Enter the Baking Basics and Beyond Giveaway. And bake beyond. . . .
Why I think I had a pretty good week last week.
My sweet Bella had a report to present week. While most of the class did theirs on Puppies, pop stars, and modern day pop culture icons, my kid did hers on Jackie Robinson. I didn't even know, she knew who he was.
Again, Bella hit the ball out of the ballpark (like how I did that?) and made her First Reconciliation ( you know - where you go sit in a booth next to a priest and confess your sins) and she wasn't even worried or scared. She sat and looked at the priest face to face. I've never been brave enough to do that. . but then again I'm sure her sins aren't as bad as mine.
Shelbi, my brilliant child, has steadily been preparing for an upcoming vacation. She has been arduously working to find deals on cameras, memory cards, and knapsack/purses. I'm so proud that she values money. Her's at least. (I can't find the picture. You'll just have to trust me on this one.)
We ate out twice this week.
Once, we went to Cheddar's and Bella ordered this. . . . .
While Soledad and Phoebe ordered this.. . . . .
And Soledad cried and cried because I would NOT take a picture of her cleaned plate because I told her it doesn't matter if you eat all your food, if it's fried. Maybe next time she'll order a vegetable or two.
The other time we ate out, I ordered this for the whole lot of us. It's 28 inches wide. 1/2 pineapple 1/2 prosciutto. It was A LOT of pizza.
Warwick broke the steam cleaner EVEN MORE on our way to get it fixed. So he shelled the big bucks to buy the same one on mega sale.
Phoebe's personality is really starting to come out. She is calling me "Nicole" and 'Meanie" instead of the preferred "Mommy", and she used a plastic drill to "stick me up". I'm a little worried.
I was at home for 6 whole hours. And I listened to jazz on the radio. And I burned scented oil that smelled like a mix between my husbands cologne and and burning wood. Mmmmmmm.
My poor knees have been through the ringer lately. But I found this, and now . . .now. . . .they feel oh. so. nice.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And. . . . . .
I made this.
Red Beans and Rice.
It makes me think about my Momma.
And the smells that come from her kitchen.
And Lent, and eating fish and biscuits on Fridays.
I could have just said Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, Sans Animaux (no animals were harmed in the making of this delicious dinner), but in the spirit of my sometimes wannabe hippy spirit, I'll just call it Vegan.
But either way, it was the pies de resistance on why I had a really good week.
VEGAN Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
1 pound dry red kidney beans
2 TB canola oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
1 large bell pepper (I like red)
2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (start with a little. you can always add more)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves minced OR 2 tsp Garlic Powder
8 cups water
3 tsp. Liquid Smoke
salt, to taste
1. Cover beans with water and soak overnight OR bring to boil once they are covered with water, allow to boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for one hour. Drain. Rinse.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the finely diced onion, celery, and bell pepper. I just popped mine in the food processor.
Cook 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the thyme, oregano, cayenne, black pepper, bay leaves and garlic. Cook for one minute longer. Add the beans and the water. DO NOT ADD THE SALT. THIS WILL MAKE YOUR BEANS TOUGH.
3. Turn the heat up to high, and cook the beans until they reach a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cover partially and cook (stirring occasionally) until they are very tender, and falling apart, about 2 - 3 hours. At the two hour mark, add the Liquid Smoke. Continue to cook until they are completely tender, add then add salt to taste. Mash 1/3 of the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher, to make the liquid thick. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, adjust seasonings, and remove bay leaves. Serve over rice. Yum.