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Halloweenie

November 1, 2010

I was a Halloweenie this year.

There was no dressing up with the ladies, party-hopping and then waking, at 7:30 am, wearing a ratty t-shirt, bright blue bloomers, bowed knee highs, 2 whistles and a chain of mardi gras beads. I swear Dorothy from Oz didn’t do anything to earn those mardi gras beads!!

Instead, around 5:30 pm J and I stared at each other, our costumes, then each other until one of us (my money’s on him), asked if the other really wanted to go out this year. He may still have been mid-sentence when I leapt off the chair and hugged him.

It’s not that I was opposed to dressing up and going out with the sloppy NYC masses, it’s just that I had bigger plans for that night. I wanted to cook! I wanted to nest! I wanted to wear something that covered my bottom! Enter Emily’s black bean and butternut squash chili! Holy. Mackerel. I had been eyeing this recipe since I first saw it as part of her FoodBuzz submission. I’m an enormous sucker for soups and for our meal on the night before Halloween, I mean can you GET any more seasonally appropriate than eating chili out of pumpkins?! So away I went in my sweatpants and unwashed hair to Whole Foods. I arrived, breathlessly panting, and ran up to some store clerks asking where the sugar pumpkins resided. The way they looked at me, you’d have thought I was dressed as Morning After Dorothy. But nevermind that. I made it home swiftly (the whistles helped), and set about cleaning my gourds. About 45 seconds into the process I had already defiled the island, sink area and floor of the kitchen, but nevermind that either. It was worth it. I kept Emily’s recipe intact save for the following additions/substitutions:

-I used one can of black beans and one can of kidney beans

-I added a medium diced zucchini for a little green

-I added 1/2tsp cayenne, tsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute and a 1/4tsp ground coffee. I really liked the spices I added. A little heat from the cayenne was nice and the coffee gave a nice depth of flavor!

I also made Emily’s jalapeno cornbread muffins, but to be honest, mine didn’t work at all! BUT, I used a C of brown rice flour instead of 3 separate gluten-free flours, which I suspect was part of my issue. They held together ok, but the bottoms were a bit crumbly. I also felt like they could have used more salt and some spices as the taste of mine was pretty bland. Next time, I’ll increase the salt and I’ll puree the jalapeno with the milk mixture. I’ve heard mixing it this way really imparts the bites of the pepper! But nevermind the cornbread because the chili was just perfect. It came together beautifully — the squash and beans were so hearty and healthy that this recipe didn’t need one bit of healthifying! The consistency was spot on too, with some bits of butternut almost melting off my spoon. Mmm, mmm, mmm. This Halloweenie had two pumpkins full! And I think it’s safe to say J liked it too because in the morning I woke up to find Mardi Gras beads lovingly draped around my neck. And this time, I’m sure I earned them 🙂

Happy healthifying!

Hilary

*P.S. J will be getting his own mardi gras beads for his fabulous food and prop styling and extreme patience while I attempt to grasp basic DSLR camera functions.

Hello, Blogworld!

September 21, 2010

10 things i hate about you to like about me

  1. I can clap with one hand
  2. I am deathly afraid of sharks and mayonnaise
  3. I’ve been known to mistake flour for confectioners sugar and then wondered, as I tried my damndest, why it would. Not. Become. A. Glaze. #bakingfail
  4. During a particularly hormonal afternoon when I was 12, I cried (sobbed?) for 4.75 hours on my back porch because my mother had cut my denim cut-offs incorrectly. How could she?!
  5. I have a yet to create my signature dessert, but it’s a challenge I adore pursuing
  6. I have terrible, let me say it again for emphasis, terrible vision. I challenge anyone to have a higher prescription; I’m –7.5 in my right eye and –8 in my left. Bring it.
  7. I am working hard at letting go of my perfectionist tendencies
  8. Some days, I miss my grandmother so much that it hurts
  9. Busy farmers markets intimidate the heck out of me
  10. I take an enormous amount of pride in making delicious, healthified meals for myself and those I love