Monday, October 14, 2013

Cowboy Beans

Recently a friend and her family came to eat dinner at my house.  The best part was: she brought all the food with her!  I didn't have to do a thing!  We even ate on paper plates so there weren't any dishes to do!  It was fabulous.  We really should do it again very soon. 

On the menu that night was:  Cowboy Beans!

So, with her permission, I thought I'd share her recipe with you!


1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans black beans
2 cans baked beans (I like to use the Bush's Maple Bacon Baked Beans)
8 oz. Ketchup  **be sure to get it without high fructose corn syrup** 
Brown Sugar, to taste  **or molasses**


Brown beef with the onion and green pepper. Drain and rinse kidney beans and black beans. DO NOT DRAIN baked beans.  Put all ingredients into crockpot. If you prefer a more soupy chili, simply add more ketchup.  Cook on low 4 hours. 

It's that easy!  

This would be a fantastic meal to make for someone in need.  It's sweet and filling, and very quick and easy.  You cant do better than that! 

(A very special "Thank You" to Niki Taylor for allowing me to use her recipe!)  

My other chili recipes: 

Notes marked with (**) are mine.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

White Chicken Chili

My husband loves chilli so much we usually eat it about once a week in the fall and winter months.  While we usually eat spicy chilli, sometimes you have to switch it up a bit.  Here's a change for you, if you're like me and you get tired of the same old thing all the time.


Shredded chicken
Navy beans
Garbanzo beans
Great Northern beans
Sliced carrots - about 1 carrot
Half bag frozen peas
Half bag frozen corn
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion (chopped)
3 Tablespoons oregano
2 hot peppers, diced (or 2 cans of green chillies)
Fresh cilantro
1/2 stick butter
1 quart chicken broth


The night before:  Put several chicken legs and wings in the crock pot and set it to cook on low for about 8 to 10 hours.    Soak your beans overnight to help break down the sugars. This will help reduce the unpleasant side affects that usually accompany these "musical fruits".  If ya know what I mean...?

The next morning:  remove chicken from the crock pot and shred.  Discard bones and put shredded chicken back in the broth.  Rinse your beans and put them in the crock pot.  In skillet, saute  garlic, onions, oregano, peppers, cilantro, salt and pepper (to taste) in butter.  When the peppers and onions are soft, add this mixture to the crock pot.  Slice 1 large carrot and put in crock pot.  Add 1/2 bag frozen peas and 1/2 bag frozen corn to crock pot.  Put the lid on the pot.  Set the pot to cook on low for about 8 hours. 

Serve with:

Sour cream
Mozzarella Cheese
Corn bread
Hot Apple Cider
Green Onions

Fast and Easy!  Dig in and Enjoy! 

Happy Fall!! 

Photo Credit

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chilli Supper

Autumn is my favorite season of all...till winter comes.  ;)  There's nothing better in the fall/winter season than a pipping hot bowl of chilli!  My favorite thing about chilli is the options that go along with it! 

As with any recipe, you may need to adjust and change it to meet your family's taste and likes.  We like it spicy. 


1 pound dry pinto beans
1 pound dry kidney beans
1/2 pound black beans
1 pound ground venison or bison
1 quart salsa - or a jar of your favorite store bought salsa
2 cans of dices chillies and tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of chilli powder
1 Tablespoon oregano
2 cloves of minced garlic
chopped onions
cilantro, salt, & pepper to taste

Soak your beans overnight to help break down the sugars. This will help reduce the unpleasant side affects that usually accompany these "musical fruits".  If ya know what I mean...?

If you forget to soak your beans, you can use the "quick soak" method, which I've never used, but I'm told it works well - you simply throw the beans in a pot of water.  Bring it to a boil.  Boil for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove it from the heat, and let it set for an hour or 2.

**If you don't have dry beans, you can use:  6 cans of spicy chilli beans & 3 cans of kidney beans.  This method will require fewer herbs and spices, since your canned beans will have spices in them already. ** 

In the morning, I rinse the soaked beans and put them in a crock pot along with the salsa, canned tomatoes/peppers, browned, ground meat and spices.  Add water until all is submerged.  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

(This recipe feeds about 6 to 8 people.)

Let the options begin.....

Serve chilli with:
Corn chips
Corn Bread
Sour Cream
Chives or Green Onions
Brown Rice
Pasta - (I really don't prefer this, but my husband grew up eating spaghetti pasta chopped into inch log strips and thrown in till soft.  I really can't stomach it, but you can divide the chili and add pasta to half of it.)
Organic Beef Franks and saurkraut
Organic or homemade french fries and cheese

I would love to hear back from you.  Leave a message below to share your favorite chili recipe and sides with all of us!

Click here for my white chili recipe.
Click here for my sweet chili recipe.

Photo Credit


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Glowing in the Dark

I love using things children love to get Biblical truths across!!  And, seriously, what kid (or adult) doesn't like things that glow in the dark?? 

So, what do we have in common with glow-y things?? 

Well, we, as Christians, are supposed to shine "out loud" in a very dark world.  While others are busy living their lives their way, we are, or should, be trying to live in such a way as to reflect the light of God.   

We can glow in the dark!!  But, not on our own. 

In fact, if we try to glow by ourselves, we will never be successful.  We may wear all the right things, go to the right places, hang out with the right people, and say the right words in the right tone.  But, if we're doing these things to be seen, and heard, by others around us, then we're doing them for the wrong reason, and God is not glowing through us.  We are simply throwing up "good works" that are vain.  Worthless.  Empty. 

So, how do we glow in the dark?  We realize that we're not the ones that are glowing.  We are nothing more than the plastic tube that hols the glowing liquid.  We love God and live for Him.  We live every day conscious of His presence and His will for our lives.  We allow the light of His love to shine through us and the good works we do.  

God is the real light.  He's the pretty, glowing liquid that shines and glitters in the dark.  No child ever loved the plastic tube more than the glowing liquid.  They love the tube because of the neon glow.   As soon as the glowing stops, the tube is pitched. 

When we hide ourselves in God and allow His love and light to shine through, people will notice.  They will notice that something is different about us.  They notice the difference.  They notice God.

Matthew 5:14 - 16 ~  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Too-Good-To-Be-True Healthy Ice Cream

I used to fuss about the kids (and husband) consuming soo much sugar, but then I found this really awesome "ice cream"!!  NO SUGAR INVOLVED AT ALL!!!   It's so nice to eat this sweet treat and not feel guilty.  Although, you feel like you SHOULD feel guilty because it really does taste too good to be true. 

 Not the greatest picture ever.  And, it may be slightly melted.  But it's still chocolate ice cream!!


1 Frozen Banana
1 Tablespoon of your favorite cocoa powder.  

Yep, you read it right!  That's ALL you need!

  1. Take the peels off your bananas before freeze them.  (I didn't take the peels of the first time I froze my bananas and they stuck.)
  2. Put frozen bananas in your blender or food processor.  You may need to wait a few moments for your bananas to thaw - just a tad.  Don't let them thaw too much.
  3. Puree your bananas and cocoa powder until smooth.  (You may need to add a few drops of milk to give it a creamy texture.)
  4. Plop in bowl and serve.
It's really that simple.  And, it tastes as good as it is easy.

We've even added strawberries to our frozen banana "ice cream".  That was pretty good too!

Thinking about trying peaches and/or maybe a few mini chocolate chips would be tasty too....just sayin'.  :) 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"God's Smuggler"

I love to read.  The problem with books is that my kids like to eat and my husband enjoys a clean house.  As soon as I pick up a book, some most of the above goes straight out the window!  I just hate to put the thing down!  

For that reason, I do a lot of on line reading.  It's so much easier to stop reading an article than it is to put a book down.  Not to mention, books tend to have chapters while articles have only paragraphs. 

Reciently, I've been reading a book by "Brother Andrew" and John and Elizabeth Sherrill.  God's Smuggler.  It's fan-TAS-tic!!  

If you're into missionary stories; if you're into adventure and present day miracles; if you're into answered prayers and living a life of faith - then this is the book for you!!  It's absolutely filled with God's power and His provision!

I read this book for the first time when I was in 6th grade.  It made such an impression on me that, even then, I decided that my future children would be required to read it one day.  I bought the book this spring and I read it from cover to cover - again!!  It's still just as awesome as I remember.  If not more so.  

 I'm in the process of reading it, chapter by chapter, to my children.


God's Smuggler is about a Dutch missionary, known as "Brother Andrew" who goes behind the iron curtain delivering Bibles to Christians and pastors of churches who don't have any.  He lives by faith - completely by faith.  He never askes any one for anything!  He doesn't even go around gathering support from churches.  He simply trusts God to provide for his ministry and his family.  

The whole book is amazing.  Right down to the very end where I discovered that the very people he was hiding from - the KGB - had been required to read his story.  They knew what he was doing, but couldn't arrest him because they couldn't ever catch him.  Could it be because he prayed, "God, you've made blind eyes see.  Please, make seeing eyes blind!"?  Could God have answered that prayer - over and over again??  He had Bibles.  No one ever saw them at any of the boarder checks - not even when he left them out in plain sight on the seat beside him.  No one ever stopped him.  No one!  Could God work such miracles??  Ummm....yeess....!! 

And, I believe He can and WILL work such miricles in our lives today if we let Him!  You may ask how we can STOP Him?  

By lacking faith!!   

Matthew 9:29 - According to your faith be it unto you.

I don't have any links or get paid for advertising this book.  I'm simply recommending it because this is the kind of thing I want my kids to know.  In my opinion, this is the kind of thing Christians to need more of!  

Do consider it - especially if you have children or grandchildren.  It's easy reading, and filled with adventure!  It's life changing!!  

Please, leave me a message below if you decide to give it a try!  I'd love to know your thoughts too!! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

U.S. Geography Made Personal!

SUMMER SCHOOL!!  ~ My kids love it!  {Believe it or not, they beg to do it every day.} 

I chose a few topics I wanted them to learn this summer and U.S. Geography just happened to be one of them.

{I love Geography!}

We bought a good size map for only $10.00 at Hobby Lobby - my favorite store EVER!!  We also bought star stickers, which came in a package of 5 different colors.  This worked out perfectly since I have 4 kids and we had a cousin at our house the day we started our project.   Each kid was able to have his/her own color to put on each state they're been to. 

Each kid had to find all of the states they've been to, tell me the name of those state, find the capitols, and then tell me something they had done or remembered about that state.  They had a blast!  {Kinda hard to see all the stars for the glare on the picture above.}

Now, that we have the stars on the map, we've been learning the Capitols, and discussing the states we've yet to visit.  What's there?  What's the weather like?  What kind of animals live in that state?  ** My personal favorite question ~ What famous person is from a particular state?  These types of things....

It makes Geography come alive when you put a more personal spin on it! 

Oh, and did I mention, they're all trying to beat each other at getting more stars on the map?  Not sure how that's going to go down since they all go everywhere together, but we shall see....  =D