Back to school…back to blogging…back to life

Well, howdy there!

Been a long time, hasn’t it?

It was a crazy whirlwind summer for us.  In spite of the fact that we were uprooted and transplanted to a tropical rain forest in which it rained every.single.day. we had a very nice summer.

The girls started school last week –

Big Girl is in 7th grade. I can hardly believe she is so big!

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Little Bit started 4th grade.  When I took her to school, she didn’t want me to walk her in – she just hopped out in the carpool line and didn’t even look back.  My heart lurched a little, but I was so proud of her bravery and happy that she was comfortable enough to go on in without Mommy holding her hand.

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After taking almost every Friday off for the past month (plus a few weeks) and a week here and there to play with the girls, I’m back working a  “normal” schedule again.  That means I’m also back to managing our family schedule a little bit more closely, including meal planning – and that means it’s

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Here’s what’s cookin’ at our house this week:

Monday: Beef Stew (crock pot recipe) with some crusty homemade bread Friday: Chicken Noodle Casserole (this is a new crock pot recipe I want to try)
Tuesday: Asian Chicken Stir Fry Saturday: TBD
Wednesday: Mexican Potato Casserole (prep ahead & bake recipe)
(Tacos for the kids)
Sunday: “Lunch on the Lawn” at church (picnic)
and dinner with our Small Group – SuperMan’s absolutely awesome Brunswick Stew, homemade bread and cole slaw
Thursday: Bourbon Street Chicken (crock pot recipe) and rice w/ steamed broccoli I’m also nibbling on some of this bean salad for lunch this week

What’re you planning this week for yummies for your family?

Four-Bean Salad = YUM

In my efforts to get back on track eating-wise, I’ve been looking for some new recipes to spice things up a bit. Something new to excite my palate, yet something low-fat and low-carb to stay in line with the way I need to be eating.

I stumbled across a recipe for a bean salad on Pinterest and thought it looked pretty yummy. This in and of itself is rather remarkable because bean salad is something I would’ve never eaten a few years back.  But this one looked good and I happened to have the ingredients on hand so I gave it a try.

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The results were simply marvelous. I have been munching away on this for a few days now and it only gets better with time.

As usual, I made a few modifications so I thought I’d share my recipe with you here. It’s basically the same thing, with a little more seasoning & veggies thrown in.

The combination of crunchy veggies and creamy beans is just very satisfying and the coolness of the salad is great on a hot summer day. I’ve served it alongside dinner as a side dish the last couple nights. SuperMan and I have really enjoyed it.  The kids didn’t care too much for it, but  I’m sure they will warm up to the idea over time. Their palates are drastically improving this summer and they are trying all sorts of new things. I’m so proud of them.  So this bean salad will stay on the rotation for us and I hope they’ll learn to like it in time.

Four Bean Salad

Ingredients:

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 can black eyed peas
1 can sweet corn
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 ribs celery
1/2 Vidalia (sweet) onion

Italian dressing (about 1 1/2 cups)

Houston House Seasoning
Mrs. Dash Garlic Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Thoroughly rinse & drain the beans and corn.
  2. Finely dice the vegetables.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans and vegetables.
  4. Pour the Italian Dressing over the top and mix thoroughly.
  5. Season with about 1 tsp of the House seasoning, 1-2 tsp of the Mrs. Dash and salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Chill for about an hour before serving.

You may need additional dressing and/or salt/pepper at serving.

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Houston House Seasoning

1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 cup onion powder

Mix all thoroughly. For storage, reuse a large seasoning bottle (I reused my leftover garlic powder jar) or a Ziploc-type baggie.