Marisa’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)

finely chop:
1-2 jalapenos
2 tomatoes
1/2 red onion (about 1/2 cup)
1 avocado
1/3 cup fresh cilantro*

juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

*very important!!!

Memories! What still gives you those warm and fuzzy feelings when you look back….is it the cozy, well worn living room couch or the good times you enjoyed with your family? For me, it’s all about the good times!

When I was raising my kids, I had a friend whom I really envied. Every Memorial and Labor Day weekend she and her husband’s family vacationed together – all travel expenses covered by the very generous in-laws! My goal was to provide that very same happiness for my own family. Pay and feed them and they will come is the motto I now live by for long weekend every June. The Jersey shore has become my primary memory maker as my husband, our kids, their spouses and three grandkids eat, laugh, and enjoy each other. We book a large suite in a hotel with a private balcony overlooking the ocean and enough bedrooms and bathrooms to ensure no crankiness.

This vacation is not only with my family, but my childhood friends from Woodside, Queens: Maura, Joanne, Mary, MaryEllen, Patti and their families. Yes, I can almost hear our little childhood chant:

We are the Woodside girls,
we wear our hair in curls.
We wear our dungarees,
way up above our knees.
We never play with toys,
we only play with boys.

Maura, Mary and I have been going on this vacation for almost 25 years. We started to venture out to different locations over the years, Lake George, the Poconos and then settled the last 15 years with Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. The group has grown over the years as other girlfriends joined us. We live in different states and different cities, but we all come together every year for this long extended weekend.

It is a weekend long food fest too! I usually bake ahead of time and bring it. But my children shop and cook during our stay, as well as picking up the dinner checks! This year, the kids made chicken skewers, hot dogs, hamburgers and croissant breakfast sandwiches. Everyone brings drinks and snacks to share with the whole group at our saved waterfront table. My kids collectively made my daughter, Marisa’s Corn Salsa Dip. Everyone in the group really enjoyed it with tortilla chips. I participated by supplying the party bowl!

There is nothing like being with your family and lifelong friends together to kick off the summer season, just having fun, and making memories!

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