Saturday, August 14, 2010

Real Refried Beans for IHCC and Cookbook Sundays

It seems as if I say my life is hectic all the time....and it really can't be all that hectic, can it? It can't be anymore hectic than say Heather's at Girlichef,

or Deb's at Kahakai Kitchen,   Natashya's at Living in the Kitchen With Puppies,  or Kim's at Stirring the Pot.

We are all busy people with hectic schedules, right?  And yet, they all manage to get multiple food posts done each week. I can't mange that.
They are my heroes. Seriously. I want to be them. I want to be as organized, and as dependable as they are. Every week, multiple challenges, multiple dishes...and blogs that look so damn (can I say damn?) good!!

I fall short of my goals every week. I'm a procrastinator, so I tend to wait till the last minute. I love the last minute. If it weren't for the last minute, I would get nothing done!

Take for instance, this afternoon, I've been trying to figure out how to download an audio book to my Zune (Mp3 player) , so that I can listen to a book while I drive to Reno tomorrow to see my beautiful grandbabies--who have started walking since they moved out of my house 2 weeks ago. This has taken me ALL AFTERNOON. And at the same time, I have been making refried beans from scratch, so that I can make a Mark Bittman "refried bean dip" for the IHCC challenge  that I have to have up and posted by this evening since I'm leaving town tomorrow.    Same thing with the audio book... I need it now, because I'm leaving town early in the morning and we are going to our friends for dinner tonight, so that leaves me very little time left.

Speaking of dinner tonight....I'm not hungry. I've eaten so much  of the refried beans and bean dip, I don't feel like eating dinner.
Psst.....refried beans from scratch are really, really good. Really good.
I had trouble moving on to make the "dip", which was my recipe of choice for this IHCC's potluck post. BUT, move on I did, and then I had to dig out the chips and well, everyone knows, bean dip and chips require a coke, so I had to pour a coke, and then that shot my Weight Watchers points all to hell.

I am meandering, I can tell. My food blog heroes are also very "focused", which I tend not to be.
Why? I think it's menopause. I just had my 51st birthday. I thought I was having a hot flash  yesterday, but the Handyman told me that I "wasn't. It was just hot out, he was hot too."

I don't remember when he became an expert on menopause?

See....I'm meandering again. It really must be menopause....hectic, crazy, uncontrollable menopause. That's it! That's my excuse. That's why I feel so unorganized.
I feel much better having figured that one out.

But still..... have you seen their blogs?  (sigh) They are still my heroes. I just wish one of them would come help me figure out my audio down-load.

I would  then share this bean dip with them and we'd sit and have a coke or iced-tea and I'd show them my cookbook collection and we'd talk recipes and share cooking stories and then.....then......I'd be later in getting this post up!!
But it would be worth it.  ~smiles~

It's Potluck week at IHCC.  And I decided to make bean dip. But first I had to make the refried beans. I soaked the beans, boiled the beans, used real bacon grease, smashed the beans...but I left them a bit chunky for some texture.

Refried beans don't photograph that well..... but let me tell you, O.M.G. I will make Mark Bittman's refried beans again and again. And again!  The smoky flavor of the cumin just made me want to keep eating and eating them. I had to STOP MYSELF so that  there would be enough left to make the dip,  which is really good too.  (but I really, really just loved the warm refried beans)

Pretty, they might not be, but just have a taste..... mmmmmm....... smoky and a bit of semi-crunchy onion, some jalapeño......mmmmm. Can you imagine the taste on your tongue? NO? Then you better make some: FAST because it's too good to miss.

I will be taking this to our friends house tonight to share.

I will also be adding this to "Cookbook Sundays"  at  Brenda's Canadian Kitchen.
I don't know how above-board this is......but since I did use one of my Cookbooks (Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything") for this dish, I am going to just assume it's okay. In my own cookbook countdown,  I've already counted this cookbook, but....I'm just going to go for it and enter anyway.  Go ahead and click on that "cookbook countdown" and it will take you to a picture of the cookbook I  used....and explain that I have over 218 cookbooks, that I am "counting down".  Albeit, very slowly.  So, Cookbook Sundays is just the thing for me!

Next week, I hope not to let my hecticness or my menopause make me such a procrastinator and I plan on making two...TWO....different posts for both of these challenges.
As a side note: The Handyman is home and he is devouring the bean dip. He says it's really good.

Now for the recipes

Real Refried Beans
page 418 of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

1/2 cup bacon grease. (and it you don't have it, lard, or fat drippings from Mexican Chorizo, butter, or neutral oil, like grape seed)
3 to 4 cups drained cooked or canned pinto beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 T. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne, plus more to taste
Salt and pepper
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped.

Put the fat in a large skillet, preferably non-stick, over medium heat. When hot, add the beans and mash with a large fork or potato masher until they are the consistency you like.

Add the onion, cumin and cayenne, sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue to cook and mash, stirring until the beans are more or less broken up (some remaining chunks are fine) and the onion is lightly cooked, about 5 minutes more. Thin with a little of the bean liquid until you get the consistency you want. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Garnish with Cilantro leaves.

Then I made the dip

Refried Bean Dip
adapted from page 92 in How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

1 recipe Real Fried Beans
1/2 cup minced red pepper
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup peeled and seeded tomato--chopped
1 T. minced fresh jalapeño
1 t. red wine vinegar
1 big spoonful of sour-cream
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve with chips or fresh veggies.


bermudaonion said...

I blame menopause for everything, so I'm sure it's causing your dis-organization! LOL

Karen said...

Mmm, I love refried beans and the dip looks so good, too (beautiful pics!). I'm going to try this recipe.

Debinhawaii said...

You'd be amazed at all the stuff that doesn't get done at my house. ;-) The dip looks delicious--you have me craving refried beans now. Amazing how good the "real" ones are.

Kim said...

Debbie- You are incredibly sweet to mention all of us in your post. Meeting foodie friends like you is what makes blogging so much fun. It's so nice to "meet" people who are just as passionate about food. So glad that you were able to join us this week. It certainly sounds like you found a winner of a recipe with Bittman's refried beans from scratch. Can I just say that beans are an all-time favorite of mine! If I saw this bean dip at a potluck you better believe that I would be standing real close;-)

Joanne said...

I can never figure out how all those ladies do it either! I barely have time to churn out my posts in a week, let alone maintain all of these other sites! Brava to them!

Refried beans are so delicious, especially homemade. Love this!

Brenda said...

I agree, those ladies are my heroes too. I find it takes me so long to get a post ready - photos, figure out what the heck I'm going to say, etc. Very fun but it can be time-consuming. I'm in awe of the ladies who can manage it every day or almost every day. And this is a perfect submission for Cookbook Sundays, thank you for linking up!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

You are so sweet!

Love the beans and bean dip, I have always wanted to try making refried beans at home - you have inspired me!

girlichef said...

Okay woman, what's your address ;) I'd gladly crack open a coke, dive into the bean dip and help you in any way I can! You are too's sheer madness in my brain, sometimes...but I try my hardest. OH, and LOL...can I say damn...ha ha ha ha ha. Yummmmmmy bean dip!!!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Those refried beans sound fantastic, and what a great post and fabulous blog.
Personally I think menopause is to blame for everything! I'm a born procrastinator too ... "Why do today what can be put off till tomorrow" has always been my motto :-)

Jenny said...

Hmm refried beans....
I'm the only person in my house who will eat them, so I've been opening a can. How do you think these would freeze?

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Hi Debbie - just stopped by to let you know that after IHCC finished cooking with Bittman, a few of us have taken up the mantel and are hosting a monthly Tackling Bittman blog hop. We open the Linky the first Thursday in every month and I would love it if you would join in with us sometime - linking up any previous Bittman post is perfectly fine also. Here is the link if you're interested

Sue :-)

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