Friday, February 21, 2014

Crock Pot "Refried" Pinto Beans

Great refried beans are the glue that holds a great burrito or taco together!

You would be surprised to learn how affordable this simple fat-free recipe is to make and the results are much better the store-bought canner version.  There are also very versatile as a substitution ingredient for meat.

Crock Pot "Refried" Beans

2 pounds dried pinto beans
8 cups water
2 cups beef or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup taco seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons salt

Combine ingredients in crock pot. Turn crock pot on High setting, cook for 4 hours. Then turn crock pot down to Low setting for 2 hours.

I discarded one cup of water prior to mashing beans. I used a submersion blender to combine. The consistency resulted in a slight more watery consistency than the canned version.

To freeze:
Mark a quart freezer bag with title of food and date.
Turn back the upper lip of the bag to make it stay open easier. Place opened bag into a liquid measuring cup. I used a 2 cup measuring cup. Then fill the bag with the refried beans until about the 2 cup mark.
Press as much air out of the bag as possible and seal. Freeze bags laying down, then can be stored upright.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kettle Corn

At our local Cedarburg festivals, there is always a crazy cowboy making kettle corn. This salty-sweet treat is one of our favorite things to snack on at the festival.  Now the recipe has been perfected for you to make at home.

Kettle Corn

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
Whirley Pop Popper

Kettle corn cooks VERY fast. It is recommended that you read through the entire recipe prior to starting. Start to finish, this recipe takes about 3 minutes.

Place coconut oil into a non heated stove top popcorn popper.
Measure out the salt and sugar in one small bowl for later use (as you will not have much time at that point for measuring).

Turn stove on to medium-high and heat the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted, add the popcorn seeds. Turn to coat seeds only once or twice.
When you hear sizzling, add sugar and salt mixture.
Start stirring fast with cover in place. Stirring fast with allow the sugar to coat the kernels but will not allow the sugar to burn.

Remove popcorn popper from heat when stirring is difficult.
Pour popcorn into a large bowl or onto a tray to cool.

Helpful Hints:
Do not make back to back batches of Kettle Corn in the stove-top popcorn popper unless you whip out the popper in between. We wipe our popper out with just warm water.

Keeps great for several days in air tight container or plastic bag.

Color Coating Directions

Add 10-15 drops of your choice of food coloring to the sugar. Pour sugar into recipe as listed above and now you have color coated popcorn to dress up your next party.