Size Matters.

Before the meat of the post, today’s recipe is vegan cuban style black beans and rice, so if you’re only here for the food, scroll down.

Size matters. That’s the joke, right? Even if it’s true? You don’t want a BIG pain in the ass, you don’t want a SMALL serving of dark chocolate. So it stands to reason that this applies in other areas of life, right? I don’t want a little confidence, I want a LOT of confidence. I don’t want a LITTLE one-on-one time on the sand with a hot guy {expletive deleted} listening to music, I want SO MUCH TIME. (Also, some rum, fresh mango, a place to shower off the sand. Ladyflower+sand=nope.) And creativity? The magic of working my art, of being inspired, of the perfect flow of words and notes and the all-consuming physical excoriation of the demons which cling to me? I want a fountain of it.

I will suck the shit out of that fountain, unlike our incoming president, I like mine to be creativity and water ONLY.

That being said, it’s no wonder I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. 

Yes, that Elizabeth Gilbert. She of the eating and the praying and the loving and the white girl traipsing across the globe learning languages no one needs and being generally caucasian. But, be honest, if you could’ve done it, wouldn’t you? (Answer? No. I don’t like yoga enough. Mine would be Eat, Pray somewhere not a million degrees and without pretzel bodies, Love somewhere where the libraries are a big as the dude’s…intelligence.)

Going into this book I thought, “Yeah, this one will probably not be for me, but hey, it’s there, so, what the hell, I’m in a bit of a rut, I’ll try anything once.” (Lies: I’ll try anything twice.)

And I found myself HOOKED.

Yes, this book is “woo woo” as all hell, but it is also inspiring, uplifting, whimsical, straight-forward, and contains just a terrific amount of motivation for the creative person. She talks very frankly about how being a creative being can be crippling or how the creative person can choose to use ANY emotion, not only the bleakest and blackest to innervate their work with their essential magic–their BIG magic. That’s a big departure from the primary narrative among creative people that without struggle and darkness that their work suffers. So many of us believe that without our own personal demons, we can’t expose fictional demons or angels.

Gilbert says that’s bullshit. And I agree. I have major depressive disorder, but I’ve written some of my BEST work when I am just allowing myself to feel something other than the blackness. The most beautiful music I’ve ever composed was right after my son first began truly speaking. For a mother of a child who was silent for so long, it was exhilarating. The piece is honestly transcendent. When my writing partner and I completed it on one late night in early 2011, we sat back, looked at one another, and we knew. We just knew.

And it was magic. I would definitely say it was BIG magic. We wrote SO fast, chords on chords on beats on lyrics and it was everything. The song didn’t even have a home, yet. In fact, it still doesn’t. My partner thought about recording it for his last album, but we know it has a home in a show we haven’t caught, yet. It’s just waiting. Elizabeth Gilbert might say the show is being warmed, kept safe with another composer just waiting for the right time to find Broadway Baby and me and finish its journey to life.

And we’re open and waiting and writing other things.

This isn’t the journey of the tortured artist. I’m certifiable. Broadway Baby? Recovered alcoholic. Typical creative people. The only difference is that we knew that we needed more in order not just to live, but to create and thrive. We made the choice to accept that it wasn’t our creativity that was the burden, nor was it our art, but something instead that creative people share, something that tends toward darkness, but not creativity itself. Elizabeth Gilbert says it well when she says:

“Is it possible then, that creativity has not been fucking with us at all, but that we have been fucking with it?”

We stand in our own way, believing the falsehood that creativity must chain us up in some oubliette of our own making.


Ms Gilbert’s book is not a how-to or self-help as much as it’s a “let’s Harry Potter the fuck out of ourselves because there’s no password to have the fat lady yank your head out of your ass.”  (“ExTrumpus Rumpus,” and certainly not “fidelio.”)

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

So, five magical stars.

Size Matters. Big Magic and Big Flavor. *review and recipe* #reading #goals #vegan Click To Tweet

Recipe, Please!

Cuban style black beans and rice

is one of my favorite foods. It’s simple, hearty, delicious, and vegan. Everyone loves it. It’s easy to make, and it stores in the fridge really well. My Cuban style black beans and rice uses a few unorthodox ingredients. First: recaito out of a jar courtesy of my good pals who don’t know me at Goya. It’s a cheat, and I DGAF. Also, I add olives like in Cuban picadillo. I also make the rice in the instant pot. Because I fucking can.

My Cuban style black beans and rice should be in your bi-weekly lunch meal rotation. Trust me.

Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice

Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice
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What Goes In?

    for the rice
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 cup water
  • for the beans
  • 3 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp recaito
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

Avengers, Assemble!

    For the rice (stovetop not instant)
  1. add coconut milk, water and rice into a saucepan with a lid.
  2. bring to boil on medium
  3. cover and set to low and cook for approx 20 minutes
  4. for the beans
  5. add all ingredients save cilantro into a pot and stir on medium
  6. combine rice and beans and add cilantro
    for the instant pot rice
  7. use equal parts coconut milk and rice and then add one half can/cup (depending how you measured) of water
  8. 10 minutes quick release

Nutrition Facts
    Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 4
  • % Daily Value*

  • Total Fat: 0 g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: g 0%
  • Cholesterol: mg 0%
  • Sodium: mg 0%
  • Potassium: mg 0%
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g %
  • Sugar: g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Vitamin A: 0%
  • Calcium: mg 0%
  • Iron: mg 0%
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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