Monday, June 30, 2014

Nights in White Satin

White Bean Chili

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground chicken 
  • 1/4 cup green chili salsa or small can diced green chilies
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • ground white pepper to taste
  • 3 (15 oz) cans white beans beans, drained 
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cups of non-fat Greek Yogurt

  • Sometimes it pays to waste time searching the web.  I was looking for new ideas for ground turkey and found this great white chili recipe that I revised a bit.  Take one can of the beans, the green salsa, the yogurt and puree it before adding it to the pot.
    The reason this is so brilliant is it's super easy, it's damn cheap, you can use any white beans that you like and it is something that could go into rotation for a quick fix meal but it's special and different enough to be exciting.  The texture is velvety and the taste is awesome!

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

    Psychedelic Shack, That's Where It's At

    A place after my own heart, Habana Cafe to-go.  Kind of funny we were doting all over El Toro when we have this great festive spot right on our corner.  I don't know why I never really noticed the new cafe they opened on the opposite side of the street as their Outpost.

     Anyway, they have taco bowls.  I love bowls!  I'm all about the food bowl!  We shared, beef and chicken.  I was very happy with this because of the crunchy corn strips that we are not supposed to eat but hey, how bad could a few of them be?!  And there was a great meat to lettuce ratio.  Plus I like the carrots and corn.  The main thing is the greens were crisp and fresh.

    The bonus surprise was this spicy spinach side.  I don't know what the guy put in the pan in the beginning but it was super hot, caught on fire and then he quickly added the spinach for about a minute and then squeezed lemon on it.  It tasted like grilled Asian shrimp or something.  I have no idea but I loved it!!  Next time I have to pay attention.
    The other nice change was a tip from our other local taco spot, El Toro Taqueria.  I realized there was something to that very simple guacamole that they serve, when you only use penos, smashed avocado and lime.  No tomato, no garlic, no cilantro.  Reminds me of my dad's quac. He put lots of black pepper in his.  Plus this is so purrrrdy and green!  Guacamole is best right after it's made so I made it right before we sat down to this great meal.

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

    Summertime, And the Living is Easy

    Ground Turkey Quinoa Salad.  Nothing world changing here but I do really believe in chilling and dressing the greens before putting down tasty meat because they need to be able to stand their ground with the bigger flavors of the spiced turkey.  You can't really see it but there is a huge portion of quinoa under all that meat by the way.  I promise.
    A big dinner salad, iced tea, watermelon, a cold soup appetizer....  This is what summer life is all about.
    I had a cat named Ella.  We named her after Ms Fitzgerald because we got her the day she died, June 15, 1996.  We weren't sure but if it's possible, we thought Ella, the cat, was African American.  Something about her calm confidence and beauty. I called her sweet pea.  She had the most gorgeous green eyes.  I miss her.  But I was so happy to have her until she died.  I was with her when they put her down.  I got to hold her for an hour at the vet and she stared at me the whole time.  Broke my heart and it was beautiful at the same time. She was wrapped in a towel and she was never a cat that liked to be held so it was nice to have her for once just calm in my arms.  She never went limp like my now female cat Monkey.  Ella was always very muscular and heavy, too much of a grown woman to be held.  When she loved you she'd let you know and when you could give her affection.
    Cat's are cool.

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    I Want To Take You Higher

    So I made this before from a recipe on  So good.  I have a tendency to want to bonus out recipes.  I like really bold flavors and when it's possible, I like to add more excitement to general recipes. The original recipe is classy like a tea sandwich, it's light and smooth.  My additions of lots of fresh dill, kept the mint, lemon zest, and not only an avocado but two tomatillos, for me, make it more compelling, thrilling.  Even better!  I got a thing for green.  Food that is.
    U.S.MetricConversion chart
    • 2 cup(s) plain soy yogurt
    • 1 1/2 cup(s) Japanese or young English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
    • 4 tablespoon(s) fresh mint leaves, chopped
    • Salt to taste
    • 2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
    • Small petals from the center of a rose, for garnish

    1. Place all ingredients except garnish in a blender. Puree until smooth. Season with salt. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with rose petals.

    Thursday, June 26, 2014

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    You'll Always Find Me, Out to Lunch

    Having craved real white pasta for months I tamed the beast inside again by making roasted spaghetti squash and this time I bought the right one.  I loved it so much I had it for dinner and lunch twice.
    It's actually just as good with a nice marinara sauce as it is with this robust meat mushroom sauce.
    I took it to work, microwaved it and sat down with it on my tray. The sweet smell of the squash and garlic, the tangy tomato sauce, it was all so good especially in that setting when you're just expecting prison food.  Again, why don't I do this more often?  I tell ya, I fail to learn in life. Or I do learn but then I forget really quickly.  This may be the reason I struggle to advance in my individual life progress.  This could be a new condition.  Failure to progress disorder.
    It seems so simple.  You have an idea of what you need to change.  In this case, I'd like to bring my lunch to work.  I do it a couple of times and then fail to do it for like a year.  Then I wonder, what went wrong. Lack of effort?  Sure.  But I forget a lot too.  Why yesterday I had it in containers and there it sat in my fridge.  I never remembered it until just now.  It'd be fine if it were just one to two quirks but I have a huge list of failed, not even attempts, more failed lack of attempts.
    Are all these things not priorities to me?  And if so, what do I spend my time remembering?  Seems I'm pretty vacant up there before going to work.  I can't recall thinking anything in particular.   So am I just this goofy girl that can't focus?  Perhaps.  But it's never that simple because I am an over thinker so it doesn't make sense that I'm insufficiently thriving.  Maybe I don't make good solid plans.  I make a lot of lists I know that.  And usually I mark them off one by one..eventually.  Maybe I don't care enough?  Could be.
    But if I had to make a real evaluation right now I would say I tend to live inside my head way too much.  Maybe more than the actual physical world.  It's more interesting there sometimes.  And all my friends are there!  That's a joke...kind of.  And there, there is no time or space, no old or young me, no progressing or not, it's not the past or the future. Frankly, it's just all cool up there.  You don't have to worry about your clothes and down here my hair is not acting right at ALL.  Summer frizz is no joke.
    But I gotta figure out how to get my lunch to work, bottom line.