Category Archives: Beans

Mexican Brown Rice and Beans

Do rich people eat rice and beans? Do they sometimes go to a restaurant and think, ‘Hmmm… do I want the lobster tail tonight… or the rice and beans?’

If you do an internet search for “frugal family meals,” then you will be told to make rice and beans. And shepherd’s pie. Because apparently that’s what you eat when you’re on a budget, and don’t have Jeeves around to cook for you.

"The ashtray, this paddle game, and the remote control, and the lamp, and that's all I need." -The Jerk

There are a gazillion recipes out there for rice and beans. All different styles. I have tried many of them. I finally found one that I really like. This recipe is easy, cheap frugal, healthy, and most importantly, tasty. And that’s good, because I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t really like rice. Or beans. But I really like this recipe.

Okay, wait. Full disclosure. I’m kind of a picky eater. I mean, I’m a big talker with my kids (and my blog) and I say, “Wow, how can she not like sauce? How can he not like cheese?” but the truth is, if my doctor suddenly told me that I had to live on a steady diet of cheeseburgers, french fries, and milkshakes, I’d probably die of happiness long before my arteries had time to clog.

So anyway, I knew I wanted a rice and beans recipe that would become a staple in our house, so it was important to find one that we all my husband and I liked. I found this recipe on, but it originally comes from the book Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair.

Mexican Rice and Beans

  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste or sauce
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans


  1. Heat oil in a 2-quart pot. Add cumin and chili powder and sauté for a few seconds. Add onion and salt and continue cooking until onion is soft.
  2. Add rice and stir well to coat. Add water and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until all of the water is absorbed (about 40 minutes).
  3. Stir in pinto beans. Serve on tortillas and garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado… whatever you like on your tacos.

Click here for printable

Mexican Brown Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans Tortilla

Terrible pictures, I know. I apologize. The next time I make this I will replace the pictures with better ones.

Here’s what the Critics had to say:

Don Corleone: This is delicious!

Sarah Crewe: It’s delicious! And beany!

Batman: It’s really good!

Elmo: It’s good. They’re not hot anymore.

Curious George, upon sitting down at the table: I already know I don’t like it.

That’s a pretty typical reaction. Everyone but Curious George liked it.

If I ever When I become rich, I think I’ll still make have my servants make rice and beans once in a while. It’s delicious. And beany.

How am I going to get rich, you ask? I may end up being a carny:

"Ah... it's a profit deal! Take a chance and win some crap!" -The Jerk

Maybe I’ll invent something cool, like for glasses or something:

Don’t mock my pictures. You know they look exactly like Steve Martin.

I really need to start getting my kids to do the drawings again.

All I know is, I’ve got my name in the phone book, and that, of course, is the first step toward greatness:

"Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name in print - that makes people. Things are going to start happening to me now." -The Jerk


Black Bean and Corn Salad

I can’t believe July is almost over. My oldest baby is turning 9 in two days. I think I’m starting to turn into an old person. It’s a long transition, but it’s happening. I had the radio on while I was making this salad, and they played Huey Lewis and the News on the oldies station. I saw Huey Lewis in concert. It’s not fair. I felt a little bit better when the next song was Smokey Robinson, but not much. I’m still old.

And speaking of old, how about that black bean and corn salad, huh? Okay, fine, that was a poor lead-in. What can I say, I’m still feeling a little down about Huey. It’s the best I can do under the circumstances.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-3 handfuls of fresh chopped cilantro, according to taste


  1. Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix lime juice, sugar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour over salad. Mix well.
  3. Sprinkle with cilantro and mix. We like a lot of cilantro, so I probably used closer to 3 handfuls, but start with 1 and add more to your liking.

Click here for printable


Black Bean and Corn Salad

Curious George sat down to the table and said, “I already know I don’t like it.”

Elmo said, “I eat the beans, okay, Mommy?”

Batman and Sarah Crewe both said they liked it, but didn’t eat much.

And Don Corleone and I enjoyed every bite!

Slow Cooker Turkey Taco Chili

Happy Groundhog Day!

groundhog day, bill murray

"There is no way that this winter is *ever* going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don't see any other way out. He's got to be stopped. And I have to stop him." -Groundhog Day

Well, unlike the movie, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, so according to him, we will have an early spring. What does he know, he’s only been right 39% of the time since 1887! I shouldn’t be too hard on him, though. He’s as good a meteorologist as any, I suppose!

"This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather." -Groundhog Day

Well, I know I’m in the minority, but personally, I like winter. In fact, I love winter! Spring is nice, sure, but I just love everything about winter, from Christmas right on through to… well, whenever it decides to end.

"Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today." -Groundhog Day

Anyhoo, whatever Mr. Phil says, it’s still winter right now. And if you, like much of the country, it seems, are looking outside and seeing something like this:

My neighbor's tree

or this:

Another neighbor's tree

or this:

My tree

or this:

My backyard

then what YOU need is chili.

We have chili a lot in my house, in various forms. It makes my husband and 6-year-old very happy. It makes my 4-year-old very angry. In fact, he stormed into the kitchen at dinner time and said, “I HATE chili! Make me some pasta!” As it happens, I already had a pot of macaroni cooking for him, because I always make plain macaroni for the kids when we have chili. But a “Nope, sorry, there is no pasta for rude little boys” prompted an apology, and he happily ate his pasta at dinner.

Turkey Taco Chili

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles (like Rotel)
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 3-4 TBSP taco seasoning*
  • shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese
  • sour cream

*I don’t know how many tablespoons are in a packet of taco seasoning, but I’m guessing 1 packet will do. I make my own taco seasoning from this recipe, and I just keep it in a gladware container in the pantry, because you never know when you’ll have a taco emergency.

Brown the turkey with the onion and garlic and drain. Place in slow cooker with the beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Add the taco seasoning and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.

And for those of you non-crockpotters (you know who you are!) this can just as easily be done on the stovetop. Or you can just go buy a crockpot, because they’re AWESOME!


turkey taco chili

I like to top mine with cheese and sour cream.

And, of course, one must always remember to accessorize:


chili accessories

I was going to post this recipe last night, but one of the accessories (I’ll let you figure out which one), made me (and my husband) fall asleep on the couch right after dinner and not wake up until after the kid’s bedtime.

They didn’t mind.

And for dessert:


"Antique car" pound cakes

How cute are these little cakes?

Pound cake cars 2I made these chocolate chip pound cakes using a pan I got for Christmas a few years ago. I don’t use it very often because I’m not very good at decorating them! But it makes these super cute little antique cars:

antique car cake pan

It isn’t so super cute when it comes time to clean it, though! 😦

Of course I heard no complaints from the critics about dessert. But dinner?

Batman: It’s delicious! A bunch of thumbs up!

Don Corleone: This is really good. If you make this every day, I’m going to need some new pants.

Sarah Crewe: Leaning towards good… I think.

Curious George, who did taste it: I don’t like it. It’s spicy.

I asked Elmo if she liked it, and she nodded and said her new favorite phrase: “There it is!” And she did, in fact, eat every bite.

Now go make some chili!