Crockpot Charro Beans recipe – stickied post

August 1, 2010 9 comments

Printable version here: Crockpot Charro Beans

I’m often asked how this recipe came about. Well, let me tell you the story:

My mother has always made charro style beans in a large stockpot on the stove. They just always seemed to lack a certain something. Seasoning? Texture?

So when she gifted me with a medium-sized crockpot one day, I decided to attempt my quest at charro bean recipe creation.  The first step had to be the ultimate seasoning. Enter Fiesta Pinto Bean Seasoning. My local supermarket (in this case, HEB), stocks a pretty good selection of Fiesta seasonings, including the one I wanted to try. And so, the following recipe came about:

Crockpot Charro Beans


  • 1 piece salt pork, chopped up in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 lb pinto beans
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped (including the stalk)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or you can add a can of Ro-tel for a little extra spice)
  • 1 heaping tbsp Fiesta Pinto Bean Seasoning (or whatever is local to you. I live in Texas, so this is the brand I use). If you look at the label, it calls for 2 tbsp. I find that this can make the beans pretty salty, so I reduced it down to 1. It really depends on your taste preference.


  1. Soak the beans in a bowl of water for about six hours. After they’re done soaking, put them in the crockpot.
  2. Add all other ingredients and fill crockpot with water until the water level is at least an inch above the beans. Stir it up a little with a spoon to get everything incorporated.
  3. Set on low setting and allow to cook for 8-9 hours. I normally get it going the night before and let them cook overnight. Makes me wake up hungry every time I do this🙂

Charro Beans… love them🙂


The beauty of these beans is you can freeze them, mash them up with some oil for refried beans, or put some in a bowl and eat them charro style. My dad swears charro style includes rice in the bowl along with the beans, but whatever’s clever.

It’s also important to note that you can alter the ingredients. if you don’t like cilantro, don’t use it. If you want them spicy, add jalapenos or even habanero peppers if you’re really gung ho about spice. It’s pretty versatile.


Peggy Carter for President!

January 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Agent Carter’s second season premiered last Tuesday night on ABC (regular time: 8:00 pm CST), with a two-hour double feature. Peggy (Hayley Atwell) starts out having to do some back alley damage to Dorothy Underwood’s (Bridget Regan) face in the bank vault. Dorothy, as you may remember from last season is the Russian killer without a conscience who helped to murder the former head of the S.S.R. (precurser to S.H.I.E.L.D) and the Agents are out for vengeance. Dorothy and Peggy duke it out bareknuckle-style until Peggy gives her a sleeper to the back of the head with a bag of coins.

Thompson (Chad Michael Murray), who is the new acting boss of the S.S.R. can’t handle Peggy’s awesomeness and knows he can’t get the promotion he wants with her around, so he sends her out to California to help out Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) in a murder investigation instead of interrogating Dorothy. Once Peggy is gone, Dorothy uses a desk to put a pretty mean choke-hold on Thompson. Peggy wouldn’t have fallen for Dorothy’s shenanigans, and everybody knows this. But Thompson wants what he wants, and he needs Peggy out of the way to get it done.

Fortunately for us, Edwin Jarvis is also out in California, running Howard Stark’s mansion and herding flamingos. He is massively bored, and volunteers to chauffeur Peggy around Hollywood. For me the Peggy/Jarvis show is always the most fun relationship, whether it’s Edwin or his missus, Ana. Rather than treating Peggy like a rival, Ana welcomes her with open arms and the two become instant friends. It’s nice to see positive female relationships like that.


Peggy even gets a chance at a romantic interest. Dr. Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), a scientist working for the company directly connected to the murder Peggy is investigating seems quite taken by our femme fatale. As Dr. Wilkes is African-American, this gives an interesting look at the racial issues in 1940s California, which was by no means immune to bad behavior by ignorant people. Dr. Wilkes tells Peggy about his struggle to get any company to take him seriously despite his genius, and his loyalty to Isodyne for being the only company to give him a chance gives a good look at this. Wilkes’ primary duty is to contain a substance you’ll probably remember from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D as being quite other-worldly. Goo is dangerous, y’all!

Even if you don’t like the Marvel universe, this is a great female-empowering, intelligent show with an beautiful production value and costumes to die for (sexy but modest and faithful to the times). Think 1940s era glamour in a red hat and matching shoes. It’s teen-friendly, unlike its Netflix counterparts (Daredevil and Jessica Jones), but the storyline is something adults can enjoy as well.

Hayley Atwell is such a joy to watch as Agent Carter. In the Captain America movies, she doesn’t really get a lot of chance to shine, but here she does and it’s very cool. With Jarvis as her sidekick, she kicks some butt and has some fun, all in the California sun.

Edit: I have no idea why WordPress is not posting Youtube videos the way it used to. Really annoying. I may have to move my blog to another service if they don’t get their act together, that’s all I’m saying.

Categories: Television Tags:

Workout Recommendation: Les Mills Combat

January 8, 2016 Leave a comment

This has it all: Different types of Martial Arts moves combined with Boxing and a few HIIT workouts thrown in using bodyweight and either barbells or dumbbells. I’ve done Body Combat classes at the gym before, and this absolutely has a similar feel to it. But if you’re like me and can’t make the class due to scheduling, then the Home version is the way to go because you can do it whenever you have the time and bonus: you’re not in a packed class🙂

One note though: if your workout space is carpeted, be very careful and mindful in your movement so as to not cause any torque to your knees. There can be a bit of a learning curve if you don’t have Martial Arts experience. Just take it slow at first (there is always someone doing modified moves) and you’ll get there with the jumping kicks in no time.

So my fellow fitness fiends and fanatics, keep on keeping on🙂


The Cardinal… nice to see you again :)

January 8, 2016 Leave a comment

I live in South Texas. On a normal day I can see mockingbirds (annoying little guys), woodpeckers, and even green parrots roosting on power lines. Over the past year, the El Niño phenomenon has dropped a lot of rain in the area, and basically eradicated the drought conditions we were under for the past few decades.

Now, we’re starting to see birds and other wildlife that hadn’t been around for many years. The Cardinal is one type specifically that has made its home here once again. In fact, this morning I saw a whole colony of them looking around for food. Here’s one little guy who seemed to be cool with the idea of me snapping his pic:


Their song is very pleasing as well, not like the squawking of the mockingbirds and chachalacas.

Welcome back Cardinals. We’re happy to see you🙂

Categories: Critters, Uncategorized Tags: ,

Happy Belated New Year! Here be recipes (links included))

January 7, 2016 Leave a comment

Hope your holidays were great and Sandy Clawz brought you awesome presents. Did you see the new Star Wars movie, and did you get a little weepy here and there (no I’m not going to spoil it)? I did, both times we went. Why lie, right?

Anyway, I thought I’d start out the new year with some boss recipes that I can confirm are pretty tasty and good for you if you’re on a mission to get healthy eating in gear for 2016. Enjoy🙂

Buff Dudes’ Slow Cooker Turkey Meaballs:

Kalyn’s Kitchen – Tuna Pasta salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Cucumbers

Kalyn’s Kitchen – Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with Lime and Melted Mozzarella

Pretty much anything on the Kalyn’s Kitchen website will be good for you if you’re following  a diet similar to Paleo or South Beach, or if you just want to include healthy dishes in your repertoire.

One of my resolutions is to post more often than I had been lately, so I will get on that with a quickness.

Bingewatch recommendation: The Blacklist (on Netflix)

November 10, 2015 Leave a comment


Because James Spader, that’s why.

I know this show is on Season 3 (NBC, Thursday nights 8pm CST), but I just got through Season 1 so I’m behind for now. If I had to describe it, I’d say a cross between Silence of the Lambs, all the Jack Ryan flicks, and a little Shakespeare thrown in. Spader rules in this, that’s all that is.

Nothing in this show happens without reason.

Some Zumba choreography routines that get me moving

October 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Some are taught in my classes, some are not and I learn them anyway because they’re fun. And then there are some that I have to learn 3 or 4 different routines for because all the instructors love to play them. Win win all around for me🙂

Categories: Health and Fitness Tags:

Product Review: EAS Complete Protein (your choice of flavors) and why strength training is great for women

October 5, 2015 Leave a comment

EAS Complete Vanilla Protein Powder

As women get older, our nutritional needs change. The doctor starts to say things like “you need more Vitamin this this and this. Oh and don’t eat too much salt, drink more water, and exercise.” That’s when you know that you’ve reached the dreaded “adult” stage. How am I an adult when feel like I was 12 like 2 weeks ago???

Recently I decided to incorporate more strength training into my regular routine of Zumba, Yoga, and whatever else catches my interest on a particular day. Strength training has so many benefits for women, including:

  • Lose more body fat (everyone’s favorite, right?)
  • More strength without bulk – women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy compared to men. That means that except in extreme circumstances, women won’t bulk.
  • Risk of osteoporosis decreases – This is on my mind because in my family history, some females do develop that condition. I also broke a toe not too long ago and realized that breaking things is not a remote possibility anymore
  • Athletic performance improves – I love this bit. I feel stronger in the other types of exercise I do like Yoga and more able to do the poses that require a lot of upper body strength
  • Physical strength! – Carry more of those grocery bags in with more confidence because you got strength, girl!
  • Reduce risk of injury, back pain & arthritis – I have back issues stemming from my years of running, and lifting is definitely getting my lower back stronger.
  • It’s never too late to start – Whether you’re 40, 50 or 60, it’s never too late to start

Anyway, getting into strength meant I had to change up how I ate, and in particular how much protein I consumed. To that end, it was time to select a protein powder to help get me to the levels I needed. And boy, talk about differing price points and reviews. In the end I picked the EAS Complete Protein Powder in Vanilla for a few reasons:

  1. Fairly inexpensive. 1 2-lb tub of powder comes in under 20 dollars and oftentimes there are online coupons specifically for it. And I don’t have to go all the way across town to my hoity toity vitamin store for it; it’s literally down the block from my house at my local supermarket.
  2. The vanilla flavor tastes like melted vanilla ice cream when combined with nonfat milk in a shake. I’m not kidding, that’s exactly what it tastes like.
  3. You can use the powder in tons of different recipes. I like using a scoop in the morning with my oatmeal instead of sugar. Tastes great and it’s sweetened nicely with a hint of vanilla.
  4. At 150 calories for a 2-scoop serving, it packs a 25 gram protein punch, along with other vitamins and minerals including those for bone and digestive health.

So there you go, high protein, great flavor, and a low price. Works for me🙂

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