Monday, November 22, 2010

Black-eyed Pea Salsa

In the spring of 2006, we crossed the Gulf of Mexico from Anclote Key (near Tarpon Springs) to Dog Island. We took our time cruising the Florida Panhandle, exploring the magnificent beaches of the Redneck Riviera, as this area is often called.
Shell Island, Panama City
Barge traffic on the Gulf ICW heading towards Mobile Bay
On our way to Mobile, Alabama, we passed by Lulu’s, a restaurant along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It looked like a neat restaurant, but we didn't have time to stop. We later learned that Lulu is owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister Lucy. Several friends had visited and raved about the place. One received Lulu’s cookbook for a mother's day gift, and she fixed us the delightful black-eyed pea salsa, also known as L.A. (Lower Alabama) caviar. Thank you for sharing, Janice!

Black-eyed peas are widely grown in the south, and hence a familiar ingredient in many Southern dishes. It is associated with luck, and is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day. If you are looking for a unique appetizer that is not only healthy and but also delicious and easy to make, black-eyed peas salsa is the perfect recipe. The flavor of the vinaigrette with the black-eyed peas will tantalize your taste buds. This is a fabulous appetizer for your cocktail or holiday party.

The following black-eyed peas salsa recipe is adapted from a dish served at Lulu’s. The recipe serves lots, which is great for the holidays when parties are in full swing, but you can also halve it. The black eyed peas salsa will be a big hit with your guests; I guarantee it. Enjoy!

Black-eyed Pea Salsa
[Print Recipe]

3 (15-oz) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained 
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper. Set aside.

2. In large glass bowl, toss together the black eyed peas, all the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and cilantro. Pour dressing over the black eyed peas mixture, and toss to combine. Transfer to plastic container, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

3. Serve with tortilla chips.


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Cool restaurants accessible by boats Cruising the gulf coast of Florida: Anclote Key to Dog Island Memorial Day weekend at Fort McRae Anchorage

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Travel Deals of the week , Nov 3

The Renaissance R1 anchored off Rhodes, Greece Carpet weaver at a carpet store in Kusadasi, Turkey

For over a dozen years, I have been getting newsletters on great travel deals from various sources via emails. We have booked on several of these travel deals ourselves over the years. One incredible deal was a 9-day Greek Isles vacation which included a 5-day cruise from Istanbul, Turkey to Athens, Greece over the Thanksgiving holiday. As a matter of fact, my writeup on this trip just got published today on, where I was a featured travel contributor. got bought out by Yahoo! and both eventually shuttered.

Some of the top travel deals at TravelZoo this week includes the following:
$299 -- Oceanview Cabin on 7-Night Caribbean Cruise from Ft Lauderdale, Fl to Thomas, St. Maarten and the Bahamas

$699 -- Mediterranean 9-Night Spring Cruise plus $200 Credit*
Sail Roundtrip from Rome on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas to Italy, Greece and Turkey. Sale ends Friday, Nov. 5.

$318 -- Las Vegas 4-Night Getaway from Tampa on Southwest, which allows you to check up to 2 bags per person free of charge!

$79 -- Savannah: Historic District Hotel (Inn at Ellis Square)incl. Breakfast

$79 -- Downtown Atlanta Hotel (Hyatt Regency) incl. Holidays, 50% Off
Check out what this Southern Belle has to offer!

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

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Thanksgiving and Holiday Festivals Fall Colors along the Tennessee River Panama Canal Cruise on the Norwegian Star, a review