Thursday, September 6, 2012


i really enjoy the process of cooking.  kind of like how i enjoy washing dishes (weird, i know), cooking can be so monotonous and mechanical that it functions as a reprieve from my daily life.

the only drawbacks are that:
  1. the time that it takes me to make a meal is proportional to the time it takes to watch the paint dry on a wall.
  2. nothing ever tastes as good as my mom's food.
my mom is a superhero in the kitchen.  not only did she grow up on a farm in taiwan (major props, ma), but she is really good at cooking food of BOTH the taiwanese and cuban variety (the two cultures that coexist in my household). zhongzi, beef and ginger stir fries, chicken katsu, water rice, black bean desserts.  paella, fried plantains, and picadillo. my childhood food memories in a nutshell.  it was also uncanny how quickly she could put together a meal.  one minute she'd be pounding the chicken cutlets with a meat cleaver, and the next she's screaming "AMY KEVIN NICOLE FUDGE GRANDMA SOFIE LIZ" come to the table. yes, she sometimes called me my dog's name, and often her sisters' - none of whom live in a 500 mile radius of our house - as well. i don't get it either.

new goal of this year = to make 1 new dish per week.  it has recently occurred to me that i'm going to have to leave the 8-meal-per-week meal plan behind when i become a real person.

and even though i really enjoy whipping things up in the kitchen, cleaning the dishes, and other things of the "woman in the kitchen" sphere, i will not make you a sandwich. yet i may make you this.  i cut the recipe in half because i do not have the appetite of a large man, and i used black beans instead of lentils because that's what i had in the dorm. i also called it "stew," and not "chili," because it just really didn't taste like chili.  but because we know that cooking is not yet my fort√©, take that with a grain of salt (LOL FOOD JOKES).

sweet potato and black bean veggie stew
serves 4

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans low-sodium black beans 
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  1. saute diced onions in large pot with olive oil until softened and lightly browned.  add carrots and sweet potatoes, stirring until partly cooked. 
  2. add jalapeno peppers after vegetables have cooked ~ 15 minutes.  
  3. add canned tomatoes - fire roasted is the best.
  4. add black beans, broth, and all spices.  
  5. bring to simmer, then turn to low and cover for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until chili has thickened.  
  6. season to taste with salt. 
  7. eat.
"find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."
- julia child

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