Thursday, January 17, 2013
I love, love, love nachos! They are so much better when the toppings are homemade! Of course these toppings can be used for all sorts of everything, not just nachos!
The Best Crockpot Refried Beans
All my kids will sit and eat these with tortilla chips or tortillas like crazy! These beans are super addicting and they freeze well so I do up a big batch and freeze into 2 cup portions.
1-2 lbs dried pinto or black beans
1/4-1/2 c. butter
Rinse beans. Place in crockpot and fill the crockpot almost to the top with water. You can substitute chicken broth for the water and bouillon if you like. Add 1/2-1 sweet onion; no need to chop. Add a couple cloves of garlic and bouillon. Cook on high for a few hours stirring every once in a while. If you're cooking 2 lbs of beans you may need to add more water towards the end. Once the beans are nice and soft, remove the onion and drain most of the water. Keep the crockpot hot. Add butter.
Use an immersion blender to smash the beans up nice and smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender scoop the beans out a couple of cups at a time and blend in a regular blender. A Guatemalan friend gave me the tip that you have to keep the beans hot the whole time you're blending them to have a nice texture. When I made refried beans from dried in the past they were gritty... Blending them without letting the temperature drop keeps them delightfully smooth! Once smooth, stir in cheese to taste!
The Best Homemade Salsa
This recipe is my sister's... We love it!
2 cans diced tomatoes
3 fresh tomatoes
1/2 sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
juice of 3 limes
jalapeno or other pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro
salt & pepper
Blend together in a blender or food processor! Enjoy!
This isn't really a recipe, but a technique... It turns out really smooth and tasty! Plus it's healthier than the processed stuff! This is good on steamed veggies as well. A lot of people try to start with a lot of liquid and attempt to use the cheese to thicken it up. The trick is to use a lot of cheese and use a tiny bit of liquid to thin it down.
cheddar or other shredded cheese
liquid from bottled jalapenos
Place jalapeno liquid in a saucepan to just cover the bottom. Add shredded cheese (a couple of cups) and cook on medium whisking often until melted and smooth. If sauce is too thick add just a tad more liquid or you can add a bit of milk. Serve while still hot.
My favorite guacamole is simple and delicious!
heaping tablespoon mayo
squirt of lime juice
Mash ingredients together with a fork.
On an unrelated to food note, we took the kids to see Red Dawn in the theater tonight... Every one of us loved it! I like it a lot more than the original, although there will never be another Patrick Swayze! (I totally had a poster of him hanging in my room in high school!) It's nice having older kids these days so I can take the family to movies I don't sleep through. I used to train myself to fall asleep in kid movies when we'd go to the theater. One time I was on a date and the guy took me to a "kid" movie... I think it was Rango. I was head bobbing the whole time! Good times :)