What’s For a Side Dish? Refried Beans!

Okay. Here’s the recipe I used in my crazy bean adventure. The original recipe calls for fresh onion (which is what I used), but to make this completely food storage friendly you could use dried minced onion, or dehydrated onion dices as well.

Homemade Refried Beans

Download Printable Version

  • 1 cup pinto beans, already soaked overnight
  • 1/4 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • pinch of cumin
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, into a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Check the level of the water occasionally to make sure no beans are cooking out of water. If so, add more hot water to cover.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain the desired consistency.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the beans to the oil and saute them up a bit (this is the refried part). Serve as a side dish or use in any of your yummy dishes that call for refried beans.

Two variations I want to try on this are to use half black beans and half pinto beans, and also adding some canned green chilies. Sounds awesome.
Also, a tip I’ve read… you can make a big batch of beans and then freeze the leftovers to use at a later date. That way you don’t have to start the whole process over again the next time you need some beans! Woohoo! 😀

Adapted from Refried Beans Without the Refry

Shop Taste of Home (Readers Digest)


What’s To Eat? Easy Dinner Rolls!

*Don’t forget this weeks’ GIVEAWAY {GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED} for food storage BROWNIES! Check out last Friday’s post to enter.*

Okay… No joking… These are the BEST dinner rolls ever. I made them this past week and my husband could NOT believe they were from scratch. And not only are they soft, moist, delicious and succulent, but they are 100% shelf stable friendly ingredients! Food Storage never tasted so good! Mmm-Mm! You may want to go ahead and just commit this recipe to memory… you’re gonna want it there! 🙂 Anyway, these would be great at any family gathering during this holiday season, so eat up and ENJOY!!

{P.S. I can’t believe no one ever complained about an error I found in this recipe! I originally typed it in as 1 Tbsp of salt, but it’s only supposed to be 1 teaspoon!! So if you have tried these and thought they were way too salty… that would be why! 🙂 It is now corrected. Sorry for any salt-attacks I may have caused anyone. :)}

Easy Dinner Rolls


  • 1 cup, plus 3 Tbsp warm water (almost hot)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (can use half whole wheat flour)
  • 1 egg (2 Tbsp egg powder + 3½ Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the water, oil, sugar, and yeast until well combined. Cover and let it rest and rise for 15 minutes. (Side note: If using a KitchenAid/stand mixer to make these, you’ll want to use your dough hook. However, for this first step just give it a good stir with a whisk instead.)
  2. Add about two cups of the flour, the egg and the salt. Mix it up. Start adding the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time and continue to mix well. The trick to getting light, fluffy rolls (as always with bread dough) is to get the dough just to the tacky point. If you don’t use the full amount of flour, that’s okay. You just want to be able to touch the dough with your finger and have it stick a little, but not too much. (I don’t like to use the guideline of ‘when the bread starts pulling away from the side of the bowl’ because usually by that point I’ve added too much flour.) So let the stickiness be your guide.
  3. Leave the dough in your bowl/mixer, cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. (You can shorten this to about 10 minutes if you’re in a rush, but 30 minutes is better.)
  4. Spray two 8×8 square pans with non-stick cooking spray. (And go ahead and get your oven preheating to 375 ºF now too.)
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly greased surface (I like to spray my surface with non-stick spray) and knead it a few times. (Remember, if it’s a little sticky, that’s okay! It may make it a little harder to work with, but you’ll appreciate the end results!) Just add a little extra flour to your kneading if desperately needed.
  6. Using a sharp knife (which I also spray with non-stick spray), cut the dough into approximately 18 equal pieces. (Cut the dough in half, then cut each half into three pieces, and cut each of those into three pieces.) Shape each segment into a little ball by tucking the end pieces under (they don’t have to look super pretty or anything, but just try to get the top smooth) and place into your prepared baking pans (9 rolls to a pan). Cover each pan and let the dough rise again for roughly another 30 minutes until about doubled in size.
  7. Bake at 375 ºF for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve with butter and/or honey! De-lish!

Shop Taste of Home (Readers Digest)

What’s For Thanksgiving Dinner? Sweet Potato Bake!

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law. It is absolutely de.li.cious! I had it for the first time last year at our family Thanksgiving and just about melted. It’s almost more of a dessert than a side dish, but *shhh!* It will be our secret! 🙂

Sweet Potato Bake

Download Printable Version

  • 1 large can (29 oz) sweet potatoes, drained
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter (4 Tbsp)
  • 2 eggs (4 Tbsp egg powder + ½ cup water)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (recommended: pecans or walnuts)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish and spread evenly.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar and flour for the topping. Add the butter and mix until evenly combined. Then stir in the nuts. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Enjoy!

P.S. This recipe is for ‘With Electricity’ because of the butter (unless you have Butter Powder or canned butter).

Update: I got to make this dish for Thanksgiving this year, and I happened to have about a cup of canned pumpkin sitting in my fridge, so I threw that in there as well. It turned out delicious. I’m sure you could fiddle with some pumpkin pie spice to throw in there as well and give it a little ‘something extra’. 🙂 But it’s a tasty dish any way you serve it!

What’s For Dinner? Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Ever since I learned about Quinoa I’ve been looking for some good recipes that incorporate it. Really you can use Quinoa just about anywhere you would use rice or couscous. However, I wanted some recipes that really made it shine. This is a good one. It’s so light and refreshing. I’ve listed it as a dinner, but you could easily use it as a lunch and I also love to eat it just as a snack throughout the day! It doesn’t get much more healthy than this, so eat guilt-free to your heart’s content!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup of Quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • juice from 3 limes (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (or ground chipotle chili powder)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (or 4 cloves, minced)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grilled chicken tenders, about 2 per person (optional)

Optional Ingredients From The Garden:

  • 1-2 bell peppers (any color of your choice), diced
  • half a red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro


  1. In small pot, combine the quinoa, water, bouillon, and salt. Bring to a simmer and then turn heat to low and allow to cook for roughly 30 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Fluff lightly with a fork and allow to cool.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Whisk together.
  3. In another bowl, combine the black beans, corn, and any of the garden items you have available. (They’re optional because this is a shelf stable meal without them. But if you can get/grow them, they add a whole lot to the dish! So try not to omit them.)
  4. After the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the black bean mixture. Pour the dressing over the top and mix it in thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  6. Optional addition: You can also add some grilled chicken to top this off beautifully. However, since quinoa is a complete protein on its own, you don’t need the chicken for protein purposes. It would only be for the sheer pleasure of your palate. 🙂 I like to add the chicken… especially if I’m serving this as the main course. 🙂 If you’re using this in a time when you’re living off your food supply, you could also just use canned chicken. Just saute it up with some grilling seasoning first. Enjoy!