Beans, Beans the magical FRUIT. And a Yummy Salsa recipe.

Beans are a vegetable now. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it does mean that I now eat WAAAAAAY more vegetables.

We eat a lot of beans. They are cheap and everyone likes them, so it is a win-win situation.

But I’m going to talk about how cheap they can be.


Buy dried beans. No seriously. You will save a TON of money.

25 pounds of black beans run about 28 dollars or so. (so about a 1$ a pound for my horrible math skills)

a pound of dried black beans makes about 8 cups of cooked beans (true story!)

1 Can of black beans holds about 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans.

1 can of black beans costs about 75 cents.

So if you make a pound of dried black beans cost a dollar and makes 5 TIMES as much beans.

It costs (if you buy in bulk) about 13 cents to make the same amount in a can of beans. Which costs 75 cents. (I think. Please don’t correct my math, I’m positive I got something wrong….)


I have a pressure cooker that it awesome for making beans. I ran over to a Cash and Carry and bought some small plastic containers that hold about as much beans as a can would. (a little more actually) So after I make the 8 cups of beans, I put them in the freezer in nice small packages so I can whip them out and nuke them in the microwave for about a minute or so to defrost them.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook them in your slow cooker. It takes about 6 hours if you do it on high and if you don’t soak them. Use a quart of water per cup of beans. They have better texture and less, um, internal discomfort if you soak them. (Gas. I’m talking about flatulence.)

After they are defrosted I like to smash them in olive oil and garlic for a black bean paste that is pretty tasty in taquitos or tacos. Or on a wrap. Mmmmmm….

Here is a recipe for black bean burgers that I CAN’T get enough of. I would copy it over, but I didn’t make any adjustments and I try not to steal people’s recipes outright…

These burgers are yummy and perfectly paired with sweet potato fries. We like ours with smashed Avacado and salsa. I make my own pico de gallo.

Em’s Pico de Gallo

3 vine ripened tomatoes, diced

1/2 a large onion, diced

1 jalapeno, diced (more if you like spicy, less if you have littlies that will be eating it)

1 TBS Lime Juice

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 bunch of cilantro, diced.

Mix all ingredients together and let sit in your fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavours meld. I have made this twice in the last week and a half. YUM. Hubby won’t eat it though. The tomatoes and onions are too big. He really doesn’t like tomatoes and onions. Shame.


How to clean 2 bathrooms in 30 minutes.

The other day I had to make bread, but it was also my day for cleaning the bathrooms.

While my bread was rising, I decided to see if I could clean the bathrooms (one full bath and one 3/4 bath) during the time it took to allow the bread to rise (about 30 minutes), including sweeping AND moping the floor with two cute little kids trying to help.

I did it. 🙂

First: Sweep through both bathrooms and clear all the stuff off the counters (soap, toothbrushes, lotion, etc) I usually stuff it under the sinks, but sometimes I’ll put it on the floor outside the bathroom (or on the bed so little hands can’t play with it). Get out the rugs and laundry baskets too. Bring the toilet bowl cleaner and shower cleaner with you, and spray both down so they can soak while you do the rest of the cleaning.

Second: Grab your mirror cleaner and counter top cleaner. Clean mirrors and counter top in one bathroom then clean mirrors and counter top in the other bathroom.

Third: Using the same cloth, spray down the toilet (I use the same cleaner as what I clean my countertops with) and carefully wipe down everything except the inside of the bowl. Then run to the other bathroom and clean that toilet. Make sure to clean the entire outside of the toilet, down to the back where it connects to the floor. (I don’t know about you, but I have little boys. They miss.) If you have potty training little ones, clean their toilet seat or potty chair now too.

Fourth: Grab a clean cloth (you don’t want to reuse the cloth that has cleaned your toilet) and wipe down your shower/tub. Then go to the other bathroom and wipe down/scrub how the shower/tub there.

Fifth: Grab your broom and mop. Sweep out both bathrooms, then mop both bathrooms.

Sixth: Let that dry for a few minutes, then clean out both toilet bowls, with a toilet scrub brush.

And your DONE!

Please note that this doesn’t really include any detail cleaning. But if you clean your bathrooms once a week (like I try to do) it will keep your bathrooms clean. Also, I wash all my towels and sheets and rugs (linens) on a different day.

If any one is interested, I use 50% vinegar and 50% water for my counter top and toilet spray. I use 50% dish soap and 50% vinegar for my shower spray. I buy my toilet bowl cleaner and mirror cleaner, although I like the 7th Generation or all natural stuff if I can afford it. It smells better….

My 3 1/2 year old helps by spraying the shower and toilet for me. Because they are mostly vinegar, he can’t hurt himself if he accidentally sprays his mouth or eyes. He actually does a good job, I just have to add a little to get everything clean. He loves to help.

What is your record for fastest bathroom cleaning?

How I don’t gain a million pounds by eating all this food. Stay at Home Workouts!

I love food. REALLY love food. Good food. Not processed pre-made crap that you buy at the store. I like made-from-scratch, full-fat, butter-heavily-involved FOOD.

I also love crisp veggies, sweet fresh fruit and pretty much you name it I love it. (actually it took me some effort to like veggies, but I do now)

How on earth do I not weigh a million pounds?

Well, I don’t eat a lot of refined sugar. That actually has more to do with sugar making me physically ill rather than losing weight. I seriously have to limit my sugar intake or I get really cranky and really tired. I don’t have time for that. Also, we eat vegetarian three times a week. Did I mention that I am lactose intolerant? Good-bye dairy and ice cream…

I also work out five days a week for about an hour.

I like feeling STRONG. Where I can lift anything, do anything with out feeling too weak to keep going. I really wish I could do a gym member ship, but the ones closest to our house don’t have day care, so I would have to go at either 5:30 in the morning (which is hard for me to do) or at 7pm at night after the kids are in bed (I am usually too exhausted). They do have day care ones in the large city about 30 miles away, but we can’t afford the gas+gym membership to drive 30 miles three days a week.

Instead, I do this:

Right now on Amazon Prime there are several Jillian Micheal’s work out video’s available.

I do one 25-30 min. Jillian Micheal’s work out video (shred it with weights, Yoga Melt down or 6 week 6 pack abs, alternating between level 1 and level 2) then do a 30 min. workout on the Wii fit, that usually includes the jogging in place one for about 20 of those minutes. I do this Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday.

On Thursday, I’m usually pretty worn out from the week and the workouts so I do a cardo workout for an hour to let my muscles recover a little. I have a Billy Blanks Taebo cardio dvd that works really well. There is also a Billy Blanks Jr. video on Amazon Prime right now that is about 35 min. Then I do some more cardio on Wii Fit.

Then on Friday I do one of Jillian Micheal’s hour long videos (No more Trouble Zones or Banish Fat, Metabolism Burning Workout). Those are killer. REALLY killer.

Weights are a little out of our price range (they can run from 35-100 bucks for a full set) so let me show you what I use instead:


Did you know that these make GREAT adjustable weights? I fill it with water and use my food scale to see how heavy it is. I actually want to buy a bag of sand to be able to get them even heavier and not splash water every where. There is a wet patch on my living room carpet right now…

I have some bigger laundry detergent containers that I use in place of kettle balls. Works like a charm!

On Saturday and Sunday, I don’t do a formal workout. Saturdays we usually work in the yard or do other work around the house or shopping. Honestly, it just gets to be too much. According to the articles I have read on Pintrest (yup that doesn’t mean its legit) you really should allow your body two days a week to recover. Otherwise you are going to get injuries.

Also, switch up what you are doing. As different workouts become available on Amazon Prime, I switch it up. I also have an hour long yoga video I enjoy doing from time to time. This is mostly because I get bored, but also because your body will get comfortable if you do the same thing every day and quit building muscle and burning extra calories.

As I have been doing this, I have slowly lost about 6-10 pounds. When I say slowly, I really mean its been about 4 months. The thing I really measure is how strong I am getting. Like I can hold that crescent pose for an entire circuit rather than having to fake it half the time. I can do thirty push ups (YAY) rather than the not being able to do ten when I started. The weight really isn’t the goal here, it is getting stronger. Being able to do more.

I love feeling empowered like that.