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1. black-eyed peas for a lucky new year

Instant Pot Hoppin' John Black-Eyed Peas In 2019, one of my goals is to make 50 new recipes from cookbooks or websites. I tried for 26 in 2018 - one every two weeks - and by December 31, 2018, I made 64 new recipes. It turns out I really enjoyed this project. I learned a lot about cooking and I learned to trust my instincts. I'm still working on tasting things as I go and salting things that need salting, but given that I often have to whip up dinner in 30 minutes or less, I think I'm doing pretty good. I've found a lot of great recipes and I'm looking forward to finding even more favorites this year. It seemed appropriate that I should start off the year right and make black-eyed peas for good luck. I did a little research and ended up mostly following this recipe for Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas  from Simply Happy Foodie. I made a couple of adjustments, I didn't have any bacon or a ham hock but this Food52 recipe for Vegan Hoppin' John assured me t
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Cancer Horoscope for the week of December 5, 2018 Rob Brezsney's Free Will Astrology I've called on author Robert Heinlein to provide your horoscope. According to my astrological analysis, his insights are exactly what you need to focus on right now. "Do not confuse 'duty' with what other people expect of you," he wrote. "They are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible."


I am moss. “Life [exists] only because of a myriad of synchronicities that bring us to this particular place at this particular moment. In return for such a gift, the only sane response is to glitter in reply.” - Robin Wall Kimmerer via Brain Pickings Rob Brezsney's Free Will Astrology CANCER (June 21-July 22): Does moss really "eat" rocks, as Cancerian author Elizabeth Gilbert attests in her novel *The Signature of All Things*? Marine chemist Martin Johnson says yes. Moss really does break down and release elements in solid stone. Gilbert adds, "Given enough time, a colony of moss can turn a cliff into gravel, and turn that gravel into topsoil." Furthermore, this hardy plant can grow virtually everywhere: in the tropics and frozen wastes, on tree bark and roofing slate, on sloth fur and snail shells. I propose that we make moss your personal symbol of power for now, Cancerian. Be as indomitable, resourceful, and resilient as moss.

12. pasta with caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes and capers

Sometimes I just wing it and it works out. Sometimes it tastes really good and I manage to write it down. Your welcome. Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, sliced 1 tsp sugar 1-2 tbsp water 1 tbsp caper vinegar 1 package cherry tomatoes, halved 4 tbsp capers 1 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 lb pasta Instructions: Heat your pan. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil, then saute the onions slowly. Add sugar, and when they start to caramelize, add water and vinegar. Add cherry tomatoes and capers and stir in tomato paste. Continue to simmer about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook your favorite pasta.  When your pasta is done, add the pasta into the sauce. Dish it up and enjoy. 

11. olive oil ricotta plum cake

I make this every year with the plums from my tree. I have made two so far this year and I will make at least two more. Note to anyone who doesn't have a springform pan, this does not work in a standard tart pan, it isn't deep enough and doesn't bake properly, at least, not when I'm the baker. When I make this cake, I remember why this is the only cake I ever want to make. This recipe is slightly edited from  Food52 by Kenzi Wilbur . I don't like too much sugar in my cake so I lowered it from 1 cup. But if your plums are super tart, you might want to macerate them in a tablespoon of sugar while you're tossing the rest of the ingredients together. Kenzi notes that the flour doesn't have to be sifted. I may try that next time. But don't over-mix it. It likes to be barely folded. Ingredients:  Butter for pan 1 cup fresh, full-fat ricotta 1/3 cup olive oil 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest 2 large eggs 1-1


I am grapes ripening in the fog. Rob Brezsney's Free Will Astrology CANCER (June 21 - July 22): To casual observers, you may seem to be an amorphous hodgepodge, or a simmering mess of semi-interesting confusion, or an amiable dabbler headed in too many directions at once. But in my opinion, casual observers would be wrong in that assessment. What's closer to the symbolic truth about you is an image described by poet Carolyn Forché : grapes that are ripening in the fog. Here's another image that resonates with your current state: sea turtle eggs gestating beneath the sand on a misty ocean beach. One further metaphor for you: the bright yellow flowers of the evening primrose plant, which only bloom at night.

10. sauteed kale and quinoa skillet

Sometimes I just taste something and I suddenly become obsessed. That's the case with this Sauteed Kale and Quinoa Skillet. I am pretty sure I could eat this nearly every single day. I'm definitely going to try it with roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas. And I may try it with couscous too. I served this recipe alongside this Za'atar Spiced Roasted Chicken and potatoes, a recipe that is also highly addictive. Sauteed Kale and Quinoa Skillet  serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 2-1/2 cups veggie broth (I used Better Than Boullion)  1 Tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch kale - 6-8 leaves ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to your liking) Pinch of sea salt 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated 2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs Instructions: To make quinoa - rinse and soak for about 5 minutes in warm water. Bring 2-1/2 cups veggie broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and add drained quinoa to boiling broth. Cover and reduce heat