Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Super Good Baked Beans

I decided that I should add this recipe as well.  My mom, also made really yummy baked beans.  I loved them but maybe not as much as I love baked beans now.  A few years back, our family, along with my parents, made a cross country trip from Kansas City, to Williamsburg, to Maine, across New Hampshire and Vermont, stopped in Illinois and back to KC.  Long story, short, we ate a a place in KC called Zarda BBQ and I fell in love with their beans.  I have tried to recreate the taste.  Not sure if I have done that or not but I like the beans.  So here is a basic version of my mother's recipe, tweeked a bit.  After I share this recipe, I will also tell you how I do the short-cut but still really good version.
So, here goes!

First cook up some good old bacon (sorry I don't have a picture of the bacon cooking) I have decided that bacon is one of those things that I really never want to have to give up.  I love everything about bacon. Anyway, cook up your bacon til crispy and then crumble into piece.

Once again, I use onion.  I really love onions and cook with them a lot! Add some onion and some green pepper to about 2 Tbls. bacon grease.  Saute them until the onion starts to look translucent.

Add 2 cans of pork and beans that have been drained a bit (I don't love them too runny so I just squeeze out some of the tomato sauce that comes on them) and remove the fat pieces from the top of the beans.   Add the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, dry mustard and worchestershire (how do YOU say that "W" word?) the liquid smoke and the hot sauce if you want hot sauce in your beans.  That is optional.  Mix all together!

Add the bacon.  I tend to use a lot of bacon because I love the meatiness and flavor it gives the beans.
Mix together and pour into a casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350* until they are hot and bubbly.  Serve.  These are so good.

If you like the flavor of these, here is a little secret.  You can make just the sauce without the beans, onion, pepper and bacon and use it as BBQ sauce with pulled pork.  I do it all the time and my family loves it.  I serve it warm and it is so so so good!!!

So here is a picture of our 4th of July picnic.  The beans with that potato salad and a burger- WOW!!! Yummy!

Baked Beans

Cook 6 slices of bacon until crispy (more if you like :)) crumble when cooled

2 cans pork and beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 Tbls. chopped green pepper
2 Tbls. bacon grease

Saute until onion starts to look translucent.  Add:

1/8 cup +1 Tbls. dark molasses
3/4 c ketchup
2 Tbls. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke (more if you like them a little more smokey)
1/2 tsp. Franks Red Hot or your favorite hot sauce (opt)

Mix all together and add the crumbled bacon.  Pour into a sprayed (for easier clean up) casserole dish and cover with foil.  Bake at 350* until bubbly and hot.  Serve!

So I told you there is a short cut version too.  So here goes!  Again, remember I don't measure! This is usually how I roll.

I use the 2 cans of pork and beans or more if I'm going for a larger crowd.  I do use the bacon and I do saute the onion and green pepper in the bacon grease.  Then I start dumping in ketchup, hickory flavored bbq sauce, a splash of worchestershire sauce, some brown sugar to taste-(and I do taste and add more until I like the flavor) and the liquid smoke.  It works. It's yummy and there you go.  I maybe even like the throw together a little more. It's almost the same amount of work but it's pretty dang good too!  Good Luck!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mom's Potato Salad

My mom always made the best potato salad. I have played with this salad and I think it tastes like hers. It really is quite plain with not a lot of stuff in it. My kids love it and one of my sons in law only eats this salad.  If we are at a party, before he takes a scoop of potato salad he turns to me and asks if it's mine.  If it is he takes some, but if not, he passes it by.

We were at a ward party and I had several people come up to me and ask me for the recipe.  The funny thing is that I never follow a recipe. My mother never followed a recipe.  So as I made this salad for our July 4th BBQ I thought I would put together a recipe.  IT WAS HARD!  That sounds weird but it was hard.  Anyway, I eyeballed the onion and then measured it out into another bowl.  Then I dumped the mayo into the first bowl and then measured it out into the bowl with onion.  Then I measured and tasted until I think I got it down on paper!  I make it a little on the salty side and then let it sit overnight or a few hours and the salty kind of absorbs and goes away.

I hope this works for you!  Good luck.
I used 12 medium sized potatoes and a dozen hard boiled eggs for this salad tomorrow. . My mom always did 1 to 1 ratio on potato and egg but if you like more egg in yours, add more eggs. (If you use less you will need to address the dressing.)   I boil my potatoes in their skins and then let them cool. I peel them and then cube them. I bring my eggs to a slow boil and once they start boiling I time them for 12 minutes.  I run cold water over them to cool them off.

I mixed up the dressing and poured it over the cubed potatoes and eggs. The onion that I put in is minced pretty small so there aren't big chunks. Mix well.

To me, potato salad is the quintessential 4th of July picnic dish.  I love it.  My family loves it! And evidently other people like this recipe as well.  Hope it works for you!!!

My Mom's Potato Salad

12 medium sized potatoes boiled in their skin in salted water
12 hard boiled large eggs


1/4 cup finely minced onion
2 1/2 cups real mayo (I do not use light or miracle whip)
1  1/4  tsp. salt
3/4 tsp, black pepper
1/4 tsp onion salt
3 Tbls. dill pickle juice
2 Tbls. milk
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

Mix all the dressing together.  It will taste salty but that is how you want it.  Mix with the potatoes and eggs.  Cover and let set in the refrigerator over night or several hours.

I sprinkle paprika over the top of it.

Good Luck!