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December 17 + Tomato Beans

On Saturday morning, Scott bolted out of bed faster than the time a bug walked over his face and got caught in my hair and we both screamed.

My first thought was the bug circus is back, so I sprang up yelling “GAME ON, YOU BASTARDS.  I SLEEP WITH PEPPER SPRAY NOW.”

But there were no bugs.  My next thought was that something awesome had happened, like the city council had lifted the regulation barring mini-goats from residential areas.  I really need them to do this.  It’s Scott’s Number One Christmas Wish, and if it comes true I can stop spending most of my holiday budget on goat flyers and agricultural lobbyists.


I should have listened to the sugar plum fairy in my brain who said, “DO NOT GO WITH HIM–LOOK AT HIS CRAZY CHRISTMAS EYES.”  I should have stayed home and continued a project I call “Mulled Whatever”– where I use lunchtime in December as an excuse to dump random liquids into a pot with cinnamon sticks and rum.

But I went with him to the mall, where we sped around for eight hours.  It was as physically and emotionally exhausting as running the Iditarod with Michael Bublé humming holiday tunes in the back seat.  After you’ve asked him to stop.

I am not ready to talk about it, but let me just say that next December 17, I am not leaving the house without walkie-talkies, trail mix, a thermos of Mulled Whatever, ear plugs, and the cattle prod I saw at Best Buy this year while Scott played with 19 computers and 35 cables he had no intention of buying.

When we finally got home, Scott had a congratulatory quart of eggnog and fell asleep on the couch with the dog.

The dog always thinks she’s run the Iditarod, so this kind of sleep was normal for her.

They slept co-dependently in a hundred different positions for several hours.

Thunder woke up periodically and looked at Scott to see if it was time to get up.  It was not, so she went back to sleep.

They slept through dinner, so I made these beans for myself.  They’re full of protein and only take ten minutes to make.

We call them tomato beans.  We mix beans with tomato, parmesan, herbs, and a touch of olive oil and lemon juice.  The oregano and parmesan in them reminds me of pizza, but they’re magically healthier.  Everything in the recipe is in this pot!

You warm the pot for a few minutes, and they’re done.

Let it be a strength to you this holiday season, because things are only going to get nuttier from here on out.

Tomato Beans


2 cans great northern beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1/4 c. grated parmesan

1/2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary     }    1/2+ tsp. “pizza” or “Italian” seasoning mix can be

1/2 tsp. dried oregano       }     substituted for the rosemary + oregano, to taste.

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. lemon juice

dash of pepper


Open the beans and place them in a colander.  Rinse beans and drain.  Place beans in a pot.

Open the can of tomatoes.  Drain of most of the water.  Add tomatoes to pot.

If using fresh or dried rosemary, chop it very finely, otherwise your beans could be crunchy.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir, and heat on moderate heat until warmed.  Serve.


These beans are delicious with green onions or roasted almonds sprinkled on top, and they’re also great scooped up in tortilla chips.  You could cook some chicken and throw it in, too.
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28 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a precious dog and a yummy looking dish!

    December 19, 2011
    • Thanks, Jane! That bacon-wrapped asparagus you made is about to be a big hit around these parts. . .

      December 20, 2011
  2. a #

    I suspect my husband would love this. Maybe when I’m feeling magnanimous, I’ll make it for him. I am not a fan of beans – I don’t care how much fiber and protein they have!

    December 19, 2011
    • Yeah, I don’t much like black beans or red beans or lima beans, but I like refried beans and these Great Northerns. They don’t taste very bean-y to me. But if you don’t like ’em, enough said. Better not to like beans than not like pasta! Or chocolate! Or other more delicious things, right?

      December 20, 2011
  3. Wendy #

    Yay! I got an email that you had a new post up, so I zipped over here! I am so glad that I am not the only one who needs a HUGE thermos of ‘mulled whatever’ to get through a day of Christmas shopping with my husband. We looked at TV, after TV, after TV the other night – NONE of which we will buy, had any intention of buying, or could even possibly buy, because they are not in our budget. We don’t even watch TV on a real TV! We watch the internet. And is it just me, or is it insanely strange to shop for things you don’t ever intend on buying??? I don’t get it. I was done after TV #2. Eeesh.. I am a way better shopper – I have a list – I get her done. End of story.

    December 19, 2011
    • Hi Wendy, Thanks for reading! We don’t have cable either and we watch all our tv on the internet. I love it. It keeps me from watching a million hours of tv. I do lists too, but the problem with mine is that they’re on post-it notes, so they wind up under the mats in my car, stuck on the gum in my purse, etc. I think I am on board with your style of shopping, I just need to execute better!

      December 19, 2011
  4. “CRAZY CHRISTMAS EYES!” LOL I have SO seen this same expression in my husband’s eyes. He’s been patting himself on the back for the past week because he is finished with his shopping early this year. Mind you, he did it all online and has had everything delivered to our front door. Still, considering his usual MO is to head out on Christmas Eve and rummage through whatever is left on the shelves, this is an impressive feat for him. Now, if I can just manage to rein in his fetish for all things digital, adorned with flashing lights, and/or LED screens, things will be good. He tried to convince me to buy a refrigerator with a TV screen in it, once. And did I mention the digital washer/dryer set he insisted we just “had” to have? Yeah, we have lots of that kind of stuff. Ah, well, it could always be worse. Oh, and we have a pair of the Thunder’s English relatives over here. Katie and Briscoe share many of Thunder’s inherent Bulldog traits, including the sleeping as if they’ve just run the Iditarod every single day.

    December 19, 2011
    • Your bulldogs are gorgeous, and I think Marble is such a perfect name for that cat of yours!
      It is funny that you mention LED screens because Scott’s Christmas list includes “LED lights of any kind.” (Sigh.)
      I cannot imagine a refrigerator with a TV screen. That would be a disaster for me. I would pull up a chair, crack open a diet coke ever hour, and pretty much watch tv ALL DAY with one hand darting in and out of the cheese drawer. Disaster, I tell you.

      December 19, 2011
  5. Courtney #

    Does Thunder give wrapped gifts to you and Scott?

    December 19, 2011
    • AHA. maybe this is why she ate the wrapping paper off one of my presents to Scott today. She was trying to REUSE IT on a present for ME. Kind of like a messed up Gift of the Magi situation, in which nobody wins.


      December 19, 2011
  6. April was in CT now CA #

    This is just crazy talk….THE MALL?!? I can’t even imagine it and don’t want to. I avoid the mall at all costs even when it’s not Christmas so the mere thought of it is making me twitch a little…or a lot.

    Those beans look soooo good for a quick meal and there will totally be some cornbread with mine when I make it (minus the parm because my husband is weird and if he even smells parm he makes a face so scrunched up I swear his teeth have fallen out and he’s suddenly age 95).

    December 19, 2011
    • Malls are the worst. Except I love the smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Almost as good as the smell of hot dogs, in my view.
      I have never heard of a parmesan aversion before, but I can see it–I hate the taste and smell of parmesan when it gets toasted or burned. Yuck. I am trying to think of other ideas for what to use instead. . . maybe a little bit of ricotta and a pinch of salt? I mean, mozzerella never ruined anything that I can think of– it just might look a little weird. I make this at least once a week, so I’ll experiment without parm next time and let you know. On the cornbread note– I recently had a cornbread made with corn, cornmeal, sour cream (I would not have guessed) and very few other ingredients. It was AMAZING.

      December 19, 2011
      • April was in CT now CA #

        For him parm is a stinky cheese and he can’t handle the stink. I once made a salad with a shredded cheese blend sprinkled on it and didn’t realize there was a miniscule amount of parm in it and he couldn’t eat his salad. LOL I think mozzarella would be good and I’ll probably give that a try, but it really sounds like it will be good, cheese or not.

        For me almost any type of cornbread is a good cornbread.

        December 20, 2011
  7. But… when did you have time to decorate a magical gingerbread farm?

    Wait. Did you get it at the MALL?

    December 20, 2011
    • Don’t think I didn’t consider buying the freaking thing. It was THE LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR and it went into the next. One of our mall stops was The Hobby Lobby, where we tried to buy a gingerbread kit but they were out. We had to make our own freaking gingerbread, which was not structurally sound by any stretch of the imagination. And by the way, next year you must post a recipe for GINGERBREAD GLUE. The people need gingerbread glue.

      December 20, 2011
  8. hmm – those beans do look good and that is not a sentence I normally hear coming out of my mouth…
    However bacon wrapped asparagus sounds like a winner – that could induce my men to eat green stuff – share that recipe please >8)

    December 21, 2011
    • Hi Shelley! I saw the bacon-wrapped asparagus on a reader’s site– Jane Dam posted then on December 8 at I haven’t made them yet but they look awesome, and as soon as I put bacon on anything in this house, I am adored.

      December 21, 2011
      • Fantastic – I live to be adored! I think I shall try that recipe this christmas. I put bacon on everything too – I do a mean sage and bacon butter that I slather my turkey with. Not only do all the humans enjoy it – I am also all the rage with the dogs who pretty much think they have died and gone to heaven since their mistress smells like their favorite food group and is careless in the kitchen
        Nice footie PJ’s BTW

        December 21, 2011
  9. A) Love me some mini goats too. In a “cute but don’t get near me” kind of way.

    B) just found your blog and you make me laugh! 🙂

    C)Ok, I admit, I found you via the Bloggess blog.

    December 21, 2011
    • Hello and welcome and thank you!

      December 21, 2011
  10. Elisa #

    Oh, my husband wants some mini goats too! Also, your pictures make me want to go home and take a nap with my dog.

    December 22, 2011
  11. Bonnie #

    Hi Katherine,

    I love your blog, and especially enjoyed your Tomato Beans which were the first thing I cooked in some new cookware I received for Christmas. I have an important question for you: what kind of dog is Thunder? She is crazy cute.

    Best of luck in all of your new endeavors, and I look forward to your future posts.

    December 30, 2011
    • Hi Bonnie, thank you! I am glad you made the beans and that you liked them. Do let me know if you have any suggestions of variations or changes you’d make. I am jealous of your new cookware, but I can’t complain because I’m really excited about the cooking-related things I received this Christmas.

      Now to the important things: Thunder is a cross between a French and English bulldog. Her mom is English and her dad is French. I really like the mix, because she just seems so much healthier and active than an English.

      Best of luck to you too– Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2011
  12. PattyAD #

    Finally got a chance to try these today! Very tasty, except the rosemary was still very crunchy when I ate it. I’ll need to leave a little more of the tomato liquid in next time, I think.

    This was the first time I just carried the iPad into the kitchen to use a recipe – never thought to try it that way before. First time commenter – love the blog. Found you through the Bloggess in November. Lots more recipes I need to try….

    January 21, 2012
    • Hi Patty, I’m glad you liked the beans, and I’m really thankful for your readership. Thanks!

      Point taken about the rosemary. My rosemary (it came in a spice set, so I’m not sure what brand it is) is cut up into really teeny pieces, so that might be why it worked for me. I can totally how it could be crunchy otherwise. I’ll go back and change the recipe to note that it’s a good idea to run a knife over the rosemary a few times, or leave it out.

      I made this again last week with just a dash of “pizza seasoning” that was in my spice set. That worked really well, so that’s another option. Take care!

      January 21, 2012
  13. Dude, goats are cute when they’re tiny, but when they grow up they become demon spawn with square eyes. I don’t blame you for being hypnotized.

    Also, Thomas loved the beans, which is saying something for a guy who could probably exist solely on pizza and Oreos. I added some red pepper flakes and crumbled-up sausage. It was awesomesauce.

    January 28, 2012
    • AJ, I’m surprised that Scott hasn’t made me add sausage to the tomato beans over here yet. He’s falling down on his game, apparently.

      I love Neville! He is so cute and the pictures of him in the snow with his stumpy little legs are adorable. I can’t believe he just fell into your lap like that– that’s awesome. If that friend of yours who gave you Neville also happens to have any baby goats he wants to get rid of, just let me know. Maybe I could foster them and give them away when their square demon eyes start to develop.

      January 29, 2012
      • My sisters raised goats for years when we were kids. One even lived in the house like a dog for a while. It always amazed me how sweet little baby goats could turn into real bullies when they grew up.

        Fun fact: At goat shows, after the animals are all cleaned up to go in the ring, they wear little baby socks to keep their hooves clean until showtime. It’s hilarious.

        January 29, 2012

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