Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th & Cowboy Caviar

Happy 4th of July girlie girls!  It's America's Independence Day, and I'm happy for numerous reasons, among them being 1.) I get a day off of work; 2.) I'm spending the day with Hubs; 3.) Living in America is a blessing because we have so many freedoms and I will not take that for granted; 4.) Hearing the Star Spangled Banner amidst a sky full of fireworks gets me emotional every. time. (yup, I'm a sap).  What better way to celebrate this glorious holiday than to send up copious amounts of barely-legal fireworks and eat delicious food amongst friends?  Well that's what we did, and it's been so, so lovely! 

I love the 4th of July, but it's not the same as when I was growing up.  We always used to spend our 4th's at my grandfather's lake house in Cheboygan, Michigan, where we would swim, go to picnics, take boat rides, play with all of the kids who were visiting their my grandparents' neighbors for the holiday, and be with the family.  We would make loads of fresh fruit salad using fruit from my grandfather's garden, and live off that for an entire week.  My dad and I would go fishing and have quiet time alone together on the dock.  I would freak out when the mayflies hatched, and hide in the house until they died off a couple of days later.  Man, I really have some great 4th of July memories!  I wish I could have that experience again, but I don't know where or how to find that lifestyle down here in Florida.  I don't think it exists.  It's really okay, though, because I've managed to carve out new holiday traditions with my husband, and hopefully we'll pass those along to our kiddos someday.  We'll take them out to the beach to watch real fireworks and let them wave sparklers around in our driveway, like we did when we were kids.

Last night, we went to a Pre-4th Party at our friends Jess and Steve's, and I took two dips for us to munch on while waiting for the barbecued food (burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob) to be cooked.  The first dip was buffalo chicken dip, which is always a hit and the first appetizer to go.  It's totally addictive.  The second dip I took was a salsa-style dip called Cowboy Caviar.  I have heard several people mention in the last year (usually accompanied by the phrase, 'I could have eaten this as my entire meal!') and I finally decided to try making it.  Lemme tell you, it was SO easy and flavorful!  I can't believe I didn't try this sooner.

Here's the recipe that I used, which I adapted from several other recipes I found online...

Cowboy Caviar

1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, finely sliced
1-2 avocados, diced (my avocados weren't ripe enough, so I skipped them)
1 handful of cilantro (1/3 to 1/2 of a bunch), chopped
3/4 cup Zesty Italian salad dressing
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Combine tomatoes, corn, black beans, and black eyed peas, ensuring the all are fully drained before combining.  You don't want there to be too much liquid or it could just turn into a soupy mess.  Add green onions, avocados, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Add zesty Italian dressing, and stir well to thoroughly coat veggies.  I saw that a couple of recipes used diced red bell pepper and jalapenos, so toss those in too, if you like those kinds of things.  That's the beauty of this dip.  You can add and subtract flavors and ingredients based on your personal tastes.  I chilled this for a couple of hours before the party, and I served it with Tostitos tortilla scoops. 

Isn't it pretty?  I just love colorful food!  It reminds me of summer and picnics and sunshine.

I hope you're all eating like kings and enjoying the 4th of July festivities!

1 comment:

Nikki said...

WOW that cowboy caviar sounds so yummy! I have to try it!

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Tampa, Florida, United States
I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

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