Monday, January 28, 2013

Baked Green Beans.

I’m so over winter. We’ve had snow and ice and power outages and I’m officially done with it all. Bring on the warm, sunny days so we can go to the farmer’s market, play outside, and put away all the winter gear that I struggle to get Slade to actually wear.

This recipe certainly doesn’t fall into the category of “healthy” recipes that are so popular this time of year. But if you’re looking for an out of this world, slightly decadent green bean recipe this one will not disappoint.


Baked Green Beans

3 cans green beans,* drained
1 stick of butter
¾ c. brown sugar
Bacon slices
Garlic power

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter. Add brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until combined. Place green beans in a baking dish and layer the bacon slices on top of the green beans. Pour brown sugar/butter mixture evenly over green beans and bacon.  Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

*I’m usually not a fan of canned green beans but I’ve found that they really are better for this recipe than frozen or fresh green beans.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham.

Lately, we’ve had a lot of snow and ice here in Arkansas. And with that comes really cold weather. On a cold day, I love a warm, hearty meal, especially one that is ready when I get home at the end of the day.
I grew up eating beans on a regular basis, probably because beans are inexpensive, healthy and fairly easy to make. Any time I was away from home for an extended period of time, my food request for when I returned home was always my Grandma J.’s beans. I’m pretty sure she cooked a “pot of beans,” as she would call it, at least once a week. My family always cooked pinto beans but my mother-in-law turned me on to white beans. Now that’s what I always make.
As with any of my other slow cooker recipes, this one is easy and requires minimal effort. Those are slow cooker recipe requirements in my book! This is great served with cornbread or warm Italian bread.
Slow Cooker White Beans and Ham
1 lb dried great northern beans
6-8 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper

Rinse the beans in cold water and place in slow cooker. Add enough chicken stock to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Add ham (cut into the desired size pieces) and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tater Tot Casserole.

I grew up with a mom who loved to cook. I remember having wonderful meals around our dinner table that included homemade breads and desserts. She still cooks this way today; unfortunately I don’t live close enough to her to enjoy these meals on a regular basis.  My mom rarely made a casserole and since a lot of how I cook today was shaped by the meals my mom prepared for me growing up, I don’t make a lot of casseroles. When I do try them, usually prepared by someone else, I’m typically not a fan. So not just any casserole recipe makes the cut.
This tater tot casserole recipe is great. It’s quick, easy and very tasty. It’s easily scalable, meaning that I can make enough for just my family or make four batches at once. Any time I need to take a meal to someone, I make this casserole. It also freezes well. When I make it to take to a friend, I always make extra and freeze it in disposable pans for a quick weeknight meal.
Tater Tot Casserole
1 lb lean ground beef
½ onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I like to use one regular and one reduced fat)
Velveeta cheese
Tator tots (I prefer tater rounds)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet, brown the ground beef and onions. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. If the ground beef is very lean, a little extra virgin olive oil may need to be added. Drain any excess fat from the cooked ground beef, if needed. Stir in cream of mushroom soup. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Cover the mixture with the desired amount of cheese. Then top with enough tater tots to cover the casserole. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the tater tots are brown and the cheesy is bubbly.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Birthday Balloon Wreath.

My little man just celebrated his 2nd birthday! We decided to have a Sesame Street themed birthday party and I wanted something festive to hang on the front door for his party. After a little googling, I came across this balloon wreath tutorial. I thought a balloon wreath would be perfect- it’s birthday themed and colorful but not Sesame Street specific which will allow me to use this more than once.
Here’s what you need:
A straw wreath (keep the plastic covering on)
Floral pins
And that’s it. To secure the balloons to the wreath, place the floral pin in the middle of the balloon and then push the pin into the wreath.
That’s all there is too it. Except that you have to do this over and over until the wreath is completely covered in balloons. I really wanted a full wreath so I ended up using approximately 3 bags of balloons (25 count) for each of the five colors (red, orange, yellow, blue and lime green).
I am really happy with how it turned out (although my thumb was a little sore when I finally finished)! I hope to make this birthday wreath a new tradition at our house.
The cute Slade’s Street sign came from Amanda’s Parties to Go on Etsy. Her stuff is so adorable!