Thursday, November 15, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Recipes for Health, for Fun, for Downton Disaster?

1.  I feel morally compelled to hip everyone to this epic recipe I found online: Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeno.  I serve my version over rice-- completing a protein!-- with shredded  Mexican cheese drizzled on top.

I am in heaven eating this meal; I have not been enamored of meat this first trimester.  The smell of this soup cooking is pleasing in a way that nearly nothing else has been these past several weeks (more on this in Take 4).  My husband is happy because this recipe is so high in vegetables that its virtually points-free for his Weight Watcher's tallying.  Furthermore, my dear hunter has hankered for the venison in his freezer; he can easily brown up ground venison and add it to his dish, and the meat need never touch my plate.

Frugal person bonus:  This is cheap to make with supplies I typically stock in my pantry (i.e. black beans, diced tomatoes, chicken broth,  cumin, onions).  Busy person/lazy cook bonus: This is fun and easy to make!  Health conscious person bonus:  Runners World just sang the praises of black bean stew, which frankly inspired my search.  This recipe could be adapted to vegetarians and vegans by dropping the cheese and swapping chicken for vegetable broth.

I am not getting paid for this endorsement, mind you.  Check it out!   I promise you'll be happier for it.

2.  All that extra rice from dinner is calling out for me to make pudding with the leftovers.  Mmmm...  I pledge to post that recipe and a pic if I make it tomorrow.  While that recipe isn't exactly a Weight Watcher's win, it is supernaturally delectable, and one of Emre's favorites as well.

3.  I am decidedly not ready for Thanksgiving.  We host my mother, brother, sister (with boyfriend!) and mother-in-law here each year.  Luckily, my husband chases me out of the kitchen and cooks most of the meal himself.  However, given that we have entered the final week before Turkey Day, I should probably get out there and buy the big bird, the makings for stuffing, and some cranberry sauce.  (Random aside: the phrase "cranberry sauce" recalls that Christmas scene in Shadowlands, when C.S.Lewis [Anthony Hopkins] is striving to make Joy Gresham's [Debra Winger] holiday visit with him comfortable; he asks his cook whether she is familiar with cranberry sauce, and his cook replies, "I don't know, but if you get me some cranberries, I'll sauce them!")

4.  Did I mention how smells drive me crazy in the first trimester of pregnancy?  Like the character Gus on Psych, my nose has transformed into the Super-Sniffer.   I notice smells that no one I live with can detect.  A damp hand towel dropped on the  floor yesterday offends my nose from two rooms away.  Meat, cooked or uncooked, disturbs my equilibrium; even the slightest drib-lit of a splash-over from the previous night's dinner that was missed and left stuck the stovetop is enough to send me over the edge. Then there is the garbage-oh! Ugh! Bleagh! THE GaRbaGe!  To which I hold my breath and call, "Emre could you please...?" I have cleaned/bleached/aired/disinfected the bathrooms, top to bottom, twice in one week.  This is decidedly not like me. And don't even ask about the cats.  (Thank God pregnant women don't do litter boxes, you know? )

Speaking of cats, I have eliminated soft food from their diets, thereby restoring more sanity to the kitchen smells (no more bowls of seafood pate strewn about the floor).  The cats weren't happy at first, but I think their kitty memories have moved onto other needs.   They've quit harassing me with meows and head-butts, and I can type here in the kitchen without the compulsion to suddenly cover my mouth and bolt for the bathroom (which has this overwhelming scent of bleach about it.  UGHhh)

5.  The world has been turning with Downton Abbey for ages without me; I was recently elated to have finally tricked forced coerced convinced my beloved to watch this highly touted phenomenon with me.  He actually warmed up to it for a couple of episodes; the Mr. Pimuk incident struck us both as wonderfully bizarre in a Twin-Peaks-meets-Flannery-O'Connor kind of a way.

6.  Sadly, my victory was short-lived; the constant under-handedness of utterly cruel, self-serving characters apparently induces too much anxiety to be enjoyable.  His exclamation in the midst of episode six, "This is not entertaining!" announced his burnout and break from Downton before we'd finished watching Season One!  In hindsight,  too many nights of back-to-back episodes was a recipe for disaster.  Now, I am not angry; I completely understand his perspective.  Yet there must be something I can do to perhaps manipulate help him to return to the series (Remember the "co-Dependent" part of my bio?  Yeah. Totally. Really. Me.)   I figure other couples have endured this struggle for Downton as well: the internet must have a place to turn for support for people like us!  And by George, I think I've got it (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!! ... & some naughty language, too):

Its like reading the last chapter of a novel to mitigate the suspense (Like "Harry Burns," my husband has done that).  Yes.  This medicine just might work.

7.  Even if my public plotting fails inmost dreams are dashed regarding this Downton Abbey share-fest, I am fairly certain that I can at least get my husband in the room for what promises to be the social media event of Friday night:

Clan Donaldson: A Very Special Invitation

 A virtual Office Space party on Twitter!?   That sounds like a recipe for fun.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. The boyfriend's guide rocks. I'm good now. Don't need to see anymore.

  2. Keep going with Downton - it keeps getting better. Great stuff, too.

  3. Thank you for your vote of confidence, Considerer!