Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthday Party and Black Bean Salsa

Saturday night my friend Pam and I drove an hour and half to give a guy a card. He said we could have just put a 32 cent stamp on it! (Of course, I guess the cost now is 44 cents!)

Yesterday was my cousin-in-law Frank's birthday, and Pam and I went to join in on the fun. We got a late start, and wound up not getting there until the party had already been in swing for 3 hours.

When we arrived, we found the band playing and Frank dancing...

That's my aunt Karen running around like a crazy woman trying to get photos of Frank.

Unfortunately within 15 minutes after our arrival, the police arrived and shut down the band. (For the record, the band was not playing that loud, and it was only about 9:30 PM). Too bad. They sounded great, and they had a great setup (even lights!)

This was the birthday boy Frank...

...and these are my uncle and two of my aunts, David, Bette and Karen...

They were already having a lot of fun! For reasons not yet understood, they began doing impressions of Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter...

Okay. So it was probably just the beer.

Then my uncle David turned into the storyteller, and began relaying a conversation between him and his girlfriend. From what I recall, it had to do with a birthday card that was simply signed without a "Love You" or "Love" or even just "Best Wishes" or anything. The card came from her family, and when he pointed out this fact about her family, she proceeded to talk about our crazy family that fights. He told her that all may well be true, but at least we say "I love you"!

It was a fun evening, and Pam and I stayed until after midnight with a long drive home to still embark upon. As we were leaving, I saw this lovely condom bouquet created by my aunt...

I got a shot of my aunt Karen and Pam together as we were leaving...

...and they got a shot of me and birthday boy Frank.

Even the dreaded duo Rocky and Bullwinkle got in on the picture taking... the point that they would vie for your attention, butting in front of one another for a pet.

Funny dogs!

So we enjoyed our time at the party, and got home and got me to bed before 4 AM! (The time change, don't you know. I got home at 2 AM, when the time changed and it became 3 AM. A little blogging, and in bed by 4 AM.)

I took some of my black bean salsa to the party, knowing that it was something that my aunt Karen has seemed to like in the past when I've taken it to our reunions. Here is the recipe...

Black Bean Salsafrom Cooking Light

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced plum tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeƱo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained


Rinse the black beans and allow them to drain while you prepare the other ingredients.
Things like celery are easy to prepare. Just cut celery into two-inch long pieces, and cut those into matchsticks. Then just finely chop.

I got lucky with the jalapenos. I bought a whole basket of them a couple of months ago, and I finely chopped and froze them for future use.

So I only had to thaw out the appropriate amount in the microwave, and then drained it between two paper towels to release the extra moisture.

Combine all of the chopped veggies in a large bowl.

Then add the spices and seasonings, and drizzle on the oil and vinegar.

Mix it all together, and serve with tortilla chips or wrapped in tortillas, or even on a lettuce salad with some rice and sour cream.

Mmmmmm! This is one of our favorites around here! And it's good for you!