Monday, September 22, 2014

Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans! [Part 1]

What's Cookin'?

Homemade beans are so much better than canned for 2 (actually, possibly 3) reasons. 

1) No can to worry about (is it BPA-free?  What else is in that liner?  Did I get shards in the food when I opened it?  Better make sure and skim everything!).

2)  Soaking in an acidic medium neutralizes the aflatoxins (per Nourishing Traditions) and makes the nutrients more bioavailable.

3) You control the ingredients, tenderness, and flavor.

4) It makes organic beans more affordable... Okay, that's 4 reasons.  I'm sure there are more :).

Here is my weekly or bi-weekly regime:

1.  Put 2 pounds dry organic beans in a big stock pot.  We prefer the little red beans but right now I'm soaking kidney beans.

2.  Squirt the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (strain the seeds as you squeeze) or about 1 tablespoon of organic lemon or lime juice over the beans.  In the picture you can see the darker beans where I squirted the juice over them.

3.  Add enough water to cover the beans and then that much more... so twice as much as needed to cover the dry beans.  They will swell and absorb a lot of water.  If the water level goes down to the beans during soaking, add more water.

4.  Soak overnight or soak all day.  With me it just depends on when I finally get around to doing it!  I've been known to soak all day and all night!  If it gets frothy you can skim off the froth or dump some of the water and add a little fresh water.

5. Drain, rinse, drain.

7.  Cover with fresh water (filtered preferred), again doubling the amount to cover them or to the top of the stock pot.  I fill it almost to the brim because one of the meals we get out of this batch of beans is usually bean soup (quasi-Salvadorean style).

8.  Cook on Medium heat until a low boil starts and then turn it down to low or medium low depending on your stove.  Cook on a low boil/simmer until done.  This usually takes me about 2-3 hours if I don't mess up the temperature gauge making it too hot, too cold, too hot, too cold!  How do I know they're done?  I stir the pot and take out a few.  I very gently push down on them with a fork.  If they give easily and are not grainy then they are done to our liking.  I've gotten to where I can generally tell by just stirring the pot if they are even close to being done.

Crockpot:  The crockpot is my preferred method but it's been in storage for about a year now.  I like to cook it on low for all night and the next day for it to be ready just in time for dinner.  Other times I would cook it all day and then all night and the kids would gobble it all up for breakfast if I didn't stand guard!  They make a really good breakfast, by the way!  You could try high for all day (or just all night) and test it.

This is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Deal Alert: Cowgirl Dirt Lipstick 20% Off!!

What's Green?

Lipstick withOUT nano particles is difficult to find.  Years ago I tried a Cowgirl Dirt lipstick, before they repackaged their lipsticks.  I also got samples from them and the shipping was, I think, less than $3 for everything.  It was great until I had a "Lipstick Blowout" from leaving my purse in the car for an hour (no kidding, just an hour, maybe less).  Lipstick exploded all over the car when I took the cap off!  Now I make sure to take my purse out if it's over 100F, even if the car is in the garage!

Right now their lipsticks are 20% off as they introduce the new matte colors.  I much prefer matte - which is mainly why I haven't gotten more of their lipsticks after the first order.  So... I'm ordering the Hidalgo and samples of the other mattes.  My daughters need samples of some of the others so we can see which colors work best.

No coupon necessary.  I didn't see a date for the end of the sale.

No, I'm not an affiliate of Cowgirl Dirt... but maybe I should start :)...  I'm just sharing a deal with you!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gottatries ~ Good News for Lymies

What's Cookin'?


24 Healthy Treats:

Homemade rice krispies:

Healthy corn dogs (so simple but I certainly never thought of it!):

gluten-free "cheese-it" crackers

Raw frozen chocolate crust bites (note to self: uses almond flour):

Gluten-free pigs in a blanket [with rice wraps!]

Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal

Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal:

What's (Lyme) Green?

The US House of Representatives passed HR 4701.  You can read more about it here:

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Day of School Staff Meeting

What's Schoolin'?

Labor Day is the first day of school here at St. Jerome Academy. 

Therefore, there was a general staff meeting in the teacher's lounge late this morning to discuss the direction of the school this year and to decide on the curriculum needs of the students.  The meeting was attended by the school principal, counselor, coach, ag teacher, test administrator, and core subject teachers for 7th and 12th grade.

There was quite a bit of discussion and disagreement throughout the meeting.  Fortunately, after about 40 minutes of chaos during which everyone talked at once and agreed with no one, consensus was reached for 1 major school decision:  It was time to adjourn and take the traditional First Day of School Field Trip to get ice cream/frozen yogurt.

PS:  The children asked me later why I was talking to myself in the back bedroom earlier today, but enjoyed going out for frozen yogurt! :)

Happy Labor Day! :)