla chips last night, and I'm going to eat some with an egg salad sandwich for lunch in just a few minutes! Yum!


Melissa said...

I make black bean and corn salad a lot in the summer, and tend to use it atop cornmeal-crusted tilapia. Yum!

Nicole said...

Ooh, tilapia!

What recipe do you use for the salad?

Melissa said...

I actually don't use a most of my cooking. I pretty much just throw it together with whatever I have on hand. I'm like an Italian grandmother that way. ;)