Slow Cooker Mexican Red Beans

Untitled

I have been quite remiss in posting lately.  Let me just say that the holiday season left me very very busy.  I should have posted this recipe long before now.  This is one of the family’s favorites and a recipe I make quite frequently.  On Christmas Eve in West Texas especially along the border, it is traditional to have tamales and beans.    After we ate we would go for a drive to look at all the luminarias.  Entire neighborhoods were lined in luminarias and they were so beautiful.  This year we had tamales and beans but I unfortunately did not see any luminarias as they are not a common thing to see in this area.

Mexican Red Beans

1 pound dried pinto beans (soak overnight)
4 cups cold water
1 large onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes (I get the diced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 2 teaspoons chili powder (I use the chili powder)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 pound salt pork or bacon, chopped (I use bacon)

Put soaked and drained beans into slow cookers. Add water and all remaining ingredients. Cook and cover on High 2 hours, then turn to Low for 8 hours.

I also like to serve this with cornbread.

Advertisements

Sweet Potato Rum Casserole

IMG_2272

This is a recipe that I have had for a long long time.  I don’t remember where I originally got the recipe but I always fix it for Thanksgiving.  I made the recipe below except I didn’t bake it. The casserole mixture was frozen.   The day before Thanksgiving I will thaw this in the refrigerator and then bake it on Thanksgiving.  Marshmallows are added the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
¼ cup and 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup flaked coconut
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
¼ cup dark rum
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (use the real stuff, not imitation)
Mini-marshmallows

Combine first 7 ingredients, mixing well.  Spoon into lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.   Bake uncovered at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes.  Arrange marshmallows on top and continue baking until marshmallows are lightly brown.

Freezable Mashed Potatoes

I hope to have most of the Thanksgiving meal fixed ahead of time.  I want to spend my time visiting with company instead of cooking in the kitchen.  I am going to cook the turkey on Thanksgiving day.  There is just something to be said about the wonderful smell of turkey that goes through the house.  If you want to follow along, I will be cooking other dishes for Thanksgiving and freezing them.  After Thanksgiving I will be preparing for Christmas and cooking freezable goodies.

The first thing I am cooking and freezing ahead of time is mashed potatoes.  I have never tried this recipe but it seems like it would work.  I froze all the mashed potatoes together because I am having quite a few people for Thanksgiving but you can freeze this in smaller containers that is more meal sized for your family.

IMG_2226

5 pounds of potatoes
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pinch of paprika

Peel potatoes. Boil in water until soft. Drain. In a large bowl combine potatoes, egg, garlic powder, salt, cream cheese and milk. Mash by hand or with an electric mixer. Freeze potatoes at this point. I put mine in a ziplock freezer bag. May put potatoes into smaller freezer bags.

Cooking directions: Thaw potatoes. Place in a 3 qt. buttered casserole dish. Drizzle butter over top of potatoes and sprinkle paprika on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until top is golden.

Christmas Dinner 2011

I wanted to plan a Christmas dinner where everything was fresh, no frozen or canned food.  Oh, I did have one thing that was canned and that was the cranberry sauce.  I could have made my own from fresh cranberries but I just didn’t.  I have to have my cranberry sauce one way or the other.  I can’t have dinner without it.  This time of year I seem to be starving for fresh vegetables and fruits.  It is so hard to find anything fresh this time of year so this is the menu that I came up with.

We had a wonderful spiral ham.  Along with the ham we had Pototoes Au Gratin.  This recipe was sooo good.  I may even remake this recipe and put some leftover ham in it.  This dish had NO leftovers!!

The next thing I made was Creamed Spinach.  I used the fresh baby spinach that can be bought in bags and are already washed.  It was a good quick side dish.

Then I made Whiskey Glazed Carrots.  Oh me, oh my was it good.  I am going to have to make this again sometime.  We also had some of Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Rolls.  We ate those up so fast that I couldn’t get a picture of it.