Cooking More + Refried Beans

I’m really not sure why I’m doing so many “cooking” and “food” posts lately other than:

  1. We have our newly remodeled kitchen that has more counterspace than ever and I love being in there. It’s beautiful and uplifting.
  2. I often wonder what other people are putting in the food we actually eat from restaurants. Okay I am not meaning anything gross here, but I’m talking about sodium. We recently discovered that one of his favorite meals from Chili’s (Chicken Crispers) had 100% of a person’s daily recommendation of sodium…in the chicken alone. That didn’t include the fries and corn…
  3. I always obsess over costs of everything. Eating out is such a waste of money for the most part. I do love to eat out, though, but maybe more of a treat than a weekly occurrence.
  4. With the simplifying of our lives we’ve been doing, I love that I am cooking from scratch so much more. It makes me happy. We actually eat our leftovers now. I actually cook more so that we have leftovers so it’s easier to warm up and eat rather than cook each and every meal just before mealtime. This makes me look into what else I can do with that particular dish or side dish before I cook. For example, pinto beans can be used for different side dishes, which leads me to the refried beans part of this post…


Refried Beans – My Personal Recipe – Serves 2

  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans (made from dry, leftovers for at least a day)
  • 1/4 c. canola oil, scant
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt

Mash beans with masher or fork and mix with all ingredients. Don’t over-mash, though. You don’t want it to be just like those pureed ones that come out of a can. Cook in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or  until you see small signs of boiling. Lower heat and continue cooking until desired consistency, approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle a small amount of shredded sharp cheddar immediately. Serve and Enjoy!



Roasted Pork Loin

While at the grocery store, I noticed boneless Pork Loin Filet was on sale. There was a really small sized one, just perfect for the two of us. So, I decided to try my hand at a new dish.  I used a recipe from allrecipies and altered it to add onion powder and omit the white wine.  I basted it every 20 minutes for a little over an hour.

Let me tell you…the aromas this dish had circulating through this house?? Absolutely mouthwatering! Plus the meal itself wasn’t lacking one iota! I can see where the white wine would have come in handy, though, so I’ll use that next time.

This is the final product carved and on the plate:


We had this with green beans and steamed white rice. I hope you try this and it’s as good for you as it was for us! We will definitely be having this again. 🙂

400th Sale Milestone Approaching!

I’m at 393 sales!! YEAH!!! I can’t believe in less than a year my little cottage industry has seen such success. With so many shops out there, I wanted to say thank you for choosing mine. I am ever so touched and grateful to each of my wonderful friends.

As I approach 400 sales, I want to do something special. How about a new contest? Yes!!

Each and every person making a purchase in my shop this entire month and anyone else making a purchase up to and including number 400 will be entered, as will all those who comment here!! Buyers receive 2 entries per purchased item, commenters receive 1 entry.

The lucky winner will receive a similar heart sachet pillow:


Good luck!!

Bloom Anywhere

One of my favorite sayings is “Bloom Where You Are Planted” and that’s the title of my newest piece of art.  I worked with watercolors to give it a cool background and this is the finished piece:bloomwhereplantedprotected

I think everyone needs to be reminded to flourish no matter the circumstances. This little 4×6 print is the perfect size to give any of us a gentle reminder to do just that. I hope you love it as much as I do.

I will have it available for purchase during my next update. However if you don’t want to wait, just contact me and I’ll make sure to have one ready just for you. 🙂

Just to Say Thanks…

For this weekend only, I’m doing something special in my shop. I’m doing a love birds giveaway!! Every purchase gets an ACEO print OR a notecard featuring my “Love Is In The Air”love birds  painting. See the original here: 

January 24-25, 2009 only 🙂
Please enter “Love Is In The Air” and tell me your choice of either a print or a card in notes to seller.

Happy Weekend!

Cinnamon Rolls

I have made my first attempt ever at making cinnamon rolls. The “from scratch” kind. I found this most wonderful recipe with nice reviews at this lovely blog called “Food Loves Writing” and let me tell you, there are many more recipes on there I plan to try!

Back to the cinnamon rolls, though. Everything was going great until I realize I read the instructions a little too hurriedly and somehow ended up adding a cup and a half too much flour!! It had just begun mixing at the time I realized the earlier instruction said “divided”. Oops! It all worked out though because I was able to work fast and not let all the flour get into the dough during mixing. Whew!

While I was working away, he was my photographer and was actually shooting pictures during each stage of this prep. I was amazed when I was going through all of them! How sweet he is!

In progress (not sure why my fingertips are so red, unless its my obsessive washing of my hands anytime I’m cooking):


The roll being cut:


Going into the dish:


Just out of the oven (see my kitty cat potholder peeking through the clear glass dish LOL):


And, the finished product:


My personal review of these – delicious! I don’t care for the icing and next time I might just use a glaze instead of the cream cheese icing. Or maybe the recipe just made too much for the amount of cinnamon rolls there were. At at rate, they were still very, very good. Well worth the trouble!!

Shop Update Tomorrow

Yes! I made a decision. 😀 I’m going to try doing shop updates rather than listing everything as I go. It will cut down my computer time and make it a bit easier for me, too. I think I’ll like this. I’m going to **try** to do an update once per week and see how this goes.

I have one painting ready for the update and I just finished it this morning. It’s titled “Special Delivery” and I am always frustrated by how my pictures turn out because my paintings look so much better in person. They lose so much in a scan. The print of this particular painting will be able to be personalized and I’m really excited about that. Here’s one:


and another option:


This is a 4×6 size so it will fit readily available frames. I’m really tickled with these. I’ve already printed one of these out for our own home. Here it is all framed and everything:


I’m loving this print and so tickled that I’m able to personalize it. Check the cozy loft shop tomorrow and I’ll have it available along with a few other things. Happy Thursday!