Mexican Three Bean Salad


If you grow up in a church, potlucks are pretty standard. Game nights, super bowl parties, Sunday school meetings, holiday gatherings, low budget weddings, you name it— the church is on it. These days, there are probably a myriad of rules and regulations about what a responsible contribution would be– but back then, the only instruction was to bring enough food to feed one family. For the Fortunes, our staple contribution was a bucket of fried chicken, potato wedges and biscuits. Now yes, we happen to be black (so I know what you’re thinking) but this kind of meal was a HUGE departure for my mother and I loved her for it! I remember walking into our church’s Family Life Center (essentially a large rec room) and jumping in line immediately just to get a plate of what my own family brought!

Fast forward to present day and City Furniture is my new potluck beat. When my sorority sister Carolyn lured me to the company, I was all but guaranteed fantastic coworkers, festive happy hours and regularly scheduled pot luck lunches— all of which has come true.

For this month’s marketing department potluck, I will be debuting what I have deemed my new go to: Mexican Three Bean Salad. Instead of getting caught up in coming up with something impressive or different every time I’m going to take a leaf out of my mother’s book and just stick with what works.


The colorful vegetarian side below is something I’ve made a few times for myself and I can never get enough of it! Only a $10 dish, it’s easy to make, easy to store (just slap it into the company fridge), and there’s plenty to go around. As per usual, once I get these beans on the buffet I’ll be hopping in line with the intent to throw down!


M E X I C AN    T H R E E   B E A N   S A L A D


1 Can black beans

1 Can garbanzo beans

1 Can red kidney beans

1 Can corn

1 Pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)

1/2 Cup red onion

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro

1/3 cup lime juice

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 Tablespoon honey

1/4 Teaspoon chili powder

1 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder

Black pepper to taste



  1. Using a strainer, drain and rinse all beans and place into a large bowl. Drain canned corn and add it to the bowl. IMG_2576
  2. Chop cherry tomatoes into quarters (about 2 cups) and place into the large bowl.
  3. Chop 1/2 cup of onion, add it to the bowl and set the bowl aside.
  4. Chop 2 tablespoons of cilantro and place into a small bowl. Add lime juice, olive oil, honey, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together with a fork. IMG_2581
  5. Pour cilantro lime dressing into the large bowl, combining the mixture with a large spoon.
  6. Cover and refrigerate. IMG_2586






Perfect Boiled Eggs

Hello, Whole 30, Mains, Sides


Given the choice, I always prefer to start my morning with something savory. I love donuts and granola bars but there’s nothing like the perfect balance of coffee, cream and a little something salty. All that being said, I am pleased to introduce a fool proof process for boiled eggs — my tried and true morning delight!

B O I L E D    E G G S


2 Eggs


1. Fill sauce pan with enough water to cover the eggs.
2. Place a lid over the eggs and turn the stove on high until the water starts to boil (approximately 7 minutes).
3. Turn the heat off, but leave the pan on the burner for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from stove and allow the eggs to cook in the heated water for 10 minutes (the lid should remain on during this process).

Note: If you’re into soft boiled eggs, skip step four and go directly to five. Also, you may want to skip the peeling directions below as you’ll want to treat these eggs a little more delicately. Lightly tapping the shell on the counter should do just fine.
5. Remove the eggs from the pot, and place them into an a bowl of ice water. Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes.


P E E L I N G   H A R D   B O I L E D   E G G S

1. Place one egg into a slender glass lined with a very small amount of water.
2. Cover the glass with one hand while clasping the bottom with the other, shaking the egg and glass horizontally from left to right.
3. Once the shell begins to break, remove the egg from the glass and peel.



Sauted Kale


img_1622After ringing in the new year with Key West’s finest, I was dreading my car ride home, dreading going back to work, and dreading what I thought I was going to be a baron kitchen. To my surprise, a few trusty staples were awaiting my arrival: Frozen Chicken, Cheese and Crackers, frozen meatballs, and kale.

God. Bless. The. Kale.

Coming off a diet of grilled cheese, French fries and a fair amount of alcohol, this green treat was just what I needed in my system!


S A U T E D   K A L E


Ingredients (one serving)

4 Cups kale

1 Teaspoon garlic

1/2 Yellow onion

4 Teaspoons olive oil

1/4 to 1 /2 Teaspoon salt*

1/4 Teaspoon pepper



  1. If you’re using non-bagged kale**: use a strainer or colander to rinse the kale, then pat dry. Chop leaves into 1 1/2 – 2 inch strips (although no need to be precise, just ripping the leaves would be fine).  Set kale aside.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and set the temperature to medium high. Chop 1/2 onion and garlic and add it to the pan. Immediately turn the heat to low and cover with a lid for 5 minutes (or until the garlic and onion begin to sweat).
  3. Add kale, salt, and pepper to pan. Drizzling 2 more teaspoons of olive oil, mix all of the ingredients in the pan. Leave the pan uncovered for 12- 15 minutes, kneading the kale periodically.

Notes: *If you are using pre-bagged kale you can skip step one entirely. **This dish was perfectly savory for me, but if you’re sensitive to salt– start with 1/4 teaspoon and add another pinch to taste!





Lemon Green Beans

Hello, Whole 30

Sometimes one really has to give credit where it’s due. Today’s post is a major shout out to my roommate Tamara and her Lemon Green Beans! Tam prepared this as a side dish for a dinner party we hosted a few months back and I couldn’t have been happier to finally learn her technique! These beans are not only a new favorite of mine, but the adapted recipe below is Whole 30 friend and has now made a guest appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. During a season of never ending indulgences, God bless these beans for adding a little green to the plate!

 L E M O N   G R E E N   B E A N S


2 Bags mixed green beans (frozen)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 Garlic cloves

1 1 /2 Lemon juice

1 Lemon, zest of (optional)

Salt and pepper


1. Chop mince 4 cloves of garlic. Turn stove to medium-high and place garlic into a medium sized pot of olive oil.
2. Open 2 bags of mixed baby green beans and carrots (I used a frozen bag from Birds Eye) and add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Zest one lemon and squeeze the juice of two into the pot. After 5 minutes, turn down the temperate to medium-low. Tossing occasionally, allow the beans cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until they are tender.


Roasted Broccoli


It’s funny how everyone assumes their childhood is “normal” until they reach an aha moment of Wait, was just that just us? It wasn’t until I got older and started hanging out at other people’s houses or chatting with friends about what my favorite meals or treats were that I realized maybe my family’s menus were a little atypical.

I grew up in a household that looking back was pretty healthy: no soda except for birthdays and sleepovers, if mom bought “chips” it was usually just Goldfish, cereal was always super grainy or fibery (Captain Crunch has literally never been inside my home) fish was on the menu at least 2 – 3 nights a week; and dinner was never complete without a freshly steamed vegetable.

To this day I can recall being in middle school and finding it mind blowing my friend’s mother was preparing broccoli with melted cheese. I remember staring at my plate thinking, wait— this comes more ways than just steamed? How insane! Later, as I started developing more of a palette, I also realized that even broccoli that appeared to be “plain” was often prepared in butter, or steamed but seasoned with salt and pepper. This was all truly mind blowing. Where had I been? Where had my family been? Was everyone doing these things?

Well, tonight I found myself standing in Publix with my mind blown yet again.

Jon and I had been planning to have pumpkin soup as our main course for dinner but I knew I’d require a vegetable in order for the meal to really feel complete (old habits die hard). Naturally, I hopped on Pinterest and started looking for something fun that didn’t involve brussel sprouts or butternut squash (not hating, just wanted something different). After some serious scrolling, I landed on a picture of roasted broccoli. ROASTED. BROCCOLI.

Again— what??? This recipe turned out to be not only a game changer in the broccoli world but also incredibly addicting!

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R O A S T E D   B R O C C O L I


Broccoli florets

1/8 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

¼ Cup Almond Slivers

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

1 Lemon (the juice of)

Parmesan Cheese (to taste)


1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.      Chop the florets in halves or thirds, just so the bites would be manageable. I placed the almonds and broccoli florets in a plastic Ziploc bag and tossed them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

3.      Place florets onto a baking tray and season with garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flakes. Squeeze lemon over the tray. Bake broccoli in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the florets start to deflate and the buds start to turn brown)

4.      After the tray has been removed from the oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (thinly shaved fresh parm would probably be awesome but I just used the container we have for spaghetti)

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This was perfect right out of the oven but if it does start to cool down, try and fight the urge to warm it up in the microwave. We found that while the microwave didn’t add a ton of moisture, eating it room temp (and still a little crispy) was actually a better way to go!