Tag Archives: Beans

Papa McBryde Chili

Marlys loved to make her Chili Beans. I looked at that recipe, and felt it was a bit much for the first time, especially when she also had Papa McBryde’s Chili recipe. I found this recipe to be simple, easy to make, and it is scalable to half size without much work.

Papa McBryde was Marlys’s paternal grandfather.
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Papa McBryde Chili

  • 2 lb. hamburger, coarse ground
  • 2 package chili mix envelopes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 32 oz. diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 32 oz. pinto beans (optional)

Brown hamburger and onion. Add rest of ingredients. Simmer at least an hour.

In researching this recipe, it becomes apparent that it is scalable. The recipe calls for 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 packages of Chili mix powder, etc. – about two of everything except the onion and bell pepper, and those can easily be cut in half.

I used red bell pepper to try to add some visual appeal to the chili. Perhaps next time, I would use half red and half green; I think the visual component would be enhanced with a bit of green showing through.

There are a multitude of different chili powder mixes in the stores now; I chose to use the McCormick Original figuring this was probably historically the one that was available way back when. I was surprised to find that there was not much heat in the final chili product using the “original”; I would like things with just a bit more spice, and would look at the “hot” chili powder mixes next time. I am not ready to add fresh jalapenos to the recipe although that seems like an interesting option.

Although the recipe isn’t explicit about stirring the pot while it is simmering, my intuition says that anytime we simmer for an hour or more, we should stir the pot about every 10 minutes to ensure nothing has sunk to the bottom and is burning. Marlys taught me to do that when we were simmering the Mexican Soup.

While the pinto beans are shown as an option, I did include the beans in the batch of chili I made.
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And as usual, we find inflation changing the weight of the canned goods, and I found it hard to get the exact measure of hamburger. My hamburger came in packages that were more like 1 1/4 pounds, and the tomatoes were 14.5 ounces per can, and the pinto beans were 15 ounces per can. So we don’t exactly duplicate the recipe, but we do the best we can without being foolish.

8 Layer Dip

This dip has a Mexican taste; it starts with Beans, contains Avocado, and ends with with Salsa, and we suggest serving it with Corn Chips. It is big in size, and your problem might be finding a dish on which to assemble it. I would suggest a 12 inch platter as a starting point. And it is bold, with lots of opportunity for spicing it up.
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I purposely built my version of the dip in a pyramid so that the different layers would show; that is not necessary, and you should bring each layer out to the edge of the serving platter. A lot goes into the dip, and you need all the surface you can use for each layer.
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8 Layer Dip

  • 3 Avacados
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cans bean dip or 16 oz refried beans
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (4-6 oz.) can sliced ripe olives
  • Salsa

Mash avacados with lemon juice, salt and pepper
(You may use commercial guacomole instead.)

Assemble in layers on a large round or oblong dish:

  • spread bean dip
  • Avocado mixture
  • sour cream
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • cheese
  • salsa

Serve with corn chips for dipping


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I made my version of the dip with the bean dip that is usually in the aisle with the chips; I feel the dip could use a little more spice at that level, and might try one of the refried beans that are sauced up to medium instead of mild. You could also add a little spice in the guacamole (Avocado mixture) with a couple shakes of hot sauce. The sour cream acts to cool the hot tastes down, but if your crowd isn’t into spicy food, you can do just as well with the recipe as given. The only heat I detected in my version was in the salsa.

Mexican Salad

PicMonkey Collage
Here is a salad that is a meal in itself! It has good tastes of Mexico, with avocado, tomato, ripe olives, and corn chips. You will need to add nothing in order to have a full meal, either for the gang, or for the solo self.

The first time I made this salad was for a pot-luck lunch; I finished adding the corn chips and dressing and tossing the salad to get the flavors all the way through it. I left for a few minutes, and when I came back, it was all gone- however most of the casseroles that had been brought still were available. That demonstrates how good the salad is, and how well-liked it is as a meal.

You will want a large bowl in which to combine all the ingredients. I use a container that is about 50 cups- and it is over half full when I start tossing the ingredients to get them all mixed. The large size of the container ensures that pieces of the salad are not escaping when I toss it with extra vigor.

Mexican Salad

( Evelyn Sheehan, 1975)

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avacado
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 can (16 oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup black ripe olives, sliced
  • 1 bag Fritos (11 oz) broken up
  • 1 bottle Kraft Catalina salad dressing

Brown and drain the beef.

Cut up and put in large bowl the lettuce, tomatoes, avacado and onion. Add beans, cheese, olives, the drained meat and Fritos. Toss all with Kraft Catalina dressing. Serve with hot salsa if desired.


When processing the tomatoes, I seed and juice them before chopping them for the salad.

If you plan to have some of the salad left over for another time, then I recommend NOT putting the corn chips and dressing on the salad when you make it, but instead, adding the chips and dressing after the salad is plated. The salad is good for a couple days, but the dressing will speed the welting process, and the chips will get soggy and not provide their crunch.

It seems as if nothing stays the same in the marketplace; there once was only one type of Frito corn chips- now there are multiple variations. I get what is known as the Original. And inflation has reduced the size of the package from the 11 ounces it once was to 10 ¼ ounces. I forgot to check, but I suspect the 16 oz. can of beans is now less than that amount, too.

Likewise, the single kind of Kraft Catalina dressing has expanded into multiple varieties; I get what is now known as Kraft Catalina Classic Anything Dressing.

Mexican Soup

Mexican soupThis has been our go-to soup for several years. It is where Marlys slowly taught me about cooking. I started as the carrot-peeler and the can-opener, but then slowly got to the place where I was chopping and dicing all the fresh components, and then finally making the soup by myself.

The trick is to do all the slicing and dicing before you turn on the heat and brown the meat; it takes time. I use two large dinner plates- one for the onion, garlic, jalapenos and taco sauce, and one for the carrots. I don’t peel and chop the potatoes until after I have slid the content of the first plate into the soup pot. I salt and pepper the fresh components while they are on the dinner plates. While the recipe says the carrots are chopped into ¼ inch rounds, you may need to make those half-circles or even 1/4-circles; you don’t have much control over how fat the carrots are. The original intent was to have the rounds about the size of a nickel or quarter, but thicker.

Marlys had a thing about kidney beans, and so we went to the pinto beans. Actually, I think you could even use black beans or any other if you have a favorite.

For rice, I have used brown rice.

I no longer measure the hot water; I fill a tea-kettle when I start cooking and turn it on to boil. Then, when the time comes to add the hot water, I fill the soup pot to about 1 ½ inches from the top. Be certain the water is hot, or you will be struggling with getting the boil back.

While the soup is simmering, I set a timer and go back every 10 minutes to check on it, and give it a stir to make certain nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pot where it could burn.

Mexican Soup

  • 3 Tablespoons oil (we use olive oil)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lb.s ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded, de-veined, and diced
  • 1 package (4 Tablespoons) Taco Seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 2 or 3 carrots, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (~22 oz.)
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 1-2 large potato, 1/2′ dice (~ 22 oz.)
  • salt and pepper to taste*
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) garbonza beans
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) kidney beans (or pinto beans)
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) corn
  • 1 can (~16 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup rice

In a large Dutch Oven or soup pot, brown the meat in the oil.
Continue to saute and add the onion, garlic, jalapenos and Taco Seasoning mix. Add salt and pepper.
When onion is opaque, continue saute-ing and add carrots. Re-season with salt and pepper. When carrots start to wilt, Add potato and again re-season with salt and pepper. When potato starts to turn translucent, add the canned ingredients with their liquid- both beans, corn, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add hot water, cover and bring all to a boil. Then add the rice. Reduce to a simmer and cook at least one hour covered to blend flavors. Check occasionally and add more water if it is too thick.

* Each of these times, I am adding about 2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper
A soup cup (about 14 oz.) is about 242 calories.