January is the coldest month of the year & in Connecticut the temperatures are below zero most of the times. These are the days when i want to wrapped in warm blanket and sleep to glory, get up & have a large mug of hot chocolate and stay in bed the whole day. But life isnt this simple, hunger pangs, dirty dishes ( yeah !! i have a dish washer but loading it also is gigantic task when the temp is -18 F). In fact now even 32F sounds very warm, can survive without a heater at such an temperature. Actually I have loved the weather cycle here (except the extreme cold in Jan). I mean, look, on the positive side there is spring to look forward to where the flowers bloom, grass is lush green, cherry blossom. You see people working in their front yards with all the gardening tools, numerous pots of gorgeous looking tulips & lilies, There are daffodils nodding to you with a smiley face. The days aren't very hot neither are they very cold.
After spring its time for summer. Time to pack you coats, gloves, caps and not see them for the next few months. Time to wear skimpy skirts , hot pants and halters, time to buy sunscreen, flip flops and swim wear. Its time to enjoy a glass of chilled ice tea or sangria while you sit back and njoy in your patio. At this time you will start looking forward to fall.
Its Fall time and everything looks nice and red. The trees look so beautiful that you want to keep string at them. Its time to go around the town and check the colors. From golden yellow to mango yellow, from brick red to brown, from trees in full foliage to trees with very few leaves. The colors look so beautiful that i just cant take my eyes of them. Its time for Halloween and pumpkin pies.
Next is winter, I am sooo not a winter person. But on second thoughts its good too. I mean , i can go skiing, ice skating, make a snowman. And when the snowman is complete , hands would be numb. To get them to life, come home drink some hot chocolate or a bowl of hot pipping soup. Recently we had lots of snow here about 6-12". It was looking very pretty. the snow just crumbles in your hands and its easier to make a snowman on the first day. so me , my friend & her son set out on the task of making a snowman. After about 2 hours of hard work and frozen hands the result was amazingly good. We were overjoyed to look over the snowman from our patio, so to treat ourselves i made a simple chilli pot and added pasta as a filler. I wanted to make it filling and yummy. chili was new to my friend she loved it completely. It was nice and warm for perfect winter days. I make it often nowadays. Fed up with my rant ?
yeah I'll spare you now.
**In the picture above, penne is overpowering but the dish is actually beans centric, i had taken a few more photographs with beans-centeric but my hand wasnt steady, so the pictures were hazy. This was the best i could get.**
1 cup Kidney beans
1 cup Pinto beans
1 cup penne
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup tomatoes
1/4 cup onions
1/3 cup sweet corn kernels ( i used frozen)
1 t spn garlic paste
1 t spn jalapenos paste
1 t spn cumin seeds
1 T spn olive oil
salt to taste
a pinch of cayenne
1 t spn fresh parsley ( optional)
Soak the beans for about 6 hours. Cook beans in a pressure cooker up to 3 whistles. Keep aside.
cook penne as per the instructions on the box.
Heat oil in a pot, add cumin seeds. after the splutter add garlic, jalapenos paste. fry for a couple of minutes. Add onions, zucchini, carrots. cook till almost tender. Now add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Now add the beans , penne, cayenne and about 3 cups of water. cook on high flame till the water reduces to 2 cups. garnish with parley and serve hot.
I am looking forward to this long weekend since i am off to the sunshine state to soak myself in some sunny rays. till then ciao!