Friday, May 17, 2013

School Days All Done...

It has been a wonderful week in the Barefoot Hippie world...

We are done, DONE, D-O-N-E with school! For the year! I don't know who is more excited-the kids or me. We will keep up summer reading and light math facts plus watch some educational You Tube videos when boredom hits a high level. But, as far as formal books, we have completed year 6 of Barefoot Hippie Homeschooling. (my mil just finished year 26 I think she said. Crazy!(long) Dedicated! Here's to you, teacher of the year!)

I ran my race. The weather was nippy, but actually perfect. The first 7 miles were awesome-just like last year. The next 5 were the hills-which were a killer. The last 3 miles were a combination of run/walk/limp. But we made it through. I knocked 18 minutes off my last time, coming in 3-1/2 minutes before my "realistic" goal of last week. I averaged less than 10 minute miles, and I am proud of that. The winners averaged in the way less than 5 minute mile range, but we can't all be winners...

the medals prove we finished...=)

I bought a bike. My goal was to push hard in my running training until our race last Saturday, and now we are upping our tri training. And this is the beauty that now belongs to me... Ummm...I'm thinking some butt calluses are in order...
Mr. Hippie has the exact same one, his is just fitted differently.

Bebop-a-rebop...rhubarb.... This was the week for rhubarb. I needed jam. I was on my very last teeny-weeny jar. So, I got ambitious and ordered 20 pounds of rhubarb. Which looks something like this...

20 pounds of rhubarb
 And translates into something like this...
For the jam recipe, go here...

And this...
I gave 2 away. Noble of me. Also great for my waistline.
 It was also a week of growing...literally.

chopped chives from my garden. great on baked potatoes and in eggs.

gorgeous lilacs

smell so good!

and the red bud tree.
We've spent a lot of time outside this week. The weather has been ideal. Warm and sunny. Which translates into "hello! muddy footprints and handprints all over the house!" The price of spring...

And, because activities are winding down, it was time to make a two fresh batches of sugar scrub. We made our favorite brown sugar-coffee mix, and we also experimented with color and scent for some green cucumber-melon....
sugar scrub recipes
Not only did we make sugar scrub, but I stepped way out of my comfort zone in painting my finger nails blue. I never do any other tones but reds, and burgundies. Sometimes a coral. But, when your daughter picks you out blue polish for Mother's Day, you swallow your inhibitions and wear it proudly on your nails. She was looking for sparkly. I guess sparkly didn't come in red...

Finally, I made my old work horse, aka, crock pot, work overtime this week. On Monday, I made pulled pork for sandwiches and pulled pork tacos. On Tuesday, I tried a brand new endeavor-cooking dried beans in your slow cooker. I read about the technique on a link from Design Mom. It sounded intriguing. You start with dry beans and end up with tender and delicious beans. I made black beans.
recipe here (I would say that I cooked mine on high for 8-1/2 hours before they were done. I doubled the recipe.)

I used some of my black beans for my pulled pork tacos, I froze some, and I used the rest for this...
On Wednesday, I used my crockpot to cook us up some delicious (and easy) Latin Chicken. Chock full of black beans, sweet potatoes and chicken, it melds the flavors of lime, paprika, cumin and cilantro into a colorful, tasty and memorable dish.

Here is the recipe to integrate into your weekend menu...

Crockpot Latin Chicken
8-12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 (15 oz) cans black beans rinsed, or 3-4 cups of homemade black beans
2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2" pieces
1 Italian style roasted red pepper from jar, cut into strips (1 cup)
1/3 cup loosely packed, fresh cilantro, chopped, plus additional if desired
lime wedges

Sprinkle chicken thighs with 1/2 cumin, salt and pepper. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over high heat until hot. Add chicken and brown on both sides-about 10 minutes.

Place beans and sweet potatoes into the bottom of your crock pot. Layer browned chicken on top.

In the skillet, combine broth, salsa, remaining cumin, paprika, allspice and garlic. Stir until boiling and remove from heat. Pour over the chicken in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.

Remove chicken from the crockpot to a large bowl or platter. Stir cilantro and red pepper strips into the potato mixture, then pour over the chicken. Top with additional cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

So, that was my was yours? Any plans for the weekend?