Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 23: Red Beans and Pasta

Above is a picture of most of the (36!) cookies-in-a-jar that we made yesterday!  Aren't they beautiful??  I'll be adding the gift tags with the recipe attached today!

We had a fun and busy day yesterday, full of holiday spirit and friends.  Four of our children were able to attend the Nutcracker ballet with our field trip co-op, and we hosted an informal Christmas party complete with a screening of the hilarious Christmas movie, "Elf."  Later in the evening, my friend (who happens to also be my neighbor) came over and we made cookies in a jar to give as gifts to teachers, friends, husband's co-workers, etc.  My family has done this every year now for at least 5 years.  It is so much fun and a wonderful, inexpensive festive gift to give.

In the midst of all of this busyness, I was able to still throw together this easy dish for dinner.  The one thing I would definitely change is that I would add the pasta towards the end of the cooking time, maybe 1/2 hour to an hour before serving.  The pasta was mushy and overcooked.  I will have to experiment and post about the perfect timing on adding the pasta.  I'll be sure to do that in the future, because this was yummy other than that!  I doubled the recipe.  I'm not sure I want to freeze the leftovers because the pasta won't freeze well since it's so mushy.  We will probably just eat it for lunch and feed whatever is left over to the chickens--they will LOVE it!!

Red Beans and Pasta (Fix it and Forget It: Entertaining)
Makes 6-8 servings

3 15-oz. cans chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz. spiral pasta
Half a large green bell pepper, diced
Half a large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 15-oz. can red beans, rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh parsley (for serving)
Chopped fresh cilantro (for serving)

1. Combine broth, cumin, chili powder, and garlic in slow cooker.

2.  Cover. Cook on high until mixture comes to a boil.  

3.  Add pasta, vegetables, and beans.  Stir together well.  NOTE:  I recommend waiting to add the pasta until maybe one hour before serving.

4. Cover.  Cook on low 3-4 hours.

5. Add parsley or cilantro before serving.

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