Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy One Year Blog-o-versary!

Today is the one year anniversary of my blog. It started out as a place for me to write about life and keep in touch with friends, it quickly became an outlet for the passion that rules our household - FOOD! Truth be told food and all that goes along with it - shopping at the farmers market, cooking, having friends over, and eating - are the most exciting parts of my grad student life.

In honor of the big O-N-E, I'll offer a quick update on the non-food related facets of my life, and then share a couple of festive summery salad recipes. First and most exciting, I am about a year away from THE END of grad school - can I get an AMEN? If all goes according to plan I'll be leaving Purdue, Ph.D. in hand, next May. This summer I'm super duper busy with school/career stuff. I'm currently teaching Maymester - a month long two-hour-a-day intense social science research methods course - three weeks left! Then I'll be researching, dissertating, and preparing to enter the academic job market in the Fall! Yikes! I'm also looking forward to a visit from my Dad in just a couple of weeks, my 4th wedding anniversary on June 11th, a trip home to Tejas at the end of summer, and I'll be turning a quarter of a century old in July! In short, I have lots to be grateful for and many things to look forward to!

Okay, now on to the food. I've decided to share a couple of our favorite salads, which also happen to be colorful fiesta appropriate dishes.

Shirazi Salad

This is a perfect summer salad - fresh mint makes it wonderfully refreshing, garden fresh cucumbers and tomatoes are also a plus, and should be abundant soon! This is a salad Alfred grew up eating in his hometown, Shiraz, Iran, for which the salad is named. We enjoy it at least once a week during the summer.

2 Persian Cucumbers or 1 Large Seedless/English Cucumber, diced
2 Medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1 Medium-sized sweet onion (e.g., vidalia), diced
1 large handful of fresh mint, chopped
Juice from 1 Large Lime
Salt to Taste

Combine all the ingredients and let sit at least 1 hour for the flavors to develop. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Mango Salad

(My sweet cousin Melissa helping me prepare this dish last summer)

2 Cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 Large Ripe Mangoes, flesh diced
1 Large Poblano Pepper, seeded and diced
2 Medium Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 Medium sweet onion, diced
1 Large Handful or Cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1 Large Lime
Juice from 1 Large Orange
Salt to taste (will depend on whether the beans you use contain salt or not)

Combine all the ingredients and let sit at least 1 hour for the flavors to develop. Enjoy!

Yummy Variations: Substitute the mango with 2 cups of diced sweet potatoes, or substitute the mango with 2 cups of frozen (thawed) corn kernels and add in the flesh from 1 avocado diced. Add diced jalapenos for more heat!

I wish you all a very happy summer and thanks for all your comments and encouragement!

As usual, I've included this recipe as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays and Tuesdays at the Table. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!


  1. Happy Anniversary! Stop by and see us when you are in Texas!! Love ya!

  2. This sounds delicious!! Just popped over from Tasty Tuesday!

  3. Happy one year! The black bean mango salad looks fantastic! Thanks!

  4. Thanks Debbi and Katie!
    Definetly coming to see you Naomi - Megan and Karla and I are planning on having a girls day maybe you can join us?

  5. Hi Ashley...I am so sorry I missed your One Year Blog-O-Versary!! Wishing you the very best in the upcoming year and keep cranking out that fabulous food!