It’s the quietest of mornings. Alone except for the rain and a couple of animals dozing near me and the only sound is my computer humming and the rain falling outside…
It’s a darn near perfect start to the week.
I’ve been talking a lot about being grateful lately and today is no exception. We had such a nice weekend that it’s hard not to feel thankful. Yep, I’m still sick (although definitely improving) and I still have loads of work ahead of me today and the rest of the week. I’m on my own with the girls this week, swimming lessons begin and we still have soccer and not much of a reprieve from cooking dinners or doing homework and cleaning and…yikes!! When I think of it that way I feel a little overwhelmed and not so much grateful :-)
But we’ll get ‘er done and we’ll make it through. And I can’t help but believe that if I have the right attitude it just might trickle down to the girls and make this a great week in spite of it all.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I was still sick. But I rallied and we hit Mimi’s Cafe for brunch (since I forgot to make reservations anywhere…doh!). It was pretty good. They had a special flight of Mimosa’s – regular, strawberry and hibiscus – which I was all over. Just because you’re not feeling well doesn’t mean you can’t have a champagne toast at 9am. Just sayin’.
Saturday was Kylie’s soccer game and I am the unofficial team photographer (as of Saturday ;) We had to be there early to take team pics then I took some shots during the game. Here’s one of Kylie that I especially love:
I really enjoyed getting some good shots of all our girls and can’t wait to share them with the other parents. We played a good game and just eeked out a win. The other team played a great game, too, which made it all the more fun to watch!
After the game, we headed over to my friend Beth’s for a post-soccer pool party. They have the most gorgeous plot of land with a beautiful pool that they generously share. Beth asked me to bring “the beans” – which, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, is code for the baked beans I’m sharing with you today.
They’re my favorite – and now only – baked beans recipe. They’re a couldn’t-be-easier recipe since you start with canned beans and just dress them up. Sweet yet spicy, soft and piping hot, they go perfectly with typical barbecue fare. It’s simple to adjust the spice depending on your crowd, too. This was the mildest I’ve ever made them (since the party was, after all, for the kids); there was little spice but still lots of smoke flavor. YUM!!
Honey-Chipotle Baked Beans
If serving a crowd, go ahead and double the recipe. We had just enough but they’re great as leftovers. Adapted from myrecipes.com.
- 1/2 cup minced shallots or onion
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce (or just 1 chile with some adobo sauce, to taste)
- 2 (28-ounce) cans baked beans, both drained of liquid on top of can after first opening
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 4 minutes or until golden. Add cumin and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and oil, and cook for 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add honey and the next 5 ingredients (through chiles). Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Combine beans and shallot mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until thick and bubbly.
One thing I’m grateful for today: I am so fortunate to be able to live in the little village of Aldie, VA. The people here are friendly, the landscape is gorgeous and we’re surrounded by wineries. We’re just an hour outside DC yet the only thing I see when I look out my windows are tall, green trees. No traffic noise and plenty of wildlife. My girls go to a school that is an old brick schoolhouse and just one class per grade! I’ve made so many great friends here and I hope to never have to move!