Mia's Pinto Beans & Cornbread

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I have been MIA on two trips recently. I spent a few days with my mom in the Bahamas about a week ago, and more recently, the hubbs, Sydney and I flew to Louisiana for the weekend to go to the LSU/Auburn football game in Baton Rouge. So we've been busy!! And when not busy, we've been ordering DELIVERY!! haha. So not much cooking.

I did cook yesterday though...w/ my slow cooker.

One of my favorite meals also happens to be one of the cheapest and healthiest. Gotta love when that happens. ;) I can't say the same for a plate full of cheddar and jack cheese nachos with jalapenos. A bag of dried Pinto beans runs between 2-3 dollars, and feeds 3-4 easily. Corn Meal is equally inexpensive, but makes great cornbread. I grew up with this simple food - one that you can customize with all sorts of toppings and make it all your own.

I usually have the following toppings on hand: Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Jalapenos, Cilantro, Chopped Onions...

Mia's Pinto Beans

Here's what I used:

1 bag dried pinto beans
3 strips bacon, chopped into 2-3" pieces
1 onion, chopped into 1-2" pieces
dash: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
4-6 cups water

Here's what I did:

Rinsed the beans thoroughly in a colander to weed out any little rocks (yes, rocks) that might be hiding. Added beans, bacon, onion, seasonings and water to slow cooker and set to high. Cooked on high for 2-3 hours, checking occasionally. Added water when some of the beans began to rise above the water level. Turned to low and let cook another 2-3 hours. They were probably done after 1-2, but it didn't hurt to continue to cook them and keep them warm.

Cheesy Cheddar Cornbread

Here's what I used:

1 cup corn meal
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 deli slices cheddar, broken into 1" pieces (shredded is fine too - about 1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt

Here's what I did:

Preheated oven to 400 degrees. Then I added all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and whisked to remove any lumps. Then I added the oil, milk and egg, and mixed just to incorporate. Lastly, I added my cheddar pieces and mixed them into the batter. I added my batter to a med-sized glass baking dish that had been sprayed well with PAM. After 20-25 minutes, the cornbread should be golden brown on top, mine was also oozing a little cheddar on top - YUMM.

I cut the cornbread into individual squares. This recipe mades about 9-12 good-sized pieces of cornbread.

On to reviews. My dad was over last night, and was pretty happy to hear I was making one of his favorite meals, too. Its his mom's recipe, so he's a long time fan. :) He added cheese, sour cream, jalapenos and broke his cornbread into his bowl. I like to add 2 big dollops of sour cream and a good amount of cheese - and then eat each bite with its own cornbread. And then pop a jalapeno here and there. Hubbs...well hubbs doesn't think beans are a REAL dinner. He was skeptical that BEANS stand on their own as an actual protein...but ate anyway. I think just because he was hungry. Oh! And Sydney Grace loved her beans and cornbread. She just popped those little puppies in one by one. I found a proten she likes! WHEEEE.


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