Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meals That Remind You of Home

Our dinner last night was definitely one of those meals that reminds you of home...which is comfort to me!  My Mom cooked a lot growing up (and she is an awesome cook), and we almost always followed menus that my Mom and Dad worked on together.  That is a great way to save money for sure.  One thing I remember having a lot is pinto beans and tortillas.  Okay, to be honest at the time I hated beans and would eat about 3-4 tortillas with butter that I dipped in bean juice.  This always annoyed my Dad because I would always beg them to make the beans runny so I could have all the juice (and obviously they are better thick...I have come to my senses).  Anyways, beans in the crock-pot will always remind me of home.  So, I have two new recipes for you:  Cowboy Beans (from Mom) and corn bread (from All Recipes that is officially my go-to cornbread recipe from now on).  I loved every bit of this meal and it is very affordable.
 These beans are a little sweet it is kind of like baked beans meets chili!
 They have ground meat with onion in them.  I also put about 2 slices of bacon and 1 Tbsp. bacon grease (yes, I keep bacon grease in my freezer-hello cholesterol!).
 Weird angle but you get the picture.  The cornbread was so good that I didn't even have to put butter on it (that is a first).

Cowboy Beans
(takes about 7-8 hours in the crock pot)
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 chopped onion (I used yellow)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. Worcestershire
2 tsp. chili powder
 2 Tbsp. wet mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 cup dried pinto beans, soak them the night before
1 cup dried great northern beans (they are white), soak them the night before
3 cloves garlic (I just threw in the whole clove)
cooked bacon, optional (recipe calls for 1/2 lb, I used 2 slices that were cooked and diced)

In morning rinse beans that you have soaked overnight.  Place them in a large crock-pot with enough water to cover them by about 2 inches (may add water later).  Add salt, pepper, and garlic cloves and turn to high heat for 1 hour.  Turn the heat down to med or low and cook for about 6 hours (adjust heat to high again if they are not soft after 4 hrs).  About an hour and a half before dinner, cook your meat and add onion when you meat is almost done.  Cook until well browned; add bacon if you desire.  Add meat to crock-pot along with all your other ingredients (ketchup, BBQ, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, chili powder, mustard).  Stir and let simmer for an hour or a little longer.  If you are making corn bread you can start that now!  Great with cornbread or tortillas.
*you could use canned beans if you want, the recipe calls for 4 cans of beans and you could use butter beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, pork 'n beans (I like the dried beans because they are cheaper)

Amazing Cornbread
6 Tbsp. Butter
2/3 cup sugar (I used a little less)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 Tbsp. vinegar mixed with milk, let sit for 5 minutes)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup oat flour (oatmeal blended until resembles flour consistency)
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 and place empty 9 in. square pan in while it preheats.  Melt butter in a large sauce pan or skillet.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar.  Let cool a little then add in eggs and mix well.  Combine buttermilk and baking soda then add to pan.  Stir in cornmeal, flour, wheat flour, oat flour and salt (I mixed all of these in a bowl first, but it doesn't matter).  Stir until well blended and a few lumps remain.  Take square pan out of oven (be careful), and butter the edges.   Pour batter into the pan and then place in the oven.  Cook for 25-35 minutes (my oven cooks really fast so I checked mine at 20).  Insert a toothpick, when it is done it will come out clean.  Serve warm!  
I feel like this recipe is a lot easier than it sounds.  Let me know if you have any questions.  I adapted the recipe from AllRecipes.

This morning I made Cliff and easy breakfast then did pilates.  I got ready then made myself some breakfast.  I know it is kind of repetitive but I love this pancake.  You can see my James scripture I am it so much!  Hope everyone is having an awesome day.
Happy Thursday!

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