Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slow Cooker refried beans

This has to be the easiest & tastiest version ever of refried beans.  I will no longer be buying them from the store! 

 1 onion, peeled & halved
3 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons salt
1-3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
9 cups water

Next you will combine all of the ingredients in a large slow cooker...

before water...

after water...

Set your slow cooker to High & slow cook for 8 hours.  After the 8 hours are up and your kitchen smells like a mexican restaurant strain the beans but reserve the liquid.

Now for the fun part.....mashing.  I suppose you could use a potato masher but I have an easier tip....

TA DA.....

I love my immersion blender!!  Could not live without it!!

End result are creamy refried beans....

You can eat them right out of the bowl with even tortilla chips....yummy!! 

*tip*  Make a big batch - freeze in 2 cup portions.....when you want some just thaw out & heat them in a little bit of olive the words of Emerill.....BAM

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vanilla - Almond granola

1st let me start out by saying....yummy!  WAY better than store bought.....

Vanilla - Almond Granola
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

The 1st thing you will do is to line a large baking sheet with foil.  This makes clean up soooo easy :) Then in a large bowl you will mix together the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt & cinnamon. 

Then in a sauce pan combine the oil, honey & sugar....bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves. Take off of the heat and stir in the Vanilla. 

Then pour the hot liquid over the oat mix - stir well - using your hands to toss once it's cool enough to touch. 

Then spread the granola on the foil lined baking sheet and bake @ 300 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.  Stirring occasionally while baking.

Cool before storing....try not to eat it all when it's hot out of the oven.
I love to sprinkle this over vanilla yogurt.