Before I get to explaining said phrase, let’s recap the wonderful holiday season:
Healthy Holidays - Bacon, Bourbon, and Garlic Bruschetta
Black Truffle Butter Turkey - OMG.
I DID attempt cutting down our tree... unlike some people I know.
Braised Lamb Shank - one of our faves.
Italian Cookie making day.
Cherry Bourbon Truffles - Rob couldn't get enough!
Finnish Cookies and Maple Pepper Glazed Pretzels - assorted holiday gifts
Mom with Turner and Sig... which puppy looks like the chunk-a-lunk?
Christmas Eve Tamales - shredded pork or green chili and cheese. Despite the needed fat to masa ratio, these were fluffy as clouds.
Christmas Dinner - Beef Wellington. We skyped my mom for the carving!
Mom's Asparagus and French Bread Strata - fantastic with my dad's Split Pea Soup
What I see in the kitchen every time I start cooking.
Happy 2012! Supposedly, according to Mayan Calendar beliefs, we are doomed for an end-times catastrophe this year, so huzzah! Let’s make the best of it!
Due to my lack of picture taking (except for when the camera is right next to me in the kitchen), I didn’t get any footage of the surprise Rob and my parents planned for my 30th birthday. After a quick hug and peck on the cheek from my parents, I was promptly blindfolded and then fugitive-like pushed into the back seat of their car. All occurring in the loading zone of John Wayne Airport (come to think of it, where was TSA?!).
After a short car ride, I was lead through a bit of a walk, all the while being told to “DUCK!” and “Don’t step in the puddle!” (to save the inference, I’ll tell you there was nothing to duck from, and absolutely no puddle, and lots of laughs from my Dad and Rob). After one giant – and invisible – “step up,” and a few muffled giggles, the blindfold was removed to reveal my friends from Irvine sitting in my favorite Mexican restaurant ready to toast my 30th. It was fantastic and I am so thankful to have such thoughtful and generous people in my life! Thank you for the celebration, family and friends!
During my visit back home, we climbed rocks on the beach, had a martini at the Yard House, shopped more than Rob would have preferred, held (and considered) a Remmington shotgun (20 gauge), ate ham (a rarity in my family, to both my Dad’s and Rob’s dismay), and down-right enjoyed ourselves. The trip back to Oregon was capped with an overnight trip in a swanky suite room in Portland, and a slight dreaded sense of that thing called “life” creeping back in a few days.
Then comes the OuchyWowWow. At this point, most of the students that have had me as a teacher are now saying this phrase, and maybe even extending its extreme expression: OuchyWowWow Muchamugonga. Years and years ago, when my sister was young, this became her phrase for any sort of cut, scrape, bump, or “booboo.” Personally, I think her phrase explains the angst of a stubbed toe much more than the usual strongly-and-specifically-chosen-adult word, and it fits here:
I cut my finger. Badly. Chopping cabbage for one of our favorite dishes: Apple and Bacon Braised Cabbage. The nail was almost completely gone, and I went so deep the nailbed was revealed (which is white, by the way. I originally thought I had cut to the bone, which sent me into shock. Shock is no fun. I digress). After Rob bandaged me up, made me drink some water and eat some food, we decided going to the emergency room was the responsible thing to do. After a soft-cast and a hard tetanus shot, I knew cooking (let alone showering with two hands) was not in the cards for a while.
Especially two days later when I had to remove the bandage. I told my mom about what happened through email, and she almost threw up. Rob was there helping me, and he did throw up. So I’ll refrain from details on this food blog and just say that I’ve never screamed in pain before… it was hands-down-unarguably OuchyWowWow Muchamugonga pain.
Thus, Rob had to cook. And get this – he didn’t make pasta, nor steak! Rob pulled out a great Southwest-style appetizer salad that was perfectly fresh and filling, ideal for the New Years Resolution I’ve already broken with ice cream. He described it as “learning how to fish,” as I taught him how to make salad dressing, which really gave this salad zip and zing. As he should be, he’s very proud of cooking for his wife, the cook. Props, hubby!
So in honor of my Irish husband stretching his comfort cooking roots and taking care of me, here’s his Southwestern Bean Salad with Chipotle Lime Dressing (hold the fingers).
Southwestern Bean Salad
- 1 head Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp grated pepper jack cheese
- roughly chopped cilantro, as garnish
Chipotle Lime Dressing
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- zest 1 lime
- juice 1/2 lime
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp raw agave
In a large salad bowl, mix the salad ingredients together (saving the cilantro garnish for the end).
In another bowl, mix all of the dressing ingredients together, season with s&p to taste.
When ready to serve, pour desired amount of dressing over salad, and garnish with cilantro.