Spring into a colorful Cinco de Mayo party

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Rinse the beans in water and remove any small stones, pieces of dirt, or bad beans. Put beans into a pot and cover beans with at least 3 inches of water — about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, covered, for about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on the batch of beans you have. The beans are done when they are soft and the skin is just beginning to break open. Strain the beans from the cooking water.
Add the onions and lard/fat/oil to a wide, sturdy (not with a flimsy stick-free lining) frying pan on medium high heat. Cook onions until translucent. Add the strained beans and about a 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Using a potato masher, mash the beans in the pan, while you are cooking them, until they are a rough purée. Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out. Add salt to taste. Add a few slices of cheddar cheese, or some (1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese if you want. When beans are heated through (and optional cheese melted) the beans are ready to serve.

Steak Tacos
8 6” yellow corn taco shells
4 tablespoons olive oil 
2 green bell peppers , thinly sliced 
1 red onion , thinly sliced 
1 pound skirt or flank steak , cut into thick, long strips
1 jalapeno pepper , minced with seeds 
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon chile powder 
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups canned corn , drained 
2 plum tomatoes , seeded and chopped 
1 avocado, peeled and diced  
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro , minced 
1 teaspoon cider vinegar 
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

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