#6: Recipe of the Week

This week’s new recipe was from the Follow Your Heart Cookbook – Bean Burritos in 20 Minutes. It turned out great, was a great quick weeknight recipe, was very healthy, and very hearty. We will definitely keep this in the rotation for the future.

2.5 cups white rice (Basmati if you have it)
3 cups water
1 Tbsp. butter
Pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 15 oz. cans of organic black beans
2 Tbsp. Tamari
2 Tbsp. cumin
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1/2 bunch of cilantro
Salsa
Cheddar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
12 white tortillas

1. Mix rice, water, butter, and salt. Heat in medium saucepan until boiling, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes more until rice is fluffy and water is absorbed.
2. While rice is cooking, heat olive oil in large skillet. Add beans (including liquids), Tamari, and cumin. Gently simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Turn of heat or turn down to low to keep beans warm.
3. Prepare all vegetables
4. Preheat oven to 300. Warm tortillas
5. Add rice, bean mixture, and vegetable choices to tortillas, wrap, and enjoy!

New Year: Make Goals, Not Resolutions

I ran across the idea recently that for the new year, we should make goals, not resolutions.  This hit home with me, and reminded me of my 101 goals project.  My resolutions tend to be over-zealous – Never drink soda again! Get my body fat percentage down to 15%!  These don’t work.  I’m not setting any resolutions this year, just goals.  I’m using my 101 goals project to guide me through this.  Mondays will include a posting outlining my goals for the week.  These are my mini-goals to accomplish my larger goals within my 101 project.  I’ll continue updating my progress throughout the week on any completed mini-goals and completed 101 goals.  I hope you’ll stick with me throughout 2008, and even start a 101 goals project of your own!  (And I realize today is already Wednesday, but due to the holiday, I’ve been away from a computer for a time…so this week we’re starting on Wednesday ;))

My goals for the week 01/01:

1. Start a budget for 2008 in Quicken
2. Run on Wednesday/Friday/Sunday, and do yoga on Thursday/Saturday.
3. Work on my quilt
4. Set up my new sewing area

#6: Recipe of the Week

I made an AWESOME new recipe this week for my office Christmas party potluck.  I was in charge of dessert, and I chose to make a recipe from Emeril – Buttermilk Spice Cake with Fresh Apple Puree and and Roasted Walnut Cream Cheese.   This recipe is a little labor intensive, but I actually appreciated it this time as it gave me a break from finishing up my finals for class.  The cake was extremely moist and fluffy and the apple puree gave a good contrast from the spice as the filling.  It would also work to frost in between the layers if the apple puree is unwanted.  I love cream cheese icing, and this was a basic recipe that I will keep for other types of cakes as well.  One note on the frosting: I had to double the recipe to have enough, but I frosted the cake and also decorated the top, which added additional icing.  Overall, this recipe was excellent and I will keep it for the future.  I may even make it for a family Christmas party this Saturday, it was such a big hit with my office.

#14: Try 10 New Restaurants

Yesterday Joe and I went out for dinner after his office Christmas party was canceled. I requested a new restaurant we’ve never been to, and we ended up at Fiesta Mexico, a new Mexican (duh) place half-way between our house and where his Christmas party was supposed to be.

Verdict: It was ok. Although it was definitely more “authentic” than say…Chilis…the food was good, but not excellent. I had chicken burritos, and basically it tasted like the ones I make at home. On the plus side the atmosphere was really neat, with a lot of hanging star lights on the ceiling and an authentic feel. It was also reasonably priced – the total bill was only $20 for both of us. I would eat here again and not protest if I was with other people, but I’m not sure this is a place Joe and I will be frequenting very often in the future.

#85: Complete 50 Books from my Book List

Book #1 was completed this past week, on one of my days off.  I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I won’t say much about it in case I’m not the last person in the world to finish it, other than I LOVED it.  I’m sad the series is over and there are no more books to look forward to, but I thought the ending was fitting and it provided the closure that makes me happy at the end of a series (I’m still not happy with you, Sopranos!).

I’ve decided to read Middlesex next, and I started that last night.  (I didn’t get very far, but I started!)  I decided to read it because I generally love Oprah’s selections, so I checked Middlesex out of the library.  Did anyone enjoy Middlesex?

#66: Hang up all the Art and Photos in the House – Complete!

…and let me tell you what a difference it makes!  My house felt like a home for the first time this weekend.  Joe and I went on a massive cleaning spree before everyone arrived for the party, and we hung up all the rock posters, as well as a lot of other photos we have had framed and sitting on the floor for a long time.  I’m glad I can now actually enjoy our collection!

#16: Learn How to Make 10 New Cocktails

In conjunction with the holiday party I hosted, I made a new cocktail to serve: Bananas Foster Punch.  This turned out really delicious.  I found the directions to be a little confusing, so I had to do a little interpreting on my own.  I was confused by how to actually blend the mixture, so I ended up just combining half the milk mixture with all the other ingredients, then blending, then adding the other half of the milk mixture.  If that’s not the correct interpretation of the directions, it’s ok because it still tasted great!  It did not make as much as I was expecting, so for a large party (more then 5), I would definitely double the recipe.  I ended up making two batches just because my family is a little lush!  Cooking Light does not disappoint, once again!