Monday, June 13, 2011

One (crock)Pot Baked Beans

not my beans, but they look kinda like it*
I have been so uninspired to cook lately. The weather warmed up (even with the rain) and I just want to be outside in the garden (aka mud) and not in the kitchen.


My baby boy is TURNING ONE. I’m trying so hard to not freak out and start sobbing while clutching hugging him and recounting the day he was born in detail. Are you with me here? Did you freak out when your baby was TURNING ONE?

To distract me from the whole TURNING ONE thing, we’re throwing him a birthday cookout party.

The menu (to do in bold):

Appetizers –
corn chips & salsa – in the cupboard
veggies and hummus – hubby is in charge of the veggie platter

Sides –
potato salad – purchase from the deli (they make it better than I could anyhow!)
macaroni salad – mom (this is my favorite summertime food)
baked beans – made and frozen
chips – purchase
rolls – made and frozen

Main Dish –
hamburgers – purchase extra
buns – purchase

Dessert –
cupcakes & mini cake – made yesterday and frozen, thaw and frost first thing that morning
chocolate chip cookies – mom
fruit salad – deli

Drinks –
sparkling lemonade and limeade – purchase ginger ale

Pretty manageable, right? Yup. Especially since our good friends will be helping setup – including S who is the ultimate party-thrower. If she’s around and has a list, nothing can go wrong.

I made the beans last week in the crock pot, start to finish. I love one pot meals! I rinsed the dried beans (ok, I used a colander, so it wasn't completely in the crock pot), soaked them in the crock pot, rinsed again, cooked the beans plain in the crock pot (4 hours on low), then turned those cooked beans, complete with bean water, into baked beans.

These are a nice, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, picnic style baked beans. This recipe is easy to adjust to your particular tastes, so feel free to play!

One (crock)Pot Baked Beans

Just under 6 quarts of cooked pinto beans
Bean juice to cover (or water or broth)
One can tomato sauce (unseasoned)
1 to 1 ½ cups brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
A pound or so of ham slices or chunks
1-2 tsp salt
½ tsp or so of powdered garlic
2 tsp to a Tbsp of dried minced onion
¼ tspish of dried oregano

I was eyeballing it, so forgive the imprecise measurements. Use a 6 quart crock for this, or scale down appropriately.

  1. Ok, now this recipe is difficult, it requires stirring once or twice. After cooking those beans the first time, leave the bean water in there to cover by about ½ inch. Or use water or broth (I suggest broth). Add the remaining ingredients. Stir, making sure that the ham’s covered with beans. Cook on low for 8 hours or overnight with the lid propped open a little bit so the liquid can reduce. Stir, taste test and adjust seasonings. If it’s too bland, add salt. If you can’t quite put your finger on it, try adding a ¼ cup brown sugar (or more syrup) and a touch more garlic.
  2. Give some to your friends and smile graciously when they compliment you.
  3. Tell me about it so I can smile too!
I’ll be updating you on this TURNING ONE party business, so stay tuned.

*It is really hard to make a photo of baked beans look appetizing - I have to applaud bFeedme for not making it look like, well, unappetizing things that I shall not mention. My photos made the beans look like... a polite comparison would be mud. We'll stick with mud. Don't worry, they taste nothing like mud. Unless your mud tastes like awesome baked beans.

No comments: