Friday, October 22, 2010

Weight Watchers...Friday?!? (Kinda)

This is a bit of a cop out post because I am in a mad rush today to get everything done that needs to be done. Therefore I can't promise that I'll be that funny/entertaining. I have that interview today, I have to bake and decorate cupcakes to take to Gabby's cheerleading party/sleepover tonight (they are in the oven as we speak!), I have to take the kids to get Halloween costumes, and somewhere in there I have to do all my normal stuff--get dressed, feed Alice, get her to my mother-in-law's, do some laundry, clean out the dishwasher and not drive off the side of the mountain in the process.

But...but. I have these two great recipes to share with you. That is about all I have to share with you as far as WW Friday goes, because my scale is out of batteries, and everyone has been in such a mad rush around here that no one has gotten around to buying and changing the battery in the thing. It is funny--I got on it on Wednesday morning and it said "E" and then clicked off. And I'm going "E for Excellent Weight Loss, Morgan? or E for Exactly Too Many Brownies, Fat Girl?" I've tried coming up on it unawares and pouncing on it, but all I get is E. So, you know. I have to get around to that.

But yesterday, around having my last day at work and having a sick child and going to parent/teacher night at school, I made two very awesome things. The first is this black bean and sweet potato chili. This stuff is freaking delicious. And totally vegetarian too. I have been trying to cut back on our meat consumption around here, and I tried this recipe on a whim. And it did not disappoint. Let me tell you how good it was. When my husband was touring graduate schools, he went to look at Columbia so we decided to take our kids to NYC on Columbia's dime. Yeah, yeah, I know. Anyway, we researched restaurants to take them to for about a month before time to go, and we found this restaurant in Times Square that is supposed to have the best chili ever (I could totally google this right now and link it, but I'm much, much too lazy and frazzled at this moment. Plus, I'm eating cupcake batter out of the bowl, and don't want to get it on my mouse.) We found the restaurant and went in, and yes, the chili was delicious. I got some spicy black bean thing. Well, this chili that I made last night bends that NYC chili over its lap, spanks it, and makes it call it "Mama." I had it with the feta and cilantro on top and holy crap. Spicy, but not overwhelming heat with a full flavor and great full-mouth feel. Plus, Alice ate a DISTURBING amount of it, mostly because she, like her father, seems to have a torrid love affair going with the sweet potato. I pulled out chunks of potato for her to eat off of her high chair, and then spoon fed the beans and tomatoes and corn. She kept making yummy noises and would close her eyes and throw her head back after each bite of potato, which was insanely cute. Future foodie, that one. Just watch.

And if you try it, know that I didn't cook it the full 1 hour and 30 minutes. Probably more like half that. I'm sure it would be even better if you let it go that long, but I just started it, went to get Gabby at dance, came home and tested a sweet potato, saw that it was fine, and ladled it up.

I also fixed these. My son had come home early from school because of a sore throat, and I just felt like he needed a little treat. And since he is as obsessed with pumpkin as his old mom, I thought, "Pumpkin cinnamon buns? Would that make my throat feel better? Yes please. For the child, of course." So I came home, and made up the dough. Now, if you are not a baker, this will not make any sense to you, and you might think me completely odd for saying this, but this dough was sexy. Perfect soft texture, not flour-y or wet or gross or anything. Just perfect. Kneadable. And amazing. And this is something very rare for a low-fat/lightened baked good. In my experience, usually those are a bit more flour-y and shaggy than a full-fat dough. This had all of the silkiness of something full-fat, but in a lightened package. I left it to rise and then went to parent/teacher conferences. When I came home, it had risen beautifully, and was so, so easy to roll and deal with. I would definitely characterize this as a quick and easy recipe because things just came together with an ease that was a-ma-zing. And the taste? Absolutely delicious. It wasn't even pumpkin-y in a "Great. Mom's cooking with pumpkin AGAIN." (Remind me to tell you about the pumpkin cream pasta I made earlier this week.) It was slightly flavored so that you bit into it and didn't immediately think PUMPKIN, but rather Fall. Or warmth. Or coziness. Just a perfect baked good. Everyone in the family liked these too. In fact, Matt may have attacked me with hugs and kisses while I was innocently watching the Phillies and Giants (and developing a deep disgust with both Tim Lincecum and his hair) to show his appreciation for them.

So that's all I got. This weekend, I'll be adding a new feature to the ole blog in the form of a Sunday Meal Planning Post. I'm hoping to post my meal plan for the week, as I need to get better at that since I start my new job this week. I am also hoping that others will chime in and post what they are doing for dinner this week (even if it is "I am going to Taco Bell every night this week to eat XXL Chalupas in hopes of seeing Mariano Rivera") because I would love to get new ideas. Community, folks. That's what it's all about.

Anyway, have a great weekend!

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