Today’s Guest Author is Jenny from Jenny’s Blog-o-Rama.
About Jenny: I am a girl (‘woman’ sounds too old and seems to misrepresent my maturity), a wife, and a mother of two insanely complex children that can simultaneously drive me crazy and overwhelm me with their love/intelligence/sense of humor, etc. I love (both) myself, and Jesus, so there is an ongoing rigamrole within my daily life that I’ve decided to write about.
You can find Jenny on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/eventgirl19/
A couple years ago, my friend brought homemade pinto beans to a potluck. She had simmered them for hours after soaking the dry beans overnight. I laughed at her and asked if all that trouble was really worth saving the $1.86 that it would have cost her for 3 cans of beans. Then I tasted them. Oh. My. Word. Those beans were AMAZING! I asked her for her recipe and attempted to make them, only to end up with bland, lifeless beans. Boo.
I decided to stay away from homemade bean recipes until I stumbled on a Pin for homemade refried (not really, since there is no frying involved!) made – wait for it – IN THE CROCK POT! Yes! And the recipe didn’t involve any pre-soaking either! GENIUS!
At my next shopping trip, I grabbed a bag of pinto beans (I had never purchased those for actual eating, only kiddie art projects) as well as an onion and a jalapeno (that was a new ingredient for me). The garlic, cumin and chili powder I already had at home. After sorting through the beans for random rocks that the lazy bean-machine apparently forgot to sort out, I threw all my ingredients in the crock pot and turned the baby on low.
The concoction smelled super awesome and I was very excited to have something simmering throughout the day, until I remembered that it wasn’t my entire meal (like the normal crock pot contents) it was merely a side dish and I would still have to cook something else to go with it. Kind of a bummer.
When the cooking time was up, I had to strain the extra cooking liquid out, but set it aside. Then, I had to manage to return the beans back into the super-hot crock pot (without burning myself or splashing bean-juice everywhere). Then I grabbed my trusty potato masher (this was a new kitchen tool that I had just received for Christmas!) and start adding all that liquid that I had just strained out, back into the beans.
This was the part of the recipe that stated “Mash until you have a soft, goopy mess of beans.” I appreciate the term ‘goopy’ but I still wasn’t sure what was a good consistency, so I had to wing it. I learned that you want them ‘goopier’ than you normally would, because they will stiffen up, and stiff, plaster-like beans are gross.
My super-involved side dish was so yummy! I tried a variety of different meal idea to incorporate my amazing beans, but honestly, we kind of got sick of them after a couple days. We had burritos, taco mountains (basically, all a taco salad, but if I called it a salad, my kids wouldn’t touch it!) plus bean-themed nachos. All were super tasty, but all have their own gassy side effects, so serve with care! : )
Here’s my super yummy bean-pin: https://pinterest.com/pin/34058540901733012/