Blue in the Sky

A lesbian wife and mother tries her hand at something new. Surely there is a hat that fits out there somewhere!

Spicy Black Bean Cakes Monday January 31, 2011

Filed under: Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 2:21 pm

In my quest to try something new each week, this week I present the Spicy Black Bean Cake!  I am a tremendous fan of the black bean and have high hopes for the recipe.  It will be on the menu at my house later in the week and I’ll let you know how it goes.

INGREDIENTS

Lime Sour Cream:

  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
  • salt to taste

Bean Cakes:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups grated raw sweet potato
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare lime sour cream, mix the sour cream, lime juice, 1 small minced jalapeno, and salt together in a small bowl. Cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook green onions until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic, 2 diced jalapenos, and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl. Stir in black beans, and mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in sweet potatoes, egg, and bread crumbs. Divide into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
  4. In the oven, set cooking rack about 4 inches from heat source. Set oven to broil. Lightly grease baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil.
  5. Place bean patties on baking sheet, and broil 8 to 10 minutes. Turn cakes over, and broil until crispy, about 3 minutes more. Serve with lime sour cream.
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The Last Week in January Sunday January 30, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 9:06 pm

This week was Bean’s official “Venturing into the Social World” week.  Maybe it was all the snow and freezing temperatures or maybe it was fact that the walls of the condo began to feel that they were actually closing in on us, but at some point in mid-January I decided that we MUST start.doing.things.  Pronto.  This week was the week.

On Monday we went for a play date with the Jasper boys and great fun was had by all.  Actually it was nice to get out of the house and chat with Wendy and Bean really seemed to have fun.  The boys rolled around on the floor and basically looked cute.  Success.

On Tuesday we used a free pass and enjoyed a class at MyGym.  They have a class for 4-18 month olds, but with Bean at 5 months he was by far the youngest in the class.  There was lots of singing and swinging and playing with puppets, but everyone else could at least sit up on their own and most were walking.  He seemed to have fun watching the other kids, but there were lots of things he couldn’t do.  This might be fun down the road, but it’s too pricy as a spectator sport.

That night some new friends from church came over for dinner with their 10 month old.  Man oh man was that girl on the move.  She’s super cute but she scares me.  How much longer do I have before I spend all my time chasing Bean?  I’m thinking my days are numbered.  Spending an evening with Norah makes me think that I may not have to worry with exercise for a few years.  That’s a nice bonus I guess.

Thursday night we met Bren, Jae and little Sammy at the brewery for what has become quite a fabulous weekly ritual.  I’m really enjoying getting to know these girls.  The next night (Friday) I finally broke down and went to (as opposed to just talking about going to) a book club meeting that I found on Meetup.  From what I could tell in one brief evening, the group seems promising.  The craziest development of the night?  The girl who was Drum Major in my HS Marching band when I was a senior and whom I have not seen in 14 years was at the Meetup.  How crazy is that?!  I should also mention that this little reunion took place hundreds of miles from my home town.  Small world.  Yeah.

The weekend has been tons of fun for two big reasons:

  1. Toad is home!!!
  2. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL, high’s in the 60’s kind of beautiful.

Creating paragraphs is beginning to wear me out, so here is a list of the weekend’s highlights:

  • Bren, Jae and Sam came over to play.  Sam showed Bean how cool it is to eat sweet potatoes, also messy.
  • Bean attended his first women’s college basketball game
  • Toad created a thrilling lecture about MRI of the wrist
  • We broke down and starting watching the 5th season of Weeds (I’m thinking that’s more of a low light)
  • Bean rode in the stroller sans bucket.  This was a little too much for me, but it is exciting.  Exciting and emotional.
 

The Green Monster Thursday January 27, 2011

Filed under: Daily Life,Food Glorious Food,The Chef — The Professor @ 10:06 am

I have been intrigued by this breakfast concept for years and after Toad surprised me with a Magic Bullet for Christmas (this was actually quite exciting for me), I was ready to try my own.  You can find tons of variations on this all over the web, but I decided to start with the basic recipe.  The verdict?  Delicious!  Truly.  Not delicious in the “well, it is healthy after all” way, but actually delicious.  Try it for yourself and let me know.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup milk
  • Handful of ice cubes

In order to get the spinach as blended as possible, arrange it closest to the blades with the banana and ice weighing it down.

 

Room (Emma Donoghue) Thursday January 6, 2011

Filed under: Books,Daily Life,The Reader — The Professor @ 9:07 pm

You should read this book, but first you should watch this video.  I found it while looking around for book cover images to use for my review.  I couldn’t describe it any better than this.

 

 

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries Tuesday January 4, 2011

Filed under: The Chef — The Professor @ 1:03 pm

Who knew brussel sprouts were delicious?!!  I had absolutely no idea until this weekend when I decided that now that I am someone’s mother, it’s high time I jump on the nutritious vegetable bandwagon.  I found this recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times and I recommend it highly.  Yum!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1½ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 medium shallots, halved and sliced (¼ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. agave syrup – I used honey
  • 1 Tbs. walnut oil – I used olive oil

PREPARATION

1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to plate, and set aside.

2. Wipe out skillet, and return to heat. Add olive oil, and swirl skillet to coat bottom. Add Brussels sprouts, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally.

3. Add shallots and garlic, and cook 1 minute more.

4. Stir in cranberries, agave, and 1 cup water. Partially cover pot, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated and Brussels sprouts are just tender, but not soft.

5. Transfer to serving bowl. Stir in walnut oil and toasted walnuts, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

 

2010 – The Year in Review

Filed under: Daily Life,The Wife & Mother — The Professor @ 10:11 am

I liked it so much last year, that I’m doing it again.  I’m a little late to the game, but here goes:

Big Events

  • We got the news that Toad was pregnant in late December/early January
  • The Professor was selected for the Masters in Counseling program in our future city
  • After MUCH discussion, we decided that the Professor would defer her admission for AY10-11 and be a SAHM
  • After almost as much discussion, Gadget found a new home in which he could once again be both man of the house and top dog (this would be challenging for a regular cat, but comes quite naturally to Gadget)
  • The Professor drove off the campus of the no-good-very-bad job for the final time after an honest conversation with the Provost when exams were over in May
  • Toad completed her fellowship and graduated from the 28th grade on the last day of June
  • We moved at the beginning of July
  • We found a new UU congregation and began attending
  • Toad started her new job on the first day of August
  • Bean was born on August 15!!!
  • The three of us spent lots of time getting to know each other during August and September while Toad was on maternity leave
  • The Professor participated in National Novel Writing Month and wrote a 50,000 word novel during November
  • We found the perfect house for our new family in late November and we will buying a house and moving (again) in February

In the Speakers – humm…. not a great music year for me

  • Mumford & Sons (Little Lion Man)
  • Patty Griffin (The Rowing Song, Florida)

Favorite Movies and TV of the Year – also not a good movie year 😦

  • Weeds (Showtime)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)
  • Sister Wives (TLC)

Favorite Books Read this Year

  • The Help Kathryn Stockett
  • The Crimson Petal and the White Michel Faber
  • Columbine Dave Cullen
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities Tom Wolfe
  • Room Emma Dognoghue

The Hard Stuff AKA Opportunities for Growth

  • Leaving a job with both honesty and integrity
  • Managing a major move with a Toad who was 8 months pregnant
  • Finding some kind of equilibrium in the wake of all of these huge changes
  • Carving a space in each of our own families for this new family that was born when Bean arrived

The Easy Stuff AKA The Blessings

  • My wife, always my wife
  • The unspeakably perfect gift of our son
  • Watching our families fall in love with its newest member
  • The opportunity that I have to spend this precious early time with Bean without thought of outside child care
  • Our fabulously friendly new town