Monday, Nov 8th, 2010

Meatless Monday!! Well, the kids call it Macaroni Monday, since I really can't seem to get them to eat beans! They won't even eat baked beans, even the ones coated in brown sugar!! But you know my kids are weird, lol. Also, for those of you worried about eating beans, I found this article that was helpful:

"Perhaps the most common approach is soaking beans in water with baking soda added. This approach is often used with dried beans, but also can be used with fresh beans as well. One strategy is to place the beans in a large pot of water and bring them to a boil. This action helps to soften the capsule around the beans. After removing the beans from the heat, add in baking soda and stir the water until the soda is evenly distributed. Allow the beans to soak overnight, then drain and rinse thoroughly. Once this is done, the beans are ready for cooking.

Along the same lines, some people understand that the best approach to adding baking soda to beans is to simply place the beans in tepid water and add the baking soda. After one quick stir, set the beans to soak overnight. A quick rinse and the beans can be cooked and consumed without any worries about flatulence."

Breakfast: Iced Raisin Biscuits, Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Baked potato soup, iceberg lettuce salad
Dinner: Vegetable 15 bean soup with home made Rosemary-Garlic Focaccia
Eva's Snack: Strawberry go-gurt, baby carrots, Halloween cookies, gummy lifesaver.

Ok, my biscuits aren't as perfect as from the website that I got them from. I didn't feel like rolling them out, so I used my med cookie scoop and scooped them onto the cookie sheet. They're a little darker than I wanted them, but my hubby was watching them while I put a load of wash in and he thought they were perfect. My fault for trusting someone who likes their toast so brown the next step is charcoal!! But they were still good and I will make them again!

The soup sounded sooo good, but when I tasted it, it seemed like it was missing something, then I realized that it was missing the flavor from italian sausage. So I added some caraway and some hot sauce and it was perfect!! I had some leftover green beans and some corn, so I threw those in too.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or beef broth
2 cups water
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 small can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped*
1/4 teaspoon oregano*
(I used 1 tablespoon italian seasoning)
1 teaspoon caraway seed (rub before you put in soup)
a couple of drops hot sauce (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz. can cannelini, drained and rinsed (I used the 15 bean soup mix)
1 cup pasta bows
Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, broth, water, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and beans.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta bows and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pasta tender.
  4. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

The kids had rotini and cheese with hot dogs and a piece of focaccia. I gave them a small serving
of the soup to try. Eddie was the only one who liked it and asked for more. Eva wouldn't even try it, but she's Miss Picky and I wasn't expecting her to.

Rosemary - Garlic Focaccia
Prep Time: 45 mins Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs Servings: 8-10
1/4 ounce active dry yeast ( one envelope)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 -4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crumbled
3 -5 cloves, minced very fine (depending on how garlicky you want it, I go all the way!)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
DirectionsIn a bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and 1 ¾ cups lukewarm water and proof yeast for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.Stir in 4 cup of flour, 1 tblsps of the olive oil and the salt, adding as much of the remaining flour as necessary to form a soft and slightly sticky dough.Transfer to a lightly-oiled bowl, turn to coat, and let rise, covered, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double in size.Knead dough down and press with lightly-oiled hands into a well-oiled 15 ½ x 10 ½ inch jelly-roll pan and let it rise, covered loosely, for 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.Set rack in center of oven.Dimple dough with your fingers in places, drizzle 2 tblsps olive oil over and spread over dough; sprinkle with rosemary, garlic and sea salt.Bake for 35-40 minutes or until pale golden.Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.Serve warm or at room temperature.

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