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Hot Beverage Station - Coffee Station

Pinterest: The place where I could possibly waste so much of my day if I weren't very careful.  Have you ever used it?  If you haven't, I'd tell you not to go there, except that you can really find some very helpful information.  It's loaded with anything and everything you could possibly imagine to build, create, cook, sew and so much more.  Look me up there!  
Ok, getting back to my post . . . I've been wanting to share this since Christmas, but I'm just getting around to posting it today.


I have wanted a coffee brewing station since I first laid eyes on a beautiful one I saw on Pinterest early last year.  I knew that my mom was going to give me money towards a Keurig coffee brewer for Christmas since I had went all starry-eyed after I used her Keurig, so I thought it would be the perfect time to put together our coffee brewing station aka coffee bar.  I saw several photos on Pinterest, and noticed they all had one thing in common - the basket shelf unit above the bar.  I knew just were they found it - Hobby Lobby!  I remember seeing it there, but thought it was way too expensive.  I still think it's overpriced, but I used a 50% off coupon I had, so I was able to justify the purchase.  I already had everything else on hand, so the shelf and a portion of the Keurig price was my only cost.

I love our coffee brewing station.  The Keurig works out so well for us because of our different 'shifts'.  Before, I'd make a pot of coffee early when I got up and then a couple hours later when my husband woke up, it was old and too bitter, even if I put it in a carafe.  I must put a disclaimer in here.  I do not enjoy the coffee made from this brewing system as much as I do from say, a French Press.  But, it works well for my husband, who absolutely loves it - so that is good enough for me.  I don't mind making French Press for myself.  However, I do love brewing tea using the Keurig, and I love having hot water on demand for hot cocoa and my Friendship Tea & Chai mixes that I make.

The shelf is not only pretty, but it's very functional.  I store K-cups, teacups, saucers, teas and my French Press on this shelf.
The chalkboard coffee art is made out of wood and I added a few coats of chalkboard paint so I could change out the word as I wanted to.   The "R" monogram is from Hobby Lobby.  I used a 40% off when I purchased it, so it was just a couple dollars.  I already had the red buffet cabinet, it actually holds art & craft supplies.  I pulled the trays from the kitchen and I had previously made the lampshade for the lamp during another project and thought it looked nice on the bar.
I must admit, that using the K-cups feels like a waste to me, not to mention they are very expensive!  So, most of the time, I use the re-usable cups that you can add your own coffee to.  I just feel better about it, and when we do use the K-cups, I open them and dump the coffee grounds into my compost pot.  There's still the plastic left, but that's a whole other can of worms that I won't open.  :)

This is has been one of the most handy projects I've ever done.  The coffee station is like the hub of our household.  It's used all throughout the day and night and it has saved me so much counter top space.
If you've ever thought of creating a place dedicated to hot drinks, what are you waiting for?  Go ahead - do it!  I think you'll enjoy it!
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13 Bean Soup

When I was a kid, I remember having pinto beans and cornbread at school for lunch, then coming home and asking my mom what was for dinner, and she'd answer, "soup beans and cornbread".  Most people know these beans as Pintos, but around these parts, we mountain folk call them soup beans.  It seemed like this happened at least 3 times a week, but I'm probably exaggerating a bit.  To a kid who hated soup beans and cornbread, it seemed like an awfully lot of beans.   But, I know for sure that at least once a week, the school served soup beans and cornbread and so did my mom. 

It's funny how things come around full circle.  I'm an adult now and actually like pinto beans.  My husband is not a fan, he has the same memories as I do, except he never seemed to get over the never ending pot of soup beans we had as kids.  :)
My favorite beans now are actually a bag of mixed beans called 13 Bean Soup , which includes : a beautiful, colorful mix of navy, black, red, pinto, baby limas, large limas, garbanzo, great northern and kidney beans, black-eyed peas, yellow split peas, green split peas, and lentils.  Take in the beautiful colors, after they are cooked, they lose that beautiful color and are all just dark beans.  But, oh!  The taste makes up for losing the color!  :)

My very simple recipe is delicious served with a piece of hot cornbread just out of the oven.  

* * *

Here's what you'll need:

13 Bean Soup
2 1/2 quarts of water
Ham Hock or cubed ham (omit ham if you do not eat meat)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to suit your taste


Here's what you'll do:

Check for any pebbles or debris that may be in the bag and remove.  Rinse beans well.

Add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Cook on low overnight. 

This bean soup is a hearty, delicious soup that is sure to satisfy your tummy!  Enjoy!
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