Black Bean Salad & a 60th Year Family Picnic

Location: Sanger, CA

I know this is a wee bit late, however, I’ve been wanting to share this Black Bean Salad with you all for a very long time now. Over Memorial weekend, my husband’s side of the family celebrated their 60th Armstrong Family Picnic!  My husband hasn’t missed a Picnic yet, and since I’ve been dating my husband, I haven’t missed one either.  So with that said,  the C-Man probably won’t be missing one either.


The Picnic location has been in several different locations over the years, but this one seems to hit the spot for us all.  It’s called Wonder Valley Ranch located in Sanger, CA.  It’s really close to Fresno, and when I say “close,” I kind of mean way out in the boonies.  It’s ok though, because it kind of needs to be.  There’s so much to do there so the space is really needed. And when you’re driving to the Ranch, you can really tell that you’re in the country because there’s cows just roaming freely.  I guess that’s what they call free-range cows?  Anyway, just be careful that you don’t hit them.



When you get to the Ranch, there’s these big white pearly gates that greet you, then give you the grand entrance.  Cue the Angel sounds…. Haaaaaaaaaaaa……

The views are spectacular and the activities are even better!  There’s a huge flake (fake lake) that you can go canoeing in and rope jumping.  There’s a gazebo that hosts several weddings, a deck for rope jumping, and a restaurant that feeds all of us hungry folks. The majority of us only utilize the restaurant for breakfast since my father-in-law always hauls his homemade BBQ for us to use, and then on Saturday, we all pot luck.

The venue has a couple of different pools, water slides, archery, canoeing, horseshoes, and so much more.  A lot of the family did paint balling, go carts, the trampoline park, and horseback riding.  The list goes on of what there is to do there.


Photo Cred: Ebbsphotography

Since it was the 60th year anniversary, a couple of our cousins surprised us all by hiring a Bag Piper to come play during dinner. He was so impressed by the turn out and the history of the Family Picnic, that he offered to come back next year with his whole band.  I mean, take a look at us.  We’re a pretty decent looking group of people.


Going back to the pot luck dinner, my father-in-law always cooks up the Tri-Tip and Chicken, then everyone else brings a dish depending on the category we’re assigned by first letter of last name.  I was lucky that my category was a salad because I was already planning on making this Black Bean Salad, and didn’t even check the list.  It’s a really refreshing salad that’s loaded with a bunch of great ingredients.  No cooking over heat is required and is even good as a salsa, or even better, mixed in with Quinoa (my husband’s favorite). Just keep reading below and I’ll tell you how to make it.  Until next time….

Black Bean Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Print


1 Can Black Beans (rinsed)
1 Can Sweet Golden Corn (drained)
1 Red Bell Pepper (finely diced)
1 Garlic Clove (finely diced)
1-2 Tbsp Sweet Onion (finely diced)
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Sugar or Agave
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Lime Zest
3 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped

-Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and cover.  
-Let it sit in the refrigerator for a minimum 2 hours to overnight.

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