Hisa and I went swimming this morning, but it was not the most pleasant swim. Actually, it wasn’t pleasant at all, because the water was freezing.
The only reason I’m able to get up at the crack of dawn and go lap swimming when I’m barely awake, is because the water is always nice and warm. It’s almost like sliding into a really big bathtub (and then swimming laps in it).
When I got in the pool this morning, however, the water was freezing.
I really hate the cold, and I hate being cold, so you can imagine that getting into a pool with very cold water in February at the crack of dawn when I’m sleepy and barely awake is not very high on my list of things I want to do. It’s not anywhere on my list of things I want to do. In fact, it’s on my list of things that cause me pain and suffering. Like the dark side of the force. Boo hiss.
Since we’d already bothered with getting up and getting there, however, rather than wimp out and leave early, I was determined to finish my swim. And I did! Yay me. I basically swam as fast as I could to try and warm up and get it over with as soon as possible.
Right before we left, I asked the people working why the pool was so cold. They said that when they got to the pool this morning, the pool was flooded, a hose was broken and spraying water everywhere, and the boilers were out. By the time we got there, the flooding and spraying hose were under control, but they just got the boilers fixed as we were leaving. I would say the pool employees had a pretty rough morning too.
I’m just happy the boilers are fixed now though! I really hope the water is never that cold again!
Mexican Paradise Pie is a Mexican casserole that’s a wonderful one pot dinner, hearty, and just happens to be vegetarian. My whole family loved it. Even the meat eaters!
I love one pot dinners, because it just makes everything so much easier. They’re quicker to make, easier to serve, and there’s less dishes to wash when your done. Love it.
Pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C). In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add one diced onion, one diced green bell pepper, and 3 cloves minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until onion and pepper are tender.
Add 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. cumin powder, and 1 tsp. coriander powder. Saute for another minutes.
Add 1 (14 oz.) can each of drained and rinsed black beans and kidney beans, one can of original Rotel (undrained), and 1/2 cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour everything into a greased or sprayed deep casserole dish.
Next, make your cornbread topping. In a large bowl, add 1 c. unbleached flour, 1 c. cornmeal, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 c. sucanat, rapadura, or sugar. Mix well. In a separate bowl, add 1 1/2 c. buttermilk, 1 large egg, and 1/4 c. melted butter or oil. Mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and stir until mixture comes together. Add 1/2 c. cheese and mix.
Pour the cornbread mixture gently on top of the bean mixture, and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown. If you want, add some more shredded cheese on top in the last 5 minutes of baking.
Serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream.
Mexican Paradise Pie
(serves 6 – 7)
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. dried coriander
- 1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can original Rotel (undrained)
- 1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. cornmeal
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. sucanat, rapadura, or sugar
- 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 c. melted butter or oil
- 1/2 c. shredded cheese, plus more for topping
- fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C).
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, or until onion and pepper are tender.
- Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, and coriander. Saute for another minute.
- Add black beans, kidney beans, Rotel, and broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour mixture into a greased deep casserole dish.
- In a large bowl, add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Mix well.
- In a smaller bowl, add buttermilk, egg, and oil. Mix well.
- Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture, and stir until comes together. Add cheese and mix well.
- Carefully pour cornbread batter on top of the bean mixture in the casserole dish. Spread around evenly with a spatula.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until cornbread topping is golden brown. Add extra cheese as topping during last 5 minutes of baking (optional).
- Serve with fresh cilantro leaves and sour cream (optional).