"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Recipes for My Generations, 1, Ranch Style Beans & Rice, Variations

So, I was looking through my drafts folder and I found this unfinished, unpublished post from SIX YEARS AGO.  I am going to leave it alone mostly and make current day comments in purple. 

My nine year old daughter (Savannah... she is now FIFTEEN) told me the other day that I was going to have to write down my recipes, so she would know how to cook when she is grown! I am so thrilled that even at such a young age she asked me to do that! Thrilled really! And I know I have plenty of time, but I know how fast time is going to fly by (the years a truly flying by) and if I do not commit to this now she will leave home one day as I did barely knowing how to boil water.... well, I was able to do some baking, but I don't think it is wise to try to live off cakes and pies. ;)

I am going to begin using this blog to journal those recipes and hopefully my children and their children will use them and maybe they can find their way to the table in some of your homes, also. I grew up on homestyle southern cooking. You might see some of that here, but mostly I try to make it healthier in some ways. My own mother would faint at the thought! LOL!! Where she would cook green beans with slices of bacon in them, I will cook green beans with a drizzle of olive oil instead.... but I do confess that I love hers.  (Oh my word!  I am so happy to report that I have learned a lot since this and now know her bacon in the green beans is just as healthy as mine with olive oil.  Hallelujah!)  I cook beyond what I grew up on. I love Italian food and have a decent knowledge of cooking Mexican food from past job experience in a Mexican restaurant. I like simple quick cooking and I love to cook, but I do not want to spend my day in the kitchen when I have my hands full of children. What I don't cook are those little pretty meals... mine may be pretty sometimes, but I am talking about those gourmet meals that look like they are only for looking at. REAL food that real people eat is what I cook and I would love to say it is all healthy and all natural and perfect with no preservatives, etc.... one day it may be, but for now I am "just cooking" and little by little I try to find better ways or healthier ways and I implement them. (My cooking has really changed quite a bit.  I follow a very strict diet now.  I try to use only whole foods and focus on healthy.)  So, without further ado I am going to post the first recipe of this ongoing series.

I have picky children with "texture" and "visual" issues.... I have "texture" issues, too. They do grow out of this some, but not soon enough. This is one that my kids all like, BUT my five year old (Sierra) has to be blind-folded to eat.  (Not anymore... this is her favorite food!  Amazing how they change!  She is also ELEVEN now!!!) I am sharing this one/two recipe because it is SIMPLE and versatile. You can make it into one meal of a totally different with a simple change. WE do not eat this enough because of the "issues" some in the home have, but once you get them to taste it they love it. (We eat this ALL.THE.TIME now.)  I will include the first way and then below that the variation and some other ideas to make this meal morph into many others.

Ranch-Style Beans and Rice

1 lb. hamburger meat
1 can (FOUR cans now... gotta stretch the budget and beans have plenty of protein) of Ranch Style Beans (I actually by the Great Value Southern Ranch Beans now because they do not have all the high fructose corn syrup)
2 cups of rice (white of brown... we only eat brown rice now)

Put hamburger meat in a skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook hamburger meat and drain off excess fat. For added health you can rinse the meat to make it leaner.  Add Ranch Style Beans and 1/2 cup of water (1 cup of water or more if you are using 4 cans of beans). Cover and cook on a fast simmer until you see the bean in the mixture change to a darker color (5-10 minutes). (Seriously, I look at the color to know, but if you cook it for a while it is not necessary that you be aware of the color change.) Simply serve this over rice. 

Variations:   (taco seasoning.. I actually make my own now)
1- Add a packet of taco seasoning and you have the meat mixture for Taco Salad.
2- Add a packet of taco seasoning and you can pour this and refried beans over tortilla chips for Nachos.  Add lots of cheeses and stuff you like to change it up.  Cook in the oven on 350 degrees for several minutes.  Top with veggies and anything else you like.
3- Add a packet of taco seasoning and stuff it in tortillas and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for Burritos.  Add various types of cheeses inside and outside the burritos.  Drizzled some of the juiciness of the bean mixture over the burritos before baking sort of like a gravy. 
4- Add a packet of taco seasoning, a large can of diced tomatoes, half a bag or more of frozen corn (frozen just has a better flavor quality), more water and this becomes Taco Soup.  Serve with sour cream, cheeses, or whatever you like. 
5- Take the Taco Soup one above and pour it over tortilla chips and it is kind of like Frito Pie on Tortilla Chips.  This is one of Sahara's favorite things. 

1 comment:

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