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Spread canned refried beans onto any cheap tortilla chips.

Then sprinkle a little cumin, shredded cheddar, and some diced jalapenos if you have them.

No big deal if you don’t.

Bake in the oven or toaster oven at 350 until the cheese is melted, eat with some salsa.  They are a lot more filling with the beans than if you just had the chips with cheese.

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chik n q

 

 

 

 

 

 

This really couldn’t be any easier.  Put a few bone in, skin on chicken breasts in a cast iron dutch oven.  Add a big blob of barbecue sauce and about 1/8 tsp of liquid smoke.  Put on the lid and put it in the oven, set it at 280º and walk away.  2-3 hours later, take it out of the oven, peel off the skin and take all the meat off the bone with two forks.  Shred it with more sauce and serve on a bun.  I usually make pork loin like this but the chicken tastes even better and is less expensive.

Today B was nice and brought me back a sea salt from the store, so I could make some bath salts.

I made it in the 4oz jelly jars (Ball brand canning jars)

That’s about 1/2 a cup of salt.  Add a 1/4 cup of oil, in this one we used half sesame and half extra virgin olive oil.  To that, a few drops of vanilla extract, about 10 drops of grapefruit oil and some zest from a lemon and a lime that were sitting around.

Stir it all up, let it sit a minute, then add more salt if it’s too oily, more oil if it’s too dry.  Here it is all done except for stirring in a little more lime zest to make it smell just like the Ocean Salt scrub from Lush:

The best thing is to run warm water and scoop out about a walnut-sized amount and scrub your hands with it, rinse well and use some lotion if you want but you probably won’t need it. (Use Dream Cream if you want the whole Lush experience).  Super soft, good-smelling hands, what’s not to like?

(Thanks to Brigitte for stirring up this batch and taking the great pictures!)

I am on a quest to re-create the Kashi brand frozen southwestern chicken flavor dinner.  I can’t buy their grain mix anywhere around here, so  I grabbed a random sampling of grains from the bulk bins, organic where it was a choice, and I’ll post how it turns out as I mess with it.

Test one:

1/2 cup short grain brown rice

1/4 cup each bulgher cracked wheat, rye berries and oat groats.

Fill the cooker up to the 3 cup line with half water, half nonfat chicken stock and a teaspoon of sea salt.

This is how it came out, I had a half cup of this mixed with a half  cup of black beans, some salsa and a big pinch of shredded sharp cheddar on top a few hours ago and I’m still full.  I was too lazy to grill up chicken strips but other than not having meat it was almost identical since I throw cheese on top of their frozen dinners too.

cooked grains.  exciting.

Tacos!

Brown a pound of good grass-fed beef with 1/2 a chopped onion, a chopped green pepper, several fire sauce packets from Taco Bell or a big blob of whatever salsa is in the fridge, a pack of Goya Saizon and a teaspoon of cumin. Once it’s almost done rinse and drain a can of black beans (or use some from your fridge because you planned ahead! and made extra earlier in the week!) and stir those in, let it all heat up. Makes a good dozen tacos, shown here with pico de gallo, shredded lettuce and sharp cheddar.

I have been working on getting rid of all factory farmed foods from my diet, and while that hasn’t happened yet, the one area I tackled first starting last year was meat.  It’s been harder than you would think, since we don’t have a Whole Foods any closer than an hour away AND I don’t have a chest freezer.  Poor poor pitiful me, right??  One of the last meats to get added back in has been pork.  This picture had me pretty much off any of it, but I finally found some guilt free pork I can get!  The place is right here in GA and it’s called Thompson Farms and once I read up about it some, you better believe I placed an order in a hurry!  Emily pointed out that I could have bought that at Whole Foods too, but making one special trip for that would have cost me more than $12 in gas, which is all they charged for the shipping so I will just pretend I didn’t waste that money.  So it only took two days to get here, and look at what the nice UPS man brought me

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I got three ham slices since one of our favorite dinners around here is ham slice, rice and cabbage.  But the subject for today’s post is the bacon ends.  I got three pounds and put two in the freezer, and y’all.  They smell so good, I wish you could be here to smell just how good and smoky they are.  (yes, the y’all means I said that in a Paula Deen voice).

The thing I have missed the most is bacon bits.  I am not a huge meat eater, but some things are just not nearly as good without bacon bits.  Cheesy grits, baked potatoes, thin crust pizza with cheddar and jalapenos and onion.  And of course all the different kinds of beans.  So this morning I decided that I would turn some of those bacon ends into crispy bacon bits.

1.  Using some clean kitchen scissors, cut pieces of bacon ends into a preheated skillet on medium heat.

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2.  Stir and let them get almost burnt.  The fat will start to foam up and almost look white on top when they’re done:

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3.  Drain them on a paper towel, and then use a food chopper for bacon pieces (pictured) or a Magic Bullet to turn them into bits.  Pulse them twice, more than that and you end up with bacon powder.  Guess how I know that.

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4.  Put them in a jar.  Catch your husband eating big spoonfuls out of the jar and make a big stink.  Tell him to make his own batch.  God.  You can’t do anything nice without someone just hogging it all up and not leaving any for the rest of us.
Here they are in the fridge, next to the bean sprouts.  You remember me talking about those on Facebook, right?  If you don’t – yeah.  I talked about them a lot on Facebook.  Those are so good too.

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I hope I have inspired someone to get their bacon and stuff from a local family farm!  The pigs are free to run around and be piggy (argh, up until someone kills them but let’s not think about that too much) and you can really tell the difference in the flavor.  When I finally get my chest freezer situation all sorted out, I am going to make a day of going to Thompson Farm and White Oak Pastures for beef and chicken, and get all of my “friendly meat” as JB calls it all in one trip.  I am betting that will make the cost not any more than regular gross meat from Kroger!

strawberry season!

They’re not organic. They’re not as good as home grown. But at 79 cents a pound you better believe I’m going to buy more than one box of them. Jack prefers the box they came in. I’m thinking after the good luck I’ve had with mung bean sprouts I need to try to grow him some catnip to make up for the small animals we keep taking away from him. (JB rescued another slightly damp but otherwise unharmed chipmunk from Jack today).