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Friday, February 1, 2013

Burgers and beans

So, I have horrible insomnia.  Some days it's early morning (nearly sunrise) when I finally fall asleep.  Wednesday night I  never did get any sleep.  Therefore, nap time yesterday was mommy-daughter nap time.  I slept the entire time.  I wish I could say I felt better after my nap, but I felt just as tired when I woke up as I had when I fell asleep.  I just plowed through the rest of the night so I could lie down early last night.

We had hamburgers for dinner with macaroni and cheese and french fries.  I'm lazy so I used frozen french fries and boxed macaroni and cheese but the burgers were all homemade.  I used the hamburger buns I made on Friday (I froze the leftovers after dinner Friday to save them for our hamburgers) and I made the hamburger patties on Wednesday before Aaron asked me to switch up the menu.  I took a pound of  meat and seasoned it with garlic salt, pepper, and onion powder, then I cooked them on my George Foreman grill.  We don't have a grill or even a grill pan for the stove, but that George Foreman grill  makes really great burgers.

Today I spent nap time working on the kitchen and dinner.  I cleaned the counters and swept and mopped and loaded and ran the dishwasher.  I had to cook some black beans to go in our chicken quesadillas tonight.  I usually  make my own tortillas but I have some left from a few weeks ago when I made chicken taco casserole for dinner.  I shredded the cheese too and mixed up a new batch of taco seasoning for the chicken.  When my beans were cooked I portioned them out, 1 1/2 cups per bag and put most of them in the freezer.  I kept out about 1/2 cup to use tonight.

When a recipe calls for a can of beans I just substitute with 1 1/2 cups of beans from my freezer.  My chili uses two cans of pinto beans so I freeze the pinto beans in 3 cup portions.

I always do the quick soak on the beans and I follow the directions on the package almost exactly but my new pot seems to cook the beans faster than the old one so I cook them 1-1 1/2 hours instead of 1 1/2-2 hours.  I don't add anything but some salt until I use the beans in a recipe.  One of my favorite meals for lunch is Cuban black beans over brown rice.

For Christmas this year I got some really great kitchen equipment.  I now have a candy thermometer, two instant read digital thermometers, and an awesome 8 quart soup pot with a strainer basket and a steam basket.  I use the strainer basket to make the beans.  It makes it super easy to drain and rinse the beans.

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