better buys for bleak wintry times

If you know me well, you may already know how much I LOVE mexican (ish) food. I adore Vietnamese, but I really love Mexican in all forms and fashions. High, low, authentic or Taco Bell, I'm there. Tuan wryly commented after our first few months of marriage given all the times we ate tacos, that he did not know about my hispanic heritage!

At home we mainly do tacos and nachos. They are never the same, but always so good. On New Year's Eve I made some refried black beans to go on the side or in them and they were so good! Paired with avocado I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The flavor combination was that sublime.

When I went to the grocery to get taco supplies I had planned to buy lettuce to stuff the tacos, but lettuce was more expensive than avocado! It was a liberating moment--Avocados are flavorful and packed full of good stuff and I love to serve them to our family. If you go to Sam's you can buy five for four dollars, I believe; which is a great deal. I recently learned that you can let them ripen and then keep in the fridge until you need them--another liberating moment because avocados do kind of stress me out when juggling the ripe/overripe issue.

So! Here is the recipe for refried black beans:

1 can black beans or freshly made
sea salt
bacon grease (enough to coat a cast iron skillet--2 strips of bacon will do it and then some)

Rinse your beans and shake/drain as much water as possible. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet until hot and toss the beans in. Immediate season with salt and cumin (I just do a few shakes). Reduce the heat a wee bit and stir. Let the beans heat through and then mash them a bit. I like the mixture dry but you can add liquid to them to make them more soupy.

Serve with Avocado!

Also, the Barefoot Contessa's guacamole is sublime! Find it here.

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