Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rice and Beans in the oven

  • I wanted rice with beans today but didn't want to come home and make them at 5 after playing in the park finding letterboxes so I found this recipe and thought -  lets give it a try.  
  • But as usual I have to maximize and twick it just a little

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl; add the beans. In a nonstick skillet, saute onion in oil for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Bring to a boil; remove from the heat.
  2. In a 2-qt. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray, layer a third of the rice mixture, cheese and tomato mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining rice mixture and tomato mixture.
  3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


  • Nutritional Analysis: One serving (1 cup) equals 306 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 9 g fiber, 15 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable.

    Doubled the recipe and then divided it into thirds. 
    Added chopped peppers (red and green), chopped garlic and celery, 
    Used black beans instead of kidney
    Had no green chilies. 
    Didn't layer but mixed all together and toped with cheese. 
    I will bake all three and then freeze two for later. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It is a absolutely gorgeous weekend with a slight warm breeze and warm temps and a blue sky.  But I'm staying in with either allergy or cold or something else equally nasty.  I have done the liquid echinacea which pushed the sore throat through in 24 hours,  herb tea  - what ever I could find ( we our out of gypsy cold care).  Benadryl, Zyrtec, Mycinnex DM and now I am down to itchy coughy lungs, dizzy and lightheaded, tired (I know probably all that benadryl) and thinking - tomorrow is monday and my voice is fading fast, ugh.  I came across this post and thought it quite intelligent in the treatment of what ever it is I have. 

It can be cured by conventional medicines like antihistamine, decongestant and in severe cases, with the help of corticosteroids. However, in many instances some simple home remedies can also help to clear up minor build up of phlegm in the throat. The most simple remedies is to drink lots of hot water. For better result and quick relief, you can add some honey to it. Drinking lots of water would help to get rid of the infectious agents and foreign particles. Ginger is another effective natural remedy for   condition. You can mix honey and cinnamon with ginger to make a fine paste and take it along with some more honey. Otherwise, you can have some tomato soup, prepared with spices like ginger, garlic and pepper.

So mom and her hot chicken soup with garlic or her tea with lemon and honey really are what's best. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My friend Mr. Maple

We have this old maple tree that is one of many that line our drive.  When I say old we are talking century.  It is coming to the end of its life.  In fact we even had a tree cutter stop by and offer to remove the widow maker branches - for a price of course.  How can one part with such an dear friend that has been the home of so many of the birds that inhabit our farm.

 Just today as I was taking the groceries from the trunk I was greeting by our Baltimore Oriole, the first I have heard him this season.  He makes his nest in this tree and raises the babies we never see.  Robins, grackles, chickadees, phoebes, red-winged blackbirds, sparrows -- all make their home there or at least stop by for a rest and I can't imagine what it would be like to not hear their songs.  Right now, a phoebe is darting from branch to roof scarfing up the maple seeds that have fallen this week.

 I suppose I should mention the mammals we also need to contend with here who also, sigh, make their home in said tree - Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel.  Yes, they are pretty and their babies are cute but they are rodents after all.  We have other bothersome and pesky mammals who live here also - Mr. Deer who eats the water lilies and Mr. Woodchuck who eats everything else, Mr. Fisher who ate the neighbors fish and Mr. Fox who ate our chickens.

One song we have been blessed to hear lately is that of the woodcocks with their peenting.  When the development went in next door we didn't hear them for a few years but they have return and it is a nice sound to hear when I am outdoors at night. I like to think these are the snipes we all were sent looking for as young campers -- see, they do exist.

© Gerrit Vyn - Cornell 

 A shorebird that lives in forests, the American Woodcock is most frequently 
encountered at dusk when the male's chirping, peenting aerial displays attract 
attention. Otherwise the superbly camouflaged bird is difficult to discover on 
the forest floor where it probes for earthworms.
You have to admit -- they have a certain cuteness about them. 

Now if there was just some way to shut out the noise from the highway.