19 November, 2006

Adzuki Bean Chilli

Since I'm a de facto "stay-at-home mom" I though I'd share my most recent culinary triumph, vegetarian adzuki bean chilli. I bought some adzuki beans on the spur of the moment last week and this was the result. It kicks ass.

Adzuki Bean Chilli
250g adzuki beans
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic
4 medium carrots, diced*
1 large red bell pepper, diced*
1 cup basmati rice
1 large tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric*
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sweet paprika*
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander*
1 tsp tabasco (or a much as you like, I like a lot)
* Optional. Add it if you have it, but it will still turn out great if you don't.

1. Prepare the beans
Soak the adzuki beans in warm water for at least 4 hours (or you can put them in water in the fridge over night). Change the water and boil them in 5 cups of fresh water for 40 minutes. Add 2 tsp of salt and boil for another 10-15 minutes until soft. Drain.

2. Prepare the rice
Wash the rice well in a few changes of water. Add a little over 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. Leave to soak for 10 minutes. Cover and bring to boil. Simmer on a low flame for 5 minutes (don't lift the lid!) and then turn off heat and leave, covered for another 10 minutes.

3. Make the chilli
Heat oil. Add the spices, stir, and add the onions, carrots and red pepper. Add the prepared adzuki beans. Add the tin of tomatoes and the same quantity of water. Stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add tabasco and stir. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add rice and stir well. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and take off heat. Leave covered to allow the rice to soak up the sauce. Serve.

Now tell me how you'll never bother with a meat chilli again. I won't!

04 November, 2006

Day Tripping

On Friday we had our first real family day out. Hubby, myself, baby and a good few tons of baby equipment. I never understood why such small babies need so much stuff. Now I realise they don't - we do. Babies would generally be quite happy to stay home until they could get up and start exploring by themselves. The massive amount of fuss, packing and arguing is the price we pay for insisting on taking them 'out'.

It took three trips from the house to the car to load everything. Here's a run-down of the packing list:

- Child safety seat: A must-have if you're driving baby anywhere. This takes up half of the back seat.

- Pram*: To wheel baby and the rest of the baby equipment around the park we planned to visit. This takes up pretty-much the whole boot*.

- Folding playpen: For baby to play in while we visit with her grandparents. Since I'm in the back with baby, this takes up the front passenger seat.

- Various bags containing: Clean clothes (in case she poos, pees, pukes or all three over what she is wearing at the moment), clean bottles, formula, the ubiquitous breast pump, lots of cloth nappies* for baby to lie on, spit up on or be shaded by while in her pram etc., disposable nappies, nappy cream, cotton wool, a thermos with warm boiled water for making up formula 'on the go', a couple of blankets and a bag of baby's favourite toys.

Was it worth it? Well, yes. The weather was glorious, the park was beautiful and baby's grandparents were thrilled to see her. Baby seemed to enjoy the fresh air and her Daddy & I enjoyed some quality time with each other. I just wonder if we'll get around to unpacking all the bags before our next trip..

* For any Americans readers: pram = stroller, boot = trunk, nappy / nappies = diaper / diapers

01 November, 2006

Not Tonight, Josephine

I have a headache. Really. That and sore boobs. Nothing like half an hour of breast pump drone to get you in the mood. That and finding a snoring hubby when you're done.

I'm beginning to suspect that my little bundle of joy will be an only child.