Black Bean Enchiladas Verde

Homestead South

Black Bean Enchiladas Verde
Recently I bought some dried black beans to play with and while I overcooked the first batch, this batch came out perfect. Dried black beans are stunningly pretty while they’re soaking. The color ranges from midnight black to deep purple and they’ve got a much more interesting taste than canned black beans. If you’ve got the time, try making them from scratch. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Start soaking the beans the morning you intend to cook them. Make sure to put them in a bowl that will allow them to expand as they soak. I had mine sitting in water for a good 8 hours. As mine were rather fresh, they only took an hour to cook. Though I did get distracted and let them boil over — twice. Then my husband kindly suggested I remove the lid and let them simmer without it. Then he cleaned up…

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Totally Tubular



I have a love/hate relationship with socks; as an edema sufferer it’s important to keep my feet warm or I can’t walk, but if I wear something tight and rubbing there I can’t walk. So when I started knitting I slowly worked my way towards making my own socks. After many attempts, it simply hasn’t happened yet but one crocheted pair have emerged. As soon as I made those and started actually using them on a regular basis, I realised that while they were lovely and boosted my abilities they were still only about 40% suitable for me.
I needed something with no shaped heel to accommodate different levels of swelling, worked with the ribbing method I’ve shown previously so I don’t have all those ridges rubbing my feet, and crocheted because that’s most natural to me. So I googled, and began the first of what will hopefully be a…

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Tortellini Soup

annie's cooking lab

Tortellini Soup ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

It really doesn’t get much easier than this soup. This recipe is perfect for those nights when you don’t have much energy and just want to make something quick. The tortellini makes the soup hearty and filling and it’s also pretty healthy since it is broth based and full of fresh vegetables.

Tortellini Soup


  • 1 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 
  • 9-10 oz. tortellini, any variety (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute or two until fragrant.
  2. Add the oregano, broth, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook according to the directions…

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Step by step simple socks: week one


If, like me, you’ve tried knitting socks only to rip it out because it just doesn’t look right, this one’s for you. I’m not trying to exclude those who know their stuff, please comment with tips and encouragement, but you’re not really gonna learn anything. I’ve not yet got to the point where I like what I see well enough to keep it going, so I’m going to take it nice and slow this time, breaking it down, researching the problems I encounter, and taking breaks as and when I need to because learning a new skill can be so tiring.
I’m gonna be adding info and pics as I go, then wrapping each post up and publishing it on Monday. I started on Tuesday, see, and wanna show how it progresses through each week, even if I can only show how many extra rounds I got done. I will…

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Chicken and Barley Soup


Sometimes it’s good to try new things… now before making this soup, barley wasn’t something I commonly ate. Rice, yes. Pasta, a my goodness yes! So I thought it was about time to take a crack at Chicken and Barley Soup in the ‘ol crockpot. So lets dive right into our latest soup adventure, shall we?

First let’s introduce some of our ingredients…

Cook on low for 8 hours…

Crock Pot Chicken and Barley Soup


  • 48 oz low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz water
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/4 tbsp dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cubed
  • 20 oz potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 10 oz…

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