Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 of 2011

I started Homegrown Beanes in July of 2011.  I have really loved having a creative outlet!

Staying home with 3 little ones all day is a blessing but it can feel a little isolating at times.

Making new blog friends and having new people to "talk" to has been a pleasure.

I have tried to post one new recipe each week.  I have really enjoyed seeing which recipes have caught the eyes of people and which did not.  I am going to list the top 10 recipes viewed on my blog for 2011 (July-December)!  Check them out and see what you think.

#10  Golden Yam Brownies
 The Day After Thanksgiving Leftovers

Halloween Snake Sandwich

Frugal Advent Calendar

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Biscoff Buttercream

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

Easy Egg Rolls

Applesauce Cake in a Jar

And, By Far, the #1 most viewed link in 2011 was

Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Thank you so much for making this first attempt at Blogging so fun and rewarding.  I love to read all your positive comments.  You cannot imagine how much it helps and lifts my spirits.  Thank you so much!!!

Happy New Year from Homegrown Beanes!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Campfire Chicken and Rice

I have never been a "camper".  I have always loved the idea of camping, but have never really done it.  I get so excited about the thought of going camping but then the realization about the bathroom situation occurs to me. 

I am meant for more luxury than the woods.  I just was not made to rough it.  I like having electricity and plumbing.  So no real camping for me.

The camping food is appealing.  I love S'Mores and cooking hot dogs on a stick.  Mr. Homegrown does too.  We are kindred spirits.  He built a fire pit in our back yard several months ago.  The little Beanes and I have had a great time eating hot dogs and S'Mores outside.

For Christmas, Mr. Homegrown wanted a Dutch Oven so he could expand our outside dinning menu.  He got one and tonight was our his first try at dutch oven cooking.  It went well.  It was yummy.  We all liked it.  Mr. Homegrown is proud of Himself.  And it is not a hard recipe to make.  You can also cook it in the oven inside your home if you want to.

 Here is Mr. Homegrown putting the dutch oven on the fire pit.

 Here is the chicken and rice just before we put the lid and the hot coals on the dutch oven.

 Mr. Homegrown is putting the lid on the dutch oven.

 There are hot coals under the dutch oven and more hot coals on top of the dutch oven.

 An hour and 15 minutes later, he is going to remove the lid to check the progress.

What do you know?  It worked!  We had delicious Chicken and Rice for dinner.  And you can too!

1 whole fryer chicken
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 can of cream of chicken soup (I used a homemade concoction that has no milk in it)
1 can water
1 can of chicken broth
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 packet of Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix

Spray the dutch oven with cooking spray.  Put on cup of rice in the bottom of the dutch oven.  Wash the chicken and cut it into parts.  Put the chicken pieces on top of the rice.  Sprinkle with the Vegetable Soup Mix, salt, and pepper.  Mix the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth and one can of water together and then pour over the chicken.  Put the lid on.  Place the dutch oven on top of some hot coals.  Place some hot coals on the top of the dutch oven.  Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Alternately, cook in a covered casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

This was a fun family fun day/night.  I still think that the best part of camping is the food. 

I am linking up at Metamorphosis Monday and these other Awesome Parties!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday December 26

My house is a disaster!  It looks like a Toys R Us exploded in every room.  My little Beanes are so excited and having such a great time playing with their new toys.

My little Jelly Beane is so cute to watch playing with her baby dolls.  She brings them to me, I take them and make fake crying sounds.  She takes them back and hugs them and swings side to side.  It is so cute.

Butter Beane and String Beane have successfully killed every alien in the house and rid the world of harm.

I am planning an easy meal plan this week so I can clean up and begin my New Year's resolution of becoming more organized.  I think this is the 20th straight year of resolving to be more organized.  I hope this is the year that it will stick. 

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce Recipe

Out of Town

Left overs

Easy Baked Chicken and Rice
(Mr. Homegrown will be trying out his new cast iron Dutch Oven and cook this on the camp fire!)

Mandarin Oranges

I hope you have a great week and can get cleaned up from Christmas.   I think I will be vacuuming up Christmas tree needles for a month!

I am linking up with Menu Plan Monday.  Go over and check out the other menus.

Christmas Day Pork Roast

This was our Christmas dinner this year!  It is so good and so easy to make.  That is a winning combo if you ask me. 

The pork roast is so sweet, which makes Mr. Homegrown happy.  It is cooked in brown sugar and apple juice.  I also throw in some raisins.  I have made it in the past using a mixture of dried fruits.  That really throws it over the top.  But I only had raisins on hand and did not want to buy anything else so raisins it was.

As a bonus, the pork is roasted in a turkey bag so there is no mess! 

1 Tablespoon flour
2 pound boneless pork roast
1 cup apricots (dried)
1 cup dried apples
1 cup dried prunes
(or a handful of raisins!)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice

Dust cooking bag with flour.  Put pork and fruit in oven bag.  Put in a roasting pan.  Stir the brown sugar and apple juice together in a bowl and then pour over the pork and fruit.  Tie the cooking bag and pierce four holes in the bag.  Cook for 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees or until the pork reaches 160 degrees. 

You may also put all of the ingredients in the cooking bag and marinate for a few hours before cooking. 

When the roast is done, let it rest for about 20 minutes before you slice it.  Serve it with the fruit and juices.

We had this with some mashed potatoes and broccoli.  It was a delicious meal.  It really could not be easier to do and you look like you have really done something when you bring it to the table!

I am linking up at Metamorphosis Monday and these other Awesome parties!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Friday Favorites

I cannot believe that Christmas is Sunday!  I hope I am ready because the little Beanes are sort of vibrating with excitement. 

I have been doing a lot of baking for Christmas this week.  I am sort of on a sweets over load right now.  So my Friday Favorites this week are all main dishes.  They all look great and I can't wait to give some of them a try.

Here they are:

I love BBQ chicken pizza so this soup sounds intriguing.

lettuce wrap recipe

I have never had these but they are looking good to me.

The sauce recipe sounds like Outback's Blooming Onion sauce!

It seems that I am on an Asian kick this week. 

I am linking up again at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  Go over and see what every one else has bookmarked.  What have you found this week? 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas! Teachers and Neighbors

This Christmas I got in to my baking mode in a big way!  I blame Pinterest.  There are so many cute ideas and wonderful looking recipes on there. 
I could not narrow down what I wanted to do so I just did a lot.  I am using these gifts, or a combination of these gifts, as my teacher and neighbor gifts this year.  I think they turned out really cute.  Especially cute since I am a crafty impaired mom.  And they all tasted so good.  Thank you Pinterest!

The first thing I made was Sugared Nuts.  I followed the recipe exactly.  I only used Almonds in making this gift, because I had almonds - duh, but it would be great on any kind of nut.

Sugared Almonds
These Almonds turned out wonderful!  They were so crunchy, sugary, and yummy.  I hope my neighbors like them!  I also packaged some up in little jars and gave to the office staff at String Beanes school. 

Next on the list was English Toffee.  I actually could call this English Crack!  Once I start eating it, I can't stop.  As a result, not as many people will be getting Toffee in their gift baskets this year.  Oh well, I can tell them about it.

English Toffee

This stuff is AWESOME! The only change I made in the recipe is that I used Fleishman's unsalted margarine so they would be Milk/Dairy free for my Sting Beane.

Reindeer Marshmallows
This one is not really a recipe.  I followed some inspiraton from the web and dipped large marshmallows in semi sweet chocolate.  I used Gharidelli since it has no milk.  Then, while the chocolate was setting up, I stuck on some candy eyes and a red hot.  I used a pretzel twist for the antlers.  I stuck an 8 inch sucker stick in the marshmallows before I dipped them.  The kids in String Beanes class really like these at the Christmas party!

Cookie Decorating Kit

My favorite Christmas gift this year was the Christmas Cookie Kit.  They turned out so cute and very expensive looking.  I regret that I cannot take wonderful pictures and I don't think you can see how cute these were.  Taking better pictures will be my resolution in 2012.  I got the corsage boxes from my florist and packed them with 4 gingerbread men.  I used Pillsbury gingerbread cookie dough and rolled it and cut it.  There is no milk in Pillsbury Gingerbread cookie dough!  Yea for String Beane.  I bagged up some Red Hots, Raisins, and gum drops.  I found the small bottles in the cake decorating section at Walmart.  I made a Royal Icing and filled the bottles up about half way.  Then I tied a ribbon on and Viola!  A cookie decorating kit
I sent these home with every child in String Beane's class.  They loved them!

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

My other favorite gift this year was the Hot Chocolate on a Stick.  It turned out to be so cute and everyone seemed to love it.  It also made a wonderful cup of Hot Chocolate!  The chocolate part does contain milk so they went out as gifts here but the Homemade Marshmallows are safe for String Beane.  Making Marshmallows is a VERY sticky job, but I really think it is worth it!  They were like puffy clouds of wonderful.  The Little Beanes loved them. 

Breakfast in Bed

The teacher gift that String Beane gave his kindergarten teacher was what I called Breakfast in Bed!  I used my new Silhouette machine to cut vinyl and make a personalized mug for her.  I stuck two of the Hot Chocolate on a stick in the mug.  I made up some of our favorite English Muffins and put in a small jar of Strawberry Spread.  I packaged it in a store bought cupcake box I found at Walmart. 

Teacher Gift
Butter Beane goes to preschool two days a week.  I used the Silhouette and made a personalized mug for his teacher.  I put two of the Hot Chocolate on a Sticks in there.  I wrapped it up in a Thirty-One Littles tote.  I think she really liked it. 

I had so much fun making all of these things.  What did you make for Christmas gifts this year?  

I am linking up with Metamorphosis Monday and these other Awesome Parties!

Quiche Lorraine

My mom makes this quiche.  She used to make it for when "the ladies" were coming over for lunch.  When I was little, I felt grown up when I got to eat some too.

Quiche Lorraine is still my favorite quiche and I always feel special and "lady like" when I order it in a restaurant.  My mom's recipe is still the best.  Here it is.

9" deep dish pie shell
1/2 pounds of bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 oz (1 1/2 cups) shredded Swiss cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
3/4 teaspoons salt
dash of nutmeg
dash of Cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon flour

Sprinkle bacon on the bottom of the pie shell.  Sprinkle cheese on top of bacon.  Beat eggs and the rest of the ingredients together and pour in the pie shell.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the center is set.

My quiche has baked as long as 1 hour before.  Just watch the pie shell so that it does not burn.  If it starts to get too brown, cover the shell in foil and bake until the quiche is set.

I hope you enjoy this.  It is my favorite!

I am linking up at Metamorphosis Monday and these other Awesome Parties!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Modern Alternative Mama eBook Review and Giveaway!

This is my very first review and give away on Homegrown Beanes!  I am so excited to be doing this. 
I was so excited to read an ebook written by Katie, from Modern Alternative Mama, called Real Food BasicsKatie answers all the questions you might have about eating whole foods and changing your diet to a more healthy way of eating.  Real Food Basics explains all about where to start and how to start whole foods eating.

I was very excited to read about how she and her husband lost weight when they started eating whole foods.  This is always the time of year that I am feeling like I need to lose some weight and get more healthy!

Katie also has three more eBooks: Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods (not just for pregnancy; super foods are good for anyone!); Against the Grain (grain-free/GAPS); and her newest book, Treat Yourself: Real Food Desserts (with several grain and/or dairy-free options).   I am excited to find some new dairy free desserts for my String Beane! 

Interested in winning a package of all four of these eBooks?  Katie is giving away one package here today!  Leave a comment on this post if you’re interested in winning a set.  For a second chance at winning, join Modern Alternative Mama on Facebook, leaving a second comment here for doing so. 

I will be drawing the winner at random on Sunday December 18th.  Check back here and see who won!  What a great Christmas/New Year's gift for you!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday Dec.12

Check out my Giveaway of a great eBook package from Modern Alternative Mom.  Leave a comment to enter!

Last week's meals went pretty well.  I tried some new recipes and some family favorites.  The new one that really surprised me was the Sloppy Joe.  Mr. Homegrown loves sloppy joes.  Me, not so much.  I have never liked them.  The little Beanes seem to be on the fence about them, so I just do not make them often.  But this version of Sloppy Joes was actually pretty good.  I enjoyed it.  The little beanes ate it okay.  Bottom line.  Next time I make Sloppy Joes to make Mr. Homegrown happy, I will use this recipe.

This week will be mostly new recipes!  I love to try new foods so here we go.

Garlic Bread


Left over Salad

Green Beans

Rotisserie Chicken

What do you have planned for this week?

I am linking up again at Menu Plan Monday.  Go check out what is on every ones menu this week.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars!

Many of you have read about String Beane's allergies.  He was diagnosed with food allergies when he was just under 1 year old.  Peanut was one of his allergies.  We have avoided peanuts for the last 5 years.  That is how long it has been since I have bought or eaten peanut butter in my house!  5 Y.E.A.R.S.!

String Beane turned 6 years old on December 4th and on December 5th he went for a food challenge for peanuts.  He passed!  He is no longer allergic to peanuts. 

I have spent several days now searching for recipes that uses peanut butter.  The first recipe that caught my eye was this one for peanut butter chocolate chip bars.  They just look long over due for me.

I had to make a few adjustments to the original recipe to make them milk/dairy free.  Here is the recipe.

6 Tbls Flieshman's unsalted margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli semi sweet chips)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 x 8" pan

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Beat in the sugars until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Stir in the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chips, stirring until combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-32 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.

They were ooey, gooey and so good!  I had forgotten how good peanut butter treats could be.  If you can eat peanut butter, and I hope that you can, make you up some of these wonderful treats.  You will not be sorry. 
I am linking up with Metamorphosis Monday and these other totally Awesome Parties!

 Check out my Giveaway of a great eBook package from Modern Alternative Mom.  Leave a comment to enter!

Friday Favorites

 Check out my Giveaway of a great eBook package from Modern Alternative Mom.  Leave a comment to enter!

The Beanes are officially nuts!  String Beane passed his in office food challenge for peanuts last week!  Woo to the Hoo!

I have not been this excited about food since he got the go ahead to eat shrimp.  After his allergy appointment, we went to Target and I bought every peanut/nut item I could find that did not contain milk/dairy. 

We have added alot of new snacks! 

I have had the most fun looking on Pinterest for some new recipes that contain peanuts or peanut butter.  My Friday Favorites this week are all recipes that have peanut butter in them! 

Here they are:

I am pretty excited about this whole Fluffernutter thing.  I have the ingredients on hand.

I have dreams of these.

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These are at the top of the list!

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These look so good!

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I used to love peanut butter cake.  I can't wait to eat it again.

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I wonder if these taste like the ones from Jonesboro Elementary?

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I am looking forward to trying some of these peanut butter recipes.  It has been 6 years since I have bought peanut butter! 

I am linking up again at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  Go by and check out what everyone else has bookmarked.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

I love breakfast casseroles.  The trouble is, most of them have a ton of cheese in them.  Don't get me wrong.  I love cheese.  LOVE.  But my String Beane is very allergic to milk so, no cheese here.

I also love sausage.  It is by far my favorite breakfast meat.  I really like it when a little bit of syrup gets on it.  Sort of like the McGriddle concept. 

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and thought I could adapt it to fit both my loves.  Breakfast casserole and sausage. 

This is basically a French Toast Casserole with some sausage in it.  Yum.  It turned out so good!  My little beanes liked it too.  Butter beane liked it the best and he is a decidedly picky eater.  I decided that it would be a great thing to have on Christmas morning.

Here is the recipe:

1 loaf of French Bread, cubed
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup of Almond Milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound of sausage, browned and drained

Place the bread cubes in a 9x13 dish.  Sprinkle the sausage over the top of the bread crumbs.  Mix the eggs, almond milk, syrup and cinnamon together in a bowl and pour over the bread/sausage mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees. 

This will be a yummy and easy Christmas breakfast for us.  What do you do to make Christmas morning easy? 

I am linking up at Metamorphosis Monday and these other Awesome Parties!  

 Check out my Giveaway of a great eBook package from Modern Alternative Mom.  Leave a comment to enter!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday December 5

It is Monday again!  It is starting off pretty good so far.  String Beane goes to Duke this morning for a peanut challenge!  So he is not going to school today and so I am not having to do the school morning rush around here!  Happy Monday to me.

String Beane can now eat pecans and almonds and if he passes peanuts today I may throw this whole menu plan out the window and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and peanut butter cookies all week! 

Last weeks meal plan went a little off track.  I never got around to the Turkey Hot dish and Yam Brownies.  I will have to try them another time.  Our favorite way to use up left over Thanksgiving was the BBQ Turkey Calzones.  Butter Beane and String Beane did not love this but Jelly Beane and Mr. Homegrown and I thought it was delish.  Definitely a great way to use left over turkey. 

This week looks like this:

Everyone is on there on.  String Beane and I will eat out after the food challenge.

Chicken Pot Pie

Quiche Lorraine (recipe to come)
Bacon, toast and grits for String Beane

Sloppy Joes II Recipe
French Fries


I am linking up again at Menu Plan Monday.  I hope you have a great week.