Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Black Bean Soup

Hi Y'all.  Let me tell you... I love some black beans.  I even grew some on the garden a few years back and have already bought some new seed beans for this year.  This soup is actually made from canned black beans but you know it's not really a problem, with the proper equipment, to can them yourself in an afternoon.  Then you would have lots of jars to go to.  But they are pretty cheap in the grocery.  I prefer the organic kind and let me give you a tip... if you drain and rise the beans you will cut down on the flatulence dramatically.  If that's a problem for you.  I know when the word "beans" is brought up in certain circles, facial expressions can change in an instant.  That trick would probably work on any canned bean and it is well worth a try and the time and effort.  Here's a hearty and lovely winter time black bean soup recipe for you.  I don't have an end result picture as I got a little too excited and was hungry... both times I made it.  :)

Some ingredients are not pictured.  Like the garlic or the broth, or the carrots because I picked them out of the bag of frozen veggies that time.  I also added leftover chicken the the first batch.

The soup actually doesn't stay this color.  Once the black beans get cooked in good the soup gets darker.  I served ours with cheese quesadillas and another day with tortilla chips.  I froze the left overs to have for lunch.  Also you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a more vegan approach.  

Here are a few other black bean dishes I've shared in the past.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Around Here

Being snowed in can be fun.  Only because it doesn't happen very often.  In my three years at the day care on our farm this was the first time I didn't have kids because of snow.  Two days in a row at that.  I wound up having eight days around the house with the only time we left was in a four wheel drive and it was either to play in the snow or get groceries, car parts or things for other people.  But it did, however, leave time to get some things done.  Like.. Black Rose is up and running finally!!! I made lots of recipes and got to spend lots of time with Shaun.  Yay!

Making biscuits on a Sunday using my Grandmother's biscuit cutter can.

 Frying bacon in my new skillet retrieved on one of our outings.

An Ice island on the pond by our house.

Katie Bug oddly decided to sit still for a few shots but wouldn't look at me.  Funny girl.

 Grandmother's watering can.

 All she needs is the top back on and my goal for March of recovering the seats.

 Last Thursday morning's snow on top of the ice and snow already there.

It's pretty when it sticks to everything.

On cedar trees.

On Basil.

On lavender.

On fences and roofs. 

And on swing sets.  As you can see there was quite the fog around here that morning too.

On door pulls.

Night lights.


Oh and you know every kid coming in or out my door has to kick through the piles!  This morning's snow was powdery enough to sweep it off the existing path. 

It may not be a big deal there, but it's what's happening... around here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

need a break?

If you are like me and live in a part of the world where it is not only winter but cold and have been blessed with snow on the ground for almost two weeks, then the following shares will be very welcome to you too.  I almost feel like I am shopping for warmer winter climates to retire to.  Sounds very romantic since we got another inch and a half of snow last night.  Although the snow last night was beautiful in all it's floatiness I'm ready to not have layer my clothing two and three times and let the kids play outside for more than ten minutes.  Enjoy these links and few pics. is a blog based in Florida that shows birds and wildlife photos.  I love popping by and staring at the beautiful wildlife and photography this blogger shares.  Not to mention the warm climate there right now.  Makes me drool a little. is a blog I have followed for a few years now.  She is based in Australia and incase you didn't know it is summer there right now.  I get completely envious of her garden produce pics, sweet baby girl outside in the garden pics and her canning pictures.  Makes me long to feel the warm sun on my shoulders.

A California based blog from Jessica Wilson who actually got me in to posting pictures online to begin with in 2009... although she doesn't know that.  I was so inspired by all of her shots on flickr
that I just had to try and add my views of the world too.  That then led to her blogs.  By this violets in this shot it looks like spring has spring in her part of the world and it for sure looks warmer and very colorful.  I admire her for that!

Our cruise in February of 2008.  Shaun didn't believe me that it would possibly be in the upper 80s lower 90s while we were there.  He said "it's February... it's 20 degrees here... it's cold everywhere."  Oh if I could pop back in time just for a day to that cruise boat!

Where do you find warmer climates on the web to drool over?

Friday, February 27, 2015

lovin right now

AAAAHHHH Loving right now.  As I type at my kitchen table that my Granddaddy built for me, all I have to do to see what I am lovin right now is look towards my right into my kitchen.  

I bought a new skillet the other day.  I am one gal who can flat wear out a skillet in a matter of months.  Mom says it may be because of cooking at too high a temperature :) or maybe it's just because I use them every single morning and clean them afterwards.  I have always had Teflon skillets and I'm pretty sure we digested some Teflon before I got rid of my last ones!  Shaun and I were in the skillet aisle at WalMart and he pointed out the ceramic ones.  I read about one or two and decided to give one a whirl.  So far I adore it!  Nothing has stuck.  I've made sausage, bacon, gravy, browned deer meat. It's actually 12 inches and I have browned sausage and fried eggs at the same time!  If you are in the market for a new skillet yourself, I absolutely urge you to give a ceramic one a try.

Ah my rye bread, seeded.  I love caraway seeds and actually am going to grow some on the herb wall this summer.  When I bake my own bread using caraway it transforms the smell and feel of my home in a beautiful way.  I really like having Pepperidge Farms Jewish Rye on hand too.  I like it plain (and by plain I mean I stand at the counter and eat a piece with nothing on it!) or toasted with lettuces and tuna salad or toasted and used for sopping up tomato sauce.  

I am utterly hooked on avocados right now.  Just plain old, peeled and sliced avocado.  And they are so good for you too.  I made a black bean soup last Monday and had diced avocado on the side.  YUM!

True story.... Saturday morning I did about 40 minutes worth of yoga and then felt the urge to take it to the treadmill in the basement for a gentle walk.  Between practices and during my walk all I could think about were these chips.  Devil on the left shoulder saying "Laurie.... some of those jalapeno chips would sure be good right now".  the whole time.  So.. what did I do as soon as my workout was over?  Finished off the open bag of chips.  Yeah... I'm really gonna last through the 108 day yoga program... NOT!  I am too weak.  Especially with a bag of these chips around.  The label says that they are "HOT!" but I have a soft spot when it comes to hot and these don't rate real high on my hot rating.  Addictive rating... now that's a different story!