Archives for posts with tag: beans

basil and green pepper seedlings I’m growing a little vegetable garden in front of my apartment. It’s a tiny little plot of earth that I hope will yield a little produce in the coming months. Even though the garden is only about 5’x5′ I’m trying to squeeze as much out of the little space as possible. I’ve planted tomatoes, squash, cucumber, green beans, green pepper, basil, and strawberries.

Today, I transplanted the green pepper, basil, and strawberries that I started from seeds into my garden. I felt like I was sending my kids to college. For the past 5-6 weeks they’ve been living safely in front of a window, indoors. But I today I sent them out into the big world full of snails and who knows what else that could wreak havoc on their tiny leaves. I’m being melodramatic but with such a tiny garden, it’s high stakes. Each plant counts!

This garden is a fun experiment. I don’t have a particularly green thumb and this is my first attempt at growing vegetables. I’m not one of those people that can kill a plant just by looking at it but I do tend to over water and make similar mistakes. When I was little, I tried to plant sunflowers every spring but none of them ever made it.  I would stand over them, in awe of germination and admire their little cotyledon leaves. Inevitably, I would end up petting the little fuzzy leaves. They were just so cute!  But I guess I didn’t pet very gently because I would always end up crushing them. My Mom thought this was hilarious and would have to explain to me through her giggles why my plants weren’t growing. When I told her recently I was planting a vegetable garden, the first thing she said was “Just try not to pet them to death.” vegetable from my gardenI’m trying not  to let my expectations get too high. I am a novice gardener after all, I’m sure there will be mistakes to learn from. But I’m already looking forward to caprese salad with fresh basil and tomatoes, sweet strawberries and cream, and delicious and refreshing cucumber salads. Does anyone have good gardening tips for beginners like myself?


I approach making soup in a similar way that I approach painting. I have a basic plan of what I want to make but most of the process is visceral. What I love about cooking is that it is a creative process. I add a dash of this or that and generally throw things in as I see fit. The result is tasty, but in the end I can never quite remember everything I did to make that particular soup.

Yesterday, I threw together a soup that was really simple and delicious. I managed to keep track of everything I put in, but these aren’t exact proportions.  When you’re cooking try to enjoy the creativity of it. Be willing to experiment, to mess up, and whip up something that is unique.

Here is a basic guideline, for a delicious black bean and chorizo soup. Add things to your taste and have fun.

  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1-2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground mexican chrorizo sausage
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

First boil the beans for an hour. Then drain the beans and add the chopped onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 2o minutes. Add the chopped carrots, peppers, and potato and let that simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Add the chorizo and let simmer for a final 20-30 min. While you stir the soup, smash some of the black beans to thicken the soup. While you’re at it go ahead and throw in the red pepper flakes. The spices in the meat season the soup quite nicely and I found I only needed to add a little salt and pepper.

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