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  1. Monday, December 22

    Gram’s 4-Bean Salad

    Big thanks to Libby’s for sponsoring today’s post.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    I’m starting to sound like a broken record this month, but I really love how the food around the holidays reminds me of loved ones and years past. It’s definitely the time of year that I turn to beloved family recipes the most.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Nate’s Gram Maynard didn’t cook much, but she had a few signature recipes that were pretty much perfect. Like potato salad – it was simple, reliable and perfectly flavored. And her homemade hot fudge was to die for. Another one of her recipes that we loved was her marinated 4-bean salad. It appeared at every family gathering and, even though Gram is no longer with us, the bean salad is always still on the table when we all get together. Just seeing that bowl of beans instantly reminds me of Gram.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Thankfully we have the recipe and can recreate the magic whenever we want. I love this 4-bean salad because it is beyond easy to throw together, has just the right amount of sweetness and goes with pretty much anything. Plus, for our family, every bite reminds us of Gram, which is especially welcome around the holidays.

    gram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynardgram's 4-bean salad from @janemaynard

    Gram's Marinated 4-Bean Salad
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1¼ cups canned wax beans
    • 1¼ cup canned green beans
    • 1 cup canned kidney beans
    • ¾ cup canned chickpeas
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
    • ½ cup chopped green pepper
    • ⅔ cup vinegar
    • ½ cup canola oil
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
    Instructions
    1. Drain al lof the canned beans
    2. In a large bowl combine the wax beans, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, onions and green peppers together.
    3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the bean mixture.
    4. Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
    5. Drain before serving.

     


  2. Thursday, January 23

    A Pot of Beans {How to Cook Dried Beans}

    Over the years I have been lucky enough to have several close friends who are Mexican and they have all introduced me to various wonderful foods. Those friends are all also really good at cooking beans. And, for whatever reason, no matter how many times they have told me how to cook beans and assured me that it’s easy, I had a mental block. Every time I would go to cook a bag of dried beans, I would freeze. Seriously, total mental block. I just could never remember exactly how to do it and felt dumb always asking “one more time” how to cook beans!

    how to cook dried beans from @janemaynard (it's easy peasy!)

    Well, I have finally broken down my bean barriers. One of my neighbors is Mexican and I finally just sucked up my pride and asked her (multiple times) how to cook dried beans. And then I actually did it. I cooked beans! And, surprise surprise, they were easy to make and mighty delicious!

    how to cook dried beans from @janemaynard (it's easy peasy!)

    For real, it’s easy. You’ll need to be home for a few hours to check on them occasionally while they cook, but that is seriously the hardest part of the recipe. I like to cook a big pot of beans at one time and then freeze the leftovers into 2-cup containers. The beans are easy to defrost and I love having them on hand. And they really do taste better than canned beans.

    How to Cook Dried Beans
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bag of dried beans (Black, pinto, peruan, whatever variety you like! Peruan is the variety you see in these photos.)
    • Water
    • Big pot
    • ¼ of an onion
    • Salt
    Instructions
    1. Ari (my neighbor) will sometimes soak the beans overnight, but it's not necessary. If you forget, no worries!
    2. Place the beans in a big pot (I use my french oven). Add water to cover the beans (if you soaked the beans prior, drain that water and add new water to the pot). Place ¼ of an onion (large pieces is fine) in the pot along with some salt (maybe about a teaspoon or so). Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat, then cook over medium-low to medium heat for 2-3 hours (longer if you didn't soak the beans before hand). Stir the beans occasionally throughout the entire cooking process. You may need to add more water at some point if the water is running low but the beans are still not cooked through. The beans are done when they are soft and yummy!
    3. Remove the onion and add more salt if needed. If you want them to be more like refried beans, just mash them up a bit!


  3. Wednesday, July 7

    Best Baked Beans

    The recipe I’m about to give you is dangerously delicious. If you like baked beans, you’ll LOVE these. I made them for the 4th of July and they were a hit, even with my most-of-the-time-vegetarian friend. Thanks to my mom’s sisters who introduced me to this baked beans recipe to begin with. I have no idea where they originally got it from, perhaps I should do some digging. Wait. I’m rambling. Enjoy the beans!

    Best Baked Beans
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Side Dish, Beans
    Ingredients
    • 2 large cans baked beans (~3 lb 5 oz total)
    • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • ½ pound bacon, chopped
    • 2 rings pineapple (or one small can pineapple chunks, broken apart with your fingers)
    Instructions
    1. Sauté the onion and green pepper over medium heat until starting to get soft. Add the bacon and sauté until bacon is cooked through. Drain grease.
    2. While the onion and pepper are doing their thing, mix together the beans, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard and pineapple. When the sautéd stuff is done, add it to the bean mixture. Bake in a 300-degree oven or in a crockpot on high for 2-3 hours. (I got a late start when I made these, so I baked at 350 for about 1 hour and they came out fine.)

     


  4. Thursday, November 12

    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos

    Today I’ve got a quick, tasty meal idea for you, thanks to my dear friend Angie who shared this non-recipe-recipe with me recently. It’s her go-to meal and it’s a winner!

    easy bean tacos1 web

    In honor of The Pioneer Woman giveaway we’ve got going this week, I did this post Ree style, photographing every step of the cooking process. Thought it would be funny to finally do that with the easiest recipe on my site. Funny, right? A-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos
     
    Easy to make and delicious to eat!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Ingredients
    • Flour or corn tortillas, smaller size
    • Shredded cheese
    • Can of refried beans
    • Toppings you like on tacos…tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc.
    Instructions
    1. Preheat your oven broiler. Heat up the can of beans in a saucepan.
    2. Place the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle some cheese on half of the tortilla (you can also heat them up on the stove, whichever you prefer).
    3. Pop the tray in the oven, broil until the cheese melts. This is seriously the hardest step of the process. You still with me?
    4. Schmear on the beans.
    5. Add your favorite taco toppings.
    6. Fold. Eat. Enjoy.

    easy bean tacos2 webeasy bean tacos3 webeasy bean tacos4 webeasy bean tacos5 webeasy bean tacos6 web

    We really liked these tacos, and I loved how simple they were to make. But I’ve gotta say, I think a few grilled peppers and onions would give the tacos nice flavor and crunch…but yeah, that involves chopping stuff AND dirtying another pan. So don’t worry too much about it. These are Easy Peasy Bean Tacos, after all.


  5. Friday, August 28

    Call for Recipes: Chili Cook-Off!

    Chili was one of the first things I learned how to cook without a recipe, so it holds a fond place in my heart. Over the years how I make chili has evolved and the great part is that it was delicious no matter what form it took! It’s one of my favorite go-to meals and my kids love it, so chili is therefore one of my favorites, too! 😉

    Recipe for Simple and Delicious Chili from @janemaynard

    As much as I love my chili (recipe below!), chili is one of those dishes I know people have recipes they are proud of and want to share. So I think it’s time for a chili cook off, don’t you? Call for Recipes posts are my favorite and I can’t wait to see what you guys have to share in the chili department. 

    Recipe for Simple and Delicious Chili from @janemaynard

    My recipe is not fancy, but it’s good, easy and flexible. And you can use whatever you have lying around. For you chili diehards out there…yes, I’m breaking all kinds of rules. (Beans! Quel horreur!) So, be nice. This is a FRIENDLY chili cook-off…anything goes, there are no rules!

    Recipe for Simple and Delicious Chili from @janemaynard

    Chili
     
    Measurements are approximate, this recipe is easy going.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • About ⅓ of an onion, chopped
    • Bell pepper (about half of one…red tastes better, but green offers a nice color contrast…you choose!)
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced…if you don’t have fresh garlic, just sprinkle some garlic powder
    • ~3/4 lb ground beef (you can easily make this vegetarian by cutting the ground beef and adding an extra can of beans!)
    • 1 can kidney beans (14 oz size)
    • 1 can of chili beans (usually a mix of black, pinto and white) - I used to do 1 can of baked beans, but now I usually do the chili beans instead)
    • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
    • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (or salsa/pasta sauce lying around in the fridge)
    • ~2 tablespoons chili powder
    • ~1/2 – 1 teaspoon cumin
    • ~1/2 - 1 teaspoon paprika
    • a few shakes of cayenne on the days I want some heat (red pepper flakes and hot sauce also work)
    • salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Saute the onion and bell pepper in a about a tablespoon of oil over medium heat until onions are turning clear and vegetables have softened.
    2. Add the garlic and ground beef. Sprinkle everything with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly to break up the meat, until ground beef is browned and cooked through. Drain off fat.
    3. Add everything else, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and let cook for about 10 minutes.
    4. Serve with shredded cheese, corn chips, corn bread, sour cream, whatever you like!

    Time for you to share your favorite chili recipes! Any kind of chili counts, variety is the spice of life after all! Bring it on! You want to win the blue ribbon, right?


  6. Wednesday, January 31

    Rosemary Chicken with Artichokes & White Beans

    Rosemary Chicken with Artichokes & White Beans
     
    From Jennifer Schulte
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry
    Ingredients
    • 4-6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
    • 1½ teaspoon dried rosemary
    • ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper (I use Kosher salt, it’s saltier!)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 14 ounce can, diced tomatoes
    • 1 14 ounce can, white beans drained (I use ‘great Northern beans’ from Bush’s)
    • 1 14 ounce can, artichoke hearts (quartered if you can find them, if not just drain & roughly chop up whole ones into quarters)
    • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
    Instructions
    1. Mix the spices together and sprinkle on one side of the chicken breasts. Heat the oil in large skillet to med high (I use a sauce pan, higher sides), add chicken seasoned side down and brown (3-4 min). Turn over chicken and add tomatoes, beans and artichokes, cook 5 min. Reduce heat and stir in olives, cook another 5 min or until chicken is done through and sauce thickens a little.
    2. Serving = 1 breast + ½ cup or so of the chunky sauce! I serve this with brown rice, cooked in chicken broth.

     


  7. Kitchen Sink Quesadillas

    Click here to see a dedicated blog post about this recipe, with adaptations and notes on the recipe provided.

    Kitchen Sink Quesadillas
     
    From: Real Simple magazine These are really good, and you can cook all your quesadillas at once, which is nice
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Serves: 4
    Ingredients
    • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained
    • 1 11-ounce can corn kernels, drained
    • ¾ cup salsa, drained
    • 1 8-count package large flour tortillas
    • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • Juice of 1 to 2 limes
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced 1 inch thick
    Instructions
    1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, corn, and salsa.
    2. Place 4 tortillas on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the black bean mixture on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and sandwich with the remaining tortillas. Bake until the cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, lime juice, and oil. Add the lettuce and toss.
    3. Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board. Cut each into 6 wedges. Serve with the salad.