Saturday, December 31, 2011

lucky legumes

Have you prepared your black eyed peas yet?
From grand gala gourmet dinners to small casual gatherings with friends and family, these flavorful legumes are traditionally, according to Southern folklore, the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates. (credit)

I couldn't find a black eyed peas recipe that I really liked, so I combined several. The result was a ridiculously easy to make and super tasty concoction.

Come on, peas ... bring me some luck & prosperity!

NYE Black Eyed Peas with Jalapeños, Onions, & Salt Pork
(catchy name, huh?)

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 jalapeño peppers, diced
12 oz. salt pork (I used Hormel), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or whatever size works for you)
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb bag black eyed peas
cilantro & lime for garnishing

Cook a 1-lb bag of black eyed peas according to package instructions.

While the peas are cooking in a separate pot, heat oil in a medium skillet on high heat. Place the jalapeños, onion, and garlic in the skillet, stirring to coat with oil. Allow to cook, turning occasionally, until softened.

Stir in the pork and cook until lightly browned.

Add the cooked black eyed peas.

Season with salt, to taste (you may not need any, since the pork is so salty). Serve with fresh cilantro and a really good squeeze of lime juice (the more, the better).

Friday, December 30, 2011

:: nye preparations ::

HA! That post title implies that I have super grand New Years Eve plans, doesn't it? I so don't.

I'm going to be home at midnight on December 31. In my house. Relaxing. I won't have a funky, Middle Eastern strain of flu (see NYE 2010). And I won't be frantically spending the day trying to find the perfect outfit for a party I don't want to attend (all, good things).

So today I opened a bottle of bubbly for the purpose of taking an early NYE "festivities" test drive (pretend, for a moment, that I don't sip sparkling wine frequently).

It was the right thing to do.

In the process, I pulled out my camera, as I regularly do ... and it struck me that, to some, I may come across as her--that nutty woman who photographs her cat, as if he's her child. Fuck. I swear I'm not that person. It was simply a poignant moment in which Jaxson (feline) appeared to be as interested in my wine as was I (my baby loves to dunk his paw into my glass).

So I snapped his photo.

I'm not that person.

It's going to be a good year. I can feel it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

glittery & sparkly

I just can't get enough ....

I Love the Nightlife

Shake Your Groove Thing

Stairway to Heaven

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Across the Universe

Happy Birthday

Ruby Red Slippers

Some Enchanted Evening

Today was a Fairytale

Razzle Dazzle

Lady Sings the Blues

Boom Boom Pow

Marquee Moon

Bad Romance

Sunday, December 25, 2011

covered bridges on christmas eve

Drove into the mountains of New Hampshire yesterday & spied some festive covered bridges.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

exeter christmas countryside, redux

Just a few more images captured digitally while driving through Exeter, NH yesterday.

It really is a lovely (old) little town.

By the way ... tonight's forecast:

Freakin' cold, Tex. I didn't realize I was as delicate (aka pathetically whiny in cold temperatures) as I am.

Thank you, cave man, for your discovery of fire.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas images from exeter

I'm in New Hampshire for Christmas, visiting my sister and her family. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been away from home (Texas) for Christmas, so this is a new experience for me; but I'm certainly looking forward to a week of soaking up the holiday.

The forecast calls for some potentially nasty weather over the next several days, so I wanted to get out today with my camera and snap some photos while I could!

I wasn't as shutterbug productive as I'd hoped to be (I blame the wine & mussels detour). But I did manage to capture some beauty in Exeter, NH. Most of these were taken at Phillips Church located on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy. The wreath-adorned door, in particular, spoke to me.

Merry Christmas.