Out of all the things I could miss about being married, you wouldn’t think The Ex’s cooking would be on the list. But it is. Of course it’s not the tippy-top thing, but he had a few core dishes that I definitely have a hankering for every now and then. A wonderful yellow rice with green olives that he usually made with roast chicken. I craved that a lot, particularly the olives, when I was pregnant with Madeline. Cuban black beans. The kids adore his black beans over white rice. And when I was in the mood for it, picadillo. And now? I got nothing. I think I can work out a trade though. The yellow rice for a batch of his favorite mini cheesecakes. What can I say? Food is still a universal language, even through the twists and turns of relationships that end in divorce.
When I spied a recipe for black beans in a recent issue of Delish’s Easy Low-Cal Meals, I tore it out, knowing that even though it wasn’t The Ex’s version, the kids would eat it up. It’s a crazy simple recipe, and while it isn’t identical (I have a few recipes that are a bit closer), it was close enough for a trial run. I added cumin to it (force of habit since The Ex always did and most recipes call for it) and skipped the liquid smoke (mostly because I could swear I had some, but it seems to have disappeared). I would do less onion next time because it saves Nick painstakingly picking them out of his portion. And am personally not a fan of recipes that call for 1-1/3 cups of black beans, because that’s one full can and a little bit. Seriously, why can’t they alter the recipes’ yield so that it calls for either one full can or two? The little bits leftover, by the way, would be great in a quesadilla with melted cheese and some chicken. But aside from all that, I would make the recipe again, and it was perfect alongside some tri-tip steak and roasted asparagus. I might have eaten the whole bunch of asparagus myself. Once I start, it’s so very hard to stop. Good thing it’s uber-healthy.
June 2, 2010, Photo #104
The hunt for rerows has been challenging at best. After checking a ridiculous amount of stores, I headed off to look for transfers or patches that I could put on plain shirts. We went to Michael’s, Wal-Mart, and A.C. Moore. Would you believe none of them sell rainbow appliques? Craziness. I swear I’m going to start making rainbow shirts and stock an Etsy shop.
The current issue of Parents magazine has a rainbow bathing suit featured on the cover, and I found that it is sold at Gymboree. After a visit to the store, they, of course, don’t have it, but they did have it in shirt form instead. While it’s not a *true* rainbow given the colors shown, it was close enough that Madeline would wear it. My mom has had some success recently at Kohls and TJ Maxx, finding her two pairs of pajamas and a short set, and in the meantime, I have bought a bunch of fabric and am going to attempt to make my own rainbow shirt. If I’m successful, you can bet I’ll let you know when the Etsy shop launches! Until then, the search continues.
Fat-Free Refried Beans
Recipe courtesy of Quick & Simple via Delish’s Easy Low-Call Meals
In a small bowl, mash 2/3 cup of black beans with a fork to a smooth paste. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1-1/3 cup black beans with 1/2 cup water. When heated through, stir in 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke. Stir bean paste into whole beans. Add 1 diced medium onion and cook 10 minutes, or until tender.
Makes 3 cups, 41 calories per serving, 3 g protein, 0g fat, 3g fiber.