A super simple, EASY, dinner

Ah summertime. Sometimes I love summertime, sometimes I hate it. Somedays is lazy and others it’s crazy. Today, was a crazy. Not sure why exactly, but we seemed to be go go go. On these days I can not express how much I love the crock pot. If you haven’t been using the crock pot during the summer, your crazy. (okay I said it) It’s not just for winter meals people.

Case in point. Black beans. A staple in our world. Some kind of bean every week. I make them early in the week and we eat them for dinner once and then lunch for a few days. This recipe is fantastic. It’s crazy easy and it gives me a little hint of my favorite South of the boarder food during this time when I can’t eat it.

Oh have I told you about this one? Sneaky B, has seriously nasty reactions to 5 major foods, even if I eat them (she is a nursing baby). Those foods, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and apples. Yep… it’s been trying to say the least. Can you imagine not eating those foods? I can handle not eating wheat and dairy, but the corn and soy- that’s another story. First off soy is in everything! Why I don’t know, but if you start looking, it is everywhere. And corn, I love corn. Most gluten free foods are based on corn too…. wait… way off on subject here- we will discuss this another time. Back to the beans!
blackbeans.jpgAbove is my recipe for basic black beans. They are so yummy; and it can’t get much easier than this. The most “difficult” part is remembering to soak the beans the night before. I always forget. Always. So I toss them in a pot on the stove with a bunch of water, filled almost to the top, bring to a boil and let them boil for 2 to 5 minutes. Turn off stove, cover and wait an hour. Then you can toss everything in the crock pot, turn it on low and forget about it.

Half way through the day, your kitchen will start to have a yummy smell. It’s hard to place, but it’s the secret to these beans yum… it’s the cloves. Why or why three little cloves make a huge difference, I have no idea, but I am not going to question it. It works and that’s all there is to it.

blackbeansfinished.jpgTonight we had the beans with lettuce, avocado, green onions and bell pepper. Kiddo ate three bowls full. So good.

If you try them, please let me know what you think- Enjoy!signature




Art in the park

It’s the middle of June? For real- how did that happen? It seems like a few days ago was mother’s day. I guess, for us, the days between mothers day and fathers day flew by. We are experiencing a bunch of big changes around here (more on that another day) but today was the day to slow down. Way down… like who cares that the phone is ringing, emails are needing to be read, bills need to be paid (ok I did do this- but you get where I’m going right?). Slow down, smell the daisies and just be with the sprouts (kiddo & sneaky b).

Kiddo tells us often that her “talent” is art. It actually goes like this: “Kiddo, this painting is wonderful.” “I know. Art is my talent, you know, after all.” (Hand on hip while rolling eyes). Love her.

So for “slow down tuesday” we went to the park, the Arboretum on campus.  We took a few snacks, a blanket, markers, crayons and paper, that’s all. (oh and my camera)  On the way I talked to kiddo about plein aire painting, being outside painting what you see and that we where going to try it.  Kiddo was super excited, it is her talent after all.

ucd.jpgI sometimes forget how beautiful it is at the arboretum. And quite. And peaceful. And…slow. Relaxing and slow.  We walked a bit, sat a bit, laughed and created a bunch.


It’s amazing, although it shouldn’t be, how when you just slow down a bit, life is just more full. You notice the little things…


and enjoy every moment. Forget about the “normal everyday.” I need to do this more often. We have forgotten to do this. Oh how sad that is to say, but not anymore! This day was a reminder to just have fun with the sprouts. To just ‘be’ outside. To just slow down.


I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed our sprouts today. Kiddo loved being outside and expressing herself through “her talent.” Sneaky B played in the grass for hours. And I watched them both, soaked them in.



Because of today, my goal for the summer is going to be to just slow down. Not plan every moment of the day. Play with the sprouts, even if I need to do the dishes. Enjoy it all. (okay maybe not the screaming, whining and non-sleeping moments, but everything else) How about you? Have you slowed down at all? Maybe you need too? I sure did.signature