Saturday, December 31, 2011

Homemade Black Beans & Corn Bread

I love beans.  And they are so good for you.  They are so loaded with sodium though if they are from a can. I do know that if you rinse them before you use them if they are from a can, that can reduce the sodium by almost half. 
 I put beans in my soups, on my salads, or even alone as a side dish. 
Since I've been on vacation from school, I've had extra time.  I made some amazing homemade black beans.
1 bag black beans
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 16 oz jar sweet salsa
1 tbsp dill
1 tsp salt
1 clove minced garlic
8 cups of water
1/2 package of turkey bacon (about 10 slices)
Soak your beans overnight according to the directions on the bag.  There is a faster method of preparing beans in a shorter amount of time.  Although I have never tried it.  The quicker method says to rapidly boil the beans for 30 minutes and then drain the water.
After soaking and rinsing your beans over night put on the stove with the 8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and turn down heat to low.  Beans will take about two hours on a low boil.  These beans take awhile, but they are oh so worth it.  After the beans are have been boiling and are tender add the garlic, dill, brown sugar and the salt.  At this point most of your water will have been absorbed or boiled out.  Cut the bacon, not cooked, in think chunky slices.  Add bacon, raw, to the beans.  Continue cooking beans on low for an additional 30 minutes.  If beans have lost too much water add another 1/2 cup at a time.  You do not want your beans runny.  Cooking another 30 minutes on low with cook the bacon and add some wonderful flavor.  I might have use regular bacon, but that's not what I had on hand.  I rarely ever eat regular bacon anymore.
For the Corn Bread
Make the corn bread according to directions on package.  Add 1 tsp of dill, some salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of light sour cream.  The sour cream will make your muffins so moist.  They're delish.
For the Veggie Salad
1 avocado
1 cup frozen corn (no sodium added)
2 medium tomatoes
1 tsp dill
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Add all ingredients to a large bag and shake to evenly coat.
For directions on cooking the pork go here.


Kate Anne

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Button Monogram "F"

I saw this idea a few weeks ago on pinterest.
I have been collecting buttons for a very long time.  But I have never known what to do with them.
Do you know how many times I have done a Google search, "What to do with buttons?"
Many, many, many times.  But my search always come back with nothing.  Well, I should say nothing of interest to me...Until I was on pinterest and saw a picture that intrigued me.
The maker of a similar button monogram actually sews the buttons on fabric, I just hot glued mine.
It turned out great.  I got the frame with the matting at Goodwill for $2.38.  I already had the buttons, fabric and hot glue.  So this was a very cheap project.  Even if you had to buy the buttons, fabric and hot glue this would still be a project less than $10 or $12 dollars.
First I took the cardboard that came as backing of the frame.  Then I cut fabric about 1 inch larger than the cardboard.  Next I hot glued the fabric to the cardboard.  Next I went through all my buttons and found similar colors that would work nicely together.
I kept the matte on so I knew how big to make my "F".  Then I arranged my buttons before I hot glued them to be sure I was happy with the layout.  I designed my "F",  But you can find the letter you're looking for on line.  There are lots of sites that provide specific designs.
Be careful when gluing your buttons on to not put glue right in the center of you button.  Put only on sides so it does not run through the center holes in the button.  Next add it to the frame without the glass.
What do you think?  Didn't it turn out cute!?  I love it!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

Wash and cut tops off of bell peppers.  To make pepper sit up correctly you may have to take a small portion off the bottom.
3-6 bell pepper any color
1 lb of ground turkey, hamburger or sausage
1 cup shredded cheese
1 can of corn
1/2 of a purple onion, diced
1 cup of white rice
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dill
1 tsp paprika
2 1/2 cups of water
 1 tbsp olive oil
1 small can of tomato sauce
Turn oven on to 375 degrees.
Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat.  Add rice to olive oil and brown.  Once browned, add 2 1/2 cups of water, cumin, garlic salt, dill and paprika.  Mix thoroughly.  Cover and stir occasionally until all water is absorbed and set aside.  Brown the meat with the onion diced.  On this recipe I actually thought I was setting out ground turkey, but ended up being sausage.  I turned out to be really tasty!  Once meat is browned, add rice mixture, corn (drained) and tomato sauce. 
Now stuff the peppers to the top and place in an oven safe baking dish with pam sprayed on the bottom.  I also added about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the dish to add some moisture.  Cook for 25 minutes.
Take out of oven and add some shredded cheese to top and place back in oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Happy Birthday Jesus

My sweet boy has been singing this Christmas tune since last year.  A younger girl sang this song at our church last year and it's been stuck in his head ever since.  We just finally caught it on tape.
I love the innocence of children.

DIY Coasters

These are the latest rave on the Internet of DIY projects. They are all over.  Do you need to spice up your coffee table life?  Ha ha.  For these darling coasters you'll need:
4-6 ceramic tiles
A few pages of scrap booking paper or even neat cards
Modge podge (I'll tell you how to make your own)
Elmers glue
Paint brush
1 sheet of felt
Take whatever size tile you have an measure the paper a tad bit smaller than the tile.  If you don't have modge podge you can easily make your own.  Take your elmers glue and add water to it until it becomes the consistency of honey.  Next paint on your glue to the back of you paper that you have measured for your tile.  Allow all tiles to dry before painting on the polyurethane.  Once the paper is dry use your paint brush and paint the polyurethane over the entire tile to waterproof them.  Once this step has been completed and has dried cut circles about the size of dimes and glue to the four corners of your coasters to protect your coffee table. 
These make great gifts.  Gather the tiles and tie with pretty ribbon and add a sweet note.
It would be a great idea to add family photos to personalize these.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Low-Fat Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

My mom went to a friends house for dinner awhile back and raved about these cupcakes that her friend made.  These turned out amazing and super moist.  Moms friend did not put any type of frosting on them but put mini chocolate chips.  I opted to make a homemade cinnamon frosting.  They were a bit messy but really good.
The spice cake mix called for 3 eggs 1/2 cup of oil and 1 1/2 cups of water, but I just added one egg, no oil and only 1/2 cup of water.  I am going to try next time to see how it turns out without any eggs.  You would not believe how moist these were.

For this recipe you'll need:
1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can of pureed pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 cup semi sweetened mini chocolate chips
If you'd like to keep this a low-fat recipe do not add frosting but add the semi sweetened chocolate chips.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide the batter into cupcake tins or a cake pan.  Bake according to the cake box.
For the frosting you'll need:
6 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  Top the cupcakes with the frosting and add coconut sprinkles to top if you like.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade Chili

What is better on a cold day in December than a hot bowl of homemade chili?  Not much!!
1 lb lean beef or ground turkey
3 tbsp homemade taco seasoning go here. (or package of store bought taco seasoning)
1 large green bell pepper chopped
1/2 purple onion finely diced
1 can of corn, drained
1 small cans of mushroom, or fresh
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can of dark kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cans of tomato sauce
Brown the meat and add the bell pepper and onion till tender.  Add the taco seasoning to the meat mixture and add 1 cup water and bring to boil.  Next add the remaining ingredients and leave it on low for about 30 minutes.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some cheddar cheese sprinkles.
It's delicious!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Animal Print Nesting Boxes

I found these darling boxes a few weekends ago at the Salvation Army.  Yea, now I can do some more organizing. what to organize?
They are wooden and they fit inside of each other.  I believe that someone hand painted them.
They are so cute and I only paid $2.95.
What a deal!!

Pretend Make-Up

I saw this a post months ago on how to make pretend make-up for little girls (or big girls if you don't like wearing make-up :) But I have a little boy and I'm sure his daddy would not approve of me making him pretend make up for Christmas.  It took me awhile to figure out who would like such a gift and then it hit me, my niece Kandra.  Sadly I don't see her often so she was not the first person I thought of but I hope
 she likes it. 
I went to the dollar store and bought three bottles of nail polish, two compacts of eye shadow, and a package of different sized brushes.
Next scrap out the eye shadow and rinse container with soap and water and dry thoroughly.
Now very slowly add the nail polish color of your choice to each little slot in the eye shadow container.  I held the brush of the nail polish over the opening while pouring so as not to let the ball from the polish fall out.
I allowed to dry over night.  And in the morning...viola!!!  A darling gift for that little lady in your life.
I picked up this darling Gap purse to hold all of the beautifying contents.
So this project cost me...
$3.00 for polishes
$2.00 for the eye shadows
$1.00 for the brushes
$1.38 for the little purse
Total $7.38.
Ideas came from here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary my love!  On Thursday, November 24th, Shawn and I celebrated our 9th year of marriage.  Can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you and continue to make sweet memories.
For our anniversary, we went to the Nutcracker today. 
It was amazing.  Then we went to Chillis for dinner.
Amazing day, with an amazing man!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake

What could be better than pumpkin flavored cheesecake?
My mom use to make this during the holidays.  This is a favorite in our house.
I borrowed this recipe from Mrs. Paula Deen.
For the recipe click here.

Homemade Pizza Pockets

Your husband getting tired of cold sandwiches for lunch?
These are a great alternative.
Pre-make them for the entire week and put them in the fridge to grab and go during the week.
You'll need:
1 roll of reduced fat croissants
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
1 diced bell pepper
1/2 package turkey pepperoni
1 cup spaghetti sauce
Set the temperature on the oven according to the directions on the croissants package.
Spray Pam in a pan and cook the onions and bell peppers until tender.
Open the croissants and press two of them together in a rectangle.  Add about a tbsp of spaghetti sauce.
Add 6 slices of pepperoni and a spoonful of onions and peppers.
Add 2 tbsp of shredded cheese.
Fold both sides together and pinch dough.
Put in oven and cook till golden brown.  About 15 or 20 minutes.
Take out and add a bit of cheese to the top and put back in the oven for an additional five minutes.
Put in individual baggies and eat cold or heat in microwave for 30 seconds.