Small Town Vibe in the Big City

This post is sponsored by Bush’s Beans, all opinions and story anecdotes belong to me :) Thank you for reading!

Several years ago, we moved closer to the heart of town.  Our town is pretty large and gets larger every year with new developments popping up.  But each Fourth of July we celebrate Independence Day like a small town with folks congregating on shut-down streets, supporting our first responders, our kids, and small businesses.

santa clarita valley 4th of july

Our group of friends know they can come park at our house and walk down to cheer everyone one while wearing our red, white, and blue.  Lukey was surrounded by other little boys who used all their energy screaming, jumping, and waving their flags for the police officers, firemen, and so much more.  I need to bottle that energy up!

santa clarita valley 4th of july

The parade lasts about 2 hours and at the end, everyone is famished and return back to their homes for the next celebration.  We ventured over to our friends’ house to cool down in their pool because it reached 100 degrees on the holiday.

I shared with the hostess, Paula, that I’d bring a spin on the ever Pinterest Popular Cowboy Caviar.  I wanted a California spin and had asked my friends on Facebook what ingredient comes to mind when they think of California.  Overwhelming response was Avocados with a few surprises mixed in. The following day I hit up Walmart to grab pool noodles and Bush’s Beans to get the main part of the dish going.  (I’ve been torn if this is actually a dip, a salad, a side…what would you call it?)

The main part of Cowboy Caviar is black beans mixed with some veggies.  I chose garbanzo beans as well and decided to roast them.  If you’ve never roasted garbanzo beans (this was my first time) – you need to try it.  The taste completely changed and it really provided a great nutty flavor as well as a bit more texture to the dish.  Jon was super apprehensive to try them but agreed they were really good! Now I want to check Pinterest for some roasting recipes for a quick, easy, and inexpensive snack!

So you might be wondering, what did I pick as my California ingredients?  Avocados and artichoke hearts!  I selected non-marinated artichoke hearts so  I could control the finished flavor with spices.

picking the perfect avocado

Now, picking a perfect avocado is no easy task.  But as a native Californian, it’s been my duty to learn the right tips to identify them!  It’s not just about squeezing them to find a soft one.  Beyond that, you want to find an ombre green coloring with very little brown on the outer part near the skin.

picking the perfect avocado

Once you find one that’s soft (or, if you’re at the grocery store, almost soft) – check this little top niblet guy. Don’t really know the official name but that’s ok!  You want to ensure it’s in tact and not loose.

picking the perfect avocado

If it moves or falls off while pressing against it, put the avocado back.  I’m not sure what it really signifies, but I like to think of it as dehydrated.  I know, that makes no sense.  But trust me, you want this puppy to stay put.

For this recipe, I used 2 and you bet both were perfect. Here’s the other one (you can tell by the size of the seed that it’s smaller than the one in the first photo! Different Avocado)

picking the perfect avocado

I brought the California Caviar dip/side/dish with some chips and it was absolutely delicious.  Perfect way to add in some protein for a fun day at the pool!

santa clarita valley 4th of july

santa clarita valley 4th of july

And remember how I shared that one of our goals was to have the 2 big kids swimming this summer? I’m happy to report that after 2 rounds of swim lessons, I’ve got little fishies!

santa clarita valley 4th of july

santa clarita valley 4th of july

Check for my recipe below (obviously not original, but additions that make it California style) and share with me what side dish you enjoyed on the 4th of July!

California Cowboy Caviar (prepare day before and great for large group gatherings!)

5.0 from 2 reviews
California Cowboy Caviar
Recipe type: side dish
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • can rinsed Bush's Beans - black beans (non seasoned)
  • can rinsed Bush's Beans - garbanzo beans
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • can rinsed sweet yellow corn
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 2 artichoke hearts, diced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, diced
  • ⅓ purple onion, diced (or, to taste)
  • 1 lime, juiced (or, to taste)
  • ½ tsp cumin (or, to taste)
  • ¼ tsp salt (or, to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Roast garbanzo beans and sweet yellow corn. Corn will have slight char, beans will be slightly crisp
  2. Combine all diced items in large bowl
  3. Add juice of 1 lime (or more, if desired) and salt, cumin, and pepper
  4. Stir and chill overnight for maximum taste
  5. Serve with chips

 Pin this!How to Pick The Perfect AVOCADO

Thank you Bush’s Beans for sponsoring!  #MyBestWithBushBeans

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