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Monday, September 20, 2010

Texas Caviar

    My mom and me walking into my new house!
    After I finished my undergraduate work in 2008, I planned to move home to begin graduate school at TCU in the education department.  I was moving back to Fort Worth, and I knew that I was going to need to find a place to live.  As much as I adore my parents, I could not fathom moving back into their house, so I began the long adventure of house hunting.  I spent many weekends back going house to house with a patient real estate agent and even more patient parents.  We probably saw 30 houses, but none of them were quite right.  Finally, my mom suggested that we look a bit farther out where I could get a nicer, newer house for less money.  At first I was hesitant, but then I fell head over heels for what I'd soon after call my home.  It was perfect for me.  A gorgeous backyard, a quaint back patio, three bedroom, two bath, with a country kitchen.  If this house was a food, it would be King Ranch Chicken (low fat, of course)- close to home, but with enough flair and differences to make it my own.

    Holiday Cocktail Party 2009 Crew

    For the past two Christmases I have had a holiday cocktail party because 1.  I love decorating for the holidays and 2. I will make any excuse to have people over to my sweet little house.  I say "holiday" party in order to be respectful of my Jewish friends (shout out to Sam!), and so everyone will feel welcome (the more the merrier!)  This past year, I decided to turn the party into a potluck dinner and had everyone bring their favorite holiday dishes.  (You know, the classic argument of "my grandma's Christmas cookies are better than your grandma's!"  This potluck put those arguments to an end.)  My kitchen was filled with bourbon meatballs (recipe to come later!), a cheeseball and crackers (Melynda), white cheddar queso (The Cochrans), candied yams (The Settles), chess (no, not cheese- chess) cake (Michael), sugar cookies (mom), about 10 other dishes that I can't remember... and Texas Caviar.  The Texas Caviar was brought by my friend, MaryEllen, who I can't say enough great things about. She's kind of amazing ;-) I was nervous because I figured caviar meant caviar... as in fish eggs... but no no, there is no fish found here.  Texas Caviar is the perfect light dip for any get together, and was the first bowl that was practically licked clean at the holiday party.

      Holiday Cocktail Party 2009 Counseling Crew

    Recently, we Horned Frogs congregated in the parking lot of Jerryworld for pre-game festivities before the TCU v. Oregon State game.  If you haven't been to the new Cowboys' stadium, go.  It is awesome.  MaryEllen brought Texas Caviar, and, as usual, it was a crowd pleaser.  I'm not sure if we had so many people at the tailgate because of the shade of the tent, the flat screen TV, or the delicious Texas Caviar dip.

      TCU v. Oregon State 2010, tailgating group

    So whether you make it for a tailgate or game watching party when you're cheering on the Longhorns, Horned Frogs, or Cowboys... or taking it in a fun Christmas bowl (these are cheap cheap by the way at Walmart!) to a holiday party to deck the halls, Texas Caviar is sure have everyone gathered around the food table.

      Chris' tailgate setup at the TCU v. Oregon State 2010 game

    Texas Caviar
    MaryEllen Strong & Debbie Burns

    • 2 cans black eyed peas (rinsed and drained)
    • 1 can corn (drained)
    • 1 red bell pepper (diced/minced)
    • 1 bunch green onions (diced/minced)
    • 1 small can diced black olives (I leave these out, but they're optional)
    • 1 bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
    • 3-5 jalapenos diced (or the jalapenos in a jar prediced, 3-5 tbsp)
    • 1 bottle of Paul Neumann's Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (to keep this fat free, pick up a bottle of fat-free balsamic vinaigrette instead!)
    1. Slice & dice all ingredients above *Hint: if you have a food processor, pulse quickly for a finer consistency.  Be care not to puree because it turns out too soupy.
    2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
    3. Pour in the dressing
    4. Mix gently and let stand overnight to marinade
    5. Serve with chips or crackers

    18 Year Friends at the 2009 Holiday Cocktail party

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