Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Hey, this is my first post of 2009! Party! First off, I'll tell you about my New Year's Eve. My mom and I just stayed in, watched movies, and vegged until midnight! It was great!
We sipped on Silk nog of choice! It totally beats the Rice Dream version, both in creaminess and taste, and is even more perfect topped with a little sprinkle of nutmeg! Mom got a new popcorn air-popper for Christmas, so she brought it down when she came to visit me! She even brought some organic popping corn...score! We snacked on some nooch-y organic popcorn and drank Kombucha to celebrate. Kombucha is my version of champagne, I guess!
Then, to start the New Year's Day off right, we went out for an amazing breakfast at Cafe Berlin! It is by far the best breakfast in Columbia. We got their Apples and "Sausage" (tempeh), which is served with roasted potatoes and toast! So good! We even got some homemade sweet potato butter for the local wheat toast. Could it be any better?Now onto the essential New Year's meal: Black Eyed Peas! For our awesome Southern meal, I made my Hoppin' John and served it with the Southern-Style Cornbread from the Angelica Kitchen Cookbook (but I made it with blue cornmeal!) and sauteed dandelion greens. We will be lucky in 2009 for sure! Hoppin' John (serves 4-6)
1 lb dried black-eyed peas
2 qts water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 Tbs tomato paste or ketchup
1 Tbs soy sauce or Bragg's
1 Tbs paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
First, prepare the black-eyed peas: In the morning, combine the black-eyed peas, water, and bay leaves in a crock pot and turn on high. Let cook all day, about 6 to 8 hours. Drain the cooked peas, then return to the crock pot. Turn to low and prepare the vegetable mix.
Then, prepare the veggie mix: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add in the onion, peppers, and celery. Saute for 5-6 minutes, until the onion becomes mostly translucent. Add the jalapeno and garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Pour in the soy sauce and tomato paste and let simmer for 2 minutes. Turn to low and add in the spices. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture and lemon juice to the cooked black-eyed peas in the crock pot. Allow to cook for 10 minutes together, remove the bay leaves and serve!
I recommend dousing this in plenty of hot sauce and serving with cornbread and greeeeeens!

And now for something completely different! I had to share this new delicious gift I got: Maui Banana Butter!!! My dad and step-mom went to Hawaii last month and brought me back some banana butter from Maui. It is so great! Think apple butter, but with a tropical and super-sweet twist. It is perfect on a sandwich with the Cashew and Macadamia Nut Butter I got at Trader Joe's! Now I think I need to make my own sometime!
Have an awesome 2009 everybody!


Anardana said...

Ooo that banana butter looks very interesting! Cool gift.

Lovliebutterfly said...

Banana butter! I would love that! Me being considerably limited on spreads because of nut allergy, this banana butter sounds great!