Thursday, January 31, 2013

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

 Ahoy the great bean controversy.  Great Northern beans or Navy Beans to make Slowed Cooked Baked Beans from scratch.  Great Northern beans are larger than Navy Beans, great for soups.  Navy beans are smaller and cook faster, great for baked beans aka Boston Beans to some.  I follow along with generations of cooks in our family, Navy beans is the bean of choice for this family recipe.  Slow Cooked Baked Beans is "dump" recipe for me. I never measure the ingredients, just dump into the pot.  The ingredients listed have approximate measurements, season and ingredient measurements should be made to your preferred taste. This pot of beans will be made not from a Dutch Oven in the oven, instead I am breaking out the crock pot to make the beans.
Navy beans (1 package)
brown sugar (1/2 - 3/4 cup)
molasses (3/4 cup)
chopped onion (1)
garlic powder (2 teaspoons)
crushed tomatoes (1 large can)
Dijon mustard (2 tablespoons)
liquid smoke (a drop or two goes a long way)
Place beans in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Soak overnight and drain. Rinse and drain again.  Discard "duds" and any beans that do not look good.
Put your soaked beans into your crock pot
and add remaining ingredients. 
Turn crock pot on low and cook 8 -10 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.
Keep an eye on liquid level as you may need to add some water to finish cooking if your beans are still hard.
This batch is at the 8 hour mark more or less,
perfect beans, firm yet soft.

Slow Cooked Baked Beans takes patience : )

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

 Seriously, what is the chief cook
and bottle washer to do on days like today? 
You know the days I am referring to with such frustration,
the how do I eat an elephant bite at a time.
Don't judge, but tonight's dinner is a
"cheat" Stuffed Peppers dinner.
Stuffed Peppers with a short-cut.
Short-cut sounds nicer, doesn't it? 
So now you will know my in a super rush secret.
First in the casserole dish, some of last summer's
green peppers frozen in time during a harvest freeze day.

Alright, here comes the big "cheat" reveal -
prepare your favorite seasoned box rice. 
I have Lipton's Fiesta Sides Spanish Rice in the pantry

Fill the thawed green peppers with your
cooked rice mixture.
I also put some shredded cooked
chicken under the rice mixture.
 Top with cheese choice.  I used Pepper Jack slices to compliment the Spanish Rice.
 Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes until peppers are cooked
and cheese melted, golden in color.
Yummy!  Serve with a fresh salad and ring the dinner bell!

Monday, January 21, 2013

No nonsense: Style made easy review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of No nonsense for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
What's my style? Do I have a style?  Just kidding.  I have a style,  I work from home and comfort is a definition that describes my every day wear without question.  Comfort does not mean sweats and pajamas for me all the time, don't judge, somedays it does I will admit, but less and less these days with No nonsense leggings and tights to add to my wardrobe choices.  Running errands might look like this for me, cute jacket, boots and these comfy leggings from No nonsense.  A quick walk around the block with my Bernese Mountain Dog Bogart demands comfort and style for all the new "friends" he attracts to us.
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air and cupids with arrows
 are soon to appear come February.
Time to get my cupid on...
I started with a few free printables
 for you and your Valentines.
Click, print and add photo
Cannot go wrong with a quote from Mark Twain
click and print

love is in the air...and on my mantle with these printables!

Friday, January 11, 2013

O'range ya feeling the sunshine?

I love the aroma of a fresh peeled orange.  Add cinnamon and cloves and I swear I can feel the sunshine warming me on this frosty day.  Inspired by several "teapot" aroma pots on pinterest, o'range you feeling the sunshine with this version of a room aroma pot?
Fresh orange peels in the pan...check

Cinnamon sticks...check

ground cloves...

Add water and simmer.  
Mmmm...aroma and some much needed
added humidity to the winter indoor air.

Think I am going to look for my extra teapot and keep a simmering aroma teapot on this winter...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Irish Blessing 2013

This Irish Blessing from a 2012 printable I did for
St. Patrick's Day has been getting requests for
a "new and approved" update for 2013. 
Last year I tried to stay with black and
white more prints, so you could print on to your
choice of paper color background. 
Kudos to y'all for being organized
and starting all the spring projects and decor...
I'm still working on getting Christmas 2012 packed up : )
As usual, click to print.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Lasagna is a New Year's tradition for us.  I make it without a recipe, as many do.

Brown 1 pound of ground sirloin and Italian sausage mix, diced onions.
Lasagna noodles cooked in salt water, rinse and drained.
Add sauce to browned meat-
I make my own sauce: 
home canned Roma tomatoes. chopped garlic, fresh basil and oregano,beef bouillon,
2 teaspoons sugar.  Allow to simmer until
sauce begins to thicken up,
mine simmered over an hour to allow herbs and
flavors to blend into sauce.
Drape first layer of noodles over the side of a greased casserole dish.
Ricotta cheese (2 cups) grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
and fresh parsley finely chopped. 
Mix together.  Set aside.
First layer on noodles is meat sauce.
Then add dollops of Ricotta mix.
Next add another layer of noodles, meat sauce, Ricotta cheese mix.
Repeat until pan is almost layered to the top of the pan. 
Tuck bottom layer noodles from over the sides into pan. 
Top with sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until bubbly.
Remove from oven, take off foil
and top with muenster, mozzarella cheese slices.
Return to oven for 10 minutes until cheese is golden.
Remove from oven, allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing portions.
Lasagna is comfort food that warms you from the inside out...