Slow Cooker Refried Beans

IMG_7887Raise your hand if you’re a refried bean lover!!  Mine is raised, see it, see it???

I just blogged about the whole wheat taco shells that I made from 100 Days of Real Food.  I got this recipe from the same site.   When I saw how easy it was to make these beans, I was at the store that day and made these the following day.

Super easy.  Who would have known!  Well not me.  I made a huge batch the second time around and I have a bag in the freezer.  I eat this for lunch and with my tacos!!

You simply pour the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix every so often… Mash after about 8 hours and here you have the best refried beans without the additives that you get for a can.

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I’ll admit the first time I made these, I was a bit impatient.  I wanted them done so I could eat them for dinner that night.  I drained them a bit too early and some of the beans weren’t as tender as they should have been. SO, I did wait this week the 8 hours and they turned out great.

I highly, highly recommend making these if you are a bean lover.  Great source of fiber, easy to make, and you know what you’re eating.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans
Recipe Type: Refried Beans
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • ½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • One big pinch of cumin
  • 6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 8 hours or overnight while you are sleeping.
  3. Remove the bigger onion chunks and drain the excess liquid. If desired, save the excess liquid to add back to the final product to get the optimal consistency (i.e. not too dry).
  4. Mash remaining beans with a potato masher and voila! You have homemade refried beans.

Give them a try and see how you like it.  I love cooking and I love making my own food.  It’s scary to see some of the things that we are using these days.  And don’t get me wrong, I do still use some things that aren’t made from scratch, but I’m very cautiously reading the labels.  If it’s too much for me to understand, I put it back!!!!

Try these and let me know what you think!!!

Enjoy

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

100 Days of Real Food

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Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells

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Every Tuesday at our house is Taco Tuesday.  No pun intended for Taco John’s!!!!

I’ve been really trying to cut out processed foods as much as I can.  Yes, I still make my weekly trip to Zantigo after church but that sure doesn’t count!!!  I may have to go there a bit less, but I can’t cut out everything.

On Facebook I found a site that is called “100 Days of Real Food”.  Which is where I happen to find this awesome recipe!  I’ve made the refried beans as well and they are so good.   You may not be a label reader but I have been.  And I’m not sure if it was this site that I read this or if I saw it elsewhere, but it said that if there are 5 ingredients that you cannot pronounce then you shouldn’t eat it!  I feel that way about food and products that I use on a daily basis now.

This recipe has only 4 ingredients in it.  AND I know how to pronounce them and I know what they are!

I was a bit concerned if the grandkids were going to like the texture and taste of the wheat but I gave it a try anyways.  Khali isn’t a fan of eating any shell that I give her on taco night.  She wants the cheese only.  Just give me the cheese and the black olives.  Caleb didn’t care for it but ate it anyways.  And Brooklyn ate it and liked it just like me!

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Here is my dog, Clyde.  He thinks that by some chance he’s going to be eating that dough.  He was sadly wrong.  Sorry buddy.

I don’t have a tortilla press but I sure wished I did.  I have made these twice now and I had a hard time getting them to form into a circle.  Last night, by the advise of my friend, Heidi, I place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and used a pan to flatten them.  That gave them the shape, then I rolled just a bit to thin them out.

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After you get the dough formed into the log you want to cut them into 12 pieces.

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Flatten them out a bit and let them sit for about an hour.  I have to make sure that dog of mine is kept from anything sitting out.  He sees it, he’ll find a way to make it into his mouth.

I was really surprised at how good these were.  They had great flavor (I did add a bit of garlic salt to the dough the 2nd time I made this).    I love tacos.  And usually I have mine with hard shells but as I said I’m trying to do a little bit better with knowing what is in the food I’m putting in the family’s belly.  I made the taco seasoning as well.  But maybe I’ll give hard shells a try!!!!!

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells
Recipe Type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole-wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole-wheat flour)
  • ½ cup oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (heat in the microwave for 1 min)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer set with a dough hook, pour in the flour, oil and salt. Beat with the paddle until crumbly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the sides as needed. If your hand-held mixer comes with dough hooks those can be used as well.
  2. With the mixer running, gradually add the warm water and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Take out the dough and divide it into 12 equal sized pieces. I do this by making the dough into a big log shape that is about 8 – 10 inches long. Then I cut it in the middle. Then I cut each of those pieces in the middle and so on until you have 12 pieces.
  4. Using the palms of your hand roll each piece into a round ball and flatten it out on a baking tray or board. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or up to one hour.
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet, griddle or 12-inch skillet over med-high heat. The pan should be fairly hot before you begin cooking the tortillas.
  6. On a lightly floured board or counter top, use a rolling pin to turn each ball into a 8 to 10 inch flat circle (measure against your recipe if printed on a 8.5X11 sheet of paper). Be careful not to use more than a teaspoon or two of flour when rolling out each ball into a tortilla because too much excess flour will burn in the pan.
  7. Grease the pan with a touch of oil (or ghee) and then carefully transfer each tortilla, one at a time, to the pan and cook until puffy and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 seconds per side. Set aside on a plate to cool slightly. Eat within an hour, refrigerate or freeze.

Back to the shells at hand… These are pretty good and better for you.  I recommend you go to the site that I got this recipe and take a look around.  I’ve done the refried beans as well, as I’ve said.  Those are amazing with the tacos.

Enjoy!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

100 Days of Real Food

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)

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My aunt Judy and uncle Ken are moving to a warmer destination.  For their going away party, I made a Tres Leches Cake (milk cake).

Since I had never made this cake before, it was suggested that I try a piece before others taste it.  You know, to make sure it’s good!  And it was.  Very good.  Moist, which is what the milk did!!

I don’t think I’m going to get to show a picture of the cake on a plate, unless I take it at the party!  Which may be a great idea now that I think about it!!

I was asked if it was a good idea to bring a cake that I had never had before to a party!  So I did cut a piece and make sure that it was party suitable.   It is.

Very easy to make.  The frosting on top, love it.

Here’s my aunt Judy and me at the party!!

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And my Uncle Ken, Aunt Judy and my cousin Camille.

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And Camille made some pretty awesome cupcakes for the party too!!!

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How cute are those?  And they tasted pretty dang good.

Well, Judy and Ken will be off to their next journey in life!!  I’m excited for them.  My plan is to visit…often.  Judy said I could.  Hoping you remember that!!!

I love you Aunt Judy and Uncle Ken.  Many blessings on your new adventure.

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)
Recipe Type: Cake
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  4. Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
  7. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
  8. Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

All Recipes

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge

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Oh my goodness.  If you love fudge, you must try this.  I had made this a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t turn out so well.  I used white chocolate chips instead of white baking squares.  So this time it settled and tasted ah-mazing!!!

I mentioned that we got home grown apples from Khali’s grandparents last week but this recipe called for dried apples.  So we just keep eating those nummy apples for our snack right now!  I’ll come up with another recipe soon for those apples.

In the past few years I’ve grown to love, love, love sweets.  Not sure when this happened.  And I’m not sure if I’m ok with it.  Oh I do love eating it, I’m just not sure if I should be eating it.  Sitting down with a pan of this fudge is dangerous.  We have a saying that we have at work:  Stay strong or indulge completely.  Well I’ve tried my best to stay strong with sweets.  Some days are just harder than others.  And fudge is a favorite of mine.

The last time I made this I didn’t let the white chocolate melt completely.   So try again and hope for success.  Which is is!!!!

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The chocolate baking bars instead this time.

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Caramel.  Need I say anymore?  Nope.

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Pour the caramel over the top and use a knife to swirl it in.  Oh yum.

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I sprinkled some cinnamon on the top before putting it in the fridge.  Wow, this so good.

You have to try it if you love fudge.  Well you should just try it because it’s good!!!  Enough said.  Just saying.

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Of course you have to add a bit more caramel for your own piece.  No one will know!

Enjoy your day and bake away!!

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge
Recipe Type: Fudge
Author: Patricia
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • • 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • • 3 cups sugar
  • • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • • 3/4 cup dried apple, finely diced
  • • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • • 1/4 cup caramel
Instructions
  1. Directions
  2. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper (13×9 inch pan if you like your fudge thinner.) Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan combine the first four ingredients, bring to a rolling boil and stir continuously for 4 minutes (because the mixture burns easily.) Remove from heat.
  4. Add white chocolate, dried apple, vanilla, and spices; blend well, stirring for several more minutes until chocolate is completely dissolved. Pour into baking dish. Heat Dulche de Leche in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to loosen. Drizzle or drop dollops around in the baking dish and swirl through with a dull knife for a marbled effect.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight), until hardened.
  6. Remove parchment paper from pan and place on cutting board. Cut into squares.
  7. To store: fudge should be refrigerated, in a covered container, for up to one week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Very Culinary 

Apple Cream Cheese Bread

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Apple.  Cream Cheese  Bread.  Fall has hit here in MN.  We went from being in the high 70s a week ago and now we’re in the 50s.  And we know what’s coming next.  I won’t say it but we know!!!

This is my favorite time of the year.  Not only do I love the colors you see when driving down the street, but cooking seems to be easier to do when you can turn on the oven.  I love grilling.  I love the hot and sun, but I also love what this season brings.

This past weekend was little Miss Khali’s 2nd birthday.   We traveled to WI and got a huge bucket of apples that came from her grandparent’s backyard!!

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Can’t get any better than home made bread with some fresh home grown apples!!!

I made this on my lunch break and had it baking in the oven when the kiddo’s got home from school today.  I was so hoping this would put them in a good mood.  Yay, it worked.

We were supposed to have our football dinner tonight but it was changed to next week.  So back to Taco Tuesday it was.  Now Tacos and Apple bread may not sound like it goes well together, but it does.  And it really didn’t matter.  We ate half the loaf!

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Getting the cream cheese portion ready.

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This bread batter was pretty thick.  But the cream cheese made it just right.  I was a bit worried on how the bread would turn out.  I’ve learned not to shy away from these types of recipes but I do still sit and worry if it’s going to turn out okay.  When the kids like it, usually I can assume it a success.

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Apples in bread!!!!

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After pouring the cream cheese batter on the bread batter, you mix it all in with a knife to make a pretty cool design.

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I added a bit more sugar and cinnamon to the top!!  I do this when making banana bread and it always adds a sweet taste to the crust!

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Fresh out of the oven!!  I love fresh, warm bread right out of the oven.  We all did (except Khali – she didn’t want to eat it!!).

If you’re looking for a great bread to try, this is an easy go to one.

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How pretty is this!!!

Apple Cream Cheese Bread
Recipe Type: Bread
Author: Patricia
Ingredients
  • 2 apples (cut in small pieces or grate)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup flour (Kim used whole Wheat Flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning or cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Cream Cheese:
  • 6 ounce of cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your loaf pan with “Pam” spray and line with parchment paper and spray that also. I like using the parchment paper because you can have the over hang of the paper on the sides and you can use that to help pull the entire loaf out of the baking dish.
  2. Using a mixing bowl add the oil and the sugar and mix. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix again. In another smaller bowl add the measured flour, baking soda, salt and the spice. Whisk these all together then add to the egg mixture and mix. Add the grated apples and mix.
  3. In the smaller bowl combing the ingredients for the cream cheese mixture and blend.
  4. Place the batter in the prepared loaf pan then add all of the cream cheese mixture and spread around to cover the apple batter. Using a fork or knife, gently swirl the two layers together.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes. Watch so that you don’t over bake your bread. Kim covered her bread for the first 30 minutes with a tent made from foil. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes clean. Cool then slice and enjoy

Enjoy!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

The Wednesday Baker

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

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When I was doing the blog posting for the Love My Cub sweepstakes, I stumbled on this recipe on the cub.com site.  I even posted the recipe and said that I was going to make it.  Well, I made it.   We actually made this for dinner a couple of weeks ago, I’ve just been that busy!

This was really good.  It was not only super simple to make but it was really good!

I’m not a fan of buying pre-cooked much of anything.  I’d rather make it myself.  However, when life calls for chicken tenders already in a bag, sometimes you just have to go with it.  And I have to say these are some pretty good chicken tenders.  Better than homemade?  Maybe not, but when in a hurry why not.

Since making this recipe, we’ve had the chicken tenders quite a few times I have to say.  It’s easy.  It’s simple on busy sports nights.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Recipe Type: Italian
Author: Patricia
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 28 frozen popcorn chicken bites or chicken nuggets (I used Tyson’s)
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) package Penne Rigate
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup Essential Everyday Half & Half
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Essential Everyday Louisiana Hot Sauce
Instructions
  1. Prepare chicken and pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add celery, onions and garlic; salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until celery is softened (about 5-7 minutes).
  3. Stir in half & half, feta cheese and hot sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Add pasta and chicken; toss to coat. Continue simmering until heated through and sauce has thickened.

I hope you enjoy this.  We had some crusty french bread with this and a side salad.  Great dinner.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

Source

Cub Foods

I Love My Cub – “Great Sweepstakes”

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Oh my gosh….where does time go.  This will be week three for the Cub Sweepstakes.  Have you entered yet?  Have you gotten together with your friends/family to see who can come up with the BEST I love my Cub video/picture?  If you haven’t, well what are you waiting for?   $4500 gift card.  Uh hum…let me repeat that.  $4500 gift card to cub.  Imagine all the chips and salsa you can have!  Or the filet mignon’s you can grill before the winter season hits.

Let me show you the rules (yes click that link for the rules) and prizes again just in case you forgot.  Remember, this is for $4500 gift card.  To Cub.  Free food, free…free.

Here is a list of the prizes again:

PRIZES:  One grand prize of $4,500 will be awarded to the winner in the form of 100-$45 Cub® Gift Cards.  Four $45 Cub® gift cards will be available to be awarded at random to fans who share our Photos or Videos.  Use of the Gift Cards is subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer.  Approximate retail value (“ARV”) of each prize:  Grand Prize $4,500; Cub® gift cards:  $45.00 each.

Okay now that we have that part done, let’s talk food.  What do you have on your weekly menu?  Me?  It was pretty hot today so I made some Mac & Cheese.  My co-worker, Heidi, who gives me a hard time about not making Mac & Cheese from a dang box, told me that this is a quick go to meal at her house.  I’m not one to really make it from a box and she knows that.  BUT, I did buy some last week and we did have it for dinner tonight.  I am ok with it, I am ok with it.

However, I did find this awesome recipe on the Cub site if you’re interested in some pasta this week.

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta!!!

I love buffalo chicken.  I love the flavor.  So this is going on my menu for next week.  One day down, six more to go.  Though I could just sit here and do it now since I’m on the site and it does have some pretty good recipes that I wouldn’t mind trying!!!

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Berry Lemon Trifle!!  Need I say or show more?  Think not.  I made a Triple Berry Trifle once before and it’s Ah-mazing!  It was for Easter last year and I do believe that we finished the entire thing.  Hmmm….now this has me thinking!  Trifle…fruit is healthy for you….

Well, don’t forget, we’re celebrating Cub.  Go, go, go.  I’m not sure if you’re getting the fun in all of this.  NOT only fun, but what you can get from creating a great video or pix showing why you love Cub!  And you could be the winner.  Of $4500.  $4500.

Go to Facebook and hit like!!  Follow the directions and have a great time!

Have a great week.  I sure hope it cools down.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉

This sweepstake is sponsored by Cub