Southwestern Bean & Rice Stew {Recipe}

After a week of freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, today’s 30*F and sunny weather feels warm.  I’m even wearing capri stretchy pants!


When I was at school in Boston, I learned not only about teaching, but I also learned the importance of owning a good winter coat.  My mom suggested that I invest in one when she drove me up to school in the fall, but I refused.  I was self-conscious as any teenage girl is and the last thing I wanted to do was walk around a college campus looking like a NFL linebacker.  That is, until I experienced my first Boston snowfall.

When it comes to my hair I’m very low-maintenance.  I use shampoo and conditioner, no products, and let it air-dry.  When I was younger I would “play” with my mom’s hair products, but every time I did my hair turned out looking like freshly sharpened pencils.  You didn’t want to get close to me in fear you’d lose an eye.  Obviously, I had no clue how to use hair spray or mouse and not much has changed.

Southwestern Bean & Rice Stew 3

The morning of my first Boston snowfall I had class at 8AM.  Freshly showered I layered-up, put on my boots, and zipped up my jacket.  Within moments of stepping out the front door my hair froze and I snapped off a chunk.  I’ll never forget it.  I sent a picture to my mom and Ryan because I knew they’d never believe me without proof.  It was the wake-up call that I needed.  Immediately after class I purchased the biggest, fluffiest, and warmest winter coats that I could find.  I still love wearing it.

When I’m not battling the winter weather and looking like a football player, I love cozying up on the couch with a piping hot bowl of soup or stew.  Plus, using the Crock-Pot on a snowy day is magical.  The house smells wonderful and you can spend the day fawning over the winter wonderland outside your window or binge on old TV shows…  Assuming the baby naps.



Last week, that’s exactly what I did.  On Tuesday we got our first snowfall so I raided our pantry and threw a bunch of things into the Crock-Pot, let it simmer all day, watched the snow cover our backyard with Evie, caught a few episodes of Gilmore Girls while she napped, and enjoyed a hearty dinner once Ryan got home from work.

Southwestern Bean & Rice Stew

Ingredients (4 – 6 servings):

    • 32 oz organic low sodium chicken broth
    • 1 28 oz can organic diced tomatoes
    • 1 15 oz can organic black beans
    • 1 16 oz can refried black beans with jalapeño peppers
    • 1 cup frozen bell pepper strips
    • salt & pepper {to taste}
    • Tabasco {to taste}
    • 1 cup brown basmati rice

*I found all of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s, with the exception of Tabasco.*


Pour broth, tomatoes, black beans, and refried beans {liquid included} into the Crock-Pot.  Add the bell pepper strips, salt, pepper, and Tabasco and stir until well combined.

Set the Crock-Pot to low and let it do it’s thing for approximately 6 hours.  After 6 hours, add the rice and let it cook for another 2 – 3 hours.  The longer it cooks {or the longer the leftovers sit in the fridge}, the thicker it gets.

Serve with your favorite toppings.  A dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, or shredded chicken would be tasty!

Southwestern Bean & Rice Stew 5

I loved this dish and ate the leftovers for lunch the following two days!  Ryan enjoyed the flavor, but asked to include some type of meat next time.  He’s a “must have meat with dinner” kinda guy.

— Allison


Wordless {One Day Late} WIAW

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!













P.S.  The shelves at Trader Joe’s are bursting with pumpkin treats!  If you haven’t shopped already, hurry before they’re all gone!




Question: Pumpkin – yay or nay?

Question:  What’s your favorite pumpkin product from Trader Joe’s?

— Allison


WIAW: Mishmash Mishmosh

Hey y’all!  I’m at my second day of training for a new reading program that I’ll be implementing this year.  It’s MUCH better than any of the programs I ever did as a kid.  Does anyone remember Wordly Wise?  I hated it {because language arts has never been an area of strength for me} and I’m pretty sure my momma did too {because I’d complain every.single.night. I had to do it}.

Lately, I’ve spent almost all of my waking hours at school.  The first couple of months always fly by and before I know it, it’s Thanksgiving break.  By that time this year Baby Szed *hopefully* will have made her appearance!

And if I’m not at school, I’m probably fixing/painting something in our Crayola box townhouse.  We keep making progress, but we also keep running into problems.  Like this week…  Ryan noticed water marks and bubbles forming on the ceiling over our dining/family room.

Our landlord told us during our walk-through that there had been water damage in the past, but it was fixed.  Well, apparently it wasn’t fixed very well.  So now we’re out of the master bedroom for at least a couple of weeks and a chunk of the ceiling downstairs will have to be replaced.  All I can keep saying is “At least we didn’t buy this place.”

I forgot to take a picture of all of my eats at training yesterday, so today’s WIAW is a mishmash {or is it mishmosh?} of the past few days.

Thanks Jenn for hosting another tasty link-up!








Question:  What’s your favorite brand of Greek yogurt?  Favorite flavor?

Question:  Subway – yay or nay?

— Allison