I’m sharing my latest activities in the kitchen today: Potluck Beans with Maple and Beer! We’re invited to a holiday get-together with family and friends tomorrow, and I needed a side dish to go with barbecue tritip sandwiches. During the holiday season I don’t have much time, so I used a recipe that calls for canned Cannellini beans (white kidney beans). This recipe couldn’t be easier!
I was inspired by a recipe in Rick Rodgers’ The Big Book of Sides, a cookbook that I reviewed when it was first published. I keep going back to this book when I need something special to go with a meal. The recipe in the book makes 10-12 servings, and I needed to make a lot more for the party. I tweaked the recipe a bit, and the beans are crazy good!
Potluck Beans with Maple and Beer
Make a pot of these beans for a holiday potluck or a summer barbecue!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
- 1 lb. bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large sweet onion peeled and chopped
- 4 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup dijon mustard
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 bottles dark beer I used Red Bridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer
- Ten 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup ham bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, until the bacon is almost crisp. Using a slotten spoon, move the cooked bacon to a paper towel and leave the bacon fat in the pan.
Over medium heat, cook the onions in the remaining bacon fat until they are golden brown.
Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Stir in the ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, and beer and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the the beans, bacon, and ham.
Cover the Dutch oven and bake for one hour.
Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
If you aren't serving the beans immediately, cool the beans and refrigerate overnight. Stir in 1 cup of water and reheat covered in 350 degree oven, stirring occasionally.
Last weekend was the annual Meals On Wheels benefit concert. As a member of the Coastal Communities Concert Band since 1998, I look forward to this event every year. Our band has been helping to raise funds to support the important work of Meals On Wheels for 22 years. Here are a few photos from the 2016 Holiday Concert at the Carlsbad Community Church, in Carlsbad, Ca.!
As a music director and teacher, I start preparing for holiday performances months in advance. It’s a little strange to be working on Christmas music in the heat of August and September, but it’s so rewarding when we have our music prepared in time to inspire our families and friends during the holiday season. I’m especially glad to have time in December to spend in the kitchen between concerts and church events.
What are you cooking up for the holidays? I’d love to know about your family specialties or new recipes you are trying out!
When the weather cools off in November, I’m ready to start eating turkey and stuffing. Anyone else get that craving for Thanksgiving goodies early? Try my Cheaters’ Thanksgiving Casserole! Here’s an easy 0ne-pot meal that you can do in a slow cooker or in a covered dish in the oven, or even on top of the stove. All the flavors of Thanksgiving are here for a comforting supper, or a party with friends – and it’s budget-friendly too!
Bake Easy Cheesy Bread!
Want to be the world’s most popular mom and wife? Cheesy Bread! Want to have your grown kids flocking to your house, hanging out in the kitchen with you, and spending extra time at your kitchen table? Cheesy Bread! Those of us who are are empty-nest moms never stop missing those days when our kitchen was filled with kids and food.
This week I discovered a new way to make memories in my kitchen with my family. Make fresh homemade bread! The grown-up kids and their father will smell that fresh baked bread before they even get past the front door! You’ll hear “oohs” and “ahs” and “wow, Mom, this is so good!” again!
But wait — before you stop reading because you think baking bread is too much work, or you think you need to buy a bread machine — THIS IS SO EASY! A fool proof recipe Continue reading
This morning I stopped at Major Market where I bought the ground lamb last week for the Lamb Sliders seasoned with Hatch Chile, and they had no ground lamb in their meat case. I rarely do this, but I actually went to the meat cutter and asked for ground lamb! He told me to wait about 20 mintues, and when I came back there were several packages of ground lamb plus a beautiful lamb sirloin roast! (Of course I bought that roast too! Turns out the ground lamb was made from another piece of that same leg of lamb.)
Next I headed over to Trader Joe’s for more of those cute little Mini Hamburger Buns with the sesame seeds on top. Alas, they were out of them! Not to worry, I glanced at a nearby display and found a large square of Tomato and Olive Foccacia Bread. In my minds eye I could see that large square cut up into smaller squares, just the right size for Lamb Sliders! Continue reading
Tonight The Farmer and I sat out on the porch and enjoyed these juicy and lean Lamb Sliders, seasoned with Hatch Chile salsa and Spinach coated in a Tangerine Hatch Chile dressing. It was a one of those evenings with a soft cool breeze, and these tasty sliders were the perfect supper for the two of us.
American Lamb Tour
I was inspired by a tour hosted by the American Lamb Board in conjunction with the International Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento, CA. last week. We drove out to Dixon, Ca. to meet Ryan Mahoney, a sheep rancher and family man Continue reading