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Archive for the tag “recipe”

Recipes For Big Families: Sausage and White Bean Soup

Cooking for a large family is always an experience. First off, it’s hard to please everyone, but more importantly, you end up having to adjust and improvise almost every recipe you find.

Most recipes I see serve four or six people. Or they might say they serve large groups for hosting a party, but they’re still just eight servings. It’s never enough in my family.

There are seven of us. Well, our oldest daughter moved out, but she often comes over with her fiance. But even with them not around, I have a nearly 18-year-old boy, two other teenagers, and a 9-year-old, plus my husband to cook for. My oldest son eats enough for like five people. No recipe for eight would ever be enough for everyone so I double or triple almost everything I make.

Some of the easiest meals to make are soups. Even in the summer, we have some kind of soup at least once a week because I can make huge batches of it and add more water/broth as it’s eaten to make it go longer.

Tonight we had sausage and white bean soup based off a recipe I found online a few years ago that was for the slow cooker. As much as I love my Crockpot, I don’t use it much anymore. I cook almost everything on the stove. And even then, this recipe is heavily modified from the modified version I wrote down originally.

Sausage and White Bean Soup



  • 1 lb dry Navy beans
  • 1 lb dry Great Northern beans
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 cups water
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (jarred)
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 16 oz package Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves


  1. Soak beans overnight in water (alternately, use a whole lot of cans of different white beans, drained and rinsed)
  2. Drain beans and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, sautee carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil until tender; add garlic and continue for a minute.
  4. Pour in chicken stock and water then stir.
  5. Add beans, sausage, and seasoning; bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and simmer on medium for an hour or until beans are tender.
  7. Turn off heat and add as much spinach as you like (it’ll cook while the soup cools a bit).
  8. Serve with crackers or sourdough bread. Also good topped with parmesan cheese.

Tip: When the broth starts to dwindle and you’re left with piles of beans at the bottom, just add more water (or chicken stock) and heat it back up. I do this when no one’s looking–they never know the difference, and it makes the soup last longer.

yum! and a recipe

Decided to get a little creative with dinner tonight which necessitated me taking a 2 mile walk in the 90+ degree heat (blah).  Had to run to Safeway to get ingredients but it was so worth it.

We had Cajun Lime Tilapia over brown rice with black bean & corn salsa.  And veggies.  The idea came from my favorite meal at Applebee’s.  My husband has refused to take me over there so I decided to make my own.  What did we ever do before the internet and recipe sites.  Found a recipe for the salsa and all the Cajun Tilapia recipes were just cajun seasoning on the fish so I just kind of winged that.  The salsa tasted just like the stuff at Applebee’s.  The fish was FANTASTIC.  Everyone loved it (except Meagan who complained about the salsa which she said made her sick…if I hadn’t said it was “salsa” she probably would have ate it).

recipe for Black Bean & Corn Salsa:
1 can black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups corn, cooked to tender
1/2 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp jarred garlic
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
cilantro (didn’t measure, just to taste)
lime juice (to taste)

I actually made twice that amount since I’m feeding 7 but we have a ton left.  The fish was just tilapia loins (that we got frozen at Costco) with McCormick Cajun seasoning rubbed on it and fried with just PAM in the pan.  The rice was cooked in my rice cooker with chicken broth instead of water (everyone raved over the rice… it’s just rice, lol).  And our favorite Normandy blend of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash).  I’m STUFFED.


So last night I had to come up with something for dinner for me and hubby.  Well, mostly for me.  I made boxed mac & cheese for the kids but I’m watching what I eat and even made with light margarine and skim milk it’s too fattening for me.  So I rummaged through our limited supplies (fridge/freezer is looking kind of empty again) and came up with this:

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recipe: desperate times rice wrap

That’s what I’m calling dinner tonight.

We’re basically out of food here.  Haven’t had a time to go shopping and not much money.  I picked up some stuff to make burgers on Tuesday but I expected to go shopping yesterday.  But never did (tomorrow, most likely).

So I had to make dinner tonight and the cupboards are bare, the freezer nearly empty and only condiments and some random things in the fridge.

This is what I came up with:

Desperate Times Rice Wraps

1 large box chicken flavored Rice-a-roni
1 can black beans
1/2 bag frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped onion
chopped green onion
sliced tomatoes
shredded taco cheese
flour tortillas

1. cook rice according to box, add chopped onion before covering
2. cook corn in microwave (I did mine 6 minutes)
3. drain black beans and add to corn, microwave for 2 minutes
4. when rice is done, add corn and beans, stir
5. warm tortilla shells
6. add rice mixture to shell, sprinkle with green onion, tomatoes and cheese

wrap and enjoy.

The kids actually liked it, even Meagan (and she’s freaking picky).  Would have been better with some chicken in it but we had no meat in the house (well, 1/2 pound of hamburger but that didn’t sound right with chicken rice).

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