Posts Tagged ‘great crockpot bean recipes’

My last post for this year. Time to get ready to spend Christmas with my family, and I might imagine you to be doing the same.

It’s been an interesting year, and has passed in the blink of an eye. I can’t believe we’re celebrating our second Christmas in our new house. Seems as though we were pulling things out of boxes and finding spots to store only yesterday.

Yesterday I traveled first by bus, then by train, to visit my mother in San Jose. A total of 8 hours. It was a home game for the 49ers so the train was full of avid fans all dressed in red tee-shirts depicting their favorite players and ready to party. I brought my headsets. Whew. As I’ve said before, I love the train. Ambling along the tracks with vistas of the ocean whizzing by outside my window. Very peaceful. Buses, however, not my favorite form of transportation. This was the first bus trip I’ve signed up for since Eve ate the apple. The last one was to accompany a friend on a three-day junket to Las Vegas. What a disaster that was. People were encouraged to bring setups if they chose to enjoy an adult beverage along that way. From the looks of things several hours into the trip that included everyone who boarded the vehicle, including the driver. Now, it’s not that I’m not a fan of enjoying a cocktail. Certainly I have enjoyed one or two over the years. But being locked inside a moving silver bullet with 60 drunk strangers and one bathroom with no light is not my idea of a party. I’m just saying. About three quarters of the way there, after the “guide” assigned by the tour group had been pelted with sandwich material from the lunches distributed, our bus hit another bus and we spent the first evening getting off the bus, gathering our belongings, and boarding a new bus. Finally we arrived at our hotel well into the witching hour with apologies from the tour line and $20 worth of chips and a fruit basket for our trouble.

Rick stayed behind this year. I’ll be back in time to put out cookies for Santa and cook the bird. He did drop me off at the bus stop. For some reason I thought there would be a place to wait inside. What a princess. I hear you laughing. There was not. At the station there was a roundabout with a series of outside seating areas each marked with the buses picking up there. Before leaving the house I discovered I couldn’t take a suitcase of the size I had already packed, so I did a quick reshuffle to a duffel bag ending up bringing one pair of mismatched pajamas, two pairs of jeans, no socks, and several shirts and sweaters none of which matched. Good news, I did remember clean underwear. Mother says this is the most important item on the list.

A half an hour early Rick wanted to stay with me. There were three men, two young and two old, waiting at my stop and one woman about sixty. Insisting I would be fine and well over the age of consent, I should have no problem waiting for a bus. Naturally my warm jacket was sitting on top of my suitcase at home with all the clothes I wasn’t going to wear. Five minutes into waving goodbye to my car I regretted the decision. A steady misty rain began to fall, as did my hair and my disposition. At one point, lips turning a lovely shad of teal, I had wrapped my sweater totally around my face and was doing a piece from Riverdance.

One of the men standing on my side of the road with a skateboard was a smoker. Later he was to tell me his name was Snoopy. I don’t mind, I used to smoke. Signs posted said there was a smoking area across the street, so he dropped his board and crossed the street to light up in the appropriate area marked for doing just that. A gentlemen sitting near the area began a yelling match with Snoopy ending up with the two men standing chest to chest nearing an altercation. Snoopy was yelling about his right to puff and the other guy was yelling about his right to lay him out in the middle of the street. Rick?? The lady who had been waiting with me returned from the station to tell me the bus was sold out and she was leaving so there I was on my own, Lucy to Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Linus. Thankfully the bus pulled up before a total melee broke out or I froze to death where I was standing.

Between my duffel bag and my carry on my arms increased in length at least by an inch. With no wheels, the load was heavy. My bag got stuck and a guy came to my rescue, unpinning it and cramming it in an overhead bin. I might still be there arguing with it had he not. There were six stops on the way to the train station and a packed bus. By the time we pulled into the train station the gentlemen next to me and I were registered at Pottery Barn.

At any rate I’m glad to be here. I whipped up these beans before I left and they were delicious. Have a happy holiday. See you in 2015!

Three Bean Crockpot Hot Link Bake

1 lb. dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 16 oz. can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 oz. can Rosarita green chile and lime refried beans
32 oz. chicken broth
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 hot links, cooked and cut in 1/2″ slices
Cooked rice
Sour cream

Spray 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

Rinse and sort beans. Soak beans overnight covered with large amount of water in covered container or pot in refrigerator. Rinse well and place in slow cooker.

Heat olive oil over med. heat in large saucepan. Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for 6 mins. until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and add to slow cooker.

Add all remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 3 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 hrs. longer stirring twice. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

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2 On the news a week or so ago they showed photos of an accident involving a Coca Cola which had crashed into a into a fish market. The market, a lovely old brick establishment, was damaged to the point of having to be demolished. After the dust settled it was determined the truck driver lost control of his truck due to a wasp flying about the cab.  I feel his pain. Truly I do. So many times I’ve written about my irrational fear of the little buggers thus not to make light of a serious situation, I can totally understand the mans anguish.

Looking back I’ve had many bad experiences when an insect flew in the car. In West Virginia my ex-husband and I were traveling down the freeway towards Charleston on a lovely spring day. Weather being glorious we had the windows down allowing the lovely spring air to circulate through the car. A bee the size of a small rodent flew in the passenger side window and buzzed around my head. Never before nor since have I see a honey bee the size of that one. Perhaps it had morphed due to all the chemicals emanating from the plants puffing away along the Kanawha River but whatever the reason it was flying about my face and didn’t appear to be in an amicable mood. My bee-fear kicked in full force and before I realized it more of my body was outside of the window than remained inside the car. At that point my husband began yelling for me to get in but I had totally lost it so was reduced to pointing and repeating “GET IT” at ever accelerating decibels. At that point it moved to my husband’s face and for the first time since I’d known him I saw him react to an insect. Swatting it about, the car began to weave slightly. People had begun to notice and traffic around us granted us a wide berth. Finally, he picked up a road map and the bee was to bee no more.

Last night as if prophetically predicted by the earlier writing of the first paragraph of this blog, I had a visitor. My other half was off having his sleep apnea observed at a local sleep center so the cat and I were reading in the bedroom. Actually I was reading, she was only turning the pages. Suddenly she sat up and began looking at the ceiling. Being human, after observing this behavior for a few minutes I too had to look up. Should have kept my nose in my book. Above my head as still as a southern morning hung a large brown spider. Sigh. With no knight to rely on paper cup and newspaper in hand I had only the cat, who avoided my eyes when asking for volunteers. Now there were two plans of action as I saw it. Either I ignore the beast in the hope it would slink away during the night or simply remain in place, or I could get up and do something about it. Tired from my day, I decided to take my chances and go with Plan A. Eying the bug from below I had the distinct feeling the arachnid was keeping his sights on us as well and deciding his plan of action. “Should I sneak down, climb under the covers and crawl along her goose bumps, or simply land on the human’s face and ensure an immediate stroke?”

Looking back on the day, it hadn’t begun on good footing. Getting an early start I hit two grocery stores and the pharmacy before the little hand was on ten. Rushing around the house I quickly stored the food in the cupboards and the fridge and headed downstairs to grab a shower and wash my hair. At 12:00 I was due at the fitness center for an orientation on the dreaded exercise machines. This was the second time I’d made arrangements so I wanted to get there on time so as not to appear a total flake. Brand clean I checked my appointment schedule to see if it was 12:00 or 12:15 I was due to arrive. Opening to the page it read “Fitness Center – 10:00 – Tammy”. Damn. Guess the ship had already sailed on the flake issue before I even opened the book. Dialing the number I’d noted I explained to Tammy, undoubtedly perfectly toned and lithe, that I had thought the appointment later than it was and needed to reschedule. In her book it probably read “Tues. – 11:00 – Susie N. – flake”.

It’s funny if you’ve got problems chewing on your mind, they seem to present themselves after the sun has set. Several of our offspring are going through some personal issues. No matter how old your children get their problems continue to fall under your umbrella and it is difficult to see them struggle even if they’ve long claimed themselves as adults on their tax returns. Sooooo, the spider, the cat, and I lay awake long into the night sharing space but not bothering one another. It is strange how the company of something living can make the house seem less empty. My mind busily sorted through this scenario and then that one, processing and troubleshooting. At one point I asked my busy brain if it might not be time for sleep, but apparently taking the phrase “having a mind of my own” literally, it went on tossing and turning until finally my eyelids, too tired to remain open, shut and sleep came.

I cannot say I’m refreshed, but the kitties were glad to see me at the shelter this morning and I didn’t fall asleep on the job. It’s a gorgeous day more worthy of early fall or spring than mid-summer and I’m enjoying it. The spicy aromas of chili cooking in the crockpot are floating in the air and all in all it’s a good day to be alive!

Question for those of you WordPress bloggers reading this. I lost the toggle bar on the inside of my post. Now I seem to be getting a different look while editing. Anybody know what I pushed that I shouldn’t have??

Slow Cooked Chili Beans and Rice with Sausage

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can chili beans, with sauce
2 15 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 – 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes (heat factor)
2 cups water
2 6 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 Polska kielbasa, sliced in 1″ slices
2 cups cooked rice
Avocado slices
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion

Brown ground beef, onion, and peppers over med-high heat until meat is cooked. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 mins. Drain meat mixture on paper towels.

Spray 6 quart slow cooker. Add meat to bottom of cooker. Add all remaining ingredients up to Polska kielbasa. Mix well. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add Polska kielbasa to pan and cook an additional hour.

Cook rice according to package directions.

Place a dollop of rice in bottom of serving bowl. Top with chili and garnish as desired.

Serves 4-6

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