Refried Beans w/Homemade Tortilla Chips
We went to the most beautiful wedding in Los Osos, CA. I'd never heard of the city, but it turns out it's a cute little town in the southern part of Morro Bay. The bride & groom had fond memories of the area and picked that destination for their nuptials. They were very kind and invited all guests that came the night before the wedding day to their rehearsal dinner!
The rehearsal was at Mexican restaurant called La Palapa. I loved the food there! I especially liked the refried beans. I asked the waiter if it had lard in it because it was so tasty and creamy and he informed me, no lard, but they use a different bean called Peruano...Peru Beans. I'm not sure why they call it Peru since it comes from Mexico. These are creamier than Pinto Beans and make delicious Frijoles Refrito! He told me that I could buy them at the local Ralph's, so I was on a mission to find these new beans. I was able to find them in the bulk bin and bought about 4 lbs :o) As a bonus I was able to buy Pinquito Beans too, they are the ones that are traditionally served with Tri-Tip and are hard to find in Los Angeles.
It's much cheaper to buy Peruano beans locally, if you can find them, but I also found a couple of websites that sells them...
My Jalapeno Plant :o)
I decided to grow jalapenos, I love my new plant! Behind it is the basil my girlfriend bought for me a few months ago, I had made pesto with it in a previous post. I almost killed it, but I was able to revive it...love when I could do that!
My Beautiful Jalapenos ;o)
Cilantro & Parsley
I'm getting a green thumb in our small outdoor space :o)
They have a yellowish tinge to them...
Frying the Jalapenos...
It's easier and faster than roasting them if you have the oil available ;o)
Nice & Blistered...
Cooking the Beans w/Bay Leaf, Onion & Garlic
After soaking the beans overnight or at least 6 hours, they need to be cooked without salt (it toughens the beans if you add salt) for at least another hour or until they are soft. I usually don't add anything to it at this stage, but this time I decided to add an onion, bay leaf & garlic, I didn't like the results, it added an odd flavor.
Sauteeing Onions, Garlic & Jalapenos
After cooking the beans for an hour I add this saute mixture to it w/seasonings and cook it for about another 20 mins to meld the flavors. I like for the liquid to get a little thick, but add more water if it gets too dry.
After the beans have finished cooking, I transfer it to a fry pan and add bacon drippings to it. I try to leave some of the liquid behind.
Mashing the Beans...
As it heats I mash the beans and add more liquid if it seems too dry. I like to keep it a little lumpy. I love my bean masher! It doesn't have holes in it like a potato masher, so it seems like it's easier to mash the beans. It's called a Machacador and I was able to purchase it here.
Peruano Frijoles Refritos
I fried the tortilla chips with corn tortillas and then sprinkled it with Mexican Seasoning.
The wedding theme was Beach and Sand Castles, they even went to Tahiti for their Honeymoon :o) This cake was so beautiful and all edible!
Los Osos, CA
The view for the wedding ceremony. It was a very intimate and casual affair, I loved it! It was outdoors on the grass and they had the chairs assembled in a circle around the bride & groom. They got the idea of circling the chairs from mine & Hubby's wedding 11 years ago :o) It's nice setting the chairs that way, everybody gets a great view of the ceremony!
Los Osos, CA
Los Osos, CA
La Palapa Mexican Restaurant
This is a family owned placed. The waiter I talked to about the refried beans turned out to be one of the family members. They really pay attention to the small details. They make their tortillas, both corn & flour! We stayed next door at the Bay Wood Inn where breakfast is included. They give you choices to several restaurants to go to, La Palapa serves breakfast on the weekends. They serve both American & Mexican food in the morning. I'm not sure why you'd go to a Mexican restaurant to order an American breakfast, but the table next to us was up for that...lol I had an awesome Chile Verde Omelette and Hubby had the Chilaquiles. They even grow their own Epazote Herb for the chilaquiles!
Los Osos Mural
Mural painted on the side of a building...
The Merrimaker Bar
We had some time to spare before the rehearsal dinner, so we decided to walk around the town. The main area is less than a half mile stretch :o) We poked our heads in to the Merrimaker Bar and decided to get a cocktail, err drink. It has a very interesting "local color"...we were there at 5pm on Fri night and there were only a few seats open at the bar. We normally would order Martinis or Manhattans, but at a place like this we just order "Bombay On The Rocks", you can't mess up something like that, unless they add a squeeze of lime juice to it..which they did ;o)
Inside, we met a couple of the locals. It first started with a woman accusing us of moving her stuff over and stealing her seat...lol She had more than a couple of drinks, I told her we swear we didn't move her stuff over and Hubby just wanted to sit next to her. She replies, "You are full of S*&% and I mean that in a good way." Hilarious! Then we had some more incoherent conversation with her. The man on my other side heard we were going to La Palapa and he gave us the tip that the Chile Verde was really good, even better than what his deceased father used to make ;o) I love conversations like this! You can get a lot of info in 30 mins.
I found the funniest thing about the place later that night. I was looking on Yelp (I have a love/hate relationship with Yelp;o) and looked up the Merrimaker, it kept mentioning that if you looked up Dive Bar on Wiki you would find the Merrimaker, I thought it was a joke, but it's not...lol I'm easily entertained ;o)
Montana de Oro
Everybody kept telling us that we should drive to Montana de Oro and take in the view. We didn't regret it, it's breathtaking! It's just a few miles from Los Osos.
Montana de Oro
Big Fat Squirrel @ Morro Bay
My friend warned me of the overstuffed squirrels around Morro Bay, she wasn't kidding...lol
Noisy Bird @Morro Bay
I think this bird was looking for his Mommy, he wouldn't quit squawking...lol
Adorable Otters @Morro Bay
I loved these otters, I could have spent hours watching them. With Hubby's long lens and lens extender I was able to get these great close-ups of all the fun!