November 2009

They’re cheap, incredibly versatile, store forever, and are really good for you. If you don’t already eat beans, consider incorporating them into your diet. Oh, and as for that bean problem that-I’m-not-going-to-talk-about-here-but-you-all-know-what-I’m-talking-about, well just work them into your diet slowly, and rinse them during each stage of the cooking process. You’ll slowly get used to them. Really.

Three favorite bean recipes from

Refried Beans without the Refry – These beans rock. Seriously. They’re done in the crockpot, with NO fat or oil, just the perfect combo of spices. I like to make up a batch and then freeze them for lunches.

Refried Bean Enchiladas – A great way to use up some of the above refried beans. I’m sure I didn’t use the cottage cheese. I never have that around. I probably used plain yogurt instead. On that note, making your own cottage cheese-ish substitute (paneer) is pretty easy. Just heat up some milk and toss in a bit of lemon juice or vinegar. Bam! Curds and whey.

Turkey Bean Chili – typical chili. Turns out great every time. We usually use moose instead of turkey. A couple of years ago I did a fancy pants tofu cashew creation for our church chili cookoff. I wish I just would have brought this instead.


A conversation two nights ago:

Janeen: I could really go for a green smoothie right now. Too bad I’m too lazy to make it.

Kevin (not a green smoothie fan): If the “thing” to do was to eat mold, you’d probably eat it.

Janeen (after a pause): I probably would!

Thanks for keeping me grounded, babe 🙂

I’m just finishing up One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey. This book is based on the Journals of Dick Proenneke, who lived in a remote cabin in Southwestern Alaska. I was looking for an easy no-brainer read (ya know, before bed type material). This book really hit the spot. I loved reading about Proenneke’s everyday life in the wilderness: chopping wood, building his cabin, exploring the country, and cooking beans and sourdough. We’ve been eating a lot more beans and sourdough as I’ve been traveling with Proenneke through the book – yum! In honor of the last chapter, here’s my own Proenneke-esque journaling of today’s events:

Up before dawn (haha) to tend to my duties. A hurried morning with much to do before our short journey to the church. The air was crisp but snow is still no where to be seen. I wonder when our winter wonderland will arrive? Errands after worship, but we knew it was time to head home when the children’s behavior began to resemble that of rambunctious squirrels. A quiet afternoon. Evening wood-cutting and moose nachos for dinner. All in all, a good day.

I’ve got too many posts floating around in my brain to actually get one translated onto the site, so here’s a repost of our dinner for tonight. I love having a dish like this on youth group nights because we can get from “daddy’s home” to “car loaded” in around 35 minutes. Originally posted in May of 2008:

We’ve been doing a LOT of slow cooking lately. I like the flexibility that I have with using the crock pot. I’m never sure when I’ll have a chance to just be by myself, so the crock pot allows me to make dinner whenever it’s convenient, and then just let the crock cook it to perfection. One of my favorite crock pot sites lately has been A Year of Crockpotting. This blogger has committed to using her crockpot every day, and she’s getting me excited about my own slow cooking options. One of her recipes last week was for Fried Rice, a great way to get rid of some leftovers. We tried it out this last Sunday (threw everything in before church and then ate it for lunch) and it was awesome! I like that the blogger has children, so she always comments on what recipes her kids enjoyed. If you got some rice and leftovers around, check this out. We doubled the recipe and it turned out great. Definitly a new favorite:

Slow Cooker Fried Rice

  • 2 cups leftover rice/quinoa
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 t worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup of whatever frozen or fresh vegetables you have on hand. (We used broccoli, but she tried carrots, peas, and asparagus)
  • leftover meat (We used leftover ham, but the author tried chicken and ground beef)
  • 1 egg
Mix it up and turn it on 2-3 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. It took 3 hours in my slow cooker on low, but it cooks pretty hot. Let me know if you try this recipe out!