One of the secretaries called in yesterday, so it was a busy work day – which I love.  I think back to my early career as a legal secretary, and probably 75% of my day was spent doing electronic dictation.  The attorneys would leave their Dictaphone tapes on my ledge all lined up.  They could be dictating pleadings, wills, real estate transactions, memos, etc.  Not one attorney knew how to type.  In fact, one attorney I worked for didn’t like email when we first got it, and would make me print out his emails, he would hand write the response and have me type the response for him.

Fast forward to 2013.  All the attorneys obviously can type, and with voice recognition software, the days of dictation are long gone.  So when I have a busy day at work, I am a happy camper. Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast was the cheddar cheese side of my Green Monster quiche – so good!  Tony still says it looks like ass, but he won’t taste it.  My boss LOVED it – and the fact that she can get 1/4 of the quiche for 4 points makes her very happy.

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So for my souper Friday at work, I decided I would make black bean soup with sausage over cilantro rice.  My inspiration came from Iowa Girl Eats.  My changes are in red.  I doubled the recipe for a group.

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin (I used 1 tablespoon cumin)
2 cans seasoned black beans, drained but not rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s Cuban-style beans) (I used 3 cans of seasoned black beans and one can of mild chili beans)
1-1/2 cups water (2 cups water)
1 cup chicken broth (4 cups chicken broth)
4-5 dashes green Tabasco sauce

I added 8 ounces of cooked smoked sausage
Toppers: sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro

For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1/2 lime
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, then saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly. Add chili powder and cumin then saute for 30 more seconds.
  2. Add drained beans, water, and chicken broth, bring soup to a boil, then lower heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes. Scoop 2 ladle-fulls of soup into a blender or food processor then blend until almost smooth. Alternatively use a hand-held immersion blender to process 1/3 of the beans in the soup pot. Add blended soup back into the pot then add hot sauce and stir to combine.
  3. For the Chipotle-Lime Rice: While soup is simmering, bring water, oil, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add rice, place a lid on top, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir to fluff then add lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  4. To serve, scoop cooked rice into bottom of bowls then top with hot soup. Top with sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream, etc.

I actually use my rice maker to make rice.  After the rice was done I tossed the cooked rice with the lime and cilantro and one small pat of butter. 

I had the rice separate from the soup that was heating up in the crock pot at work – my suggestion was to have them ladle the cilantro rice in the bottom of the bowl, nuke that for 30 seconds, then ladle the soup over the rice, then top with the cheese and cilantro.

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On the side I offered my toasted marble rye bread – promise that recipe is coming soon!  It was a huge hit.  While this soup is brothier (not a word?!) than Iowa Girl Eats, the rice soaked up some of the broth and everyone gave this a thumbs up.  I did have an array of hot sauces on the side for people who wanted to kick it up – several dashes of buffalo Tabasco was my hot sauce choice and a great one I might add!

Tony was on dinner duty last night – I am confident he offered to make dinner last night so that we couldn’t have party pizza Friday!  I bought a boneless ham on the discount rack the other night when I bought the pork.  This pork cost $3.99.  While it is fully cooked you do need to bake it – so Tony threw the ham and potatoes in the oven and cooked them both at 350 for one hour.

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The bottom got all caramelized – notice the bacon to the left!  Pork on pork!  The pork was really juicy and not too salty.

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I am going to have to have a couple green monsters this weekend to make up for the lack of veggies at dinner, but it was nice to come home and have dinner taken care of.  Thanks Tony!

Glad you all appreciated Tony’s love story yesterday about the Jack in the Box tacos.  You know what my fast food kryptonite is??

Long John Silvers!

Chicken planks to be more specific.  I would even ask for more of the crispy batter pieces to be added to my little box of goodness.  The chicken planks with hush puppies was a twice a week purchase back in the day.

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I am happy (and sad!) that the closest LJS is more than 30 miles away, and while I do love them, with the price of gas today, it’s not worth the road trip. Open-mouthed smile

Question of the Day:  If you could have any fast food dish, not worrying about nutrition, what would it be?

I have to say that while I love McDonald’s quarter pounder, I only eat it when I haven’t had any “movement” for a while.  I literally need to find a toilet within a half hour after eating one!  You’re welcome for the visual on that one. Smile with tongue out

Tony and I are going to run a couple errands.  We are supposed to go out to dinner with our neighbors tomorrow night, but I just got an alert on my phone that we may be having an ice storm tomorrow, so we’ll see!

Have a great weekend!