Wednesday, June 24, 2009

San Diego

Last week we were in San Diego for my niece Brinlee's blessing. All of my family was there except Deja (she is in Europe) and Amaras husband. Here are some of the highlights:

The arm you see is Brinlees big brother Nate. Nate is like a second Mom to Brinlee. We wanted to get a picture of the girls together (Savannah is 2 mos older). Brinlee was just waking up. Meesha commented that someday Brin would be mad that Savannah was all dolled up and she was not even awake. The babies LOVE Nate. Here is Savanny trying to charm the pants off Nate. He was pretty loyal to his baby and wouldn't even look at her :)

This is at the Point Loma Cabrillo monument. We were not sure if this guy was worked there or was some strange guy hanging out to make some money. He was a little odd so Meeshas boys wanted a pic with him.
This is the only pic we took I wish I had put on make-up.

This is my mama. It was nice for us to gave the help with the babies.

Keaton loved the beach. He got knocked down by a wave at the beach so he had just the right mixture of fear and love :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Smashed Beans

(does the pic help or hinder?)
It seems like the world is getting into being more prepared. The other day I bought a 25 pound bag of pinto beans for around $10 at Costco. I got home and wondered what I was thinking because I have never cooked beans from scratch. Guess what....EASY! I found this recipe at Sisters Dish. It is so easy! Once again this saves me a ton of time. I make a big crockpot of these the first of the week and they are great as a side for fish tacos, a quick dinner or lunch of bean burritos, or for the start of easy hearty bean soup (see below). I figure the whole pot is about $1 so it is a great deal (please note I always buy my seasonings at Smiths in bulk for pennies).
I rinse and soak 3 cups of beans for ~ an hour or longer(depending on how much time I have-I DO THEM OVERNIGHT). Then I rinse them again (IMPORTANT TO MAKE THEM NOT GASSY), put them in the crock pot with 3 T bacon grease ( I LEAVE THIS OUT)and cover them with 3 inches of water. If I need to add more water later in the day, I bring it to a boil in the microwave before adding it to the crock pot. I cook the beans on high for 5-6 hours (I DID THEM FOR 8-10), or until I can easily smash one of the beans between my finger and the countertop...make sense?:)
MY MOM'S TIP IS TO SCOOP OFF THE FOAM SEVERAL TIMES WHILE COOKING. THIS TIP MAKES THEM MUCH EASIER ON THE DIGESTION.When the beans have about 1/2 hour left to cook I add the following: 5 jalapeno rings(from the jar, you could use fresh jalapeno), 1/2 T seasoning salt, 1/2 T garlic salt, 1/2 t onion powder, 1/2 t cumin and 1 T chili powder. After that cooks for about 1/2 hour, I scoop out the beans with a slotted spoon to the food processor and puree with ~ 1 cup of cheese. I add liquid from the beans as I puree until I get my desired consistency.

Hearty Fiesta Bean Soup Ingredients:1 (15 oz) can chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken) 1 (16 oz) can fat-free refried beans 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15.25 oz) can corn, drained and rinsed 1 (10 oz) can tomatoes & chilies, like RO*TEL (I used the 15 oz generic brand petite diced tomatoes with green chilies)Directions: Put the broth and refried beans into a soup pot and heat, while whisking together, until the beans have incorporated fully into the broth.Add the rest of the ingredients and heat, while stirring until the soup is boiling.Serve with cilantro, cheese, sour cream and a couple dashes of Tabasco.