RECIPE | Homemade Refried Beans... in the Instant Pot

A couple weeks ago I shared in this post and on episode 25 of our podcast, that I was testing out batch of homemade refried beans (vegan & gluten free) in our new favorite kitchen addition, the Instant Pot. I was *almost* successful that night, but wanted another run through before sharing with you. 

The first time around, they tasted great, they were a bit dense because I underestimated how much they would thicken up. The second run though was much better and I'm happy to report that we have a nice stash of these delicious homemade refried beans in our freezer. The recipe is for the Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker), but you could adjust for the stove top or slow cooker - the great thing with the Instant Pot is cooking time is dramatically reduced and in an hour, we went from dried to delicious refried beans. 




  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans - sorted and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno - seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro - stems and leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 9 cups of water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste



  1. Rinse and sort beans and set aside. 
  2. Set Instant Pot on the saute setting. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, add onions and sautee for 5-10 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno and roughly chopped cilantro stems. Saute another 3-5 minutes until aromatic. Mix in cayenne, chili powder, cumin, beans and water. 
  4. Cover and set Instant Pot on Bean/Chili Setting for 35 minutes - unplug when time is up. After 10 minutes, release remaining pressure. Check beans to make sure they're tender at this point - if they're not, close it back up and set for another 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Heat a large pan over medium/high heat and add remaining 1/4 cup coconut oil. 
  6. Strain beans (reserving liquid - you'll need this later), add to hot pan with oil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring as needed to keep from sticking to the pan. 
  7. Begin alternating adding liquid (more to begin with) and mashing beans (I use an immersion blender, but a potato masher will work, too) until you reach the desired consistency - we like ours to have just a bit of texture, so we don't blend completely smooth. 
  8. Add salt to taste and mix in lime juice (you can microwave a the lime for 30 seconds and get a lot more juice with little effort). 

Garnish as you like (queso fresco and cilantro is a favorite at our house) and enjoy! 


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Inspiration | Making Time

As I look back through the last few months of blog posts, it seems as though I haven't had a lot to say, but it's actually quite the opposite. Unfortunately, the winter months are extra busy for me because that's when we (knitters) knit (a lot), so that means that things are chaotic at the shop as I play the endless game of catch-up to avoid ending up buried in what I refer to as my "box fort" of deliveries and keep up on shop/class samples. I've been trying hard to find time to make time for the things that make me slow down and feel less frantic, so I've been trying to cook, knit (shocking, right?), sew, spin a little and read more.

Sometimes, it happens...

This basket of loveliness came home with me last weekend because I needed some inspiration to make that creative time for myself and it did the trick - it was also just really pretty to look at. Art Gallery Fabrics is a recent addition at Firefly Fibers and this cotton has several plans in its future (more to come on that soon) and the yarn is going to be swatched for potential projects (more to come on those soon, too).This is some secret knitting for the next Knitalong and I've really been enjoying it - other than the knitting in secret part because I really would prefer to share. Really, I don't like keeping secrets. 

I'm sneaking in a bit of secret knitting before heading to @fireflyfibers for the day. #secretknitting #wishicouldsharebuticant #knittersofinstagram #igknitters #fireflyfibers

I've also been spending more time in the kitchen... If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you're probably aware that I cook a lot and may have noticed that my diet has changed over the last few months. Last summer, I spent a fair amount of time not feeling well and missed time with family and simply enjoying life because of it. We're still working on a diagnosis, but I'm now eating gluten free and feeling much better.

This change has been a lot of work and has meant that I'm spending even more time in the kitchen because eating out is no longer a simple task, thankfully I LOVE cooking and my family has been so very supportive! I'm lucky to have wonderful friends that have shared some great resources and tips with me and, because of them, I've added some great cookbooks to my collection:

Sometimes a few new cookbooks are a well-deserved treat. #makingourselves #glutenfree #againstallgrain #homecooking #paleoThese 3 are my newest additions and I'll share more on these and a couple of my other faves soon. Rest assured that my new cookbooks are getting a good workout.

And of course, we need an update on these guys...

The brothers hanging out... #gsd #husky #rescue #humanesociety #adopted #dogslife #dogsofinstagram

Logan and Rollo are both doing well and Rollo is settling in nicely after 6 months with our family. We still have moments, but those moments could be adjusting or just the nature of a husky. Lol!

Hubby is in Arizona for the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training - lucky - and the weather is gorgeous there. This is what we've woken up to twice this week in Wisconsin and it's not quite the same, but spring will come. I'm trying to remain optimistic.

Good morning from snowy Wisconsin! The boys are excited about the weather, I'm ready for spring. #winter #isitoveryet #snow #gsd #pawprint #dogsofinstagramI woke up this morning and opened my birthday package from my dear cousin - it's always a little like Christmas when her gifts arrive. This year, she kindly tucked in this photo that she found when cleaning out my grandparent's house. Talk about making a lady feel old. LOL! So... here I am, 39 years ago...


To celebrate, I wound yarn for Very Shannon's Gilmore Girls Knit Along and this project will be for me! *squee* It's Friday morning Open Knitting and the shop is buzzing with the chatter of knitters, so I've successfully negotiated with the "boss" and I'm off to cast on!


In the Kitchen | Apple Pecan Cobbler

Winter has arrived and the boys enjoyed playing in the fresh snow this morning.

Rollo Logan Jan 010415

We've all adjusted nicely with our new addition and Rollo seems to have settled into life as part of our family - he's a bit bullheaded at times, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for a husky and it usually makes us giggle when we're trying to reprimand him.

IMG_20150104_113923We survived the holidays and I finished my knitted projects just in time. I would love to share the photos I took of the 6 hats I knit, but sadly they were all lost due to a faulty SD card, with one super cute exception:

Apple Pie Rollo

Things have been a whirlwind since the holidays - prepping for the Firefly Fibers Winter KAL & 2015 Sweater Club, we've also added a Sock of the Month at the shop and this month's yarn from Renee of Spun Right Round is pretty fabulous (and queued up for tonight's knitting).

PicsArt_1420407094070And... some of the ladies at the shop collaborated on a KAL - A Year of Washcloths. It's sure to be great fun with a new washcloth design each month selected by one of the shop knitters - anyone can join the fun over on our Ravelry thread here. Mr. Yarnista even got his own Raverly account because he was challenged by one of the shop knitters - he's BigMikeMike and you should add him to your Ravelry friends.

I've been under the weather for the last few days, but today I started feeling better (thanks to 12 hours of sleep last night) and this morning I was able to spend some time in the kitchen. Back in November, the lovely and talented Julie Asselin posted a recipe for her Apple Pecan Cobbler. As luck would have it, our last CSA delivery included some gorgeous apples, but things got busy and I didn't get to make it. Thankfully the apples held out long enough and this morning we had Apple Pecan Cobbler for breakfast...


Of course, everything is better with fresh whipped cream...

APCI did leave the skins on the apples and adapted for a gluten-free version with GF oats and substituting GF flour, otherwise I followed Julie's recipe exactly and it was SO delicious!

Speaking of delicious... remember this?

Pho AY

Last winter I made Vietnamese Pho broth from scratch and made a huge batch to freeze leftovers. Tonight, we're enjoying the fruits of that day's labor for supper and I can't wait!


PS - If you're waiting for my new Knitalong, stay tuned... I'll be posting in the VERY near future!