Category: Beef

Low Carb Baked Cheesy Beef and Pepper Dip

Low Carb Baked Cheesy Beef and Pepper Dip | Oh Sweet Mercy #recipes #lowcarb #dips #thm #ohsweetmercy

We had a Super Bowl party at our house this year, but I just came for the food.

Well, ok, time with family was part of it too. But I really don’t see the point or attraction of football. I can think of about nine million other things to do besides watch football. Like eat yummy foods. That’s always way more fun than organized sports for me. If eating was an organized sport, I’d be its Number One Fan. I’d paint my body in team colors and have one of those big foam hands…holding a fork, probably. I would be all “Go Team!” and follow the event like it was the most important thing to ever happen in all of history. So what does this have to do with Low Carb Baked Cheesy Beef and Pepper Dip? It was my contribution to the evening’s smorgasbord of delights. And, I might add, it was a basket…or goal…or touchdown…or whatever it is you yell when your team gets a point. It was good! (more…)

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Easy Grain Free Venison Meatballs

Easy Grain Free Venison Meatballs | Oh Sweet Mercy #easy #grainfree #thm #recipes #venison #ohsweetmercy

 

Meatballs, without breadcrumbs? Can you DO that?

Why yes, yes you can! And, as I discovered today when making these easy grain free venison meatballs, you don’t actually need anything to replace breadcrumbs if you have to eat gluten free. I’ve used oats, leftover quinoa and even psyllium husk as “binders” but really, you don’t even need any kind of breadcrumb-like substance. All you need is (more…)

Spaghetti Soup – S, E or FP

Spaghetti Soup THM S, E, FP | Oh Sweet Mercy #recipes #lowcarb #lowfat #glutenfree #THM #ohsweetmercy

 

Yesterday, I wrote about repurposing…or Making Do With What We Have.

Ironically, that’s just what I had to do when making supper later. The result is this deliciously easy Spaghetti Soup!

Wait…it’s hot and humid out (or so I hear), why on earth am I making soup?

Well, because when I went to make spaghetti sauce, for some reason I grabbed the tomato juice from my pantry instead of tomato sauce. I had no tomato paste to thicken it and Sister is on an elimination diet which meant xanthan gum could not be used, so I had to Make Do With What I Had. (more…)

Jalapeno Burger with Sriracha Burger Sauce

Jalapeno Burger with Sriracha Burger Sauce | Oh Sweet Mercy #recipes #THM #burgers #sriracha #spicy #ohsweetmercy

Ever have your tastes completely change?

Something happened to me a few years ago. I began to develop a taste for spice. Like hot spice. I was in Arizona at a wings place and I don’t even know why, but the Mango Habanero sauce just sounded good.

And it was. Even though it was so hot I could barely eat it, I loved it.

This from a girl who has suspected that some “mild” salsas were tragically mislabeled. (more…)

Mock Baked Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash

To say the humble spaghetti squash has got me all excited is an understatement.

One bite of this fabulous, low carb squash and I began to envision all kinds of ways to use it. Ways to replace my former high carb favorite foods (like pasta and potatoes) so I can still enjoy comfort foods without hurting my body and feeling horrible after the glycemic payload delivered by pasta and potatoes. Comfort foods like Baked Spaghetti! (more…)

Shredded Beef Tacos {Leftover Love}

Shredded Beef Tacos

Some people hate leftovers (my daughter won’t touch them unless it’s mashed potatoes or rice), some love them. Either way, when you end up with leftovers, you need a plan to use them up or more than likely you’ll end up throwing them out. Not only is it a waste of food and money, but it’s also a waste of your time. I’d never considered that before, but it hit me today that throwing out leftovers that you spent time cooking wastes your precious time. You could have made less, saving time in preparation and cooking. I don’t know about you, but I consider time to be a very precious commodity. It’s something you can never get back once it’s gone.

Unless you’re a Time Lord. Which I’m not. But boy, wouldn’t that be cool!

This past week, I purchased a lovely arm roast at our local butcher shop with the intention of eating half of it for a meal and using half for another meal. That leftover beef roast became Shredded Beef Tacos to go with Crock Pot Soaked Brown Rice, Mexican style. I’m not exactly sure if it’s authentic Mexican style, but years ago when I was working and my daughter was little, my babysitter made rice that she just absolutely loved. The babysitter was married to a Mexican man and made a lot of Mexican foods she learned to cook from her mother-in-law. It’s easy and delicious!

Since I wanted something simple, and the beef roast was already so flavorful, I didn’t want to monkey with it too much. the butcher shop seasoned it for me when I purchased it, plus I cooked it in coffee and soy sauce – which sounds weird but oh is it divine!  I was really wanting to use my Homemade Taco Seasoning for these Shredded Beef Tacos, but then I discovered I was out of chili powder.  I did a little searching, then whipped up my own chili powder…who knew? I’ll be sharing that recipe with you for the next Make it Myself Monday so be sure to check back.

Here’s how I made these delicious Shredded Beef Tacos:

Put my leftover beef roast in a sauce pan with the juices left from cooking in my crock pot. As it warmed up, I shredded it with a fork.

Beef

Then, I added two ingredients…Homemade Chili Powder and Chunky Mild Salsa. That’s it. It was so tasty! Not spicy, so if you like spicy you can add your favorite heat.

chili powder
The next Make it Myself Monday will feature this flavorful recipe for Homemade Chili Powder. Check back on Monday, February 10! SEE AND PRINT THE EASY RECIPE HERE: Homemade Chili Powder
Shredded Beef
I don’t think this is a particularly appetizing photo, it certainly doesn’t do this Shredded Beef Taco filling justice! It tastes so delicious, though!

I let it simmer for a while while I was waiting for the Crock Pot Soaked Brown Rice, Mexican Style, to finish. That was super easy to  make! Just add a bit of ketchup to the crock pot and stir well before putting the lid on and letting it cook.

Crock Pot Soaked Brown Rice Mexican Style

Now, you probably wonder why that is “Mexican Style.” I don’t know how authentic it is, I just know that a lady I knew who was married to a Mexican man used to make this rice that my daughter just LOVED. I believe she said she used a chicken flavored bouillon with tomato added to it. I don’t use bouillon anymore, so I just add a squirt of ketchup (normally I would use a nourishing chicken stock instead of water, but I don’t have any at the moment). My daughter loves it, so that’s good enough for me! Be sure to check out how to make Crock Pot Soaked Brown Rice, it’s really easy.

We top our tacos with cheese, lettuce, sour cream, onions, tomatoes and green peppers most of the time. In the dead of winter like it is now, I don’t bother with buying tomatoes, and I didn’t have any peppers so it was kind of bare bones toppings this time. Regardless, they were very tasty! Even if I did “ruin” mine by putting green olives on them.

Shredded Beef Tacos and Rice

Shredded Beef Tacos {Leftover Love}
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Midwest Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Super easy, four ingredient Shredded Beef Tacos recipe using leftover beef roast
Ingredients
  • 1-11/2 pound leftover beef roast
  • ¾-1 c beef broth (save from cooking roast)
  • 11/2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
  • ¼ c chunky salsa
  • taco shells
  • favorite taco toppings
Method
  1. In a medium sauce pan, warm the beef roast and broth, shredding the meat as it warms
  2. Add chili powder and salsa
  3. Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked out
  4. Put in taco shells and top as desired
Notes
I used an arm roast that had been seasoned from the butcher shop where I purchased it. If your roast is not very seasoned, you may need to add salt and pepper and maybe garlic or onion powder to taste.

Using up your leftovers will save you money and time, as long as you remember to use them! I use a handy chart on my refrigerator to help me remember what I’ve put into the Bermuda Triangle refrigerator. FREE Download: Leftover Tracker!

Do you do leftovers at your house?

Ground Beef {Make It Myself Monday}

Make your own ground beef! Save $ and make great burgers!
Make your own ground beef! Save $ and make great burgers!
My Aunt Kathy  makes this amazingly yummy cranberry salad during the holidays. She’s made it for decades, I believe. I know when I was little I always looked forward to the white covered dish with the blue square design, because that (usually) meant Cranberry Salad lay hidden within. Sometimes she would put something else in there instead…a crushing disappointment. I remember one time she shared that the secret is using one of those old fashioned hand grinders, not a food processor, because the texture is better…more “rustic” I’d call it. Food processors make everything uniform in shape, this puppy cranks out wonderfully random chunks of texture. I love it!

 

My husband’s grandmother has one, and I borrowed it one year to make Aunt Kathy’s Cranberry Salad and never gave it back. Not because I’m a thief though, I’m just forgetful! One day, my mom surprised me and gave me one she picked up at an auction, for something like $2. I couldn’t believe it, it was in excellent shape and she only paid a couple of bucks for it. Awesome bargain shopping mom!

 

I’ve wanted to try making my own ground beef for a while, but a couple of things kept me from it…I wasn’t really sure how to do it, I feared it would be a humongous pain to clean the grinder, and flashbacks from years ago when I used an electric meat grinder to grind venison. Blech. I don’t want to talk about that. At ALL.

 

Today was a great day to give making my own ground beef a try, since I wanted to make something with hamburger for supper but didn’t want to go to the butcher shop and spend money.  I was blessed to receive a bunch of good quality meat (as in local, grass fed) from a friend who was cleaning out her freezer to make room for the annual meat order she does, so I got out a chuck roast to thaw in the morning. Then, I searched online for “how to grind your own hamburger with an old fashioned grinder”…turns out it’s pretty straight forward. Cut the meat into chunks, freeze it a bit, then grind it. What was I worried about then? Ok right…

 

So, here is how you use that cool antique grinder your Great Aunt Tilly left you
cut chunks
Cut mostly dethawed meat into chunks. Mine were about an inch square.
If your meat is fresh, cut into chunks and put into the freezer for a bit to
harden them up. Be sure to spread them out so they don’t freeze together
into a big clump. They’ll also begin freezing sooner if there is space for
air to circulate between the chunks.
chunks and bones
I got about eight cups of chunks and a couple nice meaty bones for
broth out of my chuck roast. I’m just guessing at the weight, seemed
like a couple pounds or so by the feel of it.
chunks in grinder
You’ll want to attach your grinder to the edge of your kitchen counter with
the clamp that is on the grinder. If your counter edge is nonexistent, or too big,
you can use the edge of a table. I always put a towel or newspaper underneath the
clamp, because any juices in whatever you grind will leak out as you grind. If
you’re doing cranberries, I highly recommend a bucket. Seriously…those guys are
JUICY. And STICKY.  And I should have taken a better picture of this. Sorry!!
grinding
Put a few chunks of meat into the hopper. I think I put about five or six chunks in
there. Start turning the handle. One piece of advice, if the handle doesn’t want to turn
away from you, check the nut on the front of the grinding plate. If it’s too tight, it will
only turn backwards, which of course will not work. Just loosen it up a bit. You’ll have
to push down on the meat some, I always get horrible visions of my fingers getting
caught in there, but I still use my fingers. You are probably more safety conscious
than I am and would think to use a wooden spoon or something. I thought about
getting the wood thing that goes with my food sieve, but I was too lazy to get it.
Hey, I’m human…what can I say? Anyway, keep adding chunks of meat and
grinding until you get it all ground.
ground beef
I was really pleased with the result even though this ground beef looks nothing
like what I buy at my local butcher shop, or even the grocery store.
I love my butcher shop, local meats and amazingly friendly service. I’m
going to really, really miss that place when we move!
grind comparison
I couldn’t remember if I read you should grind it more than one time or not,
so I ground a tiny bit twice. The piece on the left was ground twice, it looks
less “chunky” than the only-one-time-through piece.
little burgers
Since I wanted to make hamburgers for supper, I decided to try out
the two different grinds to see which texture I liked better. I made the cutest
itsy bitsy burgers I’ve ever seen! I seasoned them with salt and pepper
and cooked them. I actually like the coarser ground burger better. It was
amazingly tender, which is what I’ve read about grinding your own burger.
chloe
This is Chloe, “the quicker picker-upper”. She is always ready to lend a
tongue in the kitchen and knows right where to station herself when I’m
cooking. She was a big help today with helping me clean up ground beef mess.
This was a bit labor-intensive, but worth the effort. I couldn’t believe how tender this ground beef was! We’ve been wanting to try the Mythbusters method of tenderizing meat with high explosives, but grinding it ourselves is probably a much more legal and safe way to do it. Some day, though…

 

I used this ground beef to make Home Ground Burgers with Caramelized Onions for supper and have decided that when I want to make hamburgers, I’m going to make my own ground beef. It was seriously that good! Next time, I will add a bit more seasoning. The test burgers were terrific, and I didn’t think they needed anything but salt and pepper. The full sized burgers needed a bit more salt…but I’ve been over-salting stuff lately so I didn’t want to overdo it. Easier to add salt than take it out!
Do you have an old-fashioned hand grinder? What do you grind with it?

Meatloaf Makeover: Baby Steps into Real Food

meatloaf So, you’ve decided that you want to venture into the world of real food. Where do you start? If you’re like most people, you need to start with some baby steps. As I’ve shared in my Make it Myself Monday posts on Taco Seasoning and Ranch Dressing Mix, one easy way to start eliminating processed foods is by making your own seasonings and seasoning mixes. And, another great motivator for making your own is when you run out of a crucial ingredient, such as when I discovered I had no ketchup. You can find my Homemade Ketchup recipe here.

If you saw my Make it Myself Monday post about making your own Dry Onion Soup Mix, perhaps you need a recipe in which to try it. My new friend Doree from Top Notch Mom shared her Meatloaf Cupcakes recipe with me. As I was making the meatloaf mixture, I realized that this recipe would be perfect for demonstrating how to take a “normal” recipe and make it over by using your own homemade ingredients. You can find the original recipe here, and while you’re there be sure to take a look at her other delicious recipes. Challenge yourself to makeover something!

Meatloaf Cupcakes Makeover
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A super easy and delicious recipe using homemade ingredients instead of processed! Gluten free. Original recipe courtesy of Doree from topnotchmom.com.
Ingredients
  • 2 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 2-4 Tbs Dry Onion Soup Mix*
  • 2 eggs, from free-ranging hens
  • ½ c homemade ketchup
  • ⅓ c homemade bbq sauce*
  • 1 c gluten-free breadcrumbs*
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning blend
  • Glaze
  • ½ c homemade ketchup
  • ¼ c mustard
  • ⅓ c sucanat
  • Mashed Potatoes (if desired)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a muffin pan (optional*)
  2. Combine meat, eggs, ketchup, bbq sauce and breadcrumbs and mix well. Use your hands and really squish it all together.
  3. Fill each muffin cup, packing the meat mixture down as needed to fill the whole pan.
  4. Combine the glaze ingredients, then coat the top of each meat muffin with glaze. There will be some left over.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until done. They will pull away from the sides of the muffin pan when they're done.
  6. Remove from the pan and "frost" with mashed potatoes, if desired.
Notes
*I used one Udi's gluten free hot dog bun, crumbled up. You can also use leftover oatmeal, cooked millet, or other gluten free "binders"
*I only had about 2½ Tbs of Dry Onion Soup Mix left and used that. It was plenty, and actually I think I would cut it back to 2 Tbs.
*I used ⅓ c glaze in place of bbq sauce, as it has a similar flavor
*For the glaze, I did not use ¼ c mustard, more like 2 Tbs. If you're not a big mustard fan, add a little at a time until it tastes like you like it.
*I forgot to grease my muffin pan and they turned out fine. I don't use cooking spray, so I would have used either butter or coconut oil to grease the pan. Next time, I think I will try using parchment paper liners to make cleaning up a little easier.

My family gave this 3 out of 4 thumbs up, but only because my husband isn’t all that enthused about meatloaf in general. My thumb was holding the camera, but it would have been up otherwise, I loved it! I didn’t have time to frost them like Doree, but she used a cake decorating bag and tip and it looked super cute.

meatloaf verdict

It’s very easy to makeover most “normal” recipes that call for prepackaged, processed ingredients. Simply replace those ingredients with homemade versions. Spending a little time to make up seasoning blends and other ingredients ahead of time will save you time and money in the long run. Not to mention you are reducing your family’s exposure to unnecessary and often harmful artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives. 

Be sure to keep checking back here at Oh Sweet Mercy for more easy and money-saving recipes to help you replace the processed foods you have in your pantry with healthy homemade versions!

Are you a meatloaf lover? Do you have a favorite recipe?

Home Ground Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Home Ground Burgers with Carmelized Onions
Home Ground Burgers with Carmelized Onions
After making my own ground beef from a grassfed beef chuck roast yesterday, I could only do one thing…make hamburgers for supper! There’s lots of fancy ways to make burgers, but I opted for simple. Salt and pepper were the only seasonings this flavorful meat needed, although I should have used more salt. But, other than that they were delicious, juicy and tender. Grinding your own beef really results in more tender burgers. Not sure how, but it does.

 

I topped mine off with cheddar cheese, freshly sliced off the block and caramelized onions, hubby chose Swiss cheese, and picky 12 year old daughter went for mozzarella. Mister’s a boy after his mommy’s heart and wanted cheddar too.  I’m typing this the next morning, and I would love to have a cheeseburger for breakfast right now. They were that good!

 

Caramelized onions…those are something I am trying to master and I get varying results. One thing I can tell you is that they can go from caramelized to carbonized in the blink of an eye. They are not really something you should try to make while you’re doing something else, especially if you have a tendency to be distractible. Not that I don’t try to prove that wrong. I should think about making them before I start making whatever I’m going to put them on, but what usually happens is I get some idea for [______] with Caramelized Onions and start making everything all at once. I wonder if I could make a bunch and freeze them in small portions. I think I’ll try that.

 

Years ago, I cut out a newspaper article about making caramelized onions and it takes forever to do it right. One of these days I’m going to follow those directions instead of doing it my way, I have a feeling they’ll turn out better.  Or, I’ll try making them in my crock pot, following the recipe I found at food.com, Crockpot Caramelized Onions.  Definitely look through the comments, there’s some good tips there.

 

How I Make Caramelized Onions (and Sometimes Carbonized…)

 

This is one of those “recipes” that is not really a recipe…I cut up some onion (I prefer Vidalia), melt some butter in a hot cast iron skillet, dump in the onions, salt them a bit, and let them cook slowly. Or try to. Seems like I always end up with the pan too hot. But anyway, stir them around to get them coated in the butter, and stir occasionally. When they start to turn brownish, you have to really pay attention…stir often, and don’t walk away from the stove!

 

onions in skillet
Add sliced, sweet onions to a hot cast iron skillet with melted butter. This was one small onion and 2-3 Tbs butter and a sprinkling of salt.
sizzling onions 2
After several minutes of cooking, they are already starting to brown a bit.
carbonized onions
And, before you know it…they’re getting overdone…sigh…
burger patty
Now for the burgers…freshly ground, pattied and seasoned with salt and pepper.
burgers in skillet
This is how I have to cook our burgers. Cook mine and the kids for several minutes first, flip, then add my husband’s. He likes his still mooing. YUK.
burger
I drizzled balsamic reduction over my burger, and enjoyed a simple kale salad with green peppers, onions and homemade ranch dressing along with it. Oh, and some Mediterranean seasoned potato chips. Yummy!
Grinding your own hamburger may or may not be more economical. Our local butcher sells ground beef for $3.89 a pound right now, a chuck roast is $4.39. But honestly, I loved the beef I ground myself so much I think I just might be willing to pay a little more and do the work myself, at least if I’m going to make hamburgers. If it’s going into chili or some other kind of ground beef dish, I’d stick with the pre-ground hamburger. A big, juicy, delicious hamburger really showcases the tenderness of home ground beef.

 

What are your favorite ways to prepare burgers? Have you ever ground your own beef? What’s your favorite way to use caramelized onions?

Cooking on the Fly with Perpetual Stock

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A very dear friend of mine recently introduced me to “perpetual broth (or stock or soup…).” I was intrigued by the idea, but wasn’t sure if I would use enough broth to make it worthwhile. Turns out, it’s a magnificent kitchen tool to have on hand. Yes, I said tool.

5. anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose (dictionary.com)

In the case of the modern housewife faced with the task and purpose to feed her family nourishing, minimally processed foods, perpetual broth is definitely one tool no cook should be without..

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, “PERPETUAL BROTH”? 

My first thought when my friend began to explain it to me was YOU PUT A CHICKEN CARCASS IN YOUR CROCK POT AND MAKE BROTH WITH IT FOREVER? Sort of.  Into your crock pot, you put bones of your choice, good, filtered water, vegetables (be careful what kind, some will cause the broth to be bitter and, well, yucky), maybe some seasonings, and turn the crock pot on low. After 24 hours, you can start using the broth for meals or whatever ails you. As you remove broth, replace it with water…and you can  keep that broth simmering for four to seven days. Yes, that long!
I’ll admit, it sounded kind of…well…gross, to be honest. But I know the benefits of good, nourishing bone broth and seeing as how we’re smack dab into flu season, the idea of always having some of that magical elixir on hand night and day was what made me decide to give it a whirl.

GRANDMA WAS RIGHT ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP

Grandma was right about chicken soup being able to cure what ails ya. The problem nowadays is that the broth in those convenient cans on the supermarket shelf is NOT your grandmother’s, not by a long shot. Even aside from the fact that most broths contain MSG and other chemicals, it’s just not made the way grandma did it. And the way grandma did it produces the magical healing qualities of broth.
Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

Broth is Beautiful, by Sally Fallon  Check out the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website for lots of great information on nourishing foods.

My husband recently started “coming down with something” and I forced him to drink broth. He didn’t fight much, his mom raised him right! He never did come down with anything then. The kids and I have healthy constitutions and rarely get sick, for which I am so thankful.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

This is the end of week two in the perpetual broth experiment. Not only do we drink it straight from a mug, but I put that rich, delicious broth in everything I can. Mashed potatoes? Forget the milk, use chicken broth…OH.MY.WORD. Rice, pasta, beans…anything you’d use water in, you can use this nutrient-rich broth.
Our favorite is definitely chicken broth, made with the carcass (or frame, if carcass grosses you out too much…) of a locally raised, free-ranging chicken, rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper, some garlic cloves in the cavity, baked and noshed on for Sunday lunch. Toss that in the crock pot with some carrots, celery, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, a splash of apple cider vinegar (to help draw out the minerals), set it to low and in no time you have a pot full of the best broth around.
Strain the broth in a reusable coffee filter or other such thing, sufficient to catch bits of stuff floating around in the broth. My friend used an ice cube to “catch” the excess fat. After a couple of days, there is much less fat to fool with.
The result is a rich, smooth, soothing broth perfect for a cold winter’s day or a loved one who’s feeling under the weather.  I like to try and have a cup before each meal and before I go to bed. It aids digestion, and the abundance of minerals can have a calming effect…something I always need!
Today, I made chicken tacos and pinto beans for supper and it was a big hit. My daughter ate three tacos and begged me to make it again. My husband would have eaten more, but we had licked the pot clean of the chicken. My son and I love beans more than the rest of the family, so there were beans leftover (fine with me, pop them in the freezer for another meal!). But here’s how I got more nourishing bone broth into my family:

Chicken Tacos (no precise measurements, as I was cooking “on the fly” tonight)

Saute about 1/4 c diced onion in olive oil until it begins to soften, add a minced garlic clove and cook briefly, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add about 2 cups of leftover chicken meat, about 1 c bone broth, about 1/3-1/2 c diced tomatoes and juice. I make my own taco seasoning and keep it in a jar, which I just shook out onto the chicken mixture until it looked right, adding more as necessary until it tasted right. I also added some ground marjoram (maybe 1/2 tsp) and a pinch of sugar. Simmer until chicken shreds easily and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Serve with your favorite taco shells and condiments.

Pinto Beans

Last night (at around 8 p.m.), I rinsed and sorted a pound of dry pinto beans, covered with about 4 inches above the beans with warm water and added a generous pinch of baking soda. At around 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, I drained and rinsed the beans and put them in a heavy bottomed stock pot. I covered the beans and then some with the perpetual beef broth I had simmering away, probably about two quarts worth. Brought to a boil, then lowered the heat and simmered until they were soft, about an hour and a half. Seasoned gently with ground cumin and marjoram, generously with sea salt. I think these were the best pinto beans I’ve made yet. They had the most amazing “pot liquor” that I’ve been trying to achieve, but before now had not yet managed to pull off. Fabulous.

HEALTHY AND HANDY

I don’t know if I’ll brew perpetual broth all year long, as hot summer days call for cold, refreshing liquids, but I think I’ll continue this practice during the cooler months of the year. It makes cooking many things, such as rice, potatoes and pasta…typical fall and winter fare…a breeze, not to mention incredibly flavorful. And with the added immune system boost, and the benefit to skin, hair and nails, well, I don’t see how I can NOT keep making this amazing stuff.
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