My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, January 16, 2011

what's cookin'?

It's been the perfect restoration kind of weekend for me... oddly, despite having a four day weekend last week... and two three day weekends in a row before that... and having all those sick days before THAT... I'm still kinda run down. Maybe it's because I've been nesting too much. Maybe it's the snow on the ground making me lazy. Maybe there's just a touch of bronchitis left... who can say for sure? But... Lord willing and the creek don't rise (or freeze) I'll be working five whole days in a row next week.

A week of work requires a little food prep on the weekend... although, truth be told, I haven't done much... being the end of the paycheck and a lean check at that. God is good and our pantry is stocked with lots of beans and grains and other staples that will allow us to eat healthy, yummy stuff for another week or two easily.... even despite my child's wasteful ways. He may not LIKE what we eat... but I do. No bi-polar grocery shopping for me... just gonna make the healthy stuff and he can eat or starve.

With that said... I really think I should teach a cooking class for people on limited incomes. It doesn't cost much to eat well. If you start with a few basic grains/beans and round it out with some good stuff... well... a little spice here and there... a fresh veggie or two... and it's just so good.

I'm still working through the quinoa bean salad that I made last week. Quinoa is expensive but it packs a lot of protein punch and can go a long way if you use it in a salad. I added mung beans and black beans this time around... with a package of broccoli slaw... red wine vinegar, olive oil, cumin and garlic... a little chopped cilantro and it's really, really good. I could eat it three times a day.

Breakfast this morning was steel cut oats cooked in my beloved rice cooker... spray the rice cooker with pam... toss in 1/2 cup of oats, 1 1/2 cups of water, a pinch of salt and turn her on! I didn't keep track of the time but it was maybe ten minutes... hot fresh oatmeal that doesn't boil over OR stick (thanks, Pam!) so it's as easy as wiping out the rice cooker with a paper towel. I added a little honey and margarine... I meant to add cinnamon since it's good for lowering blood pressure but I forgot. A bag of steel cut oats was $3.44 and it is enough for two weeks of breakfast for me, easily.

Right now my crockpot is bubbling away with a bag of dried pinto beans... I rough chopped an onion, threw in WAY too many garlic cloves, cumin, red pepper flakes.... and that will be nice later over rice or barley or whatever grain I decide to make. I might have a point splurge and make some cornbread in the iron skillet. I like adding a little rosemary and garlic into a plain old package of cornbread mix... when the cornbread is really flavorful, you don't want as much butter on it. Pintos - $1.25 for a bag... cornbread mix - $.45 per box... rice... $.89 per bag. The onion was ... less than a dollar, I guess? The whole deal less than $4 and it will make several meals.

I'm planning a picnic for later in the week with a buddy so I'll make a little rosemary garlic hummus to go with baby carrots. I'm doing taboule with canned tomatoes because the fresh ones in the market are looking like they came from outer Mongolia. Not that I have a problem with outer Mongolia... I just don't want to think about what they had to do to those tomatoes to keep them from rotting while transporting them to my store. I'll take my chances with canned. Not sure what else I want to do to round out the picnic... I was thinking of trying the quinoa salad with the inca red quinoa... it has a bolder taste... but I think it would make for a pretty salad with black beans, red onion, cilantro... maybe even avocado. The problem I have when I cook for other people is that my appetite is smaller than it once was... while i may eat a cup of some salad or other for lunch with a little veggie and hummus or a piece of fruit... most people eat more than that and I'm way too southern to let anyone leave my table hungry.

I had another extended phone conversation yesterday and the temptation to assign a nickname is KILLING me... I'm telling you... he could go so many ways... but regardless of what I call him, he's been good company and... anyone who can get me to even answer the phone... much less actually STAY on the phone... well, they've got some kind of magic. I just don't do the phone thing... but I have. Two nights in a row. Last night it was in excess of 4 hours. ON THE PHONE. It's ridiculous. I'm grateful.

My sweet friend Christy that I've known since high school and whose kids grew up with my kids.... and who went through a troubled marriage when I was going through a troubled marriage... and who has now found her happily ever after... offered me a buddy pass for a getaway weekend. I, of course, said, "SIGN ME UP!!!" and now I just have to work with her to figure out when I can go and what it will cost (buddy passes are offered by airlines to their employees to give to friends and family members... you can fly standby at a greatly reduced rate). I have a couple of possibilities I'm considering... I, OF COURSE, really want to get back to New York, especially since my brother has a fabulous new apartment overlooking Central Park that I'm dying to see... but I also want to be able to get to Chicago to see the show that Purple Michael is directing in February. I don't know if I can plan a trip that quickly, though, and I would worry about the weather getting in and out of Chi-town in the winter. NYC as well. It's ironic, if you read PM's comment on my blog yesterday saying that he was praying for a way to get me out there... at the very same time he was writing that, Christy was writing about the buddy pass. I guess in some people's eyes that's coincidence. I think it's providence.

I've enlisted the help of an accountability partner to keep me on track with exercise... but I will also try to remember to post it here so I can have another hundred or so accountability partners. I've said before that trying to lose weight without exercise is like trying to drive a car without a car. You just can't. Yesterday was a brisk walk around the steep hills of my subdivision... I came in sucking wind and collapsed on the floor. The kitties gathered around trying to figure out how to perform cpr... but... I rallied... did some stretching and felt good... physically and emotionally... about it. I'm about to hit the road now... although I think today it's gonna be an indoor activity. I'll let you know how it goes.

Hope your weekend has been exactly what you wanted it to be... mine certainly has... love and hugs, y'all!


Becky said...

That would be a great cooking class. If there's any way for you to do it on video, I'd sure love to see it!

Bookncoffee said...

Awesome entry. Love reading about the food. We are such foodies here. Sounds like you are happy! Tis good!
Have an awesome week!

Anonymous said...

You can do cooking videos on Youtube! Maybe become partner and make Money! Who knows it could be something great! You need a flip camera or a video camera then you download them on youtube lots of people do it look into it i think u would have a great following <3