Archive for the ‘Kitchen Life’ Category

Latest Coffee Find

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

I have slight guilt over my Keurig. I LOVE the convenience. Not always so sure about all the plastic in the landfills and the health factors of hot water through economy plastic. So I found these and thought I would share the info.



They are not bad. Still some plastic, but recycle. I like the reusable filters as well…..but still plastic with hot water……but when you are on the go…..I think it is time for my next cup. Carry On!

Soup Is On!

Monday, January 11th, 2010

I often get asked about my recipes since I love to cook in bulk, from scratch, with very little processed ingredients.  The problem with sharing my recipe is often there isn’t a hard core recipe and I just grab stuff and throw it in a pot.  So today I will show you what I do to make my fabulous bean soup. Keep in mind I am working with a 7-8 quart crock or pot when I am doing my soups.  It may or may not work for you, but hopefully you will find something  you can use in the chaos.

First thing I do is melt one stick of butter while chopping onions.  I usually dice four good size onions.  More if they are small.  Throw them in the butter, then salt and pepper them and let them start cooking.

I then add 6 cloves of garlic  minced.  Then I grab about 3 celery hearts and use only what looks good.  If those outer ones are marred up and bruised, they go to the worm bin.  I think I ended up with around 14 stalks of varying sizes.  I dice my celery for soups.  I do that because I like to get several tastes in each spoonful as well as making it more graceful to eat.  This is how I dice my celery.

I cut it the length either two or three times depending on the width and then come back and cross cut it.  As I finish it goes in the pot with the onions and garlic.  I usually add more salt and pepper when I am done dicing the celery.

By this time the onions have cooked down significantly and it should look something like this.

At this point I throw some water, any leftover red wine in the house and some coffee into the crock.  How much  wine and coffee?  Well, we all know how much I like my wine and coffee so there probably isn’t high volumes of leftovers hanging out here.  I am looking to add flavor not overwhelm.  I also add three bay leaves, pint of tomatoes (organic garden stash),  splash of worcestershire sauce, and a splash of soy sauce.   Do NOT turn the crock on yet.  Extreme heat or cold will crack your crock insert.  Turning it on not full will crack your crock.  Extreme fluctuations in temp will crack your crock. Don’t ask me how I know all this.  Really.  Don’t ask.

Next while the onions, garlic and celery are cooking down more I dice up a couple of handfuls of baby carrots and throw them in the crock.  Then I dice two large Costco sized potatoes and throw them in the crock.  Then I grab dried beans.  This is the selection I am using today.

Any type of beans would probably work, but I love a good heirloom bean.  I order mine from Rancho Gordo.  Today we are using Yellow Indian Woman, Borlotti, Rebosero,  Vaquero, Yellow Eye, and   Alubia Criollo.   I only use 1/2 cup of each measured while they are completely dry.  I throw them all in a strainer, rinse them really well and make sure there are no surprises in there.

Then I go completely off the beaten path and throw them in the crock. That’s right.  I do not soak my beans.  I throw them in the crock or pot as is.

By this time the onions, celery and garlic should be cooked well and ready to throw in the crock.  Make sure you get all that butter in the crock too!!  That is  your only fat content to this entire meal.  I then usually add a little more salt and pepper, stir it well, add water to fill it on up,  stick the lid on and cook it for the rest of the day.

You want at least 4-6 hours on high or  8 hours low cooking time. Check it after the first hour to make sure you still have enough liquid after the beans start absorbing it.  This freezes really well.  You get around 7-8 quarts of soup.  I usually freeze some in family size and individual size containers so that we have easy lunches and dinner.  Prep time to get it in the crock is usually about an hour for me.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed the kitchen time!


Gingerbread House

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009


Not bad for our first ever attempt.  We learned lots.  Ate lots.  Laughed lots.  Well…. not everyone did….


Someone was feeling a tad neglected and left out…. I hate it when that happens….. don’t worry… he was spoiled rotten later…