Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beans and Rice?

Beans and rice... Can you believe that it is one of our favorite meals? But not just any beans and rice. The Black Beans with Yellow Rice from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers cookbook will make you change your mind about this health food.
It starts with basmati rice cooked with coconut milk, turmeric, and saffron, then builds on flavor with black beans seasoned with chipole chiles and cumin. Pickled red onions are almost the best part of the whole dish, especially for someone like me who craves an acidic counterpoint.

Please try this dish. You won't be disappointed.

Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers

Black Beans with yellow rice

Pickled Onions
  •  1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
Toss the sliced onion with a pinch of salt and the sugar. Cover with the vinegar. They'll soften and turn bright pink in about 20 minutes, and will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Coconut Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups  basmati rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 pinches of saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Bring 2 cups water and the coconut milk to a boil with the saffron and turmeric.  Add the rice and salt, cover the pan, and cook over low heat until the rice is done, about 20 minutes.

Black Beans
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon or ground chipotle chile
  • 2 15-ounce cans organic black beans plus their juice (about 3 cups)
  • 1 scant cup coconut milk (or all the coconut milk remaining from the rice)
  • 2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cup into 4 wedges
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan.  Add the pepper, onion, bay leaf, and cilantro, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, and chipotle, then the beans and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and simmer until hot.  Season with salt and add fresh lime juice to taste.
2.  To serve, scoop the hot rice into a bowl, spoon beans on top of the rice, and garnish with the cilantro leaves, pickled onions, and lime wedges.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meet Mallory

Why does unpacking always take so much longer than you think it will? On Saturday afternoon I tackled unpacking the heaps of stuff that we'd shoved into the office. I started sorting through it all around 3 pm, and I didn't finish until almost 11 pm. Then, this morning, I found two more heaps of mail and documents that needed sorting through. I can now say that I have a home office that is clean and organized, and I only have one bin of stuff left that needs to be put away. I feel so accomplished! 

Anyway, that's not the point of this post! I started this post to show a little peek into my living room. The living room is the room we started decorating first. Before we even moved in Chip's parents promised to give us a great sectional sofa, and I started placing furniture in my mind around that. That's about the time I decided I needed a pair of chairs for this spot in my living room, and I fell in love with the Mallory Chair at DwellStudio.
On Christmas Eve Eve, Chip and I were hitting up the Everyday Gourmet in the Township in Ridgeland to buy provisions for a family wine and cheese happy hour. That's when I spotted the chairs -- MY chairs, the Mallory chairs that I had been drooling over online -- inside SummerHouse. Of course, I went in so I could sit in them and drool over them some more, this time in real life. Then the unheard of happened. They were on SALE. For about $250 less EACH from the online price. Chip took one look at me and knew that I would be buying them. 

I can't tell you how happy I am with these chairs. They fit the room perfectly. I'm currently sitting in the one on the right, blogging while we watch the NY Giants game. 

We only have a couple things left before this room is done - a rug, a lamp for the side table, and a lamp shade for the buffet lamp. All were purchased online last night and are on their way! I can't wait to show everyone the finished product! In daylight!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My New House

I feel like I've been in a constant state of flux over the past few months, but I can finally say... I am settled. Almost as soon as we moved back to Oxford we began thinking about expanding our house or moving to a larger house. Specifically, one with a garage and a little more storage. We met with an architect to look at plans for an expansion, and also started looking at houses with a realtor. Then, we fell in love. With a modern-looking house built in 1975. In a neighborhood with big trees and a one acre lot. And a pool. :) For those of you who know me and know my style, I'm a solid Anglophile. I love everything English and England, like cottages and cottage gardens and David Austin roses. For me to fall I love with a house in the modern style (with a pool, no doubt, if you've heard my rants about the last pool) is a little unlike me. But, the house is fantastic.

This photo is from the house listing from the summer. I really love the landscaping in the front. I have two (or three?) Japanese maples. I've always wanted a Japanese maple, but I never wanted to spend the money to put one in. I'm so excited that I have them! I have azaleas that bloom in the spring and fall (I saw them in bloom this fall). I have camellias by the front door, and sweet olives on the front walk. I can dig that. My absolute favorite space, though, is the kitchen. I love, love, love cooking in here.

The kitchen and the living room are really the only two spaces that we have "finished" decorating. I say "finished" with quotes, because really, decorating is never DONE. I'm excited about sharing the rest of the house, but we still have work to do. I'm really excited about sharing the living room! More to come...