It got really cold the other night so I had to cover up a just planted fig tree in preparation for a freeze. Later while I was making dinner. I heard Dinger barking. I finally went outside to see what he was freaking out about and saw he was barking at the blanket, from across the yard. I love my dog.
I haven’t been leaving the house very much due to the chilly weather. I have been staying in, sewing and doing cross stitch, cuddling with beagles, drinking hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, and rewatching Battlestar Galactica. If only we had a fireplace life would be perfect. I have also been doing a cookbook challenge since I recently got so many new cookbooks. My plan is too cook from each cookbook for a week and then write a review for the blog, Library Thing and Amazon. I also want to start working on my garden the second it starts getting warmer, hopefully next weekend.
Lucky umber 24 Kayci, who loves spicy chili with cornbread. Send me your address and Tasty Bite will send you a vegan pack of goodies.
Since my MoFo theme is rice and beans I am going to repost my favorite recipe of all time, gallo pinto!
I became obsessed with gallo pinto when I went to Costa Rica a few years ago. It is one of my favorite dishes to make at home on the weekend because no matter how broke you are or how many people you have coming over you can always whip up black beans and rice, especially if you have a bunch of Lizano in the fridge (in austin you can get it at Tears of Joy) and fried plantains on the side. Make the rice and beans the night before you plan to have the gallo pinto because it will only work with day old rice. You can keep the rice and beans in the fridge for a week so that you can easily have gallo pinto whenever you want.
1 cup rice, (any will work, I used basmati)
1 tsp Vegeta or half of a vegetable broth cube
1 cup black beans
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 dried ancho chilie peppers, seeds removed (any other pepper can be subbed, some will be more spicy, anchos aren’t spicy, you can also use jalapeños or bell peppers just add them when you add the garlic instead)
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves or garlic, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped and packed
Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. If you live somewhere that is really hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) you should do this in the fridge.
When the beans are done soaking change the water (add about 7 cups), add a couple bay leaves, and bring to a simmer for around 90 minutes. You will need to check the doneness of the beans at around 1 hour because the timing will vary depending on how dry your beans are. You can also do this step in the crock pot. Whatever you do, make sure that you save some of the cooking water with the beans because you will need it later.
Dissolve the broth cube or 1 teaspoon of Vegeta in 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of rice, bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to almost off for 35-60 minutes depending on what kind of rice you are using. It works best to refrigerate the rice overnight because then it drys better.
Toast the cumin, coriander, and dried peppers until fragrant and then grind in either a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. (Conversely, if you are short on time or don’t have the seeds you could also toast the powders and when you put in the garlic). Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and the spice mixture and sauté another minute. Add a little more oil if you can’t see any and turn the heat up. Add the rice and stir fry for about a minute breaking up any chunks but don’t smoosh the rice. Once all the rice has changed color add the beans starting with just one cup until you have a pleasing ratio of rice to beans. Also add some of the bean cooking water with the beans. Gently mix and once everything is heated through adjust the spices, add the cilantro, and turn off the heat. To make the mold, press the Gallo Pinto into a small bowl, invert a plate on it, and then flip both over and lift up the bowl. Serve with the lime, salsa (preferably lizano), tofu scramble, and fried plantains.
Have a Happy Weekend, if I can get this guy out of bed we are supposed to go camping, but if you watch the video you will see that Dinger is sometime hard to rouse.
You can skip this rant
I was flying back from Chicago to Austin and they took away my peanut butter. It made me so freaking mad (don’t worry, I internalized the rage and gave up the peanut butter without argument). It seems I always get into these stupid disagreements with the TSA about if things are a liquid or a solid. I have taken humus through O’hare plenty of times. Sesame paste, still in a sealed bottle, was taken away from me in St. Louis. Teese was OK. My olives were taken from me in Portland (they were more solid than the brine, which I offered to pour out, but they still threw them out) and today O’hare stole my freaking peanut butter. What the hell is the physical difference between humus and peanut butter? I just hate the waste of it all. At least, they could give it to a homeless person. I ate my orange and my luna bar but damn it, the crackers were dry. I also bought a soy latte from the Starbucks and it cost $4.91, I uttered “Jesus”, and the cashier said. “Welcome to O’hare”. Did you notice how they never say “fly the friendly skies” anymore? It is because they aren’t friendly anymore. And I don’t buy that all of these precautions have any effect on terrorism whatsoever. They just cause a lot of hassle which was probably one of the aims of the terrorists anyway, to make our country less free. So the terrorists won. Good job Homeland Security.
What kind of food do you guys like to take on through the airport?
So, I was also in a bad mood because after spending the last couple days taking care of my Baba Dinger developed a lot of problems with his hind legs, he wasn’t jumping up and he could hardly walk so he spent the last couple days at the vet. They still don’t know what is wrong but his x-rays showed that his spine is OK and they don’t think it is neurological. He is going to stay on pain medicine for a couple weeks with bed rest and we will see what happens.
They put him out with anesthesia which made me really nervous. He’s just a little guy! I have been so worried about him. I am just crazy about this dog. Even the doctor and nurse really liked him! They said he was an angel, aw.