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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Bacon and Brown Sugar Baked Beans

Bacon and Brown Sugar Baked Beans 1
Now that the weather is finally getting bearable, I have grilling and cookouts on my mind. Basically, my favorite part of summer. There’s nothing better than getting together with family and friends, throwing some burgers and corn on the grill and some cool refreshing salads. Well, baked beans make any barbeque better. These are our favorite recipe but I decided to change it up a bit and try something a little different recently.

Joel grew up on those baked beans so he was very leery of something new and I have to say he didn’t totally embrace them but I thought they were a nice change of pace. This recipe is definitely more on the smoky side of things versus the super sweet version we’re used to gobbling down. That is due to the fact that barbeque is used, in addition to other ingredients, to make the sauce. It adds some extra flavor and zing and it makes these beans customizable depending on your taste. If you’re a KC bbq fan like us, use your favorite sweet sauce (this is what we love) or if you like it spicy go that route. It’s all up to you and the sauce you choose really dictates the direction of these beans.
Bacon and Brown Sugar Baked Beans 2
I’m kind of cursing myself right now because the thing I’ve been craving the most since going vegetarian for Lent is a big, juice bacon cheeseburger. And now I can’t stop thinking about them. That would be so good right now with a side of these beans and some cucumber salad. How many more days until Easter? And is it appropriate to have a burger for breakfast that morning?

Bacon and Brown Sugar Baked Beans
recipe slightly adapted from The Recipe Girl

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
3/4 cup barbeque
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
3 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until slightly browned. Add the onion and cook until softened and bacon is crisp, another 4-5 minutes.

2. Place bacon and onions into crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
Looking for something easy and delicious to nosh on during the big game on Sunday? These sweet and spicy Asian ribs will totally hit the spot. They will cook away in the crock pot while you whip up the rest of your Super Bowl feast. Right before serving, drench them in sauce and throw them under the broiler for some crispy carmelization. Soo good.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
I personally would use more Sriracha for more zing but if you want to keep it mild for your crew go ahead with the stated amount in the recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Who are you cheering for this Sunday? I think I’m going to root for the Broncos since Manning always yells Omaha before his plays. Good logic in choosing my winner, right? Either that or whoever has the prettiest uniform.
Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs
recipe from Family Favorite Recipes

2 racks baby back pork ribs
Seasoning salt
1 cup water
2/3 cup sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha hot chili sauce (or more if you like things spicier)

1. First, be sure to remove any membrane from ribs. Rub ribs with seasoning and place in large crock pot (you may have to cut the ribs up so they all fit). Pour in water and cook on low heat for 3-5 hours, until ribs are cooked through and they are already starting to fall off the bone.

2. In a small bowl, combine chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger and sriracha. Place ribs on a baking sheet and put on the top rack of the oven. Broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelize. Watch them closely as they will burn quickly.  Remove from oven, lightly cover with foil and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Smoked Pork Chops

Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Long time, no see huh? I decided to take some time off from this little space of mine to truly enjoy Christmas with my family. Not that I don’t enjoy my blog, but life has been crazy and hectic and stressful lately and I needed some time to focus without my computer calling my name. We are still trying to figure out our new normal as a family of four and with the craziness of the holidays and a death in the family, it was nice to unplug. Those of you that have added a new baby to your family, do you ever figure out a new routine? I feel like it’s never going to happen.

I have to admit, it’s been a hard few months. And I haven’t been able to find much time to get into the kitchen so I haven’t had much to share with you all lately. Cooking is hard when you have a sweet, but demanding 3 year old and a new baby to keep happy. Luckily, Hannah is adjusting and is now ok with being put down for a little while.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
But I still find more times than not that I only have a short little window to get something on the table that isn’t a dang frozen pizza. Did you ever think a food blogger would admit to that? Sometimes it’s just easier than dealing with two screaming babies. And I have to admit too, that Joel is usually pretty happy when said frozen pizza is dinner. He has always enjoyed them and pre-Hannah, only got them when I wouldn’t be home for dinner which wasn’t often. And sometimes he just enjoys something “normal” instead of our constantly ever-changing menu. Gah, whatever.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Anyway, these pork chops are incredibly simple to throw together when you just don’t have the time or energy to cook a detailed meal. Since the chops are smoked, all you have to do is soak them in the sweet and spicy marinade for 20 minutes then heat them through on the grill. So easy. You could even throw them in the marinade earlier in the day so all you have to do at dinner time is grill them for a few minutes while you steam some veggies or whip up a quick salad. And with the new year upon us, these can still keep everyone with weight loss resolutions (me included) on track.
Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Smoked Pork Chops
recipe from Sunny Anderson

1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for grill
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 thinly cut (about 1/2-inch thick) smoked pork chops

1. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high.

2. In a plastic resealable bag, big enough to fit the chops, mix together the sugar, honey, oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes. Add the pork chops and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pork from the marinade. Lightly brush the grill with oil. Put the chops on the grill and cook until grill marks form, about 2 minutes. Rotate the chops 90 degrees, and grill for 2 minutes more, to create diamond grill marks. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from grill to a serving platter and serve.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream 2
So, I don’t want to jinx things but it seems like maybe, just maybe, spring weather is finally arriving around here (despite the fact that it snowed a bit earlier this week). It’s been in the sixties the past few days and forecasted for the 70s next week. Can’t complain about that! Hopefully, it just stays this way and the heat doesn’t come and slap us across the face right away.
Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream 1
But in case it does, I have this ice cream in my arsenal to help cool us off. And now you all do too!

Joel’s favorite ice cream is cookie dough and I have made it for him several times (please forgive me for the pictures, it was in my early days). But when I saw this, I knew it was all over. Why just make plain old vanilla ice cream and add cookie dough when you could make cookie dough flavored ice cream with cookie dough chunks mixed in. And so much cookie dough that it is literally bursting full and difficult to mix in. Now that’s what Joel’s dreams are made of…brown sugar, browned butter, chocolate chip-y goodness.
Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream 3
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
recipe from Annie’s Eats

For the cookie dough:
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For the ice cream:
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
4 large egg yolks
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. For the cookie dough: stir together the butter, salt and brown sugar in a small bowl. Once combined, mix in the flour, vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread the dough out onto a piece of saran wrap and tightly cover. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. For the ice cream, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir constantly and continue cooking until the butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Whisk in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. While waiting for the cream to simmer, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar until thickened and pale. Slowly stream in a bit of the warm cream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Once combined, stir in the rest of the cream then pour it back into the pan. Stir in the salt then cook until thickened and the mixture reaches 170-175 degrees F. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a large, clean mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Cover, place in the refrigerator and chill for at least a few hours.

3. Once chilled, freeze your ice cream according to your manufacturers instructions. Meanwhile, cut the cookie dough into small, bite-size chunks. During the last five minutes of freezing, slowly add in the cookie dough and chocolate chips so that they can mix in thoroughly. If your ice cream maker doesn’t allow this, wait until the freezing is done then quickly mix in the dough and chocolate chips. Freeze until firm or enjoy immediately.
Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream 4

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
These crash hot sweet potatoes have to grace your Thanksgiving table. I mean it. They are so delicious that you should totally ditch the sweet potato casserole. I’m a little biased since I don’t generally like casseroles but these guys are SO GOOD. They are caramelized and crispy on the outside while smooth and creamy inside.

I made two different spice varieties, the spicy sweet version from the original recipe and a sweet cinnamon pecan version. I thought I would prefer the sweet ones but surprised myself when I kept going back for the spicy ones. I loved the combination of flavors and it added a lot of depth. Yum! You’ve gotta make these tasty little morsels of goodness!
Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
Head on over to DLYN for the recipe and make sure to scroll down to get the sweet rub recipe too! Apply it just as you would the sweet and spicy version.

Sweet Rub:
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken

Today I am bringing you a diverse, quick and easy meal that would be perfect for any weeknight. It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare but still manages to pack a huge punch of flavor. It also uses common ingredients that many already have in their pantry and refrigerator. Can’t get much better than that! Serve it on top of some delicious stir-fried noodles to complete the meal!

Sweet, Spicy and Sticky Chicken
recipe from allrecipes.com

1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root (or ½ tsp. ground ginger)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Mix together brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl.

2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken strips.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.