Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jewels, Sledding, and Cranberry Beans

I've been busy in the studio working on some new pendants. I ordered fused glass cabochons (also called dichroic glass) from a woman in New York who hand makes them in her kiln (Pink Glass Palace is the name of her store). Look how gorgeous they turned out!

I have a couple more in my Etsy shop as well. These were so fun to make!

Our neighbor had a birthday sledding party on Sunday and we tagged along. We were sledding at the "Monsters of Mud" hill by the Longbranch. We could sled on our hill down to the lake, but this hill is bigger.

It's actually steeper than it looks in this photo. Of course, once you go down, you have to run back up (well, some of us just walked back up).

And even this little baby had his first slide down the hill - he's four months old! Really cute family photo with his mom and dad!

I haven't given you a recipe in a while so I thought I'd tell you how I made a big batch of cranberry baked beans. Great for lunches all week or bring them to a potluck! I made a huge batch, but you could make half easily.

Cranberry Baked Beans

2 lb cranberry beans (or great northern or navy would be fine, too)
water to cover
1 can of frozen 100% cranberry juice or combination of cranberry/raspberry, cranberry/pomegranate, etc.
1 package fresh or frozen cranberries
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 can tomato paste (or use the whole can if you have more water to thicken)
1/4 cup brown sugar (more if you like sweeter beans or add a little molasses or maple syrup!)
2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

Soak the beans overnight or do a quick soak (bring to boil then turn off heat for one hour). Drain soaking water and rinse beans. I like to pressure cook my beans for a few minutes before finishing the rest of the cooking. If you do that, put water to cover the beans in a pressure cooker and add the frozen juice. Bring to pressure and cook about 5 minutes. Release pressure and do not drain!

Saute the onions in some olive oil. Add the beans cranberry juice, cranberries, and water to the pot. Simmer very slowly until beans are beginning to get tender. Then stir in the tomato paste, brown sugar, ginger, and mustard. Continue simmering until beans are tender. Add salt to taste.

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