Black Bean Cornbread Bake/ Casserole

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I had this dish almost 10 years ago at the company cafeteria I used to work for way back then. (Aww shucks, that was a decade ago, I cannot believe how time flies!) That was during the height of dot com boom and everything in the company was extravagant. Free breakfast, free lunches, pizza days, free stuff from the vending machines, pool tables, gymn, TT tables, birthdays, picnics and what have you. It was bliss, except for the work schedule as that was extremely crazy; we had to work long hours even during the weekends. But somehow people did not seem to care and worked their heads off.

I was new to the country then, new to the company and oblivious to the cuisine choices. Being a vegetarian limited my choices even further. So most of the times I used to take my own lunch to work, but on occasions when I could not I would eat at the cafeteria. After some trials and tribulations this Black Bean Cornbread was on the top of my list of food choices at the cafeteria.  But that did not last long. (No, not the choice of food, the cafeteria itself).

Less than the year later the dot com bust happened and that devoured the company, closing the cafeteria, leaving the people and assets in shambles. The company dis-integrated and the people dispersed looking for newer ventures and greener pastures. I moved on too and as time passed, the memory faded and I forgot about this dish as well.

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Blueberry Syrup and Blueberry Tea

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In our house DH is a huge fan of tea and has a wide range of tea collection. One of his weekend activities during summer is to brew a big pot of one variety and then refrigerate it. While serving he tops it off with ice, fruit juices, lime, mint etc.  This is a cool and refreshing way to beat the summer heat. 

Speaking of summer here in Texas it is at its peak and that means temperatures in the range of 100-110 F. It is hot and sultry both inside out with the feeling of thirst all the time. What better way to quench thirst than with some cool and refreshing ice tea topped with fruit juices/syrups? 

This time we decided to make our own Blueberry Syrup, thanks to the splurge of blueberries that we had after our BlueBerry Picking escapade. We googled and after looking for some recipes we got an idea and came up with this one.

Fruit Syrups are very easy to make, and the number of flavors one can concoct are endless. Substitute raspberry or blackberry or strawberry or even a combination and that makes a terrific syrup. The uses of it are endless, use it on pancakes, toasts, toppings on cakes, parfaits, combination with lemonade, iced tea etc and the list goes on.

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Lemon Dill Rice

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We had eaten a Dill Rice at a Mediterranean restaurant when we were on a vacation far east (no not that far east a little to the westJ), and that taste had stuck onto us for a long time. It was a simple rice recipe, nothing complicated but the way the rice and dill was cooked appealed to our taste buds. It must have been exhaustion, hunger, the timing we are not sure but anyways the taste and memory lingered on for days to come. 

Anyway we found some fresh dill last week and DH remembered the Dill Rice we had at the restaurant. He offered to give it a try and make his own.  So this is DH’s recipe that he made last weekend for our lunch. This is more of an Indanised version of the one that we had at the Mediterranean restaurant. This rice had a lemon taste with mild flavor of Dill in the background, spiced with the green chillies balanced by the sweet taste of beans and cooked onion. This is more like an extension of our very own Chitranna with the addition of dill and beans!

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