Monday, March 28, 2011

Black Bean Bisque

It occurs to me that some people probably don't care about food blogging. I understand this. But it also occurs to me that I don't necessarily understand the purpose of blogging and if I think about it too much, I start thinking I should blog about how much I hate postmodernism or about literary theory or about the puppy I so dearly desire or a number of other potentially controversial or small-animal-related topics.

So I eventually decide I might as well be safe and just write about what I do. And I don't really do very many interesting things. But I do make food. A lot. And apparently start all my sentences with conjunctions.

This soup is one of my all-time favorites because it only uses a few ingredients, is a snap to make, and it tastes oh so good. It is originally based off of a black bean soup recipe I found a few years ago, but it has since been warped and adapted, probably for the worse. But it is what it is (that's my new go-to phrase in life).

Sharing is caring.

Black Bean Bisque:

2 cans black beans, drained
chicken broth
one lime
some cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano

Pour the beans into a blender:

Pour in some chicken broth. I usually pour in enough to cover the beans, but if you want a thicker soup, you can pour in less:

Add a handful of cilantro and the cumin and oregano:

(I think I also threw in a half cup of salsa in this picture. Sometimes I also add 1/2 an onion...or some olive oil...I'm clearly an inconsistent person). 

And the juice of one lime:

Then I usually just run the blender on the "chop" setting for a minute because I like the soup to be a bit thicker. If you want it thinner, you can just puree it to your desired consistency.

Pour the soup mixture in a pot and heat thoroughly:

If I have some corn tortillas around, I'll usually cut them into strips and fry them...or just do the easier thing and use tortilla chips. It just depends on how much I feel like exposing myself to hot oil.

And that's the end. Then I usually throw in some diced avocado, top the bowls with sour cream, the tortilla strips and sprinkle some dried dill on top.

Now I must go ponder anew the purpose of blogging and find myself a small animal that wants me to be its mother. Ciao.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Definition of a Hipster:

My sisters-in-law, Amanda and Rachel, came to visit this past weekend. It was wonderful to have guests and to make food for more than two people.

Rachel also brought her boyfriend. They live in New York. They are young. They are hip. They are educated. They have words like "advertising" and "film" in their job descriptions.


They are, what some might call, hipsters. Hipsters displaced in the South.

Before this weekend, I knew very little about hipsters except that they listen to Arcade Fire and shop at vintage clothing stores. When asked directly whether or not they considered themselves hipsters, Rachel and her bf wouldn't really give a clear answer. Apparently rule number one of being a hipster is that one never admits one is a hipster. While this seems problematic, their subsequent denial of being a hipster only cements their hipster status in my mind even more. I also deny being a hipster. But I don't think that makes me a hipster. Because, well, try as I may...I'm just not.

After spending a better part of the weekend observing these two in action, I think I have a better idea of what exactly a hipster is and does. Apart from looking urban-bohemian-chic and like they just walked off the set of a photo shoot, here are several other qualities I observed that seem to define hipsters:

Hipsters spend time in the back yard looking photogenic and talking about greater world issues:


Hipsters don't eat bacon. But they do eat creme brulee:



Hipsters are good at wearing trendy glasses:


Hipsters walk with their arms around each other and laugh about silly things:



Hipsters cross the street in style:



They wear matching shoes:


When you take a picture of them in public, they default to linking arms and giving camera-ready looks:


And essentially, hipsters look all together stylish, magazine worthy and effortlessly cool at all times:




Non-hipsters on the other hand, do a few things well too.

Like not look good in trendy glasses:


And not look photogenic:


And just stand regular-like in photos:


But they can still beat the hipsters in Trivial Pursuit.

We non-hipsters have got to have something to offer the world.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prom for twenty-six-year-olds

When was the last time you did this?

And by "this" I mean walked to the back of a department store until you saw the sign "Prom" in large sparkly letters and began rifling through yellow ballgowns and slutsville dresses looking for a formal gown to wear. For me, it's now been eight years. Eight long years since I had to worry about corsages and curfews.

But apparently the military wants you to relive prom. They think it's a valuable tradition to have a lot of formals and get dressed up and do all sorts of tasks that make people feel nervous, like greet important colonels, and make certain responses when people make toasts, and not accidentally clap after the national anthem is played because you're only used to hearing it at sporting events.

I found myself the victim of one such formal last weekend when Andrew forced me to go to a ball honoring his unit's return from Iraq. While I'm obviously very proud of my husband, going shopping for something to wear to this ball was low on the list of things I wanted to do. Not to mention that my super, and I mean super, smart husband somehow didn't think it was important to tell me this event existed until about six days before its arrival.

While I feel a bit ridiculous posting these pictures, the only reason I originally took them was to get a second opinion from Andrew. You see, he couldn't actually go with me to the stores because he has some type of illness associated with shopping. When Andrew enters any store that is not Home Depot, and by that I mean clothing, grocery or fun-related, his spine hunches over and he starts squinting his eyes a lot and becomes altogether quite caustic.

It's really not worth the pain...for either of us. So I was left the huge task of dress shopping alone. What resulted was this train wreck of fashion.

This one was sort of ugly and blurry:

This one was like wearing a giant wreath around your neck:

This one was a bit too "look at me -- I like the color blue!":

But thankfully, this one was just the right amount of "I blend into the background so hopefully no one will notice me or try to make awkward conversation":

And in the end, I survived the night. And by survived I mean I ate multiple pieces of cake and made several random comments about how when I feel awkward, I eat my feelings.

I also feel it necessary to add that Andrew is in no way going bald. The lighting got blown out in this photo. Andrew may have a disease associated with public places involving commercial exchange, but bald he is not.

Now I have to go print this picture and put it in my high school yearbook. Right next to the superlatives.

Andrew was voted "Most Likely to Find a Cure for Cancer." And I was voted "Most Accident Prone."

Only one of us currently operates heavy machinery and uses guns. The other is good at eating cake.

I think we're a good match.