Saturday, January 31, 2009

He was talking about coffee!

On of my husband's co-workers promised to send us some honest-to-goodness South American homegrown coffee!

We do like coffee just a little bit at our house. Next to the big-boy espresso maker you can see our collection of syrups (cinnamon, Kahlua, caramel, and gingerbread), to-go cups (not to be confused with Togo cups, from an African country of the same name), sweeteners (splenda, sweet-n-low, sugar), sprinkles (cinnamon and sugar), ground coffee from Italy, and Starbucks Verona beans. The French Press coffee maker is in the sink and the teeny tiny stovetop espresso maker is under the counter. In the background you can see the coffee grinder (needed for the French press) and 2 little espresso cups. I registered for those when I got married over 26 years ago. These days Barista-boy uses them to serve shots in. We store these everyday essentials in the Southern Living at Home Jamestown tray. It's lovely when you can actually see it.

Update: Mom is resting comfortably after her emergency appendectomy last night. She's due home tomorrow or Monday. We are thankful for all your prayers and good wishes. I plan on delivering them in person when I go visit her next weekend.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Context is Everything

Strangest quote overheard in my kitchen this week: "He's shipping me a pound of Colombian on Monday."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Easiest Crock Pot Recipe ...Ever!

(Note - since when did I fall into the habit of saying "ever" after every superlative comparison. Have you succumbed?)

Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup
(adapted from a recipe over at

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 box chicken broth
1 jar 16-24oz. salsa
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 T. cumin
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
Toppings: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, queso fresco (Mexican white crumbly cheese. I'm not quite sure that is the exact translation :-) )
Optional - 1 c. corn. We have a "corn hater" in our house and because his vote counts more than those of the mushroom-haters, can see who won out.

Directions: Open cans, jar, and box. Empty into crockpot. Add mushrooms, cumin, and chicken breasts. I didn't even chop these up until they were through cooking. Cook all day on low. (If your chicken breasts are frozen, start on "high" for a few hours.) The most effort I went to was peeling and slicing the avocado and cilantro. It doesn't get any easier than this folks!

Katie tried this one out first. I agree with her that it seems a bit strange to put mushrooms into something "southwestern", but hey...why shouldn't tex-mex get some mushroom love?