Tuesday, December 14, 2010

creature comforts

In case I've failed to mention it so far today, it is SO COLD in Philadelphia.  We're headed into our second major cold snap - as in, today was the warmest weather we'll see this week and after only five minutes outside my face was in pain from the cold.  Add to all the freezing-to-death the fact that another chaotic and stressful week has only just begun at work and I'm already exhausted and you can probably imagine I was in a "let's be comfy and eat ourselves into hibernation" mood tonight.

While I prepared our Cajun Rice and Beans from The Accidental Vegan, Mister and I discussed how ravenous we've both been lately and how it can only be attributed to our bodies' natural survival instincts trying to fatten us up for the winter.

Mister and I have some odd conversations, but him blowing my mind with existential philosophy while we ate water ice beside a small stream in Manayunk one Spring day was one of the things that won my heart to him.  The fact that he's the handsomest man I've had the pleasure to call mine doesn't hurt.

Anyway, after all the cold, you would think I would have made the thick, hearty potato chowder...and I almost did.  But then I remembered looking at the weather forecast this morning and seeing that the warmest it will be tomorrow is 27 degrees, I figured the soup dinner is probably better suited to tomorrow.  Besides, along with the bone-chilling cold I brought home from the train station, I couldn't shake my desire to make my favorite rice-n-beans recipe.

I used a yellow pepper instead of green and pink beans instead of red.  I did this because there were two green peppers at the store and one was gross and because I couldn't find small red beans.  A happy side effect was how different it looked from the last time I made it - I figure, if I'm going to repeat a dish this frequently, I should at least make an effort to have it look different.

To proceed with our eating-our-way-into-hibernation trend, I couldn't escape the desire for dessert.  Alas, there was no chocolate hiding in my cupboards and I finished the last Sweetzels a couple of weeks ago.  No sweet treats were anywhere...until I pulled my long-patient can of pumpkin puree from the cupboard and grabbed VCTOTW from my cookbook shelf.

I made the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cupcakes before and I neglected to add the cinnamon piping then as well.  Does it enhance their deliciousness?  Possibly - someday I'll find out.  Are they still amazing without it?  Absolutely!  I think it's time for another...

One final note, in case I forget by tomorrow night: when I had carefully scooped one cup of pumpkin out of the 15 oz can, there was still some squishy bright orange glop still in there (I'm sure you can imagine).  I want to have pumpkin oatmeal tomorrow, but I knew I would be super sad in the morning if I just stirred in the leftover pumpkin without enhancing it in some way...it doesn't taste like much on its own.  I transferred what was left from the can into a small tupperware container, then sprinkled on some cinnamon and probably about a heaping Tbsp of brown sugar, poured on a dash of vanilla extract and whisked it all together.  Hopefully, it will make for a fun, bright orange breakfast!

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