Cuban Black Beans is one of our favorite meals, but it takes over 3 hours in the oven and with our busy afternoons of school pick-ups and after school activities I haven't been able to make this in a while. So I decided to try it in the slow cooker and was so pleased with the results that I will probably just make this in the slow cooker from now on.
It still takes some prep work in the morning so give yourself at least 30 minutes to prepare the beans before putting them in the crock pot. But you will have an easy night when all you have to do is make rice and serve. The boys love Cuban black beans too. They love to swirl sour cream into it.
If you want to go vegetarian just omit the bacon (use another fat to saute the vegetables) and omit the chorizo.
Serve these beans with plain white rice, sour cream, hot sauce, lime wedges and chopped tomatoes.
2 ounces bacon (2 slices), chopped fine
2 onions, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped medium
1 teaspoon cumin
6 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ¾ teaspoon dried
6 cups water
1 pound dried black beans (2 cups), picked over and rinsed
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
½ pound chorizo sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick (you can also remove the casing and crumble it or use smoked sausage)
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, optional (I omit the cilantro b/c we don't like it)
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Santa Claus brought the boys this really cool treehouse for Christmas. The boys love the Magic Tree House series so we decided it might be fun to play with the tree house and read a story at the same time. We read the Magic Tree House book Dinosaurs Before Dark (affiliate link). Magic Tree House books are a great starter series for getting into chapter books. We have quite a few books in the series that we collected over the years.
I read the story aloud to the boys while they acted out scenes from the book with dinosaurs, the tree house, and a couple of knights. We had to improvise since we don't have little boy and girl toy figures. The younger boys played in the beginning, but eventually lost interest. It takes an hour or two to finish a Magic Tree House book. (We had to pause so I could make bread dough in the bread-maker too.) The younger boys quit playing with the tree house, but still listened to the story while they made paper fish for the toy Pteranodon to eat. My oldest who is 7 however, played the whole time and acted out every scene.
He even got in some writing practice. Every time Jack, the boy in the story, wrote observations down in his notebook, my oldest wrote the same observations down in his notebook.
It was a fun way for us to spend a Saturday afternoon enjoying a good book together.
My Mom sent me an article the other day about making smoothies with three ingredients that can have calming effects on children. The ingredients they recommend adding to your smoothie are spinach, coconut, and avocado. I made smoothies this morning for the boys and I, adding these ingredients and we all really enjoyed them. This recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 adult size smoothies or 5 to 6 child size smoothies.
You can use my ingredient list as a guideline and add whatever you want to make it just the way you like it.
Green Smoothie Ingredients:
3 C. frozen fruit
1 big handful of Spinach
3 T. honey
3/4 C. coconut milk
1 ripe avocado
1 1/2 bananas
Blend until smooth. Enjoy.
It is amazing how roasting onions completely changes them. I cut the ends off the onions with great difficulty as tears rolled down my face. I could barely see what I was doing as I was reminded why I never buy yellow onions and stick with milder sweet onions for everyday cooking. Yet when these came out of the oven all I could smell was heavenly warm deliciousness.
And delicious they were. My seven year old who picked all of the onions off of his pizza a few days ago asked for seconds. Yeah! Healthy superfood onions and the boys like them!
1 bag small to medium yellow onions
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground sea salt
1. Slice ends off the onions leaving the outer skins on. Arrange onions in a sided pan.
2. Drizzle olive oil over the onions. Put a small pat of butter on top of each onion.
3. Salt and pepper generously. Bake at 375 F. for 25 minutes.
4. Increase temperature to 400 F. and bake for another 20-30 minutes until tender.
5. Let cool a few minutes before serving. They hold heat and will still be warm well into your meal. Remove the outer skins before consuming.
Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker.
Linking up at Do Tell Tuesday, Create with Joy, Lou Lou Girls
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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