Monday, January 07, 2013
These recipes appealed to me because they use mostly fresh ingredients rather than the dreaded "Cream of Crud" soup poured over meat. Since we have a dairy allergy and I'm picky about whole foods I've made a few adjustments, and I'll note those along the way. I've prepared several and they're waiting in the freezer, but I wanted to review them as we make them for anyone who might be interested.
First up is the Black Bean Taco Soup. I just made this on the stovetop for dinner, since
I needed something for tonight. Ingredients and my substitutions:
1 lb ground beef (we have a hog in the freezer, so I used ground pork)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package mild taco seasoning mix
I don't usually use seasoning mixes, but I gave it a go. I added an additional 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Next time I'd skip the packet and season myself. I usually keep pureed chipotle in adobo in the freezer, but I'm out. I'll use it next time, along with fresh garlic.
1 16 oz can corn (undrained) 16 oz. frozen corn plus 1 C. water.
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (you could use kidney beans or pinto beans)
1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
Since I was doing a bunch of meals that needed crushed/diced etc. tomatoes I bought a 6lb can of whole tomatoes and prepped them in the food processor. I used 2 cups chunky puree and a cup of water for this recipe.
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 4 oz can diced green chilis (1/2 of a fresh jalapeno, sauteed with the onion and meat)
Verdict: Very Good - I misread the corn as frozen at first, so I had extra in there, but it was fine. I'm not a fan of canned veggies anyway! We like strong spicy flavors, so I kicked up the seasonings. The amount was decent, and we'd probably have leftovers if we hadn't eaten it for both after school snack and dinner. It could be served over rice to stretch it even further. Total cost was around $7-8, assuming that you were buying ground meat at the store. My San Marzano tomatoes and frozen organic corn were both bought in bulk at Costco, so are comparable in price to conventional items at the supermarket. I'll be putting this into the rotation.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
My preferred polish colors are things non-sparkly and neutral, that don't show too much when they chip. I picked up this bottle last fall; it met the color requirements, it is one of the main colors of the local university (which pleased my daughters, they are devoted fans despite their parents having attended the rival state university), and it was on sale.
This fall has not been kind our health - strep throat and a couple of random bugs toured the household in November. December saw rotavirus meander through before Christmas and then Norwalk (norovirus) brought in a swift and complete attack on New Year's eve.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Tom is instructing Ella on the finer points of portraiture. She often feels compelled to correct him with things she has learned in elementary art class, despite his university degree in biological and medical illustration. This is not the best quality picture of them, but it becomes blog-worthy by virtue of the cat.
Being starved for attention, Sphinx has been shoving herself awkwardly into the mix. I managed to catch her mid-glare with the flash, looking as if she were shooting lasers via the tapetum lucidum.