Anyway, we had a pretty good weekend, too. Saturday the girls had a birthday party to attend, which was held at Monkey Joe's. Kyleigh and the birthday girl, as well as the other party attendees, had a great time. Abigail was somewhat unsure of the big inflatable bounce houses and preferred to stay in the party room playing with spoons. :) Sunday we hung out at Nate's parents' house, watched some football, and ate pizza. Yes, it was a good day. :) Monday, after the Parent-Teacher Conference, we went to the park to let the girls run around for a few minutes. Yes, it was cold outside but that is what coats and hats and gloves are for. Besides, just because it is cold out doesn't mean one doesn't need fresh air. Then grabbed some McDonald's for lunch (a rarity I assure you) at Nate's request and then down for naps. We topped the day off with going to a frozen yogurt bar in celebration of Kyleigh being dry two nights in a row! Then it was home and to bed...the girls were pretty tired out. It was a really great three-day weekend! :)
Which explains why today felt like Monday. Nate was home yesterday. So. Tuesday. Crock Pot day!! The last three or so weeks I've done stews. While it has been nice to have soul-warming stew, the girls have yet to actually eat their dinners on Tuesdays. Now I don't have a whole lot to throw into the slow cooker, so I decided to try my hand at some homemade baked beans. I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll cut up some leftover hot dogs we have to give it more 'kid appeal' and I've also been considering adding a bit of rice to it...I'll let ya know.
Thing2 has woken up quite early from her nap and Thing1 has decided to not nap at all. It'll be a rocky afternoon/evening if they don't get back to sleep. *Fingers crossed* Besides, they get up now and I won't be able to finish this post till later tonight. I really enjoy naptimes for 2 reasons: 1)it is quiet; 2) I get to blog and check out foodie sites. So yes, major bummer that nobody is napping.
Homemade Baked Beans
or we could even go with Baked Bean "Stew"...but then I feel like I'm doing the same thing week after week.
We begin by preparing the dried cranberry beans. In a large pot, bring the beans to a boil in no less than 8 cups of water. Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat and cover. Let it stand for one hour before use.
Now that the beans have sat, drain and rinse them and then add them to the CrockPot.
Add in 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4-1/3 cup molasses and 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion.
I had wanted to add in vegetable broth but I didn't have any, so I went with chicken broth. I used 3 cups of hot water with 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules. Pour over the ingredients already in the CrockPot.
Now add in 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Followed by 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp parsley.
Stir it all up, turn it on to low heat, cover, and let it go!
Here it is with about 90 minutes left before being done. It started out soupy, but cooked well to become thicker like baked beans should be.
Since we had leftover hot dogs in the fridge that weren't enough to be a meal unto themselves, I decided to slice them up and toss 'em in. They were in there for the remaining 90 minutes.
Now, what to do with those hot dog buns? Which, might I add, there were fewer buns left than there were hot dogs. How about using them for dipping sticks? Brilliant!
Slice them up, put them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil.
Now sprinkle on some kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley. Let it sit a bit before putting it into the oven to let the bread soak up the olive oil. Once you are ready, put the sheet into a preheated oven set at 300 degrees F and let them crisp up for about 10 minutes; longer if you want them crispier, more like giant croutons.
And dinner is served! Top each bowl with a dollop of Greek yogurt, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and a little more parsley. Serve with a side of the dipping sticks and enjoy! Yumm!!
Oh that's right! I can't believe I forgot! I have an alligator problem in my kitchen!!! haha