Mama’s Green Beans

24 Sep

Ohh man. I am probably the worst blogger ever. Oops. I got all excited about having a blog when I visited my friends over the summer, and then totally lost track of it as soon as I got home. Now that I’ve been back at school for a while and settled in to my house, this blog thing might actually work out!

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So. These green beans. They are just…so good. They taste buttery and decadent and sinful (even though they don’t have any butter — holla’). The thing with these beans, though, is that the recipe is really, really loose. That’s how all of my mom’s recipes are — that woman just has magic cooking hands. Really, they’re magic, I swear. Anyways, my ordinary-person-hands and I have been able to successfully prepare these green beans a couple of times now, so you should be able to too!

The ingredients list is pretty simple: olive oil, shallots, green beans, water, salt, pepper. To start, prepare your veggies. Mince the shallots and remove the caps from the green beans. I like to keep the beans whole, but you can really do whatever you want with them.

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Now it’s time to start cooking! Heat up some olive oil over medium heat; add shallots. Cook until tender.

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Add the green beans and cover them with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Pour in some water — I usually fill up the pan so that about 1/3 of each bean is covered with water.

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Finally, remember that you decided to use the one pan that you have that doesn’t easily fit one of the lids that you have. Improvise! This is a classy cooking blog, after all. Cover that puppy up and let it cook for 10 minutes. (Read: leave the heat on)

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Your green beans will be smellin’ pretty darn good right about now. Take ’em off the heat and eat them right away! They are best when fresh and warm. Now that I think about it, I actually haven’t had them as leftovers yet, but I think they’re probably best straight off the stove. I have a couple more recipes photographed, so they should be up soon. Maybe. 🙂

Mama’s Green Beans

Ingredients

olive oil

shallot

green beans

water

salt

pepper

Directions

Cook shallots in oil over medium heat until tender. Add green beans to the pan and cover with oil, salt, and pepper. Fill pan with water until green beans are about 1/3 of the way under water. Put a lid on the pan and let cook for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

The Harry Potter Doom Story

14 Aug

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. And that this post has nothing to do with cooking. It does, however, have everything to do with Harry Potter and 6-year-olds and silliness and bad guys. You see, I work at a summer camp and get to spend all day every day with an ever-changing group of about 40 6-year-olds. Today, one of my campers asked me if I could write down a story that he made up. “Ameneh,” he asked, “will you please write down The Harry Potter Doom Story when you’re done drawing that rose?” Eager to find out what this story had in store, I said yes. The result was too good not to share, so I made a second copy for myself.

When I was rewriting the story, another camper asked me what I was writing.

‘The Harry Potter Doom Story,” I said.

Covering his ears, he replied, “Oh no, don’t say any more when I saw Harry Potter it was so scary I almost fainted!”

“Okay, I’ll just keep writing.”

“One time I saw this person faint and then her boyfriend was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ It was so scary. It really happened! Promise.”

Six-year-olds are my favorite. 🙂 I hope you enjoy The Harry Potter Doom Story as much as I did.

The Harry Potter Doom Story

            Once there was a ghost that was invisible that was going around the yard making sure that none of the bad guys steal the people that are buried. Harry Potter was inside the doom house and he went up stairs. He almost got caught by a trap! Then he went outside. Then he was trying to look for the ghost. He caught the ghost. The ghost couldn’t get away. Once he caught the ghost in no time he was dead. Harry Potter buried the ghost and then he tried to figure out what to do with the people who were dead. Once the ghost was already dead, Harry Potter went to get tea by himself. Another guy came and it was a robber. And then Harry Potter took out his magic spell stick and killed the bad guy.

The End

Beans, Burritos, and Freezer Fun

11 Jul

Recently I decided that I needed to change my diet, so that I was eating more beans (or protein) and less pasta. Thus the need for a nicely seasoned bean recipe was born! The full recipe is at the bottom of the post. I really like the combination of spices, but you can obviously alter the amount of each used if you want. Next time I might throw in some fresh onion, garlic, and cilantro as well, but this was work-with-whatever-is-in-the-kitchen style cooking. Excuse the lighting in some of the pictures; I’m still learning how to take nice pictures without natural light or Photoshop (I’m definitely noticing that some of these pictures are a little dark!).

Start by pouring 1 can of black beans (rinsed) and 1 can of water into a pot. Bring to a boil.

Once the beans are boiling, reduce the heat. Mine was set on medium-low. At this point add your spices: 1/2 teaspoon onion salt and oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir. Let simmer for 15 minutes and then remove from heat.

This point is where I had to get creative. 🙂 How was I going to drain the excess water while retaining the flavor of the spices? To solve my problem I covered the surface of a strainer with a layer of paper towels, poured the beans on top of that, and let them drain as much as possible.

I went ahead and moved the beans with a regular spoon over to a bowl because I wanted to keep a little bit of the liquid (who likes dry beans? not me!).

In addition to the beans I cooked up some white rice, so that I could make simple burritos with just rice, beans, and sour cream.

Here’s the inside of my burrito:

My mom told me that beans + corn = a complete protein (and moms are always right 🙂 ), so I boiled some corn for 7 minutes to go along with my burrito. Yum!

Since there is only one of me and lots of beans, I wrapped up three more (medium sized) burritos to freeze for later. I saw this idea over at Shutterbean, and I’ve been waiting to try it out for a while. Her tips are to take off the foil, wrap the burrito in a damp paper towel, and microwave for 3 minutes. I think for these smaller burritos 2 minutes might be okay. I’ll report back once I’ve tried it.


Spiced Black Beans makes enough beans for 4 medium burritos

Ingredients

1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Water

1/2 tsp onion salt

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

Directions

  1. Bring beans and water to a boil in a small saucepan
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low
  3. Add spices. Stir to combine
  4. Let simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Drain beans using a stainer with a layer of paper towels on top to retain the flavors
  6. Move to a serving dish and enjoy!

Stuffed French Toast, Part 2

9 Jul

Part 1

Ridiculously Decadent Stuffed French Toast recipe

Today was a great day because it had stuffed french toast in it. And brunch. You can’t go wrong with those two, especially not when they’re combined. Since I want everyone to know how easy it is to make this deliciousness, let’s get cooking!

Alright. So now that you have your custard waiting for you in the fridge and your bread pockets all dried up and ready to go, it’s time to whip up the filling. Fred Meyer didn’t have mascarpone cheese, so I used vanilla Greek yogurt. Sad.

Then you take your mixture and put it into a plastic baggie.

After you cut off a corner of the baggie, you release the filling into the bread pockets.

Now it’s time to get your custard out from the fridge and pour it into a nice, shallow dish.

Next you let each piece of bread soak up all the creamy goodness for 30 seconds on each side.

Finally, you turn to Cameron and say, “hey, cook this stuff for me!” (and he will because he’s such a nice guy)

Last but not least you send those puppies into the oven to let the magic happen.

And how you’re ready to eat! Our brunch spread turned out pretty nicely, and the french toast/eggs/fruit salad were accompanied by vegan french toast (courtesy of Betty) and a few silver dollar pancakes. The sun came with me when I went up to Washington, so we got to enjoy our meal outside. It was a nice last hurrah with the friends.

(thanks again to Cameron for all of the action shots!)

Stuffed French Toast, Part 1

8 Jul

Part 2

Tomorrow my friends and I are making brunch. On the menu: stuffed french toast, fruit salad, scrambled eggs. This is my favorite stuffed french toast recipe. If you asked my family, you would know that I make a lot of stuffed french toast, so I know what I’m talking about. 😉 Check out the recipe on Tasty Kitchen if you want exact details.

First you have to cut up your bread and make little pockets in it. I used Italian because they didn’t have Challah at Fred Meyer. Sad.

Bread Pocket

Then I went ahead and prepped the custard for tomorrow. You just whisk your half and half, eggs, and honey in a bowl.

You gotta have a little attitude while you mix everything together. And your friend Cameron taking pictures for you.

whisking

Then you cover your delicious concoction.

And put it in the fridge!

Part 2 coming tomorrow linked at the top.