Instant Pot Pinto Beans Recipe (Charro Style)

I am a big fan of the whole pinto beans you get in a good Mexican Restaurant.  I like them more than the refried beans and they’re actually healthier, because refried beans are fried with FAT – which makes them tasty – but not necessarily healthy.

I got an Instant Pot (actually it’s a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker) and I was anxious to try to recreate my favorite beans.  These are excellent – and really flexible.  I put them in my Oven Baked Tacos Recipe, we eat them alone, you could “refry” them if you like – and for sure you can freeze them when you make too much!

I’m not exactly sure what makes these “Charro Style” but the recipe I adapted was a Slow Cooker Charro Beans recipe.  The only thing I left out was the tomatoes, which just didn’t go with what I wanted to accomplish.  Hopefully these tickle your tastebuds as well!

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Planning our Summer Wanderings

It’s a gorgeous spring day here in Colorado, even though it’s the first week in February. This winter has been almost disturbingly mild, not much snow at all here, while the mountains and other areas are seeing record amounts of snow.

Because the weather is pleasant, I’m dreaming of summer getaways, camping trips, etc to get out and see some more of this beautiful country.  We’re talking about taking a driving trip up through Yellowstone, to Kalispel/Glacier, over to Sandpoint/Coeur d’Alene and down through Boise and Pocatello then back home.

I used a handy site called Roadtripper to plan out a possible route.  It not only lets you place the towns you’ll stop on the map, it shows points of interest, camping, lodging, food, etc along the way.

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Swedish Spritz Cookie Recipe

These tasty butter cookies are a holiday tradition in our home.  While you can dye and color the dough to make green trees or whatever you like, I prefer the plain sugar cookies with sprinkles and redhots as decoration.
You need a cookie press for this recipe.  You could roll them in logs and refrigerate and slice, but it’s just not the same. cookie-press I got my cookie press on Amazon.com – It’s the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press and it works well – it works BEST if the cookie sheets are really cold, but that’s not really practical when you’re baking dozens at a time – just be patient and understand that the dough consistency is directly related to how the cookies come out of the gun and onto the sheet – don’t be afraid to chill the dough down if things just get a bit too soft.

Colored sugar and red hots for tree stars or holly berries are my favorite decorations – but you can do absolutely whatever you like!

Enjoy!

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Yummy Pecan Pie with Bourbon

So – bourbon isnt a huge, major ingredient in this pie – but its an important one.  I didnt realize I liked pecan pie until I tried this version WITH bourbon.  Without it just tastes like sugared nut pie….don’t ask me why … I’m sure Alton Brown has some scientific reason complete with chemical reaction as to why that is.

I made this for Thanksgiving dessert, served it with homemade Vanilla Bourbon Whipped Cream and it was DIVINE!  Actually I could probably just eat the whipped cream for dinner – forget the turkey.

Also – no lie – I buy pie crust.  It’s probably the best storebought shortcut out there, makes getting a pie in the oven a breeze, and doesnt taste much different than anything I could make myself – and making & rolling out pie dough is a pain in the ass and MESSY.  No thanks.

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Oregon Trip – Vacation 2015

Happy Fall, Y’all! We were lucky enough to take a family trip before school started and we took our daughter off to College. Something tells me this may just be the last trip we all take together for quite some time. Hopefully it’s not – but you just don’t know until you “Know.”

Before we hit the airport, we went to the Kenny Chesney Big Revival Tour.  Maddie is a huge Kenny Chesney fan, so we got her Sandbar tickets for graduation. You can see how close we were in the photos.  Todd and Aerik sat in the nosebleeds – Thanks for taking one for the team, guys 🙂

Sunday morning we flew out of Denver International early. We arrived in Portland at about 10:30 in the morning and Continue reading “Oregon Trip – Vacation 2015”

A Big Ole List of Camping Hacks

We bought a new camper this summer.  This is big for me. We’ve had a small popup that has served as hunting base for about 8 years – but it was frightfully small – and has no bathroom.  That means Carrie had to go in the woods….no likey.BIG OLE LIST OF

But we live in Colorado – in the mountains.  Sitting in our home every weekend seems like we’re wasting or taking things for granted…after all – Colorado is extremely gorgeous!
So our new camper is NOT a popup – and it DOES have a bathroom – a real one with a shower…… oh happy days!  Since Maddie was headed to college this fall – I suspect Todd has been trying to tempt me into a love of the woods and fly fishing.  I’m in love with fly fishing already – I thought the woods would be a harder sell. Continue reading “A Big Ole List of Camping Hacks”