mini-bundt cakes into a single, modest but normal, bundt cake. I knew my pan was too big, but I used it anyway, hoping the cake would rise to the occasion. You've heard of muffin tops? Meet bundt top. To make the situation even more bizarre, the request to my son and d-i-l to bring a birthday candle and one of those little plastic candle holders got misinterpreted, and they brought a huge candle in a metal holder. Well, good thing I'd made the bundt top; the candle fit right in, so we lit it and sang happy birthday.
ranchero sauce, smokey black beans and rice (recipe follows) and salad.
this recipe. (For the yogurt I use Wildwood unsweetened plain, and for the cheese I used Daiya cheddar.) The beans and rice were improvised for the occasion. I was trying to make a dish so spicy that none of the spice-crazed diners would add additional hot sauce. I also wanted to be able to eat it myself, so I wasn't quite able to meet my goal. :D I passed a small dish of chopped jalapeños at the table that everyone except my husband and me put on everything. I thought the beans and rice were very flavorful and plenty spicy.
Smoky spicy black beans and rice
- 1-1/2 cups raw, long grain brown rice
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups home-cooked)
- 2 peppers from a can of chipotle in adobo, minced (less if you want to reduce the heat)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions, optional
- Cook the rice, preferably in a rice cooker. The rice should be fairly dry. I cooked brown basmati in a rice cooker with 1-3/4 cups of water.
- In a large wok or skillet, sauté the onion in the oil . As the onion starts to brown, add the garlic, cumin and oregano and cook for a minute or two until the cumin is toasted and fragrant. (You could also pre-toast the cumin, remove it from the pan, and add it back in at this point.
- Add the pepper and celery, and cook for two minutes, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the salt and mix in.
- Add the rice and toss with the vegetables. Cook for two minutes to flavor the rice.
- Add the beans and chipotle. Heat until the beans are hot.
- Optional: Stir in 1/2 cup chopped green onions, and cook 30 seconds before serving. Or garnish with raw chopped green onions.
- Optional garnish #2: thinly sliced red radishes.
note: If you want the dish smokey but not spicy, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika instead of the chipotle in adobo.
"Can't a girl get her beauty rest without being disturbed by the paparazzi?"
As I was concentrating on getting this post written, Buffy was making herself more comfortable by unmaking the guest bed and settling in. She looks slightly annoyed at being photographed, doesn't she?