I use for rice dishes, refried beans, salads, burritos, tacos, dips, salsa, chips, and quesadillas. The spice mixture makes and excellent rub for meats--pork, beef, or chicken. After applying meat rub, please cover and put in refrigerator for 4 hours. . Please do not soak the beans ahead of time. The spices are absorbed during the cooking process. Recipe takes about 3 to 4 hours. Black beans cook faster than pinto beans.