Archive for Product Review

Black Bean Burritos – Bush’s Cocina Latina

bush's cocina latina

Denise is always getting on my case about being too ‘fancy’ and laughing at me for making sauces, rubs and dressing from scratch. Well, here’s one for you that came right out of a can. Who says I don’t know how to rough it?!

bush's cocina latina

This summer I saw this product (Bush’s Cocina Latina) on my grocery store shelves. It was new, looked intriguing, so I thought I’d try it. When I was a teenager and would eat dinner with friends at one of those order by number Mexican restaurants (El Azteca in Sandy Springs ring a bell for any of you?), I used to think the refried beans looked like dog food.  In fact, I’m sure I tormented my friends who actually ate them, sorry about that. As a grown up, I have determined mashed beans are actually pretty good.  This is a great way to eat them and have the family enjoy a yummy, quick, super cheap dinner!

bush's cocina latina

Level of Difficulty: Easy – ri-donk-ulously easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10min; Cook Time – 20 min

Ingredients for 6 burritos:

1 can Bush’s Cocina Latina Frijoles Negros Machacados (the pinto beans one is great too).

6 Tortillas

Salsa

Mexican Cheese

Jalapenos, diced (optional)

Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt

Fresh tomatoes

Fresh avocados

How to make black bean burritos:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a few tablespoons of the salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish and move it around until the bottom is lightly covered (to help prevent the tortillas from sticking). Open the can of black beans and spoon 2-3 heaping tablespoons into the center of a tortilla. Top with some fresh jalapenos if you like and add a tablespoon of salsa on top.

Wrap up the tortilla by folding over one long side, then the bottom, then the other side and then the top. Place it seam side down in the baking dish on top of the salsa. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

Top with some additional salsa and some cheese (however much you like). Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until hot and cheese is bubbly.

Place on plate and top with fresh tomatoes, fresh avocado and sour cream (or whatever parts you like).

Ta Da!! How’s that for great dorm room food!

Well done! I’m very impressed!! – Denise

Indian Spice Tin

I can’t believe how popular the Indian Spice Tin has become! Many of you have reached out to us asking where you can get one. Well, we made it easy for you! Click here and you will be directed to the Amazon page that has it! It’s just two a few clicks away AND it’s being sold on Amazon Prime so you can have it in just two days!! Fill yours with whatever spices you use most often. I can’t wait to use mine!

Indican Spice Tin

Featured Product: Food Processor

cuisinart food processor

In our recipe posts, we have a section called “special equipment” where there is a tool or appliance needed in order to make a recipe that is not something everyone already has. However, we never really told you why you need that item or why we recommend that specific model. We thought we would start a series on a “Featured Product” about once a month to go into detail about some of our favorite “must have” items so you have a better understanding as to why we are recommending them.

This month, our Featured Product is a Food Processor.

Uses for a Food Processor

There are many other tools that can do what a food processor can do, but there is not another tool that can do ALL what a food processor can do, especially in something so compact and so inexpensive and works so quickly.

A food processor is essential to finely chopping or shredding food and it can save you hours of prep time. When you have a block of cheese you need to shred, you essentially have two choices: 1) a hand held cheese grater or 2) a food processor. If you have ever shredded more than a cup of cheese by hand, my guess is that you now have a food processor!

But food processors do so much more than shred cheese. In fact, they do so much more than shred anything! Generally, a food processor comes with multiple blades for: Shredding, Slicing, Chopping, Mixing, and Making Dough. All of these tasks for some recipes could take you a long time to complete or multiple gadgets. A food processor does it with a quick push of a button.

Best Food Processor

CUISINART !! There are several manufacturers of food processors out there, but our favorite is Cuisinart. They were one of the first ones to market with this appliance and their name is often used interchangeably for a food processor even though they now make many other appliances too.

Here are some of our favorite features of a Cuisinart food processor:

  • Comes with multiple blade attachments for chopping, mixing, making dough,  shredding and slicing (these come with it – not sold separately)
  • Great warranty on the product but we doubt you’ll ever need it. These things are like the Energizer bunny of appliances. Melissa’s mom used hers constantly for over 25 years before she finally got a new one.
  • BPA free work bowls
  • Compact size stores easily
  • Comes in many sizes and colors. We find the 7 cup DLC-10S to be more than sufficient for our needs but if you like bigger – go bigger!

Food Processor Recipes

Below are some of our favorite recipes that require the use of a food processor:

Delicious Homemade Chimichurri Sauce

Delicious and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Benihana’s Salad Dressing

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto

Buy a Food Processor

If you don’t already own a food processor, check out this one from Amazon.com which is  a really great deal. Buy one today if you don’t have one already or don’t like the one you do have. If you purchase through the link below, you support McNack’s too!

What is a Superfood? Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Kit

What is a Superfood

On a recent trip to Costco, I found a new vegetable salad kit that looked delicious. On the package, it stated that it contains 7 Superfoods. Evidently, being friends with Melissa has rubbed off on me. I actually wanted to know what a Superfood was, so I googled it. According to www.wisegeek.org, a Superfood is “a food rich in phytochemicals, which are special chemicals that have been noted to have disease-fighting properties. Phytochemicals can reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, or in some other way contribute to a person being healthier. When foods are high in these phytochemicals, they may be eaten not only because they taste good, but because they are good for the health too.”

The salad contains broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, and roasted pumpkin seeds. It is served with poppyseed dressing and is delicious!!! Give it a try!

What is a Superfood

Mashed Potatoes without lumps – the perfect tool

Mashed Potatoes

Sounds impossible, right? How can you make mashed potatoes without mashing them? And if you don’t peel the potatoes, won’t they be lumpy? Well, if you have problems always making your potatoes smooth and creamy, maybe investing a few bucks in one of these potato ricers is a good idea.

This little gadget allows you to quickly and easily mash the potato in one easy movement into small rice like pieces that will never create a lump. And the real plus is that you don’t have to peel the potato first. When you put the whole, unpeeled potato into the ricer, only the ‘meat’ of the potato comes out. All the skin is left inside where you can quickly scrape it out.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – about 30 minutes; Final Prep – 10 minutes

Ingredients:

5lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
about 1 cup chicken broth
about 1 cup dairy (heavy cream, 1/2&1/2, whole milk, 2%, skim – your choice – the heavier the dairy, the creamier, richer and more fattening the potatoes)
3 T butter and/or any of the following (sour cream, plain greek yogurt, mayonnaise)
Salt and Pepper

I use about 2T butter, 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup skim milk so that they are light. If I’m having guests, I usually make them a little creamier.

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Ricer – to ensure lump free potatoes every time

How to make mashed potatoes without lumps:

Wash potatoes, place in large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 T salt to the water. Turn on high and bring to a boil. Let boil until the potatoes are done (when a fork is easily inserted through the potato).

mashed potato recipe

While potatoes are cooking, heat up your dairy selection and the chicken broth until warm. Doing this will help ensure your potatoes don’t get gummy.

When potatoes are done, drain. Insert 1 or 2 depending on size into the ricer and squeeze until all potato is squeezed out. Open the ricer, scrape out the peel and repeat for remaining potatoes.

How to make mashed potatoes

Potatoes in the ricer

 

Mashed potatoes recipe

Lump-free potatoes emerging from the ricer

How to make mashed potatoes

Riced potatoes

When all the potatoes are riced, add the butter and about 1/2 of your warmed, liquid ingredients. Stir to incorporate. Add remaining liquid ingredients to achieve the consistency you want. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Mashed Potatoes

Top 4 Tips to Perfect Mashed Potatoes:

1 – Start with Yukon Gold Potatoes – these are my favorite to mash and their golden color makes you feel like you are eating potatoes filled with butter even though you are not
2 – Use a ricer for lump-free potatoes and to save you the time of having to peel the potatoes
3 – Cook the potatoes starting in cold water, don’t add raw potatoes to already boiling water
4 – Warm your liquid ingredients before adding them to your potatoes so they don’t get sticky

Variations to Mashed Potatoes:

Add other yummy ingredients to your potatoes. Wasabi, horseradish, roasted garlic, cheese all go well in mashed potatoes.

Try different dairy ingredients. I love Fage 0% Greek Yogurt. My brother-in-law, David, loves adding mayonnaise. Play around to find the combination that tastes just right to you.

If you’ve never done mashed potatoes this way, let me know what you think. What are your favorite ingredients to add to your mashed potatoes?