Black Beans & Rice

We turn to this recipe when our budget is a little tight.  Most of the ingredients are pantry and refrigerator staples.  Other ingredients can be purchased relatively inexpensively. The DollarTree even has burritos, grated cheese and sour cream.


  • 2 cups of black beans
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 2 packages of tortillas
  • 1 small package of sour cream
  • Toppings of choice (Our family sometimes uses torn romaine lettuce leaves, avocado, olives, or cheese)


  1. Pre-soak or quick-soak black beans. Rinse black beans.
  2. Dice celery stalks and garlic.  Grate carrot. Place into dutch oven with EVOO. Sweat onions, celery, carrot and garlic until tender.
  3. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, taco seasoning packet and add enough water to cover black beans sufficiently.  Simmer on medium heat until black beans are fully cooked. Check often and add more water if necessary.
  4. Cook 2 cups of rice according to package directions.
  5. Mix rice and black bean mixture together.
  6. Serve on burritos with toppings of your choice.

Blessings from Our Family to Yours,



Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I try to minimize the purchase of convenience foods in order to better manage our grocery budget.  Several years ago, I stumbled upon a recipe floating out on the internet for homemade chocolate syrup.  After tweaking the recipe, I have been able to make my own chocolate syrup that very closely resembles Hershey Syrup.

Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate Syrup

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of organic powder
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
dash of salt

Place sugar, cocoa powder, and water in a sauce pan. Continuously stir mixture bringing it boil. Turn down heat and simmer until desired thickness. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and salt. Mix syrup. Let cool and then store.

Glass storage containers are the easiest to use for clean up purposes. I simply use a mason jar.

We use the syrup to make chocolate milk and on ice cream. The syrup tastes better than Hershey’s syrup.  The bonus is that it is free of any preservatives!

Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings is a perfect dish for a cold, wintery night. It’s a stick to your ribs kind of meal.

Ingredients for Soup

  • Left over chicken or turkey about 2 to 3 cups
  • 32 ounces of chicken or turkey broth (homemade is better!)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 stalk of rosemary leaves removed and diced finely
  • 2 stalks of tyme leaves removed
  • 3 leaves of sage rolled and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Dumplings

  • 1 cup of organic unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 c. and up to 4 tablespoons of organic milk


  1. Put onion, celery, carrots, butter, and spices in a Dutch oven and cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add broth and meat and to a boil.
  3. Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add milk until a soft dough forms.
  4. Drop spoonfuls into boiling soup. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add parsley when dumplings are finished cooking.