Easy Pear Salsa – it’s another good one!

rachels black bean salsaI am still a huge fan of my favorite Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  This year-round delicious pleaser continues to wow crowds whether at a backyard BBQ, sitting poolside, or snuggled onto the couch to watch the Super Bowl.  BUT, I now have another fresh tasting salsa recipe that a good friend introduced me to.   I could easily devour (and have devoured – sorry Jess!) an entire the bowl if left in front of me.

Weight Watchers Pear Chutney

I am now officially adding this Easy Pear Salsa to my list of favorite recipes.  The sweetness from the pears, the acid from the lime juice, along with the hot spiciness from the jalapenos is just perfect.  Awesome on a tortilla chip or something sweet and spicy to liven up blackened fish or chicken – I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

This recipe is definitely worth bringing to any picnic or cookout this summer!!  (Jess mentioned that her recipe came from Weight Watchers – the photo from the Weight Watchers site to the left will link you to their “Pear Chutney”.  I’m thinking if I called it chutney, I  might not get as many people willing to try it 🙂 . )

Ingredients:

2 ripe Bosc or Anjou pears diced to fit on a chip (I leave the skins on)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 finely chopped jalapeno (no seeds)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I dice them small again to fit on a chip. If you do chop them, don’t be surprised that your dip turns pink )
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (one lime)
approx 1/2 teaspoon salt (add a little at a time to taste)

Directions:
Chop pears, cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, and cranberries.
Add to bowl. Toss gently.
Add fresh lime juice. Add salt to taste. Gently toss.
Let sit 10-15 minutes.

Serve.

Awesome with tortilla chips, Triscuits with Brie cheese, fish, blackened chicken or just in a spoon!!

Always a pleasure to be of any assistance to you or anyone you know who is thinking about buying or selling a home. I love to work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Assocate
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Serving clients throughout
Massachusetts & Rhode Island.
Boston – Attleboro – Providence
and the communities in between.

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The Best Cookie Recipe.

Ariko’s Famous Oatmeal
Chocolate Chip Cookies

that can be modified for a variety of tastes and celebrations!

DSC01454I can not thank my good friend Ariko enough for this amazing cookie recipe!  Ariko and I met at San Jose State while both in Grad School way back in 1993 and I have been making these ever since.   And you can make so many variations using a variety of chips, raisins, and Craisins.  This Thanksgiving I found pumpkin spice flavored chips by Nestle combined those with white chocolate chips.  They were delicious.  Another favorite combination at Holiday time for cookie swaps is Craisin and white chocolate chip … SO good!  Do you have any other ideas?  Go for it… one of those recipes that never seems to go wrong.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend-
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 sticks softened butter

Then add and blend again:
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Add –
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda    … and blend.

Add –
2 cups 1-minute quick quaker oats … and blend.  (definitely use the QUICK OATS)

And finally add-
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes (should look soft and “not quite done”, my oven takes 11 min). Then let cool for 12 minutes on cookie sheets. This gives you the perfect “still soft” cookie – yum!

This recipe never disappoints!  I have actually given these cookies they are often better received than some of the best bottles of wine and gift cards I have given.   I think the trick is making sure your butter is softened before blending with the sugars and then only cooking them until the look “almost done”.  Letting the cookies  sit on the pan after removing them from oven absolutely does the trick to finish the cooking off and create a soft wonderful ooey gooey cookie! And, yes, it does make a difference using both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips.  (Sometimes I even splurge and use Ghiradelli chips!)  Have fun and experiment… you are going to love them!

And if I can ever be of any assistance to you or anyone you know who is thinking about buying or selling a home, please be in touch with a call, e-mail, or filling out the contact form below.  I love to work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Assocate
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Serving clients throughout
Massachusetts & Rhode Island.
Boston – Attleboro – Providence
and the communities in between.

Kensington - Jen McMorran

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

This salad is a go-to favorite of ours all year long but as we finally start to string some  beautiful New England summer days together, I am starting to crave it even more!  Blue skies, warm sun, eating outside…. time to bring out some classic summer recipes and we  love our classic Asian coleslaw!!

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

Crunchy Asian SlawOne of my favorite side dishes … great served with cod, haddock, salmon, chicken, pork, or my kids love it paired with pot stickers 🙂 For a main dish, just add chicken and serve. I always make a double batch of dressing, toast up half a bag of almonds, and cut up the whole bunch of scallions then store them in the refrigerator. I can then whip this recipe up in just minutes!

1 3-ounce packet of chicken flavor ramen noodles broken into ½ inch piece
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken (optional)
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (can do in fry pan with some butter)
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 10-ounce bag of broccoli, confetti, or coleslaw (I use half broccoli slaw/half cole slaw)

In small bowl, mix rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and I just use half of the chicken seasoning packet from the ramen noodles. Mix ramen noodles, chicken, almonds, green onion, and coleslaw together. Add dressing. Chill 30 minutes turning occasionally. Then enjoy!!!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you. Or, if you know anyone who could use my assistance,  feel free to share my  contact information (Jen McMorran, Realtor ~ 508-930-5259 ~ jen.mcmorran@gmail.com)

It’s black bean and corn salsa time!

Perfect addition to any snack or dinner table as summer approaches – summer is approaching right?!?    My friend Rachel just sent me the below photo of her new batch of salsa prompting me to share this recipe again as eating it just seems to make everything right for me.

rachels black bean salsa

Our new favorite way to serve this salsa is kind of as a deconstructed burrito.  Throw some jasmine rice in the rice cooker.  Then while that is cooking, get out some cheddar cheese and slice up some cooked chicken.  Once rice is cooked, layer warm rice on a plate with the cheese next, then the black bean and corn salsa, add chicken on top, and drizzle with a little taco sauce.  Delicious!  The cheese is melted by the warmth of the rice, the vinaigrette from the salsa seeps down to flavor the rice, the salsa itself adds a fresh pop, and the chicken with taco sauce adds that Mexican flavor and protein to round out your meal.  I seriously could eat it everyday!

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 bag sweet corn, thawed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro,chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion or sweet Vidalia onion

Dressing:
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Lime Juice to taste (I use two fresh squeezed limes)

Serve with tortilla chips, over scrambled eggs, with grilled/baked chicken, cod/tilapia/haddock, or just eat it as a salad. Soooooo  good!

rachels black bean salsaOther possible add ins:
2 large ripe tomatoes seeded and chopped,
1 avocado diced (avocado can get mushy, so I would add it as you serve),
2 seeded & chopped jalapenos,
1 cup chopped celery, 1 green pepper

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

The Best Quick and Easy Carrot Cake

Seriously Simple and Crazy Good Carrot Cake

Our family loves this recipe!!   We always have the ingredients in the house, it tastes soooooo good, really impresses a crowd, and  is soooo easy  Seriously, we dump all of the cake ingredients into one bowl, turn the mixer on, and you’ve got the cake batter.  No sifting, no separating… just dump and let the mixer do the work.

easy carrot bundt cakeWe sometimes cheat with the frosting.  There are some pretty yummy tasting pre-made cream cheese frostings.  If you happen to have a can of vanilla frosting and cream cheese in your refrigerator, just blend the two together.  Get fancy by sprinkling walnuts and/or coconut on top or keep it simple.  This is even delicious without frosting!

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup oil (or can replace with applesauce)
2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 cups grated carrots
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Frosting Ingredients:
4 oz. stick of butter
8 oz package of cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

For cake: combine sugar, eggs, oil, flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, grated carrots, and chopped nuts.  Pour into a 13×9 inch greased pan and bake for 40 minutes.  Or I love bundt cakes… pour batter into a floured and greased bundt cake pan and back for approximate 50-60 mintues (I find the bundt cake cooking times can vary drastically so check periodically.)

For frosting:  blend butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Frost. Serve. Eat.

This recipe is awesome for any brunch, birthday celebration, Easter Sunday, or just because you deserve a fabulous slice of carrot cake at the end of the day!

Check out all of our favorite recipes by clicking here.  I don’t post anything that isn’t easy or a crowd pleaser!!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

www.BeHomeBeWell.com

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa, and Black Beans

IMG_8223Sometimes in real estate you get the listing, sometimes you don’t. Last spring, I went on an a listing appointment and not only did I get the listing (and sell it in a day) but I also met am amazing family, was served an awesome lunch, and gained a go-to recipe that I know my family will be making for years to come.  Hope you will enjoy as well!!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 sweet potato, diced into small cubes (I leave skins on but you can peel if you prefer)

1 large onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspooon ground chipotle pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups of chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes (I use Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime)

1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed

2  boneless chicken breasts, uncooked

1/2 cup quinoa

I like to cook it all in my cast iron casserole “pot” on the stove top and then in the oven.  You could also definitely use your crockpot!

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Heat oil and saute the sweet potato and onion until for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened.  Then add the garlic and cook for about another minute.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, chipotle, cumin, and salt.  Add the chicken broth, black beans, tomatoes, and chicken.  (I slice my chicken breast so they are a little thinner and then push down into pot so that veggies and broth cover them.)
  4. Put lid on and cook for 2 1/2-3  hours at 250 degrees.  After three hours, add in the quinoa.  I let it cook for another hour or so.  I know it is ready when the chicken just shreds apart with a wooden spoon.  Gently “pull” chicken into shreds and chunks.
  5. Garnish with whatever you enjoy… avocado, lime, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, rice… it will all taste great!

This recipe is definitely a keeper!  Everyone in the family loves it both as a stew and oddly enough as a hearty “dip” with tortilla chips.  Great recipe for your favorite gluten-free eaters!!

Jen McMorran, RealtorJennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

www.BeHomeBeWell.com

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

 

It’s Crunchy Asian Coleslaw time!

This salad is a go-to favorite of ours all year long but the recent string of beautiful New England summer days is making me crave it even more!  Blue skies, warm sun, eating outside…. time to bring out some classic summer recipes and we still love our classic Asian coleslaw!!

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

Crunchy Asian SlawOne of my favorite side dishes … great served with cod, haddock, salmon, chicken, pork, or my kids love it paired with potstickers 🙂 For a main dish, just add chicken and serve. I always make a double batch of dressing, toast up half a bag of almonds, and cut up the whole bunch of scallions then store them in the refrigerator. I can then whip this recipe up in just minutes!

1 3-ounce packet of chicken flavor ramen noodles broken into ½ inch piece
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 ½ cups cubed cooked chicken (optional)
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted (can do in fry pan with some butter)
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 10-ounce bag of broccoli, confetti, or coleslaw (I use half broccoli slaw/half cole slaw)

In small bowl, mix rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, and I just use half of the chicken seasoning packet from the ramen noodles. Mix ramen noodles, chicken, almonds, green onion, and coleslaw together. Add dressing. Chill 30 minutes turning occasionally. Then enjoy!!!

Jen McMorran Head Shot (2)Jennifer McMorran, Realtor
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
(and Antique lover & home owner!)
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

Kensington - Jen McMorranServing clients throughout Massachusetts.
Attleboro to Boston and the communities in between.

Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you. Or, if you know anyone who could use my assistance,  feel free to share my  contact information (Jen McMorran, Realtor ~ 508-930-5259 ~ jen.mcmorran@gmail.com)

 

Great Fall Dessert for a Gluten Free Granny!

Wondering what to feed a gluten free Granny that will also make a Grand Auntie happy?  Well, maybe you haven’t pondered that exact thought, but we had some very special company this weekend and I needed something easy and gluten free to serve for dessert.

Gluten free easy apple delight We still had a bunch of apples to get through so I started with those and thought “hmmm… what about an apple pie without a crust”? Of course, we would need some vanilla bean ice cream to compliment that crustless apple pie.  Then it all just came together. I would  make the apple pie “goo” (filling), put the apple goo over the vanilla bean ice cream, and top it off with some of my homemade granola for crunch.  It was ssssooooo good!!! (and even easier than the previous apple sundae recipe I posted!)

Here is what I did…

5 medium size apples
3-4 Tablespoons butter
3-4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Homemade Granola
(all of these measurements are estimated, you can certainly adjust according to your taste, maybe add some nutmeg or clove too?)

Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the apples soften and you get some “gooeyness” to your sauce. Put a scoop of vanilla bean in a bowl, followed by a scoop of apple pie sauce, and finally top it off with the granola.

Happy Jen Granny and Grand Mary

Such a perfect end to our fall day in North Attleboro with my favorite in-laws… thanks for coming Granny, Gramp, and Grand Mary!!  Those smiles along with our clean bowls show how much we enjoyed that dessert.

Happy Granny and Jen

A little Vanilla and Cinnamon Baileys was also a nice treat 🙂

Black Bean Brownies – Yuck to Yum!!

Black Bean Brownies

 Listen, I thought the same thing – yuck – but I was so curious, and they came highly recommended so we gave this recipe a whirl.  

My opinion quickly shifted from yuck to YUM!

 

Black Bean BrowniesNot the ooey gooey brownies that I love so much, but they definitely satisfy a chocolate craving.
One little square with a cup of steaming black decaf coffee or a small glass of red wine at the end of the day…
life will seem just right again!

 

Ingredients:
1 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed
2 large eggs
½ c. cocoa powder
¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. oil
1 Tbsp. almond milk (or can be dairy)
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. fresh ground coffee (grind coffee beans in a grinder or use instant coffee)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (divided)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.

Combine all of the ingredients except chocolate chips in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  (At this point, I was smelling black beans and chocolate so was still skeptical.  Just wait, though, once they bake you too will be a believer!)

Fold in half of the chocolate chips.

Pour into the 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Mine came out a very cakey but with a very moist consistency and actually rose to about an inch thick.Black Bean Brownies

Go on… you know you are curious…
give it a try!!