Maple Chipotle Baked Beans

Maple Chipotle Baked Beans 1

As much as I love summer, we’ve had a few tiny glimpses into fall weather lately and I’m so into it. I mean, sweaters and scarves and riding boots. But, can we keep summer food? I just love barbeques full of grilling and pasta salads and all things fresh. Baked beans always make me think of summer but with a change in the air, fall food is definitely on my mind. So I came up with a little compromise, summer baked beans but the maple and spice makes them seem perfect for fall.

Maple Chipotle Baked Beans 2

These beans are sweet, spicy and smoky and are made completely from scratch. I don’t know what it is about making beans from dry that makes it so much more satisfying to me. But if you don’t feel the same way, don’t have the time or just can’t remember to soak them overnight (hello me at times), you can absolutely make them with canned, rinsed beans instead. Just cut the cooking time in half so you don’t end up with a bowl of mush.
Maple Chipotle Baked Beans 3

The bacon running throughout is pretty spectacular too. Because bacon = better.

Maple Chipotle Baked Beans

1 lb. dry great northern beans, soaked overnight
4 cups chicken stock 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup barbeque sauce
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo sauce, finely minced
12 oz. thick cut maple bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked onion and garlic, chicken stock, ketchup, barbeque sauce, salt, pepper, tomato paste, brown sugar, maple syrup, chipotle in adobo and bacon.

3. Combine beans and sauce mixture in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Turn slow cooker to high and cook another 2-3 hours, stirring often. If they get too thick, add a bit of water until desired texture is reached (I didn’t have to do this).

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Maple Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Biscuits with Maple Sausage Gravy 4
So I don’t know how this happened but I haven’t mentioned that Joel and I are going to Vegas on Friday! He has a work retreat thing and they only have to work on Friday until 3 then they have Saturday, Sunday and Monday free. Spouses were welcome to join so I jumped at the chance as I’ve never been to the city of sin. They have some activities for Friday and Saturday night (The Hardwood Suite at the Palms, Ghost Bar and FireFly) but otherwise we have the days free as well as Sunday night. I’m not into the assumed scene of Vegas but I am excited to see the sights and get to enjoy a little ridiculousness. It’s one of those places that I want to see but I think I will be happy with that one visit and not feel the need to go back again. We have lots of ideas of activities but I need you all to tell me where to eat. This is a food blog after all!
Biscuits with Maple Sausage Gravy 3
So, before taking off on our trip we wanted a good, down home meal. I love breakfast for dinner every once and awhile and this is my favorite breakfast food. Joel loves maple flavored anything so I knew this would be a major hit with him. It added a nice sweetness and changed it up just enough from the traditional gravy.

There’s not too much more I can say, I’ve never met a gravy I didn’t like.

Maple Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

1 lb. maple breakfast sausage
1 tsp. pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 batch KFC copycat biscuits

Brown sausage until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add milk and half and half. Bring to a heavy simmer until the gravy thickens. Add more salt if needed. Split hot biscuits and slather with gravy.

Maple Glazed Carrots

Maple Glazed Carrots
I never really liked carrots as a kid but after forcing myself to eat them recently I have actually grown to enjoy them quite a bit. I prefer them raw but I like them cooked too. Especially when they are simmered in butter, brown sugar and pure, delicious maple syrup.

These sweet, glazed carrots are the perfect side dish for your upcoming Thanksgiving feast. Not only are they quick and easy but they only require 4 ingredients, 3 of which I’m sure you already have in your kitchen. I almost always have baby carrots in the fridge for snacking on so I can whip up these carrots with dinner anytime!
Maple Glazed Carrots
Maple Glazed Carrots
recipe from The Country Cook

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 pound baby carrots (or whole carrots chopped into chunks)
1.  In a medium skillet, heat the butter, sugar, and maple syrup over medium heat, stirring until smooth and the butter is melted.
2. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender and glazed.

Maple Pecan Chicken

Maple Pecan Chicken
During our trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior, we bought some delicious, pure maple syrup from the guy who actually made it. We got to see the taps and system that he used to extract the syrup and cook it up. Since then, I have been on the hunt for ways to use it besides the typical pancakes or french toast.

When I found this chicken recipe, I thought it would be worth a try even though I had a feeling I wouldn’t like it all that much. Why you ask? Because this is yet another one of those dishes that I always swore I didn’t like….until I actually tried it. The combination of meat/poultry and nuts just sounded too weird to me but turns out it is quite good. The nuts, along with the panko, add a nice texture to the chicken. The maple flavor is noticable but not overpowering. I think next time I may switch out the mayonnaise for mustard to make it even healthier.
Maple Pecan Chicken
This is a wonderfully easy, no-fuss meal for fall that is ready in less than 30 minutes. Make sure to prepare extra because it is great for lunch the next day over a bed of mixed greens with a little honey mustard dressing drizzled over the top. Yum!

Maple Pecan Chicken
recipe from Betty Crocker

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2-inch thick.

2. In shallow dish, mix together maple syrup and mayonnaise. In another shallow dish, mix together panko and pecans.  Dip chicken into syrup mixture, then into panko. Place on baking sheet. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (165°F) and coating is golden brown.

Maple Cream Gingersnaps {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

I am not normally a big fan of maple but the unique flavor and undeniable cuteness of these cookies was just too much to resist. The cookies were chewy and spicy while the frosting was sweet and creamy. The color and cut-outs of these cookies were so adorable and added lots of charm to my cookie trays! They were by far the favorite cookie among our friends and Joel’s co-workers.

Ruthanne from Easy Baked recommends using a Linzer Cookie Cutter but since I didn’t have one, I used my biggest biscuit cutter and mini Chrismtas cutters for the middles. And make sure to roll the cookies out thin. Some of mine were a little thick and when they cooked the cut-outs didn’t keep their shape as well.

Maple Cream Gingersnaps
recipe from Easy Baked

Cookies:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup dark molasses
2 Tbsp. vinegar
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves

Maple cream:
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. maple flavoring
Gel food coloring

1. Cream together butter and sugar.

2. Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar.

3. Blend in sifted dry ingredients.

4. Chill 2-3 hours (this is important– the dough is very easy to roll after chilling)

5. Roll 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick on a floured counter or board (thinner is better!)

6. Cut dough into small, equally-sized cookies (if you want to make cookies with cute cut-outs on one side, you can use a Linzer cutter from Wilton or be creative like I did using a biscuit cutter for the rounds and mini Christmas cookie cutters for the middle – only cut middles out of half).

7. Place on greased cookie sheets.

8. Bake at 375 degrees for about 7-10 minutes.  Check often- take out when cookies have risen and are easily removed from sheet.

9. To make maple cream, combine powdered sugar, melted butter and a little water until a thick frosting consistency is reached.

10. Add maple flavoring (you can add vanilla if you don’t like maple)

11. Divide cream into 2 bowls and color as desired with food coloring.

12. Frost one cookie’s back and top with another cookie.  The filling will harden up and make these very easy to store and serve.

Recipe linked to Full Plate Thursday, Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays, Mangia Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday,  2 Maids a Baking, Fusion Fridays, Foodie Friday, Seasonal Inspiration, Friday Potluck, Sweets for a Saturday and Strut Your Stuff Saturday.