baked black bean flautas

baked back bean flautasThis time of year the crunchy black bean taco post always receives a surge of traffic. It is one of PPJ’s most popular food posts in general, come Cinco de Mayo it is the most popular food post.

A few weeks ago I felt the urge to switch it up a bit. Keeping the recipe ingredients exactly the same yet transforming the end result. Meet black bean flautas. Baked black bean flautas.

baked back bean flautas baked back bean flautasIt took a few tries to figure how to get the crunchy bite of a flauta without deep frying them. Broiling them at the end really helps crisp up the top of the flautas, while baking them on a wire rack first keeps them from steaming underneath.

baked back bean flautas baked back bean flautasWe make the crunchy black bean tacos often in this home so the kids were a tad confused with these “tubes” that supposedly tasted like the tacos they knew. Of course one bite and they were on board. Especially liking the dipping factor that comes with the flautas.

Have you ever seen anything cuter eating a flauta? I say no.

baked back bean flautasThis would be a wonderful, healthy meal to add to your dinner roster. Especially fun for Cinco de Mayo next week!


Brandy J



baked back bean flautas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 fautas
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cans of black beans drained and rinsed
  • ¼cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeño finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp paprika (I use smoked)
  • 2tbsp minced cilantro
  • juice of a ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Lime wedges, salsa, gauc or creamy cilantro for dipping (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven 425F. Top a baking sheet with a wire rack.
  2. Place a damp paper towel inside of a large skillet fitted with a lid. Set aside. Place a small skillet on stove over medium high heat. Put a little oil in and heat each side of corn tortilla for about 10 to 15 seconds, one at a time. Place tortilla in skillet with damp paper towel and place lid on top. This will keep the shells moist and able to roll without cracking.
  3. Place beans, onion, jalapeño, garlic, spices, cilantro and lime in a medium bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork till it all comes together. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place a "line" of black bean mixture in center of tortilla. Place a little cheese on top. Roll and place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remains tortilla shells. Brush all with a little oil.
  5. Place flautas in oven for 15 minutes. Turn the broiler on and crisp up the tops (should only take a couple of minutes. Serve immediately with lime wedges and salsa, guacamole or dip.

baked back bean flautas

Posted in Cinco de Mayo, healthy eats, holiday fare, party food, recipes, vegetarian, what's cooking | Tagged | 1 Comment

coconut tres leche cake

coconut tres leche cakeOver the last few years I have come across tres leche cake on various food shows and blogs..always thinking that it sounded absolutely delicious. It has been around forever, especially popular in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. It’s basically a sponge sheet cake, made without butter and soaked in 3 different milks – evaporated, sweetened condensed and heavy cream.

A cake soaked in sweet creams. There is absolutely nothing about this that can go wrong.

I decided to switch up the recipe just a bit by swapping out the heavy cream for coconut milk (the thick kind, from a can). I also added a couple of tablespoons of Grand Marnier because it was suggested in a few recipes I found. [A suggestion I take very seriously.]

coconut tres leche cakeIf my job was to perfectly ice cakes I wouldn’t have a job by the end of the week. Thankfully fresh whipped cream is beautiful in a mess or perfected.

coconut tres leche cakeAnd of course there’s always the trick of topping the cake with toasted coconut. Now she’s a pretty cake!

coconut tres leche cake coconut tres leche cakeAnyone eat sheet cake soaked in Kool-Aid, topped with Cool Whip as a child? Oh my gosh was that good out of the fridge! Ice cold and oh so artificially fruity. The best.

This is sort of a grown up version. Certainly just as unhealthy but without the food coloring. [Choose your battles, right?] It is also fab chilled, with coffee and a big fork.

coconut tres leche cake coconut tres leche cakeThis would obviously be perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Would also make a wonderful brunch dessert for Mother’s Day. [Envisioning it topped with berries – YUM!]


Brandy J



coconut tres leche cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
coconut tres leche cake
Serves: 12
  • Cake:
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1cup sugar, separate by ¾ and ¼
  • ⅓cup coconut milk (from can)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Tres leche:
  • 2tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 1 14oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 12oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼cup coconut milk (from can)
  • Icing
  • 12oz heavy cream
  • 2tbsp powdered sugar
  • ¼cup toasted coconut flakes
  1. Prehat oven 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9X13" cake pan.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with ¾cup sugar and beat on high speed until pale in color. Stir in the coconut milk and vanilla. Pour over yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently until combined.
  4. Clean the mixing bowl and add the egg whites. Beat on high until soft peaks form. While running, add the remaining ¼cup sugar. Beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry. Pl;ace egg whites in the batter bowl. Fold them gently into the batter mixture. Spread evenly into prepared cake pan. Bake for 25 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Turn out onto patter and allow cake to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  5. While cake is baking blend the evaporated milk, condensed milk and coconut milk well in a small pitcher or large jar. Once cooled for 10 minutes, poke the cake all over with a fork. Brush the Grand Marnier on top, if using. Slowly pour all but 1 cup of the milk mixture all over cake and allow to soak for 30 minutes. (You will have one cup extra, that can be discarded.)
  6. Meanwhile whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a whip about 30 seconds more. Spread evenly over cake and top with toasted coconut. Keeps will in fridge, covered for up to a week.

 recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

coconut tres leche cake
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flower concealer and mascara review

Here I am again, trying out cheap makeup! Seriously though…Drew has something special going on with this Flower makeup line.

flower concealer and mascara review

First up the Lighten Up! Brightening Concealer Click Pen. I am not one who has a lot of experience with concealer, unfortunately. [Approaching 39 and surely have needed some over the last decade at least. Oh well, better late than never!] That said, I do love the weight of this product. Perfect for someone who doesn’t like to feel their makeup. Also great for the warmer months where the feel of makeup on a hot day makes you want to gag. [Ugh…oh do I loathe being sweaty and hot.]

I mostly picked this up for the “brightening” purposes, specifically for  my under-eye region. I am not going to say it’s the best, but I will say it does a pretty darn good job. You have to be careful though, because a couple of times I thought it looked great in the bathroom only to look in the car mirror and discover freaky bright under-eyes. But as a general rule you should always look at your makeup via natural daylight before venturing away from the bathroom. [I know someone out there is shaking their head yes to this rule…]


Next up the Flower Intesif-Eye Volumizing Mascara. (Referred to by my friend Jordanne.) LOVE this stuff! It’s not the kind of mascara that takes a chisel to remove, yet stays put and feels great. I do find that dabbing the wand on a tissue is necessary to avoid clumps, but I sort of do this a lot with mascara anyways. [Removing clumps from lashes is absolutely not something I enjoy doing.] If you are looking for an inexpensive, great mascara to throw in your bag I highly suggesting picking up a tube!

If you have tried either these or any of the products I have reviewed in the past please let me know! And if you’ve got a must try beauty product you are loving I’d love to know so I can check it out myself!

Brandy J




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weekend wrap-up

The weekend started with an on the loose trailer ramming into the front of our home. [Yes, that is as bizarre as it sounds.] Thankfully no one was hurt except a set of steps and some potted plants. That evening Sticky and I cheers-ed to an uneventful “rest of the weekend”. Miraculously that is just what we got. (With a princess party thrown in there.)

042416_weekendEarlier today Jettie and I were crafting while Bing was quietly looking at books…aka pooping. [Reading material and #2s start at a young age for men apparently.] Taylor Swift’s “22” was playing in the background when I caught a whiff of the little guy. I swept him up and sang along with Taylor “I don’t know about you, buy I’m smelling skinky Poo-ooo…”

Jettie cracked up and said “Mom, you’re hilarious!”

That was a big time mom win moment. Thank goodness I’m hilarious to one of the few people I care whether or not I am hilarious to. Especially since I know my “mom you’re hilarious” days are surely numbered with her.

I hope everyone one had a bizarre-less and hilarious weekend!






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*new* names for babe list!

After the overwhelming response the blog received from the baby name posts, I thought we need a list. One that includes all the names that have been shared as well as a few others I have received via my Etsy shop invitations. (And there has been some really good ones come through the shop.)

Do know that I am not a coding or web master. Not even a little. In other words there is nothing fancy about this list…and there doesn’t need to be. These names are fab regardless of clickity -click website flare:

Unique Baby NamesI will be sure to add to the list as extraordinary names come through the shop, as well as include the names from future posts. This list is meant for those out there looking from something a little different. I added a badge on the top right of the blog to make it easy for you and your friends to find all these fantastic options. As always, if you would like to share some names of your own, hit that tiny envelope at the top right corner and shoot me an email!

Hopefully you or someone you know (who is on a desperate name search) enjoys this list! I for one can’t wait to see what else gets added! Keep ’em coming!






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