Monday, November 26, 2012

Ultimate Scrambled Eggs in 90 seconds

Eggs are a brilliant food (sorry chickens, I'm going to steal them every morning!!). Take a two cup pyrex mixing or storing bowl, coat it in spray oil (or slather it in butter/margarine, anything to keep the egg from sticking) and pour well-beaten eggs into the dish (I use a fork and a separate bowl to beat three eggs into submission -- they are ready when there is a lemony yellow color all over, and no streaks). Set the dish in the microwave for 90 seconds (60 for two eggs, 90 for three). While that is cooking, take two slices of your favorite bread and cover them with some mayo, horseradish mustard and a slice of american cheese -- fresh herbs are a great addition here, too. Put the whole thing in a quart-sized freezer ziplock bag. Now that the microwave is done, reach in and carefully pull out some of the fluffiest scrambled eggs you ever saw, tipping them out of the bowl and onto a slice of bread, covering with the other piece to make a sandwich. The steamy eggs melt the cheese and warm the bread (and release the aroma of the herbs, if you used any -- fresh basil is a favorite of mine). I can toss the sandwich in my bag to nibble on the way to work or at my desk.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Black Bean Soup

I can't think of a more fitting soup for November than Black Bean. Earthy, delicate, hearty, with a light note of citrus, it calls to mind the brisk goodness that will be the theme of the whole month, from weather to wool.

Additionally, this is beyond simple, letting us give in to our soul's call to hunker down, be less hectic, and regroup. As if this basic fare weren't easy enough, it cooks in a crock pot, while you are at work or overnight, and is only the better for storing for a day.

Take it easy. Grab some yarn and find some quiet while the soup simmers; listen to your inner voice; let the muse inspire you. Serve up a steaming bowl with the equally simple Once-Risen bread and remember that you are loved.

  • 1 pound dried black beans (I like to use organic turtle beans, but honestly, even the most basic store has a bag or box of a perfectly fine variety, usually in the ethnic foods aisle)
  • One medium-sized red onion
  • One medium-sized yellow onion
  • Two - Four cloves minced garlic
  • Sea salt or mineral salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • One lemon
    • Optional:
    • Madeira Sherry, 1 Tablespoon
    • Ham Hock
Recipe: Rinse and pick over the beans. Bury the ham hocks, garlic and onions in the beans. Do not add salt to uncooked beans, as this will prevent them from cooking fully. Sprinkle with a little black pepper, or hold off until after cooking. Cover with water 2-3 inches above the level of the beans. Simmer on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-12, until beans are tender. Remove ham from hocks and return to the crockpot, chopping if needed. Add seasonings as desired (I like a bit of lemon juice and this is an excellent time for sherry and black pepper). Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency, or by batches in a traditional blender. Presentation: Slice a lemon and twist the round for a garnish on the bowl. Serve with a good crusty bread for a hearty crowd-pleaser.

Storing Vegetables without Plastic