Friday, July 11, 2014

A Recipe (Sweet Potato Nachos) and A Week

the last picture I will have of BMV for a while sans braces

my nephew, visiting from TX, and Freckles

my niece, Meres' counterpoint.

my bro. One of my 3 younger bros. And, I bet this is a much more flattering picture of him
than the one of me that he is putting on HIS blog...
It has been a great week. A full week.

I attended a wedding, and danced the chicken dance.

I competed in a triathlon.

I dreamed about visiting Spain in the spring and about painting my kitchen.

I visited with out of state family.

My parents took my boys for a couple nights and my girls for a different night. A house of two girls is much different than a house of three boys. ( I got my nephew on the night the girls were gone)

My boys both got braces this week. Freckles went for gold toned brackets. It makes us look like we are rich...(snort!)

It was a week of 50 cent ice-cream cones at McDonalds.

It was a week of reading in the sunshine. I read/finished two books. Longburn and Shadow Horses.

It was a week of biking in the rain. I got rained on two different bike trips...

It was a week that included miniature golf (with the boys) and Botanical gardens (with the girls).

The weather has been cooler-which means it is awesome! Sunny. 70s. Nights in the low 60s and upper 50s. Good sleeping weather.

It was the week when we crossed the halfway point between end of the last school year and the beginning of the next school year.

It finally felt like summer time should feel. Full. Good. Relaxing. Fun.
first cherry tomato of the season

Baby green beans. They will be ready to pick next week!

I have an awesome recipe for you today! Well, personally I think I have awesome recipes for you every Friday. But, this one is an awesome-awesome recipe!

Sweet Potato Nachos.

Layers of baked sweet potatoes, sausage, cheddar cheese, cilantro and black beans. Served with sour cream, salsa and chopped tomatoes. So good!

And pretty healthy too! How about a high five for the genius of swapping out sweet potatoes for tortilla chips! Not my original idea, but I am all over it!!!

Look at all that color! Natural color is good!

These really are simple. The first time we had them, Mr. Hippie made them with the kids. Each one had a job. Peeling, slicing, frying, layering.

Btw, I never buy cans of black beans anymore. They are a snap to make from scratch in the crock pot.  I will share the recipe below. It works for any kind of dry bean.

Sweet Potato Nachos
6 large sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (15.5 ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed (or 3-4 cups of homemade beans)
12 ounces (3 cups) cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 pound fresh mild or spicy sausage

-Arrange racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch thick sticks.
-Divide sweet potatoes evenly between two sheet pans and drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out the sweet potato sticks into a single layer and roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
-Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and move the upper rack to the middle of the oven. Heat the broiler to high.
-Meanwhile, brown the sausage.
-Transfer one tray of sweet potatoes to an oven-safe platter and top with half the black beans, half the sausage and half the cheddar. Top with the other tray of sweet potatoes and layer the remaining black beans, sausage and cheddar over the top.
-Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Crockpot Beans
1 pound dry beans (black, pinto, red, garbanzo, etc)
6 cups water
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 tsp salt

-Wash and sort beans, looking for any pebbles or clumps of dirt. Place in the crockpot, and top with the 6 cups of water.
-Peel and halve the onion. Place with beans.
-Crush and peel the garlic. Add to beans.
-Add bay leaf. 
-Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours.
-When the beans are tender, add the salt, and allow to cool.

These beans taste amazing and they take less than 5 minutes to put together. I usually make a double batch and then freeze the beans in 3-4 cups packages. 

1-1/2 cups of cooked beans is the equivalent of one 15.5 ounce can of beans.

Have a magnificent summer weekend! See you next week!