I love those certain recipes where I can just stick something all into my bean pot, pop it in to the oven and forget about it. I especially enjoy the "pop it in the oven and forget it about it" meals on days that all four of my kids are in school (that only happens 2 days a week since my youngest is in part time kindergarten). It gives me the chance to do one of the other millions of things a mom has to keep up with! Or enjoy a quiet cup of tea while thumbing through the new Pottery Barn catalog...who needs clean laundry anyway!
I decided to dig through the internet and find a healthy white bean chicken chili recipe that I have never tried. In my house, if you announce to the kingdom of picky eaters that you are trying a new recipe its like they all go running from vampires, throw up their fingers in the cross symbol and put on their garlic necklaces in protest of trying something new. No...they do not make my job easy when it comes to trying new things.
I found this recipe online. I figured it didn't have a bunch of complicated ingredients that might make my family melt if they tried it and minus the cheese & sour cream (for me) it was polite to my waistline!
I made a couple minor tweaks to the recipe by adding in one extra can of white beans and one cup of fire roasted frozen corn from Trader Joes. Everything is hearty and healthy and with a fresh wheat baguette it becomes a meal that will fill up my man!
The most elbow grease that was put into this recipe was browning the meat...
and slow cooked in the oven on 325 for a couple hours! Way too simple!!
I bet your dying to know the verdict from my family...
Well, my youngest ended up eating a peanut butter and jelly sammy, the older girls had seconds and my husband said "save this recipe!!"
There was not a drop left at the bottom of my bean pot!!
I cant wait to try more recipes in my new bean pot. I think I am going to try applesauce next. What will my family think if they realize applesauce actually comes from apples and not out of a container that says Motts??? Dun-dun-dun-duuuun!!!
I hadn't until I received one from a friend who is a consultant for Celebrating Home. It is like a slow cooker for your oven. Way cool! Not to mention it is really pretty. The bean pot is hand painted/glazed and made from east Texas clay (woot woot! for USA materials!), it is also dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. Can I get an "amen" up in here for cool cooking tools that I can throw in the dishwasher? We don't need no dishpan hands! My bean pot also keeps all my foods warm or chilled for up to 3-4 hours which is perfect because if I ever have to bring food somewhere crockpot style and there is no plug then my bean pot will save the day.
I gathered up all of my ingredients and mixed them straight into the pot to make this delicious smelling mixture for my chicken to bake in...
I popped in the chicken, put the lid on the pot and baked it at 325 for a little over an hour.
In the meantime I prepared the sides, asian salad and white rice.
My family chowed down on this! There wasn't even a piece of rice left over!
After dinner I was going to put my pot in the dishwasher but to my surprise while I rinsed it out everything came right off! The glazed surface kept everything from being a baked on mess. I could get used to that...I hate scrubbing stuff!
I was really impressed by my bean pot and because I have retired my BBQ for the wet cold months upon us I have been inspired to bring out my cozy slow cooking recipes to try in my bean pot. I have also been inspired to scrounge around Pinterest for some new recipes! Hmmm, so what am I cooking in my bean pot tomorrow??
It comes with everything you need to apply it to pretty much any surface. Suction cups for windows, magnets for the fridge and heavy duty tacks for walls. What I really liked about it was the quality of the products used to adhere it to surfaces. Many times I have gone out and purchased something to hold pictures and clutter just to have it slide down the fridge or fall out of the wall. Button-Up is tough! For my experiment I used the magnets on my fridge.
How does it hold things??
All you do is pop your doo-dad under one of these buttons and it holds everything securely.
I tried a little bit of everything as you can see:) It makes for a great "Grand Central Station" of important papers, coupons, notes and pictures!
I could get really creative with Button-Up. I could use it in my office as an inspiration board, in a restaurant window (with the suction cups) to hold a menu or I could flip in over and use it as a white board. I like that it is really versatile!
However, my favorite use was for a picture board on my fridge...
If you are in the market for a nifty little organizing system try Button Up out!
I was recently asked by a local company called Pegell to review their product called "Button Up." It is a really cool organizing system that you can use anywhere in your home, office, restaurant, RV, garage...you name it I bet it can go there! It replaces the refrigerator magnet style of organizing your little doo-dads and what-cha-ma-call-its. In my language that means it is a really awesome de-cluttering tool!! Because I am an in my fall frantic organize mode I gladly took on the challenge to do this fun review. It comes with magnets, suction cups and tacks so I will be trying it all over the sixpack house and testing it with all these little papers and "dont forgets" the kids keep bringing home now that school has started!
So stay tuned...I will be experimenting today with this versatile gadget to see how I can be creative with it and I will be taking lots of pictures to show y'all how I plan to use it!
Because I have fallen head over heels in LOVE with photography I have dedicated a little bloggity blog of my work. I am always a work in progress and forever a photography student so if you would like to see me transition into something new head on over to my new found art:)
So maybe this isn't the highest of angles to choose from but I am taller than her so it falls in the category right?! On saturday afternoon we decided to take the kids and do a little exploring in downtown Portland. We took the kids into this really cool shop called Cargo that is filled with all kinds of funky junk! There was a barrel of parasol's sitting out and my daughter pointed to them and said "MOM! those would be great props!"...I couldn't help but gush at that and think to myself "Hmmm do I have a future little photog on my hands??!" Look out world!
Then for the rest of our afternoon she walked all over Portland with her little pink parasol!
Well you don't have to look far in Washington for something green now do you?! There is so much green around I wasn't quite sure what I was going to shoot until I came across this cute green bike leaning against a green picket fence today!
And how whimsical is it to have a basket filled with flowers and American flags?!
Have you ever tried to take a picture of yourself? Like a REAL one. Not one where your arm is on the side of the picture because your holding your camera phone in front of your face but like a real one where you are perched in front of the camera like everything is cool. Uh...its not as easy as it looks and honestly it feels quite awkward and dorky. It is also unnerving when you hear someone coming and afraid that they might see you "taking a picture of yourself" you awkwardly look off to the side and end up with something with one eye shut and a facial expression that looks like you have just smelled something foul.
It kinda went something like this:
~Set up camera on tripod that doesn't work well with new very big, very heavy camera.
~Set the timer button..."oh crap!" How do I set the timer again on this new camera? Got to find the manual.
~OK..timer is set, hit the button and run in front of the camera..."what do I do now?" Think for a second...FLASH! The camera takes the picture. I look awkward, confused and the tripod isn't holding my camera and tilted forward to cut off my head.
~Strip down and throw clothes on the floor in a huff.
I always love a "challenge" and when I found this on Pinterest (WARNING: Pinterest is a highly addicting website of all types of eye candy) the other day I knew I had to do it! I think I was lured by the pretty way the 30 day logo was designed...because lets face it I am just a big fat sucker for pretty eye candy of all sorts!
My photography classes are on a summer hiatus for now. While the kids are home I decided to stay as UNbusy as I possibly can so I have the freedom to go and do things without constraints. Afraid that my new photog skills would get a little dusty I found something to keep me going "hmmm" for 30 days straight.
Here is the challenge...
And really nobody needs a fancy camera to play with this one:) A point and shoot or camera phone will do just dandy. I know if I am in a pinch I will just bust out the old iPhone and use my hipstamatic app!
I really love working with this kid! My daughter is such a sport when it comes to letting me experiment with different locations that I scope out around town and letting me get some homework done!
She loves being in front of the camera...I have no idea where she gets that from (wink wink)! When it comes time to drag her out for a little mini shoot I don't even have to bribe-beg-plead for cooperation. She is all poses and grins.
Can I just say that as a mom of four when you experience cooperation at any level from any child it is truly a gift. So saying that I am thankful for it is an UNDERSTATEMENT!
Here is a little sneak peak of our mini shoot around Washougal.
I have so many more places I want to experiment with so I hope she never gets tired of me buggin' for a shoot!
I am just scratching the surface with this photography stuff and by no means am I a pro or consider myself one (should the logo make you think I have gone mad and pronounced myself a professional). I am aspiring right now and reveling in everything I am learning.
From classes to self teaching to getting out and messing up entire shoots this has been one of my greatest experiences.