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Another Busy Week

It's been another busy week here at our house. This was the first official week of school and classes started on Wednesday. There's always lots to do and figure out the first couple of weeks before everyone gets settled into the new routine.

Nora is gaining strength and stamina and I think she will be glad to be able to get back to work and start earning money to pay off her medical bills which are beginning to trickle in. We are very thankful for the good progress she has made and for your prayers and well wishes for her recovery.

I cooked some pinto beans in the crockpot earlier this week and used some of them to make these

picture of Easy Beans and Rice

Easy Beans and Rice

1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 lb. kielbasa, sliced
8 oz. tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups pinto beans (or one 16 oz. can drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (see directions below)
1 bay leaf
thyme, salt, and pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet. Saute onion, celery, and green pepper for a few minutes. Add the sausage and garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add the spices, broth, tomato sauce, and beans. Simmer for about 10 mins. Add the rice and heat through. Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream or plain yogurt. Very tasty and inexpensive. If you like things a bit spicy you could add hot sauce to taste.

My friend Sandy encouraged me to try baking brown rice in the oven. It only takes a few more minutes than on the stove top and doesn't require any stirring or pot watching. Another benefit is that is doesn't boil over! I like to bake a large batch and then freeze portions for future use. The rice reheats quickly in the microwave. Just add a small amount of water when reheating and you will have fluffy hot rice in minutes.

Brown Rice in the Oven

1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 1/2 cups water
2 tsps. oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in a two quart casserole dish. Bake covered with a lid or foil for 60 minutes at 375 degrees. Can double in a 9" x 13" dish. Use immediately or portion out and freeze for later use. I often bake this ahead on Saturday and then just reheat for Sunday dinner.


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1 Comment on “Another Busy Week”

  1. #1 Rhonda
    on Sep 6th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I love your idea for baking the rice in the oven. We eat brown rice (as opposed to white) exclusively. Of course, the only potential negative about delicious brown rice is the time it takes to cook–and the potential for boiling over! So your solution of baking it is very interesting to me. Your recipe above sounds–and looks!–delicious. I’ll have to try it soon. We love beans and rice in the fall and winter! Yum! 🙂

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