Category Archives: ravings

A match made in heaven

No, I’m not talking about Russ and me. (Quick grammar lesson: It’s “Russ and me” because “me” works without the “Russ and”.  You wouldn’t say “about I”. Got it? Good!) Although that would be true too. (All together now, awwwwwww!) I’m talking about black beans and sweet potatoes. Mmmm. Hmmmm!

I’ve made black bean and sweet potato chili and black bean and sweet potato enchiladas . So the jump to a southwestern calzone filled with sweet potatoes and black beans wasn’t that far.

By the way, have I mentioned that I’ve given up sugar and alcohol for Lent? It’s making me a little crazy. Just letting you know that as a warning. The Communion assistants at church keep their eyes on me now. They don’t like me taking that extra long drink from the common cup. I also spend lots of time perusing recipes for sweet baked goods. And I keep opening the pantry just to gaze at the box of Samoas sitting there on the shelf. Food porn! (I just mentioned Communion and porn in the same paragraph. I am doomed. Step back from the screen in case the lightning should travel through the interwebs!) I’ve been joking that Easter breakfast is going to be Samoas, jelly beans and bourbon. Only lately, it’s been less about joking and more about planning out how to make that actually happen…

Anywho. Sorry. Awkward.

When I took the calzone dough out of the freezer this afternoon, I wasn’t all that excited about plain old pizza calzones for dinner. Then I had a revelation! Why not make a southwestern calzone with sweet potatoes and black beans as the filling? Why not indeed!

The calzone dough is Mark Bittman’s pizza dough recipe. Such a great and easy recipe. I’ve made it multiple times and it turns out great every time. Sometimes I make it with the cornmeal and sometimes I make it with whole wheat flour and sometimes it’s all white flour. I really like the crunch of the cornmeal. Today’s dough was an all white flour batch. (mostly because I forgot to substitute cornmeal for part of the flour. Lack of sugar in my bloodstream makes me forgetful.)

The calzones just sitting there waiting for their turn in the oven.

And here is my calzone just sitting there waiting to get in my belly!

The recipe is not a real recipe, more just a mishmash of what I had here. Next time, I will make sure to have cilantro on hand and maybe a nice roasted poblano. I didn’t have either, so this is the bare bones recipe. But not half bad, if I say so myself!

Here ’tis:
One recipe of Bittman’s pizza dough, cut into four pieces after it has finished rising
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
half an onion
cumin, few shakes
chipotle chili powder, about 2 teaspoons
pinch of cinnamon (secret ingredient!)
salsa (I used some Frontera salsa. I love it!)
oil to saute the onions
shredded cheese (I used cheddar jack)
Preheat oven to 350.

Microwave the sweet potatoes. Let cool a bit and mash with a fork; set aside. Heat oil in a skillet, add the onion and season with a bit of salt. When the onions begin to soften, add the cumin, cinnamon and chili powder. Let them bloom in the oil. Add the black beans and let them cook in the spices for a bit. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, stir to mix. I added a touch of chicken broth here to help make the mixing easier. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings.  I had to add a bit more cumin and some salt. Set aside.

Roll out one of the balls of dough into a big oval-y shape and add the black bean/sweet potato mixture to desired fullness on one side of the dough; make sure to leave room at the edges to close the calzone. Top with salsa, if you like, and cheese. Fold dough over itself and add a bit of water to the edge of the dough. Seal the calzone by folding the edge over on itself, pinch together.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
Serve with extra salsa and sour cream, plain greek yogurt or crema.

The filling made more than enough for 2 calzones. I plan to eat the rest for lunch tomorrow! It would easily fill all 4 calzones.

Hope you enjoy!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear the Samoas calling my name. I’m just going to go do some heavy petting with them. Nothing below the boxtop.


Filed under food, ravings, Recipes, Sam and Russ and Ike

An explanation (or good lard, woman, you are OUT there!)

So, I got a tattoo yesterday. No biggie.
And bear with me as I talk about it. I promise not to keep going on and on. People with new tattoos are like people with new babies; their tattoos are the bestest tattoos that have ever graced any human body just like a new parent will assure you that his or her infant is the most perfect human ever to walk the planet. Although there are those folks who would prefer that no one know they got one. Got a tattoo that is. It’s hard to conceal a baby…
I have a picture. See? It is so purdy. My mirror needs to be wiped, but you all will not judge me for that, will you?

Yep, I love it!

So, here is why I got what I did where I did. I will tell it once, and then you won’t hear me speak of it again, mmmkay?


This is one of the West African symbols known as adinkra. In the country of Ghana they can be found on cloth and walls, in pottery and logos. This particular symbol is for Mother Earth. I picked it for so many reasons, it might be easier to make a list, in no particular order, just things this symbol means to me. Fasten your seatbelts, kids, it’s about to get all spiritual and hippie-esque up in here.

  • It is the symbol of Mother Earth-In yoga, we are reminded to ground ourselves into the Earth, to feel the Earth supporting us. Feel the steadiness and steadfastness of the Earth below. This symbol reminds me that the Earth was created, with all of its beauty, for me. It reminds me that when things get crazy, I can rest assured knowing that the Creator is there supporting me and when I ground myself in the love and energy of the Creator, I can do anything.
  • It is the symbol of a woman’s body. With all of its beautiful round curves. It reminds me to cherish this beautiful body I’ve been given (I’m not talking beautiful in the mainstream sense. But it is beautiful because I have been perfectly and wonderfully made.). The woman’s body I have with hips and thighs and other round, soft parts. Ahem. I was made this way. My body is meant to be curvy. When I start to complain about my body, I will look at my tattoo and remember that women’s bodies are meant to be softer and curvier. Women should be owning the beauty that comes from being exactly what the Creator has made us to be. Our bodies are made this way to bring new life into the world. Our bodies are beautiful because through them we experience the beauty all around us.
  • It is two hearts joined together. It is the Earth made from Love. It reminds me that the reason I’ve been put on this planet is to fill it with as much love as possible.  I am to love my neighbor as myself.
  • It is two hearts joined together (yep, I know I’ve said that already). It is, “my beloved is mine and I am my beloved’s.”  And that is most certainly true.
  • It is two hearts joined together (yep, I know I’ve said that already. <–and that too!). It is my two boys who I love with my whole heart. (They are the most wonderful children to ever walk the face of the earth. Want to see pictures?)
  • It is two hearts joined together (I’m sensing a theme here). But the fact that one is resting on the other is important to me because when life gets turned upside down, we need each other to rest upon. I want to be that for others and I can tell you that for me the heart that I rested upon (still do!) is the best friend I’ve ever had in my life. She knows who she is.
  • It is where it is, because I wanted to be able to cover it with clothes when I felt it was appropriate but I wanted to be able to see it everyday.

There you have it, my friends. I promise not to bore you any further with it. I just plan on enjoying it for many, many years to come.

If I haven’t frightened you away, please return for a recipe on the morrow.



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Filed under adinkra tattoo, ravings, Sam and Russ and Ike, Wherein I reveal my ignorance