Creamy Black Bean Burritos

I found the idea for this recipe on a blog and I cannot find the link to save my life--so please forgive me for not giving credit...If I find it I'll show you! (Found it! Here's the original recipe!)
These burritos are super simple to throw together and VEERY inexpensive so a super saver. This is perfect for coming home from the pool and having hungry kids and wanting dinner on the table immediately. (to make this into a yummy dip for tortilla chips, use only one can of black beans, smashed)

Creamy Black Bean Burritos
1 can black beans, drained rinsed and mashed (I use a potato masher)
AND 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 c. salsa, drained well (you can substitute a can of rotel, drained well)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
Tortillas of your choice
shredded lettuce
diced red onion
diced tomato
sour cream
shredded cheese
taco sauce
Mix beans, cream cheese, salsa and seasonings together either in a glass bowl or in a small sauce pan. Heat on the stove or in the microwave until hot. Assemble burritos with any of your desired toppings. Yum! **Note: I believe that really, truly taco sauce makes this. Not to be confused with salsa, which is also great....but sooo different.
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I love goulash. But a good question would be...what is goulash? (and not the authentic Hungarian kind) Basically it's macaroni with tomato sauce and some veggies and ground beef. My mom used to make goulash a lot when we were kids, probably because it's dirt cheap to make a huge vaat of it and the four of us were complete pigs. And we loved it--so there's that. She never had a recipe for anything, she just dumped stuff together and it worked. So, I got some of that new baby ziti and I decided to make me some goulash.

I just dumped a bunch of stuff together and it worked out. Rob loved it--his comments were, "This is like Hamburger Helper on crack. And I mean that in a good way!" Which--PS I make hamburger helper maybe once a year when I get it for free on the Grocery Game and he loves it, which just solidifies the fact that he may not be the most reliable food critic because he will happily eat anything besides olives and couscous.
Anyway, this is super simple and feeds a crowd and the kids loved it. So--try it out if you're feeling adventurous in a midwestern kind-of way.


1 lb macaroni or short cut pasta, cooked with plenty of bite left
1 lb ground beef, turkey or sausage
3 Tb italian seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 can tomato soup (10.5 oz)
1 can water (just fill up the soup can)
3 c. vegetable or tomato juice
1 Tb soy sauce
1 c. corn (defrosted frozen or canned)
seasoned salt & pepper to taste
4 slices Velveeta cheese

While the water boils and the pasta cooks, brown the ground beef with the onion and green pepper. (Make sure not to cook the past all the way because it will continue to cook in the sauce a bit.) Drain well and add in the garlic cloves, crushed red pepper, and italian seasoning. Cook a minute or two and then add in the tomato soup, water, vegetable juice, soy sauce. Stir well and simmer a few minutes. Add in the cooked noodles. Cook 10 minutes to let the noodles soak up the tomato sauce flavors. At the end stir in the corn and the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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Crockpot Smoked Sausage and Beans

This is a super frugal, very easy and healthy dinner that comes together really quick and doesn't need to heat up the house-- and for those of us that live in hell....er the Southwest, that's a really good thing! I found this recipe on Lynn's Kitchen Adventure blog and made it the next week because I love beans so much.
This recipe calls for kielbasa but any fully-cooked smoked sausage will work.I had some smoked turkey sausages so I used those instead and it worked great.

The recipe also calls for Northern white beans which was very good but I may try mixing in other kinds of beans just for kicks next time. Also, you could cook your own beans from dried beans and freeze them to save money.

Crockpot Smoked Sausage and Beans
1 lb kielbasa or other smoked sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 c. ketchup
1 c. brown sugar
2 T vinegar
2 T molasses
2 T mustard
3 cans great northern white beans (or canellini beans) drained and rinsed

In a crockpot mix together beans, sliced kielbasa, and onions. Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over bean mixture. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

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Easy Baked Beans

I love baked beans. I just really like beans in general so during the winter I make lots of chili and in the summer, lots of baked beans. I'm not the hugest fan of just opening a can of Bush's and heating them up--I like to doctor them first--so much better! These beans are super simple and quick to throw together and I make them all the time. The last time I made them (with the ribs previously posted) I actually measured the ingredients for the first time so I could share the recipe.

Sorry, again o picture. I forgot to take a picture of the entire meal. Luckily you all know what a pan of baked beans look like. These beans would be a cinch to throw together for your 4th of July BBQ!

Easy Baked Beans

1 28 oz can Pork and Beans
1 15 oz can Pork and Beans
1 medium onion
6 strips bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled (I use turkey bacon, chop it up first and cook it in a frying pan with some cooking spray at med-high heat until crisp)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. bbq sauce
1 tsp tabasco
dash worcestershire

Preheat your oven to 375. Drain off most of the juice from the pork and beans cans and discard of the gross white "pork". Pour the beans into an 8x8 inch pan. Chop the onion and saute in some butter or cooking spray until translucent. Add in the onion, bacon, sugar, bbq sauce, tabasco, and worcestershire. Mix well and bake 20 minutes uncovered.

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Roasted Spare Ribs

Sorry, no picture. But I'm assuming that everyone knows what ribs look like so that's good. I usually do baby back ribs and boil them for an hour and then grill them with sauce, but I got some spare ribs on a really good sale at Fry's a few weeks ago so I tried something new. We found that we actually prefer the baby back ribs, they're a little meatier and smaller but the spare ribs were good this way and the price was right, so try it out! This is a great 4th of July recipe.

I found several recipes on allrecipes.com and compiled them together to make these. I found the recipe for the sauce on recipezaar.com and it turned out pretty good!

The recipe for the rub makes way more than you'll actually need so you can save some for later.

Roasted Spare Ribs

2 racks spareribs (about 10 lbs)

For dry rub--Mix together:
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. paprika
1 1/2 T. black pepper
2 Tb. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

For wet rub--Mix together:
1/4 c. mustard
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Coat ribs with mustard mixture, then sprinkle liberally with the dry rub. Lay racks of ribs on top of a wire rack in a large roasting pan OR stand the ribs up on a metal rib rack inside of a large roasting pan. You want to be able to get air around the ribs. (I used a large food service tin.) Bake at 250 2 1/2-3 hours or even longer, until meat is tender and almost falling off the bone. Brush with sauce and grill on an outdoor barbecue for a few minutes.


3/4 c. ketchup
1 Tb brown sugar
1 Tb vinegar
1 Tb honey
dash of tabasco (or more if you like spice)
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp worcestershire
1 Tb butter

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add all other ingredients and simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

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Eating through Europe

We are back from our two weeks in Europe. We LOVED it. We are so blessed that Rob's grandparents took our entire family on this trip! (And that my sister kept my younger child so she didn't go!) I am sure that everyone needs to travel through Europe in their lifetime ...or at least Italy which is my favorite place ever. So to taunt you, I took a few pictures of the food we were eating and I thought I'd show you all. We ate a LOT and I got tired of taking pictures so these pics are of food early on but certainly not inclusive of the amazing delicacies we had--just a teeny tiny snapshot!

The first picture--creamy risotto with seared scallops...in Paris. It was so good. My husband's family is kind of finicky when it comes to food so we ate a lot of pizza at first. But this meal was amazing and French.

Second we have chantrelle mushroom and cheese stuffed ravioli with seared duck foie grois. (Duck liver---it does not taste like liver). Super yummy creamy sauce with a red wine reduction drizzle. This was an amazing dish and super "French" which was my hope. We also ate this in Paris.

Our first meal in Venice (which is my favorite place on earth so far). Consisted of this lasagna. We ate right on a canal at an adorable little restaurant with Rob's aunt and uncle and dipped homemade Italian bread into the best tasting olive oil in the world! This lasagna had a vodka sauce which was soo delicious. I promptly topped this meal off with a giant scoop of mango gelatto--yum!

And of course finally, a beautiful caprese salad. This picture does not do justice to the tomatoes--they were deep dark red tomatoes, the best ever! If I were to ever gain a hundred pounds, it would be in Italy--gelatto, pasta, pizza...oh my!
Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the amazing Greek food we ate with Rob's sister and brother in-law who are foodies like us. Every stop on the weeklong cruise we got off with them and ate gyros, lamb souvlaki, tsatziki with fresh pita, lots of baklava....the list goes on. I have to admit being pregnant on this trip was kind of nice!
Tomorrow--all American ribs...as much as we loved Europe, there's no place like home!

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