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What’s Cookin’ – Cool Beans

Posted in : Married with Children, What's Cookin' on by : TetonTrekker Tags:

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain

Happy New Year 2024!

Welcome to January on TetonTrekker, where the air is crisp, and the kitchen is alive with the delightful aroma of cooking adventures! As we step into the new year, let's kick off the January What's Cookin' edition 'Cool Beans' with a burst of flavor and a dash of retro charm. Whether we're unraveling the tales of beans through the ages or navigating the quirky stories of picky eaters, this month covers a culinary journey filled with laughter, nostalgia, and, of course, the unbeatable charm of beans. Join me as we explore recipes, traditions, and the quest for the perfect vintage cookbook, making this January a truly bean-tastic start to the year! Wishing you all a Happy New Year filled with delicious discoveries and kitchen joys!

Dive into the fascinating history of the bean!

Originating over 7,000 years ago in South America, beans became culinary globetrotters, traded like precious currency. From ancient times to today, they've held a coveted spot in cuisines worldwide. Whether it's the classic comfort of chili or the modern flair of bean burgers, beans remain a beloved and versatile food, standing the test of time.

Now, let's unravel the tale of New Year's ham and beans. Born in the southern United States during the Civil War, this dish was a wartime staple, easy to prepare and feed a crowd. Some trace the tradition back to ancient Europe, linking it to the belief that consuming pork on New Year's Day brings good luck and prosperity. Regardless of its roots, ham and beans continue to grace tables on New Year's Day, carrying the legacy of a hearty and symbolic start to the year.

Raising a bean free family!

Now, as much as I revel in the culinary realm, the universe threw me a flavorful curveball—I ended up marrying a man who's not just picky but has a list of liked foods shorter than a shopping list during a bean shortage. They say opposites attract, and I guess that's why he chose me, the culinary adventurer, to spice up his life. To add a twist to the tale, our son Kyle inherited the picky eating gene, and with both father and son forming a united front against beans, my attempts at bean-based dinners faced an uphill battle.

In the quirky chronicles of the Wilson family, a legendary tale echoes through the generations: it is said that my husband bravely ventured into the world of beans at the tender age of five, and rumor has it, that bean is still working its magic. Such is the lore that FEMA, in all its bean-induced wisdom, has officially declared that he may never again partake in the magical fruit.

Yet, fear not, for the kitchen warrior in me persists! Beans may be banned from their plates, but I continue to whip up bean-inspired masterpieces because, let's face it, I love them. They freeze like champs, travel with grace, and are the unsung heroes of potluck gatherings. So, while the men of the house maintain their bean embargo, I march on, armed with pots, pans, and a hearty love for the versatile legume. After all, who said a bean ban could stop a determined cook on a flavorful mission?

Monthly Morsels - Cool Beans!

#FromMyKitchen - Indulge in the deliciousness of this pot of beans! Check out my earlier post for the mouthwatering New Year's Eve Ham & Beans recipe.

New Years Eve Ham & Beans
Transform your leftover Christmas ham into a delectable dish with this versatile recipe.
Check out this recipe

#RetroRecipe - Dive into the southern tradition of Hoppin' John – a New Year's Day feast believed to usher in luck and prosperity. Black-eyed peas symbolize coins, with an added coin in the pot or under the bowls for good measure. Leafy greens, resembling currency, and golden cornbread further contribute to the promise of wealth. The day-after leftovers, known as "Skippin' Jenny," showcase frugality, adding an extra dash of hope for a prosperous year ahead.

Check out this recipe

#PamperedChefRecipe- When you're in search of a quick weeknight dinner using pantry staples, give this easy rice and beans recipe a go. It's brimming with delicious flavors and comes at a budget-friendly cost of just $3 per serving!

Pressure cooker Beans & Rice With Avocado Chimichurri
When you need a weeknight meal you can make with ingredients from the pantry, try this simple rice and beans recipe that’s packed with flavor for only $3 per serving!
Check out this recipe
Pressure cooker Beans & Rice With Avocado Chimichurri

#TheLazyGastronome - Facing a tasty dilemma! Can't decide between sharing my favorite foodie's recipe similar to my own ham and bean dish or her tempting Slow Cooker Brazilian Style Beef and Black Beans. What's your pick?

beans Homemade Pork and Beans - The Lazy Gastronome
We love beans at our house. This one takes some some to soak the dry beans, but the flavors you get from them as opposed to canned is well worth the wait!
Check out this recipe
beans Homemade Pork and Beans - The Lazy Gastronome
Slow Cooker Brazilian Style Beef and Black Beans -
Feijoada is from Brazil. Like many traditional dishes there are many versions. The one thing that is always the same is the black beans.
Check out this recipe
Slow Cooker Brazilian Style Beef and Black Beans -

#LocalFave - Enter the realm of flavor with the Buffalo and Black Bean Chili, a culinary sensation gracing menus across the valley. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, this dish is a must-try, capturing the essence of hearty enjoyment in every spoonful.

Buffalo and Black Bean Chili
Now that these Autumn days are getting shorter and colder, we think it’s the perfect time to fire-up the Dutch oven and make a batch of our slow braised Buffalo & Black Bean Chili.This hearty dish is loaded with a mix of smokey chilies, earthy black beans and chunks of our fork tender buffalo stew meat for a chili that’s good enough to bring home the gold, which this recipe did a few years back at the annual Jackson Hole High Noon Chili Cook Off!
Check out this recipe
Buffalo and Black Bean Chili

#TVDinner Pick - Girl Meets Farm

Beans and Greens With Runny Egg
Get Beans and Greens With Runny Egg Recipe from Food Network
Check out this recipe
Beans and Greens With Runny Egg

TV Dinners - Girl Meets Farm

Weekend mornings in my house mean a delightful blend of coffee and cooking shows, and Girl Meets Farm takes the spotlight as one of my favorites. Her range from simple to quirky dishes sparks my hunger and inspires me to upcycle mundane dinners. Today's "TV Dinner" feature brings you a fantastic bean recipe discovered during my show binge.

While immersed in crafting this blog, I found myself engrossed in reruns of her show, stumbling upon a divine bean masterpiece! Picture this: layers of flavor with garlic chips, briny pickled peppers, kale, and cannellini beans, all nestled in a thick and creamy sauce topped with a soft-boiled egg. Serve it up with toasted sourdough and Camembert for the ultimate indulgence. It's a culinary journey that transcends the ordinary and elevates your weekend TV dinner game!

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Collectible Cuisine - Betty Crocker's Cookbook

In the thrilling saga of my vintage cookbook quest, Betty Crocker's 1969 edition Cookbook stood atop my bucket list. Despite the elusive original printing, this summer brought an exciting find – a 1978 reprint snagged for a mere $1.25 at Opportunities Thrift Shop in Dubois, Wyoming. Vintage jackpot!

Now, '78 may not be the OG, but it's still part of the vintage club, so into my collection it went. Unveiling the cherished original recipes, I discovered a few tweaks over those nine years. The plot twist? When I brought this culinary treasure home, it revealed a rather peculiar character trait – an overpowering scent of cigarettes. Picture a cookbook that's been cozying up to a chain-smoker's kitchen since 1978; the aroma tells quite the tale!

Undeterred by this smoky hiccup, my quest continues for the authentic 1969 printing to replace this unexpectedly "rad" butt scent-challenged cookbook. While my family may have discerning palates, my nose takes the lead when it comes to steering clear of cigarette smoke. The vintage cookbook saga lives on!

Tales from the Table

Thinking about picky eaters brought me back in time to the wild days of single motherhood in the '80s, where my friend Nina and I teamed up to save a daycare and traded kid-sitting duties between our mischief-making sons, Doug (7 y/o) and Dylan (5 y/o). These two were like peas in a pod—or, in this case, more like beans in a casserole. You see, my go-to budget-friendly recipe back then was a masterpiece of a box of 10 for a dollar mac and cheese, a bag of frozen broccoli, and a trusty can of tuna. It was the kind of culinary magic that only a single mom on a tight budget could concoct.

Now, let me tell you, after eating that mac and cheese concoction for what felt like the entirety of the '80s, I've developed a bit of an aversion to it these days. But back then, it was a dinner fit for kings—or at least for my little kingdom of two hungry boys.

One fateful afternoon, I presented my magnum opus to Doug and Dylan, expecting them to devour it with the usual gusto. To my surprise, they stared at the plate and declared, "We don't like this." Now, this was a first for my usually adaptable son, Doug. Unfazed by their rebellion, I laid down the law, telling them it was either my culinary masterpiece or going hungry. The boys, huddling like a miniature football team, boldly chose hunger, channeling their inner Elliott Blues... "We'll go Hungry!".

In the grand arena of parenting, it's often said that once you start laughing, you've lost the battle. So, with a grin, I turned to Dylan and said, "Your mom expects me to feed you, buddy. Time to conquer this casserole challenge!" The '80s may have been a time of neon and leg warmers, but nothing compared to the epic battles fought over a humble plate of mac and cheese.

Thanks for joining me on the journey! If you've enjoyed the retro vibes, delicious recipes, and vintage kitchenware tales, don't miss out on future escapades. Subscribe to TetonTrekker for the latest updates and musings. For a real-time connection, follow me on social media @TetonTrekker. Your support and engagement mean the world—let's keep this fun-filled adventure going together!

Keep on Trekkin! ~ Julie

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Mom, wife, computer geek, web designer, musician, board member, ski bum, bicyclist, camper, glamper, fishing woman, treasure hunter, bookkeeper, office wizard, blogger, vlogger, foodie, and Pampered Chef Independent Consultant, trekking through life in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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