Tuesday, January 6, 2009

For Lea

Corn and Black Bean Salad


1 bunch cilantro roughly chopped
6 green onions chopped
1 ripe avocado roughly diced
1 bag frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 TBS olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1 diced, seeded tomato--optional
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Chill for at least an hour before serving. The corn will become sweeter the more it marinates in the lime/olive oil dressing. Sometimes I use half a red onion instead of the green onions for a slightly different taste. Chris doesn't like raw tomatoes, so depending on how generously I'm feeling towards him, I usually leave it out. When the stray tomato makes it into his grocery cart, I'll gleefully toss it in to the salad. If you like a little heat, add a finely diced jalapeno, minus the seeds.

Cheater's Cheesecake

This is a recipe that I've adapted and modified over time.


3 pkgs cream cheese (24oz total) at room temperature
2/3 cup Splenda or sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2 TBS water
2 TBS vanilla
2 cups milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 packet unflavored gelatin

Cream splenda or sugar with cream cheese in mixer at medium speed until fluffy. With mixer on low, slowly incorporate cream. Once cream is fully mixed in, adjust speed to medium and mix for at least a minute. In a small bowl, mix water and vanilla. Microwave on high for a minute. Sprinkle gelatin over top and allow to bloom. After about 3 minutes, mix gelatin into liquid with fork. Be sure that it dissolves completely, or you'll have gummy strings in your cheesecake. Melt chocolate. I do it in a microwave set at 80% power. Just do it in 30 second intervals, being sure to stir each time. Don't over do it, or you're chocolate will scorch and be ruined. If this makes you nervous, just do it the traditional way with a double boiler. With the mixer on low, slowly incorporate the gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Once this is thoroughly mixed in, add the melted chocolate and mix until completely blended. Smooth mixture into an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edges when you're ready to release it from the pan. Enjoy!

I don't make a crust because I'm under the impression that I'm "saving" calories by skipping it. You could do a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust if you feel that you need it. You could also omit the chocolate and vanilla and substitute 2 TBS of lemon juice, amaretto, rum, or your cordial of choice for a different flavor. It's a very forgiving recipe. You could also probably use white chocolate instead of milk or semi-sweet.

As for breads and things, this is my favorite site: http://www.cookingbread.com/index.html

For Lisa: Thankfully, I'm off the neutropenic diet, but I still have restrictions like no sushi, oysters, alcohol, medium-rare meats.


Susan C said...

My avocados are almost ripe. I'll have to try the bean salad.

This is how Cancer Banter spawned Open Mouth, Insert Fork.

Ann said...


I am so jealous that you have an avocado tree that's bearing fruit. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh my goodness- this makes me so happy!!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time and making the effort to post this! Can you say yumminess and entertainment all weekend long?

Keep on going!