Now, I don't know if I'll ever be a mom, but I am getting a lot of practice being the best aunt (blood related and otherwise). :)
Yesterday, I had a lovely lunch with my friend Diana who, even with an almost four month old in tow provided a very gourmet lunch of seafood terrine and cold cucumber soup. Where does she find the time? I think she might secretly have a clone.... I provided a loaf of french bread made earlier that day. We also had delicious homemade crunchy almond cookies whipped up by my friend, baker and artist, Nicole. Didn't get a picture because we ate them too fast but they were scrumptious!
Today was another day of pampering those whom I adore and it started with providing much needed banana chocolate chip muffins to my very cute, pregnant friend Mandy who, in addition to becoming a good comrade, is also my personal chef guru. We had a great chat and delicious tea and muffins and discussed, what else? BABIES! She is a glowing 5+ months along and I even got to see little boy Unruh kick (or punch) a few times in my visit...no doubt a reaction to the muffins: "more, mommy, more!"
After that visit I headed over to my sister and brother in law's to try out a new recipe that I got from Vegetarian Times. Don't get excited meat lovers, I am not going veg, but I did subscribe to get some more ideas for my non meat dinners and also for future vegetarian/vegan clients.
I decided to make Poblano White Chili and corn bread. Both came out really great!
Poblano White Chili
from Oct 2010 Vegetarian Times magazine
3 c cooked white beans or 2 15 oz cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 recipe Rajas (see below)
2 c low sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 c chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
1 T lime juice
1/4 c low fat milk
3 oz goat cheese
1/4 roasted pumpkin seeds
Roast and peel six poblano or Anaheim peppers, slice into 1/4 in strips and set aside. Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 large onion, sliced thin and two cloves of garlic, minced and cook 6-9 minutes or until onion is soft and golden brown. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and poblano strips and cook 3 or 4 minutes more or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1. Bring beans, Rajas, broth, oregano and cumin to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper if desired, Cook 2 minutes more.
2. Warm milk in a separate saucepan. Add goat cheese and stir until smooth. Serve chili with goat cheese sauce, pumpkin seeds and cilantro.
For the most part I followed this recipe pretty closely. To save time you could prepare the Rajas and refrigerate ahead of time. You can also roast the pumpkin seeds earlier. I used sliced almonds since that was something I already had in the house and I knew the flavor and crunch would work well. When using store bought Vegetable broth (or chicken, or beef) do look at the nutritional information. These products are notorious for having a LOT of sodium. I picked a brand that had 330 mg per one cup servings... some of the ones I picked up, including popular brands had almost 1000 mg of sodium! That's way too much.
This dish was great and the corn bread had a sweet/hot taste that really tasted great with the chili. The chili could easily be made into a meat-based dish by adding sauteed sausage, ground chicken or turkey.
What is your favorite way to pamper a loved one? Comfort foods? Chocolate? Feel free to share here!
Chow for now! :)