Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dried/ Cooked/ Canned Beans


I ran across some useful information from this website, based on information from the U.S. Dry Bean Counsel, about bean measurements when trying to figure out how many dried beans= cooked beans= canned beans. This is helpful to have on hand:

Two cups of dried beans = one pound
A heaping half-cup of dried beans = one 15-ounce can
One and a half-cups cooked beans, drained = one 15 ounce can
One cup dried beans = 3 cups cooked beans
One pound dried beans = 6 cups cooked beans


Homemade Tortilla Crisps



6″- 8″ corn or flour tortillas (eg. homemade corn tortillas)

oil (for misting)


lime juice (optional)

Directions & Notes:

1. Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut the tortillas into about 8 pieces each and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Spray with oil mister and sprinkle with salt and lime juice (if desired).

3. Bake roughly 7-10 minutes or until crisping. Bake time will depend on the thickness of the tortillas.


4. Eat straight out of the oven or use for a big old plate of nachos!



Black Bean & Corn Salsa



1 1/2 cup of black beans (1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained, a heaping 1/2 cup of dried beans if cooking with dry beans)

2 cups corn kernels

1/3 red onion, chopped into small pieces

2 slightly spicy green peppers, finely chopped (I used ones that are dark green in color and roughly 5- 6 inches long)

3/4- 1 Tablespoons lime juice, to taste

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3/4- 1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1- 2 bunches of cilantro, finely chopped

Directions & Notes:

Combine all ingredients & chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Great with wonton wrapper scoops!


A variation without the cilantro and green pepper:

Picture 2

Corn Tortillas



3/4 cups corn flour

1 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 cup boiling water

Directions & Notes:

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours and salt.

2. Add the oil and the boiling (or just extremely hot) water. Stir to combine and then wait a few minutes for it to cool.

3. Divide the dough into pieces. This recipe could make about 10 small tortillas or about 6 bigger ones.

4. Using extra corn flour if needed to help with the rolling process, roll the first piece of dough out until it is very thin. I usually just allow the tortillas to be “creatively shaped” instead of worrying about perfect roundness.


5. Cook on a dry, hot skillet until the underside is dry and beginning to brown. Then flip and cook the other side. While it is cooking, roll out the next tortilla to keep the process going.

These were great to use for tacos and to cut and crisp in the oven as homemade tortilla chips for snacking or nachos.


Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons buckwheat flour (or more all-purpose flour)

2 Tablespoons wheat germ (optional)

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup mashed pumpkin

1/4- 1/3 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk (Slightly more or less milk may be needed depending on the amount of moisture in the mashed pumpkin being used; the batter should be somewhat thick.)

For rolling:

1/4 cup cinnamon powdered sugar

Directions & Notes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Stir wet and dry ingredients until just combined.

3. Spray a mini-muffin tin well. Alternatively, you can dip a paper towel into a small bowl of oil and oil the mini-muffin cups by hand.

4. Fill each mini-muffin cup to about 3/4 full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

5. Remove from oven and wait just about 2 minutes while the donut holes cool slightly. Carefully remove from tin and immediately roll in cinnamon powdered sugar.

Serve with fabulous homemade fruit salsa….


Or with nothing at all…


Serving estimate: Makes about 30-36 donut holes.

Chocolate-Chocolate Truffles



For filling:

12 walnuts, shelled

2 Tablespoons cream/ milk

about 160 grams dark chocolate (for China friends, that’s 2 large 80g Dove bars)

1 Tablespoon powdered sugar

For outer shell:

100 more grams (melting) chocolate of choice (semi-sweet worked well for us)

unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Directions & Notes:

1. In a magic bullet cup (or by hand), pulse the walnuts and milk/ cream until it makes a paste.

2. In a double boiler (or the microwave), heat the dark chocolate until it is melted. Stir in the walnut and milk/ cream paste and the Tablespoon of powdered sugar. Place in the freezer for about 20-25 minutes until it is cooled and slightly stiff.


3. Just before removing the bowl of filling from the freezer, melt the chocolate for the outer shell.

4. Roll the filling into about 1″ balls. Dip into the melted chocolate quickly just to coat them, but not long enough so they melt and lose their form.

5. Place the dipped balls on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Cool and enjoy!  IMG_3421

Note: For recipes that call for a double boiler, I improvise to make my own “double boiler” by using a small pan with some water in the bottom and placing a comparatively shallow metal bowl with roughly the same circumference on top: IMG_3417

{Crock Pot} Pumpkin Spice Coffee Drink



3 cups (lowfat) milk

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

3 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups strong coffee

1/4 cup sugar

cinnamon sticks & whipped cream for serving (optional)

Directions & Notes:

Combine all ingredients except for cinnamon sticks & whipped cream (if using) in a slow cooker. Let cook on high for about 1 1/2- 2 hours, until it’s warm and making the whole house smell wonderful! (Or if you really want it now, just combine ingredients on the stove top until warm and flavors are melded.)