Monday, July 6, 2009

Spiced Sweet Cherries

I found a steal of a deal at my regular grocery today. 1.99 for a lb of fresh cherries, while they last. So I grabbed a bag and ran with it. I might go back for more after seeing this recipe...

See, the way I deal with happy finds like this is, I grab the deal and figure out what to make of it later.

Spiced Sweet Cherries

6 to 7 cups sweet cherries
juice of 1 lemon
3 c. cider vinegar
2 (2") sticks of cinnamon
24 whole cloves
1 slice of ginger, 1/8" thick
2 bay leaves
½ c. honey
Wash and pit cherries and chill in ice water plus juice from half the lemon. In a saucepan with remaining lemon juice, simmer vinegar, honey, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and bay leaves for 15 minutes. Drain cherries. Fill four hot, scalded pint jars three-quarter full with cherries. Strain hot liquid, and pour over cherries, leaving ½" head space. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crock Pot Baked Beans

My Hubby and I went to a friend's house a few weeks ago and had the greatest baked beans! I've never been a huge fan. I mean, I'll eat 'em, but I've never thought to make them myself. Even out of a can.

Until now! Inspired by Patrick's great dish, I'm on the hunt for a great recipe....

Here is where I'll start...

Baked Beans in a Crock Pot, simple and strightforward.


1 1/2-2 lb. yellow eyed &/or pea beans
1 tsp. baking soda for soaking
Place beans in large pan, cover with cold water and add baking soda. Cover pan and soak several hours or overnight. Bring beans to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Drain.

Mix together:
2/3 c. molasses
8 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tsp. dry mustard
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 peeled onion
Place 1/2 the bacon in the bottom of a crock pot. Add drained beans and the molasses mixture. Top with the rest of the bacon. Add 1 peeled onion. Cook on medium setting for 10-12 hours or overnight. If more liquid is needed, add water.

My beans have soaked for a few days in the fridge (busy busy busy!) and I drained them tonight. I'll throw them back in the fridge and mix up the molasses mixture so I can combine them first thing in the morning. Tomorrow night...yummy baked beans for me!

Okay, so that plan didn't exactly happen as hoped.
I threw them together the next night, they cooked on low for 13 hours and were on the verge of drying out. I added another batch of molases mix plus extra water and cooked for another hour or two, then I brought them camping (in our cousin's RV). The next day, I heated them up for a couple hours, and let them sit all day in the residual heat.
The guys still said they were too hard. I think they wanted them mushy.
We brought them home and I added even more water, and cooked for an additional 10 hours and they're still slightly too hard as far as my hubby is concerned. And not enough salt pork flavor. I guess bacon isn't a good enough substitute for these babies!

Plan: Next time I'll soak overnight AND boil up the next day, hopefully that will make a big difference. AND I'll use a salt-pork recipe!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Another new family favorite: Bread Stuffing with Bacon and Caramelized Onions. Pretty much speaks for itself, but let me elaborate...
I used homemade bread and cut it pretty chunky. I like chunky stuffing. The onions were perfectly caramelized, the bacon chunks nice and crispy. After baking in a shallow caserole, I took off the aluminum foil and broiled it for a few minutes.
Just Perfect!

Millie's Birthday dinner

A friend of mine calls his mother-in-law "Millie" (for M-I-L). I decided that was a fine way to introduce this post!

So my "Millie" is coming over for her birthday dinner this week and I want to make something special. To me, it's special if it's new! Most of us in the family are becoming more and more health-conscious, so Giada De Laurentiis' Angel Food Cake sounded like a score! It's topped with a lemon honey yogurt sauce that none of us will be able to resist!

For the dinner, I've decided to make Grilled Cornish Game Hens with cold pea salad and I just ran across the apricot topped Brie from Stephanie's year of crockpotting as an appetizer! It's so great to have Blecipes to help me with Meal Panning!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ultimate Beef Stew

Here's the recipe that made me want to do a Tyler Florence recipe every day for a year.

Ultimate Beef Stew

I tried this last night and it was a big hit! Searing the meat beforehand was definitely worth the time! I used what I had on hand: a marsalla wine, mmmm. I'll definitely be making this one often!

Sweet Potato Pie

When we got back from our Thanksgiving trip down south, I picked up a 20 lb turkey for 45 cents a pound! Now it's time to do my own turkey dinner, and I've been looking for a sweet potato pie recipe anywhere close to the one we had in Baton Rouge. This one looks close, so I'm giving it a go...

Pioneer Woman's Sweet Potato Pie.

I made this last night and, while it was pretty good for me, it was a total hit for my hubby! I'm not big on the taste of cooked/baked nuts, so it would have been a miracle for me to have totally loved it. My hubby was exuberant in his praise of the dish though! Definitely a new family favorite!