Recipe: “I Can’t Believe They’re Not Refried” Beans

Not-Refried Beans

Not-Refried Beans

I have been making this recipe for a few years now and it’s still my favorite Mexican bean recipe, refried or not. It’s super fast and easy, and I’m asked for the recipe just about every time I’ve served it to guests. The cooked beans freeze great, pureed or whole, and they are perfect as a side or just in a quesadilla with cheese.

Just last week, we made these beans for a group of 40 for a Mexican buffet and there wasn’t a bean left in the pot. The proof is in the leftovers!

“I Can’t Believe They’re Not Refried” Beans

“I Can’t Believe They’re Not Refried” Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 lbs pinto beans, rinsed (or any other dried beans)
  • 1/2 jalepeño, roasted and seeded (or use a whole one if you really like spice)
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 8 C water

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in crockpot and stir to combine
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours
  3. Process beans in a food process until they resemble refried beans. Alternatively, you can leave them whole or just mash it up a bit with a potato masher.
http://greenbabyguide.com/2015/07/24/recipe-i-cant-believe-theyre-not-refried-beans/

Product Review and Giveaway: I See Me personalized children’s book

The personalized I See Me book my five-year-old, Katie, received recently entitled ‘Katie Can Change The World’ might be one of the most delightful things I’ve ever seen. Katie has asked to read this book every other day since she received it two months ago. She loves searching for her name throughout the book and pointing out her favorite details on each page. Maybe it’s the beautiful and endearing illustrations or maybe it’s the message (spread loving kindness as far as you can), but somehow I haven’t grown tired of this book yet either.  i-can-change-the-world-personalized-book-4

I was amazed at the large assortment of personalized items available for purchase on the I See Me website. Besides books of all types (for babies, toddlers, big sisters and brothers, etc.,) I See Me offers personalized placemats, growth charts, stickers, even lunch boxes. You can choose an item based on a theme (fairies, dinosaurs, farm, etc.,), holiday, age or gender. Or just do what I did and spend way too much time ogling each and every beautiful item and planning out gifts for nieces, nephews and my friend’s kids for the next 5 years.
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Recipe: Salmon Cakes with Kale

Salmon Cakes with Kale

Salmon Cakes with Kale

The first time I made this recipe, I wasn’t expecting the rave reviews I received.  We’re not crazy about kale like some folks are, and unless I’m making a lot of smoothies we often don’t make it through a whole bag of pre-washed and chopped kale.  I usually don’t waste food and, come on, all the prep work of washing and chopping was already done for me!  I must really be on the fence about kale.

I was so glad that these turned out more delicious than expected, and it’s a perfect showcase for a side of brown rice and a squeeze of lemon.
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Outdoor Cooking for Summer

Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor Cooking

Sandwiches and cold cereal might be fine and well for breakfast and lunch, but many of us prefer a hot meal for dinner.  Or at least a meal that has been cooked over a heat source at some point! Cooking outside doesn’t have to be an activity reserved for camping trips, especially when you have a fully stocked kitchen just inside the door.

Maybe you’re trying to keep your cooling bill down during the summer, or perhaps you don’t have AC to begin with, but setting up an outdoor cooking station might be worth the effort.

Barbequing

Grill pan

Grill pan


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Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Planning gifts for Dad, especially when they are not of the stay-at-home variety, is a bit different than planning Mother’s Day Gifts. He probably doesn’t need a spa day, or chance to get his hair highlighted. If you’re looking for something beyond an opportunity to watch the game uninterrupted, here are some ideas!

Soma Water Pitcher

Drink up!

Drink up!

For the design-minded man, we suggest the artful yet useful Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter.

The new, larger Soma pitcher holds 80oz of filtered water and is made of shatter-proof, BPA-free plastic. The wooden handle, made from sustainable white oak, is a nice design touch and the lid has a clever self-opening mechanism that makes refilling it fast and easy. The filter is made from coconut shell carbon surrounded by a plant-based casing and lasts for about two months.
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Recipe: Apple Breakfast Souffle

Apple Breakfast Souffle

Apple Breakfast Souffle

Before we had kids, it was easy to whip up a batch of pancakes or waffles for breakfast on a Saturday morning. We still do so, on occasion, but when we have house guests I don’t want to be standing at the stove or waffle maker, especially when the kids need help eating.

I was looking for recipes that would feed about 4 adults and a kid or two, that was vegetarian and baked in the oven. Ideally, I would be able to prep everything ahead and bake it the next morning. After trying out a few different french toast casseroles, I came across a Big Apple Pancake from Gourmet, and adapted it. It takes very little prep ahead, and cooks up quickly the next morning (or morning after).
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Kids and Backyard Chickens

chickensWe have had chickens in the past, along with goats, turkeys and ducks, but only when we lived in rural areas. We left our quasi-homesteading life three years ago so we could stop commuting and we now live in town and within a mile of our son’s school and our jobs. We love walking and biking everywhere and really like our neighbors but the thing we missed the most was chickens. So a few months ago I impulse purchased five baby chicks from a feed store when out and about with our son.  Three were Rhode Island Reds and the other two were unknown breeds but we were told they were cold-hardy and good layers.

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Book Review: Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball

Nick’s Very First Day of BaseballNicks-Very-First-Day-of-Baseball

I have an almost-four year old and we recently discovered the book Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball, by Kevin Christofora. Baseball is a big topic around our house even though neither my husband nor I are big fans. I think our son hears about it in school a lot. The book follows a little boy named Nick from when his mom signed him up for baseball to the end of his first practice. The book has little activities in it too. There is one page where the child has to find all the baseballs and at the end is a list of words that might be new and a quiz.
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“Unshopping” Month Update

Franci's Rummage Sale Finds

Franci’s Rummage Sale Finds

I wish we could claim ultimate success during our “unshopping” month, but we’ve had a few slip-ups. Nothing to loose sleep over, but enough that I’m going to extend the challenge to see if I can actually succeed for a few weeks.

Allison and I made a last-minute trip to Rebecca’s book release party, and I was able to confine my spending to consumables, but there were probably too many of those.  Oh, and those pairs of used overalls and sunglasses for Franci to wear gardening are not edible.  As much as I wanted to avoid buying anything for the girls, I’ve been looking for overalls for months and hadn’t found any second-hand until then.  I just couldn’t pass it up.
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Fun With Babywearing

babywearinggbg2015