How I Rehydrate Dried Beans

As I wrote earlier this month, I’m making an effort to strengthen my life in a variety of areas during 2015.  One of the ways I’m doing that is making as many products at home from scratch as possible.  Brian and I are also setting out to get an even better grasp of our finances.  This method of rehydrating lets me do both those things at once.

Rehydrate Dried Beans - Relishments

I’ve been cooking beans this way for years, based a post from The Kitchn.  It’s just the way I do things.  It was only during conversations this weekend that I realized this method needed to be shared with more people.  No one I talked to had heard of it!  I’ve never had much success with rehydrating beans overnight; they never seem ready to use when I’m ready to cook.  Never mind the fact that you have to remember to do it the night before.

My method of choice is to put the dried beans in a Dutch oven (mine is 5 quarts), cover with at least an inch of water and cook for an hour and a half to two hours at 325 degrees.  Sometimes, when I think of it, I add salt or garlic, but generally it’s just water and beans.  After the first hour and a half of cooking, I take them out, check them for doneness and, if they’re still hard, put them in for more time.  I’ve had regular success with black beans, chickpeas and pinto beans.  Want more details?  Check out the original post at The Kitchn: How to Cook Beans in the Oven.

I love this method of cooking beans.  I usually make about half a pound at a time (though I never measure) and it allows me to purchase organic beans by the bag at the supermarket or in bulk at the local co-op.  Dried beans are much less expensive than canned and I can usually make a couple different dishes with a simple batch of oven beans.  I also get to control the sodium and flavor of the beans.  It really is an all around win.

dried beans

Twosday: Snow Day Edition

I, like most people in New England, had a snow day today.  Here’s some of what it looked like:

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Productive tasks I accomplished

1.  Finally signing up for and setting up You Need a Budget.  This program has been recommended to me by two separate people in the last couple months and I’m really excited to see how it works out.  I’ll keep you posted!
2.  Putting away the clothes that have been sitting on my floor since forever.  Items included the bathing suit I brought to the hotel over Thanksgiving, stuff left in the suitcase from Christmas and skirts I haven’t worn since fall.  There are a lot of things I’m good at. Putting away clothes is not one of them.

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Other good uses of my time

1.  Yoga.  I’m supposed to be practicing 6 days a week.  The first few weeks were awesome, but I’ve been slacking a bit lately. Here’s to getting back in the habit! I’ve been doing videos from Yoga with Adriene most days and I’m enjoying them a lot.
2.  Cleaning out my inbox.  It was ridiculous.  It’s better now.  I hope everyone is enjoying the emails they received from me today!

Kinds of tea I drank

1.  Chai.  I love chai.
2.  Harney and Sons decaf Paris

Snow day activities I participated in

1.  Shoveling.  Brian and I finally bought a second shovel this winter which was a good investment and makes the work a lot easier, but it means I don’t get to stay inside curled up on the couch while he does all the work.
2.  Making “snow cream” with fresh snow and maple syrup.  I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever done that before, though that doesn’t seem possible.  At any rate, it was delicious.

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Foods I cooked

1.  Whole Wheat Waffles, always a great choice for a slow morning
2.  Roasted butternut squash and onions, mixed with spinach and blue cheese

As always, Twosdays are inspired by Then Heather Said

Help Support a Board Game Café!

Remember last fall when I said I’d taken on another project?

the castle screenshot

The project was the website for The Castle, my sister and brother-in-law’s newest venture.  I am so appreciative of the fact that they let me design their site.  Its been a long time since I’ve worked on anything besides Relishments and it was a really unique challenge to make someone else’s vision come true.  It was definitely a project (I really only pretend I know how to use WordPress), but an awesome one.  So, I could argue that I’m sharing this information to let you know what I’ve been up to lately.

I could also argue that this post makes total sense for a food blog: The Castle is going to be a café with what I presume will be delicious food.  But really, I just want to share this amazing thing that my sister and her husband are up to on Boston’s North Shore:

The Castle is currently crowd-funding their initial support in order to rent a location and open their doors.  When they do, I’ll be sure to write a full review here.  So, if you love cafés, crowd-funding (I’m obsessed with the idea) or board games, check out The Castle’s Indiegogo campaign.  And tell your friends!

 

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Sharing (CSA Menu Plan #21)

What a different a couple weeks makes.  This week’s menu came together relatively easily.  Granted, we somehow didn’t get to some of the dishes on my last menu (for what reasons, I can’t remember), so I just pushed those meals ahead a week.  Last week was pretty crazy here, with lots of stuff going on…

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chickpea noodle soup | Relishments.com

Chickpea Noodle Soup

I first read about Chickpea Noodle Soup on Sarah Matheny’s now defunct blog, Peas and Thank You (the domain is now owned by someone else and I’ve been mourning the loss of Sarah’s blog since she stopped writing).  Sarah’s version is awesome, but for me chicken noodle soup has always been about simplicity, mostly because…

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sweet potato black bean quesadillas

Highlights: Beans and Lentils

If you’ve been following my menu plans for any length of time, you’re probably aware that there are a lot of beans and lentils in my life.  I love them because they’re so easy (what’s easier than opening a can?), they’re incredibly versatile and they’re cheap.  Sometimes I make my beans from dried, but I…

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Harder Than It Looks (CSA Menu Plan #20)

It’s cold here in the Berkshires, in case you hadn’t heard.  So cold that some schools have closed.  I think tomorrow’s going to be better, but it’ll still be winter.  We put away the Christmas decorations today which means that we’re now in that “always winter, never Christmas” part of the year that always lasts…

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