Reading and Cooking

Thank you so, so much for Friday. I’m doing okay and learned quite a bit in the comments. I’m so glad I hit “publish.” Thank you.

Since then, I’ve been reading and cooking up a storm, proving definitively that I am a stress reader/cooker. I’ve read at least 5 books and 3 cookbooks since last Monday, and while none of the books have stood out, a few of my kitchen adventures made it to Instagram. If it didn’t happen on Instagram, it didn’t happen in real life. Humble-braggers, unite!

The Rice Krispie treats didn’t make the cut. The boys had homemade treats for the first time on Friday. They’ve had Rice Krispie treats from the store, of course. They have grandmas. I don’t like Rice Krispie treats past the first bite, so I never make them. That changed on Friday, and when I bit into that marshamallow-still-warm square I moaned and said to the Mister, “It tastes like the 80s!”

Then I had a second bite and was like, “meh.” They’re too sweet. The boys were far more complimentary. I think. “Oh, mom,” Mikey said. “These taste just like from the store.”

Food collage

Here’s what I what I made that I showed off on social media while pretending I wasn’t showing off and looking for the right light: Veggie tacos and Strawberry Jam & Butter cookies. Neither recipe is my own.

The veggie tacos are Annie’s mom’s black bean burger recipe, which she shared here in the comments.

Sauté together 1 cup diced onions and 1 cup diced mild peppers. Place into a food processor. To the food processor bowl, add 2 cups cooked black beans (drained), 4 eggs, less than or equal to 2 cups rolled oats, some hot pepper paste (my mom makes her own, so substitute something you know is safe) if you like spicy foods, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (this could be omitted too). Blend together in the food processor until puréed, adding oats as necessary to firm them up.

Form into patties and cook in a few tablespoons of oil. Cook them covered in a cast iron pan or other heavy skillet. (My mom uses a 1/4 cup measure to drop them and spread them out into patties.) I would imagine these could be made ahead and then frozen, although they never last that long around here.

I made the burgers on Saturday, subbing cooked riced for some of the oats because I had leftovers I wanted to use up. Everyone, even Mikey, loved them. Thanks, Annie!

I made the tacos out of the leftovers, again because I hate wasting food. I took the leftover burgers and sliced them into strips that resembled fajitas. I reheated and crisped them up in olive oil. Then I slid the strips onto a corn tortilla and layered them with spinach, radishes, avocado, cheese, and hot sauce–what I had on hand. Mikey absolutely flipped for these things. They were really, really good. (Seriously, thanks, Annie!)

The cookies are the Strawberry Jam and Butter cookies from the back of the Bob’s Red Mill flour bag. I was at the store buying the ingredients for the black bean burgers, saw the recipe (don’t ask, not sure why I was in the flour section) and decided they sounded good. You can find that recipe here, on the Bob’s Red Mill site. I love the recipe because, at least until next week, I’m cooking at high altitude. I adjusted the recipe on my own and didn’t have any major problems–and they were a huge hit!

I also made a pie pastry to make a Spanish savory pie, but by dinner time I was over it. Frozen pizza saves the day! I used Against the Grain cheese pizza because it was the only frozen pizza I could find that was made in a dedicated nut-free facility. I wasn’t expecting much, but it tasted pretty good. The boys loved it, so that made me happy.

Other things that make me happy: writing what I could never say out loud, helpful comments, prayers and positive wishes, packing up to go home, and a happy and healthy family.

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