Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mexican Corn Salad

We are so fortunate that a farmer just across the street offers up fresh corn each summer. It is 5/$1 on the honor system. It is so good - one of my favorites of summertime. This salad is good whether corn is in season or not. What I love about it is that it still amazing even when using frozen corn. I started making these salads last summer and have now made it enough times using different recipes, I've settled on this as our favorite so it is ready to share with you here! Hope you like it too! Don't be afraid to double it up - I usually do!

mexican corn salad

¼ cup mayonnaise (or more to taste)
2 limes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 ears of fresh corn, shucked and silks removed  or frozen (1 ear = 1 cup)
1 cup or 4 oz crumbled cojita* cheese
Salt to taste
Green onion, chopped (optional)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
(Other optional additions: poblano, tomato, avocado....)

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, juice of one lime, the chili powder and the ground cumin. Blend well and set aside.

Fresh is always best, but here's the best part... If you don't have access to fresh corn, you can use frozen. Just thaw - no need to even cook! If you do have fresh... Cook the corn on the cob. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the cobs and bring the water back to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let the cobs cook for five minutes. If you’ve got the grill going, you can then place the cobs on the grill to get a nice char on the kernels, but it's fine if you don’t grill. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife.

Place the corn in a large bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime over the corn. Toss the kernels around to absorb the lime juice.

Add the cotija cheese and toss to combine. Stir in the mayonnaise dressing to coat all the corn kernels. Add salt to taste and mix well.

Serves 6 – 8, can be doubled or tripled.

*Cotija cheese is a salty Mexican cheese you’ll find in with other Hispanic cheeses - if you don’t find cotija, queso fresco is a good substitute. I've used both and they are excellent. Don't forget to try your own add-ins!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Strawberries and Sunshine

 It is officially summer! What better way to celebrate and start the week, but with berry picking! Elyse was so excited Lucien would join us!

Lucien, "No, Elyse. That one's not ready yet. It needs to be RED".

The no-eating-strawberries rule was not heavily enforced.

LOVE this picture. Funny thing is I was looking through the lens and couldn't even tell you what was going on here.

Elyse would NOT look at me.

"Put your arms around each other" - resulted in this. Cuties.

Two minutes after Elyse asked me to get the sawdust out of her shoes.

We went and had lunch afterward and Geoff and Nate joined us. Deanna and Lucien went back home and Nate came back to play for a while before naptime.

It was sunny and Elyse was quickly in her "baby soup". This was, of course, unplanned so Nate had no suit. I was actually impressed I had these shorts. They seemed more boyish until he put them on. We had a little giggle over that one. But, he was happy!

Thankful days!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Aunt Soup - Fifty!

Yesterday, we spent the day with Aunt Sue to celebrate her 50th birthday. We don't always do a lot for birthdays, but this was a milestone. I tried to think of something creative to make it special. Once I made my plans, I got so excited. I admit, I was so darn proud of myself. For once, I really felt like I got it RIGHT. I am unashamed at giving gift cards for special events - really I think it makes it easy to allow your loved one to get themselves what they really want/need. But, sometimes - you got to think outside the gift card.

Here's what I did. I was so excited, I could burst!
I found the plaque on Etsy. It reads, "Life takes you to unexpected places. Love brings you home." When Mom passed away, Sue lived out of state. When she came here for the funeral, she told me she would move closer. I didn't really believe it. Yet, just six months later, they found their dream log home in the woods, less than ten miles away. She always said my Mom made it happen. Love.

And then, my friend Jeff brought these cookies into work he and his girlfriend had ordered from a local cookie baker called The Sugar Canvas. They are hand decorated with whatever design you want. They were perfect and I knew I needed to get them for Sue's birthday. A soup can for Aunt Soup. Her two dogs. Her log home. Pictures of her property. And the critters outside her home she loves: chickens, raccoons and squirrels. She loved them. 

Then, we planned a special day of whatever she wanted to do. She wanted to go to the zoo. I chose Northwest Trek. It was a perfect choice for her love of the outdoors, plus we hadn't taken Elyse there yet! We had an amazing day. And, it was Slug Fest - so funny!

Flightless hawks. We were so close!

Beautiful property. I don't remember appreciating this part when I was a kid!

These guys got close too as we rode the tram through the park.

I should mention - Sue took all these photos with my camera. Love her "EYE" for a good pic.

So cool.

Really, the forest was stunning.

It was a beautiful day. Love the photos of these NW animals soaking it up just like we do.

These barn owls - so creepy, yet beautiful.

Really, they seem so perfect and odd, they didn't seem real. Elyse couldn't "see" them for the longest time. I think she didn't realize what they actually were.

This guy was a beauty too.

Slugs. Of course.

How could a little guy who is so dang darling cause us so much pain. We were very close, so I'm glad he was happy!

We drove back through Yelm and had lunch at Puerto Vallarta. It was her birthday, so we had to have dessert. (Guys, she is not going to eat those cookies. Well, maybe one of the 50 cookies - there were two).

This video is too precious. "Happy Birthday, Aunt Soup loves me...." This girl is too much!

It has been a fun week - lots of birthdays. She has sang Happy Birthday to OJ and Aunt Jody, then Sue and Chelsey next week. This girl loves the birthdays!

Sue, we love you very much. I hope your birthday felt as special as you are to me. I can never describe how we connected when we met for the first time when I was only 13. It's more than just being family; we've had an instant special connection and have had it ever since. I love you. Here's to 50 more.


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