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Black Bean and Charred Corn Salsa.

4 ears corn, roasted or grilled
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1 medium tomato, chopped, seeds removed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cut corn off ears when done cooking. Combine all ingredients, chill and serve.

Mexican Skewers.

1 petite shoulder tender (8 oz)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoon Cointreau
2 tablespoon Tequila
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 medium jalapeno, seeded
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut petite tender into one inch cubes, set aside. In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients processing until smooth.

Add beef cubes to marinade and refrigerate
30 minutes to overnight. Drain marinade; discard. Place marinated beef cubes on a five-inch wooden skewer. Grill to medium doneness.

Sauteed Steaks w/Red Wine and Peppers.

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
4 top chuck steaks (about 2 pounds in all), pounded to 1/2-inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 cup red wine

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium frying pan over moderately low heat. Stir in the onion, oregano, garlic, and bell peppers. Cook, covered, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

In a large stainless-steel frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Season the steaks with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Put the steaks in the hot pan and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until done to medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove.

Add the bell-pepper mixture, the wine, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper to the large frying pan. Boil until the wine is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes. Serve the steak topped with the vegetables.

Pounding Meat:
Pounding tenderizes meat and also makes it thinner so it will cook more quickly. Cover the meat with a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper and then flatten the steak with a traditional meat pounder or the bottom of a heavy frying pan. Or, ask your butcher to pound the meat for you.

Chuck steaks have a full beefy flavor and stay remarkably tender when cooked to a rosy medium rare. If you like steaks well done, though, choose a different cut or the meat will be chewy. The red wine is meant to flavor the onion and peppers, not to make a sauce. Boil it until it's completely absorbed by the vegetables.

With these steaks, you need a richly flavored, full-bodied red. Take a break from the same old cabernet sauvignon and try a refosco, a robust yet surprisingly sophisticated wine from the extreme northeast corner of Italy.

Mollys Cheese Muffins

2 sticks room temperature margarine or butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Add ingredients in order, hand stirring after each into a large bowl. This mixture will be stiff. Spoon 3/4 full into miniature muffin cups.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

***Cheese may be omitted or add cooked ham, bacon, or sausage along with the cheese for a great breakfast.***

Banana Nut Muffins

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2-3 large ripened bananas, mashed (the blacker the banana, the sweeter the muffin)
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12 standard size muffin pan cups.
Beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas until smooth.
Alternately stir flour and buttermilk into egg mixture until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Do not over mix batter. It should not be completely smooth.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling 2/3 full. Bake until lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Turn out on wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm with butter or cream cheese.

(This recipe can also be baked in a loaf pan or in tea muffins. Baking time has to be adjusted accordingly.)

Mexican Dip

2 - 8 ounce blocks of softened cream cheese
1 can original Rotel tomatoes undrained
1 can drained Mexican corn
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 can chopped black olives

Mix ingredients together and let sit for at least 6 hours. Serve with Fritos or tortilla chips.

Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers

1 package (1.0 oz.) Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Milk Recipe Salad Dressing Mix
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
3/4 cup canola oil
5 cups (11 ounces) plain oyster crackers
Additional options....1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper and/or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine dressing mix with the dill weed and oil. Pour over crackers; stir to coat.
Place in a warm oven (250 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir gently halfway through baking.

Baked Lemon Chicken Poupon

1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb. chicken) I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste

Mix mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil in small bowl. Place chicken in baking pan or corning ware. Brush on the mustard mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until done.

( I usually cook this in a large piece of corning ware with aluminum foil on the top for the
first 20 minutes to keep the chicken moist.)

***The broth that cooks off of the chicken with the mustard sauce is delicious with rice. ***

Peanut Butter Bar

1 1/4 cup self rising flour.
1 cup of sugar.
1 cup of brown sugar.
1/2 cup of peanut butter.
1/2 cup of crisco.
4 eggs.
1 tablespoon of vanilla.
1 0z. semi-sweet chocolate chips. (optional)

Cream eggs, sugar, crisco, and peanut butter together.
Add flour until becomes creamy.
Add vanilla.
Stir in chocolate chips if desired.
Pam a 10x14 clear casserole dish and pour in. (I use a big dish so NOT TO FILL TO TOP because it will rise and run over! and oh boy, what a mess it is.)
Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cooking Time: Depends on how the temp works on your oven. I've found cooking time to be different on different ovens. You can check with toothpick. If toothpick comes out dry, it's done.

If you love peanut butter, you will want to hide this all to yourself. ;)
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