Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hoppin' John

It's well into the first week of the new year, but not too late for Hoppin' John. Mmm beans and rice. It's supposed to be good luck to eat this dish on New Years, but we've established that I'm a procrastinator. I'm happy that I cooked the beans before they got too old and hard to cook. I'm so happy to try a new dish, have it turn out delicious &amps even use an older unused pantry item (the black eyed peas).
I made an amalgamation of Joy of Cooking & Vegan Soul Food recipes. Most directions from Joy, seasonings from VSF. In addition, I never have parsley on hand so I regularly omit it. However last week I got a huge bunch of the curly stuff in the CSA box. It really added some lovely color to a very beige dish.
Hoppin' John, in the pot

  1. Put 1 1/4 cup dried black eyed peas in saucepan with enough water to cover by 1"
  2. Bring to a boil, allow to boil rapidly for 1 minute
  3. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 1 1/2 hours before draining and rinsing.
  4. Over medium heat in dutch oven, cook 1 1/2 cups chopped onion and 2 chopped celery ribs in 1 T. olive oil, just until translucent.
  5. Add spices and cook until the veggies start to brown: 1/2 t. onion powder, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. paprika, 1/2 t. chili powder, 1/4 t. cayenne, 1/2 t. dried thyme,
    1/2 t. dried oregano
  6. Add beans and 4 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then simmer until beans are tender, about 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. Reserve cooking liquid when drain beans. Drain beans ;)
  8. Preheat oven to 325, with rack in center of oven.
  9. Cook 1 cup white rice in 2 T butter (or alternative) and 1 t salt until well-coated, 3-4 minutes. Add scant 2 cups of bean cooking liquid (try to leave sediment behind). Add extra water as needed to get 2 cups total.
  10. Bring rice and liquid up to a simmer, stir and cover and put in the oven.
  11. Bake 20 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the liquid. Sprinkle the beans over the top and return to the oven for 3 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup minced parsley, toss to combine.
  13. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes before serving.
My CSA items: celery and parsley.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hilarious kids and staying on track

Ok, first the fun; this may only be funny to me and my husband.
On our way out of my daughter's preschool classroom...
4 yr old boy #1 is waving a babydoll at me: "I'm Police baby here to arrest you"
Followed by 4 yr old boy #2 hitting me with something brown: "look out for police challah ready to arrest you"
Man, every time I thought of this I had to laugh.
So, I haven't gotten up before 8 am once this week. Last night I was up with the girls from 1-2:30 am. Then an OWL kept me awake for another half hour. What the heck was an owl doing outside my window? And we had Mexican takeout last night instead of healthy home cookin'. BUT I did a bunch of paperwork and other small officey tasks I've been procrastinating in forever. Yeah! Most notable,I did 4 months of bank statements in Quicken. Next is to tackle a year's worth of goodwill donations for taxes. Ick ick ick.
I defitnely felt happy about accomplishing those things. and I'll be happier still when that 3-tiered inbox on our desk is EMPTY.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Is it 5:30 or 8:30?

To continue with my resolve to follow my resolutions (happiness project); I planned for a 6 am yoga class routine. I would exercise and be home before my husband left for work. Nice trick, if you wake up at 5:30 am as planned. And definitely not by waking at 8:30 am. I did have a rough night's sleep and was coming off a very lovely holiday break, but 3 hours late? How does that even happen?!?!?
Well, apparently there is a bug in the apple network or whatever and my iphone alarm really didn't go off this morning. And I'm sure I'm not the only one to end up with that excuse. Also, I grabbed my mat to bring in the house for tv yoga and YIKES it smelled terrible. Two back-to-back trips in the washing machine terrible. That would've been beyond miserable at 6am. So I caught a break today and I did still follow along with the tv yoga. It was pretty good, too. I still look forward to the real class for the invaluable input from the yoga teacher.
There was a speedbump, but I kept my resolve. For one more day;)
I am also happy to announce I made a delicious dinner enjoyed by all and did not cave to my desire for a tasty delivered pizza.
I made fettuccini with corn, red peppers (CSA) herbs and fresh arugula (CSA). When I make it again I'll post a pic and recipe. I also served a fresh green salad (getting more lettuce from the CSA tomorrow, better eat it before it takes over the fridge!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happiness and Procratination

Last month my book group read the happiness project. I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to implementing some ideas into my own life.
So I begin my quest for self-improvement and being happier, coinciding nicely with the start of a new year.
Here are a few of my resolutions: (in no special order)
Stand up straight
Eat healthier
Start exercising
Stay on top of messes...keep kitchen table clean

I am so proud of myself in this 1st day of 2011. I apparently love to procrastinate since I do it so frequently. However, today I took down and carefully packed up all of my holiday decorations including all the ornaments off the tree. I really wanted to be lazy and at least put it off until Sunday, but I didn't! And it already looks more decluttered in here. 2 resolutions in 1! I also did some hard-core branch pruning & sawing for an hour so there's my exercise. I'm shooting for starting back at the gym for Monday. It shouldn't be too crowded ;)
Now off to clean off the kitchen table...