Thursday, January 3, 2008

Warming Up Our Insides

Baby, it's cold outside! My friend and were talking this morning about how this weather is just a little too cold for us. It is hard to get motivated to do anything when covered by blankets and holding a mug of coffee. The boys are running around the house playing with friends and I am just enjoying the sounds of these last days of Christmas break. Even the thought of going to basketball practice tonight is too much like the regular "routine" for me.

All this cold weather does make me want to cook warm foods to warm up our insides. I start wanting things like soup and things I can make in my crockpot. We love red beans and rice, but somehow my recipe has morphed into something that is more chili like than just red beans, but we like it anyway. The boys have been asking for something "sweet" so I think we'll make some simple graham cracker cookies.

Deanna’s Red Beans & Rice

Here is my recipe for red beans and rice that I made for today’s lunch.

2 cans dark kidney beans
1 ½ lbs. ground round
1 lb. hot link sausage
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can Hunts special sauce
1 large can stewed tomatoes
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (to taste)
Oregano and parsley (to taste)

Brown meat and onion and drain. Drain one can of the red beans and then add both cans to the ground beef. Add the rest of the ingredients in large pan. Cook 2 hours on medium heat stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer another 2 hours. Serve over cooked rice.

Graham Cracker Cookies

20 to 25 graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup candy-coated chocolate candies
Place graham crackers in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with non-stick vegetable spray. In a medium saucepan, melt sugar, butter and margarine; boil for about 4 minutes. Pour mixture over graham crackers; sprinkle with remaining toppings. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on wax paper.

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