Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where did the day go?

It amazes me how the day can just completely get away from you without even realizing. The weekends tend to occur in a blur, mainly because we don't usually plan things during the week (or at least try not to) so we have 2 days to get it all in with friends, family, errands, and other things we need to catch up on.

Sundays are usually my catch up days. I use the intended "rest" day to catch up on cleaning, grocery shopping, meal planning, food prep, miscellaneous errand running, and generally preparing for the week ahead, so needless to say, my Sundays feel like a race to make sure I can get it all in before the weekend is over.

Today was one of those Sundays. After breakfast, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking....I looked at the clock and was shocked that it was already 6:00pm! Seriously, where did the day go? Tonight was a girls night with my good friend Jen and since Toly was out of the house and her husband offered to babysit, we were treated to a solid evening of relaxing, girl-talk, and of course wonderful "jen&lauren" type food.

Jen and I both share an almost identical taste pallet and have a common liking in different or as our husbands would say "weird" foods. We use these girl nights as an opportunity to cook for each other things that we could never get away with in the normal routine...and WE LOVE IT!

I was on dinner duty tonight and thought long and hard about this one. There were so many new recipes that I've been wanting to try so it was difficult to narrow it down but here is what the final decisions amounted to....

Sweet Potato/Black Bean cakes
(Before Cooking)

(After cooking)

Mango/Avocado/Black Bean salsa

Roasted Asparagus Soup

It's hard for me to post an actual recipe because generally when I cook, I use a base idea from a recipe that I see and always tweak it by adding or eliminating things for my own preference. Everything I made tonight was very easy but I will give you an idea of the process.
For the cakes:
  • 1 c. peeled/cubed sweet potatoes (cooked)
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/c c oats
Place all ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. The texture is pretty gooey, so I threw it in the fridge for a few hours to let it solidify a little. I then shaped into 4 patties and heated a non-stick pan on the stove. Place 2 cakes in the pan (coated with cooking spray) and cook for 4-5 min on one side, flip, and place the pan in the oven (350*) for around 10-15 min to finish cooking.
They are definitely a knife and fork burger and go well with a small dollop of sour cream.
For the Soup:
  • 1 small onion
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • salt/pepper
  • roasted asparagus (about 2 cups worth)
  • 3 c chicken broth
Saute the onion and garlic until tender. Add spices and cook for an addition minute. Add asparagus and broth and bring to a steady simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 10 min and place into a food processor. Process until smooth.
I topped the bowls with homemade croutons and sun-dried tomatoes. This soup is so simple but full of flavor. It's one of my favorites!
It was a lovely night and a great way to end my busy day. Tomorrow we have off, thank goodness! Looking back, I'm not really sure why it was so necessary for me to cram it all in today when I have the day off tomorrow as well...oh well, I guess that means I will have more time to rest. What a great way to go into the work week.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


  1. Thanks for a great recipe! Instead of oats, I just threw a piece of whole wheat bread into the food processor - the mixture was very workable and formed into patties beautifully.

    They're cooking now :)