I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here before, but we’ve been incorporating more beans into our menu plans. I just can’t get enough of them. I’ve wanted to try the lovely Elly’s recipe forever now, as anyone who has ever made them raves and raves. After finally getting around to making them, I can see why. Creamy and delicious, with a huge punch of flavor from the seasonings. And, the kicker? They only took 20 minutes! You’d swear they’d been cooking all day…

I thought about doubling the recipe, but it was just enough for all of us to have with supper as well as a couple spoonfuls for another plate of leftovers. Next time I probably will, as I would like to enjoy them on top of some rice for a lunch or two during the week. It’s the perfect side dish for any Tex-Mex that comes out of your kitchen. I’d been in kind of a rut with Spanish rice, but it’s nice to have something new to switch things up with. Will definitely be making this one again and again. World famous, indeed!

In my opinion, one of the best “bang for your buck” cuts of meat is the Boston butt. I’m not sure why they call it a butt, when really it’s a shoulder – one of the many mysteries of cookery. You can usually find one for under $10, and I find that we will get countless meals from it. My go-to way to prepare it was always in the slow cooker, with a ton of BBQ sauce. Which, I love. But, after trying it slow roasted in the oven with lots of Mexican spices…I have a new favorite go-to recipe for this budget friendly cut. The final crisping stage of the pork really seals in the flavor. One shoulder yields a ton of meat. I’ll usually plan for burritos or quesadillas one night, and then tacos later in the week. Would be great on nachos too. Perfect for your table on Super Bowl Sunday!

We don’t go out to eat that often, but when we do, we usually go to the local Mexican joint down the road. Our favorite place closed last year. The friendliest family ran it. They were always so great with Andrew, the food was always good – we just loved them. They moved on to another part of the country to start a new venture, and left me with no Mexican eats locally (outside of my home, of course) for about 6 months. In desperation one day, I browsed Mexican restaurants in our vicinity on Yelp. To my surprise, one turned up in a town nearby – a nice 30 minute drive on the back roads. I must admit I was leery, as Crisfield is known primarily for it’s seafood (blue crabs, oysters, etc). I wondered how good could this place be? I’d never heard of it. But, like I said, I was desperate. So, one night, we ventured up.

We were blown away with the dinner we got at that little hole in the wall place. The proprietor/chef hails from South America, so there are lots of great Latin options – as well as traditional Tex Mex fair. While a new place has opened up closer by, we still try to make the trip to Mi Pueblito whenever we can. My favorite thing on the menu is the black bean soup. So simple, yet so flavorful and filling. Nice and smoky from the ham hock, and rich silkiness that only black beans can lend.I always devour the whole bowl, then have very little room for dinner. I made a batch last weekend at home in an effort to recreate their version, and it is right on point. As with other soups, it was even better the second day for lunch. The pico de gallo on top is optional, but highly recommended. It adds a great pop of color and flavor!

Huevos Rancheros is one of my husband’s favorite things to order at our local Mexican restaurant. Much to his dismay, it’s only available on the lunch menu. We eat so much tex-mex at home, I figured it was about time I gave this classic peasant dish a shot. I had picked some up chorizo at the grocery store last week – so I went ahead and worked it into the recipe. The fat that rendered off the sausage was perfect for cooking the onions – wafting porky goodness throughout the entire dish.

A pretty easy breakfast to throw together on a weekend morning. And, it surely mixes up the pancakes and sausage routine. Also makes for a wonderfully easy dinner, as most folks already have these items on hand. Try this soon!