Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baked Beans

I made these for the first time this summer when we went camping with Andre's family.  This is a time consuming recipe, but very worth it as I do not really like canned baked beans nor did Andre's brother, but both of us really enjoyed these.  I made this one day ahead of time. 

You will need:
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (about 2 cups)
  • 8 - 10 cups water
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 8 oz of Maple smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Agave syrup or 1 cup honey or 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 disposable aluminum cooking pan (I used one measured 8 x 10 x 2 1/2)
  1. Pick over dried beans and remove any stones or broken beans.
  2. Rinse beans.
  3. Soak beans by placing in a 9x13 glass casserole dish and covering with two inches of boiling water. Let soak for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the beans have doubled in size.
  4. Drain beans and combine with 8 -10 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 - 350F (300F if you live close to sea level. In Calgary, I needed to increase the temperature to 350F and increase the cooking time).
  6. Drain beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Combine the beans in a 5 - 6 quart casserole dish with the onions, bacon, garlic.
  7. Stir into the cooking liquid the Agave/honey/syrup, ginger, mustard, salt and pepper.
  8. Pour the liquid over the beans. Cover and bake until the beans are tender about 2 1/2 hours (longer if you live at a higher altitude.
  9. Once cooked serve immediately or transfer to the refrigerator and leave overnight.
  10. I transferred to disposable aluminum pan to take camping and put it over the campfire and reheated the beans. Very tasty.

Building a Better S'more

Seeing as camping season is upon us, here is my super easy S'mores recipe.  I prepare these before we go camping and then after supper when we are all sitting by the fire; throw them on the grill and eat the sticky goodness without all the mess. 

You will need:
  • Parchment paper
  • Foil
  • Best quality Milk Chocolate, I used Lindt (don't use dark chocolate as it does not melt correctly)
  • Graham crackers
  • Large marshmallows (I used Wal-Mart store brand this time, which I found nicer than the brand name ones I usually used)

1. Cut parchment paper into 6 x 6 inch squares.

2. Cut foil into 6 x 6 inch squares

3. Place 1 Graham cracker on a parchment square.

 4. Place chocolate square on graham cracker.

5. Place marshmallow on chocolate.

6. Place second graham cracker on top of marshmallow.

7. Wrap parchment paper around s'more and tuck ends into side of s'more (this will allow the heat to distribute evenly on the top and bottom of the cracker allowing the marshmallow and chocolate to melt).

8. Wrap again in foil.  Again tucking the ends into the side. 

9. Repeat as necessary until you have as many s'mores as you want. 

10. I just put these on the campfire grill and let cook about 5 minutes each side depending on the temperature of the fire.  Make sure the flames are about 8 - 10 inches from the bottom of the grill. Push on the packages with the backside of a pair of long tongs, when they are squishy they are done.

Lemon Chicken Couscous Salad

Lemon Chicken Couscous Salad

1 ½ cups Water
1 cup uncooked Whole Wheat Couscous

3 medium/small Zucchini
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
3 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
¼ cup fresh Parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs. Lemon Juice
2 Tbs. fresh Dill weed, chopped or 2 tsp dried
1 Tbs. Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
Cooked Chicken

I usually try and have several meals worth of cooked chicken in my fridge.  I marinate the chicken for about 15-30 minutes in lemon juice, olive oil, and dried basil and oregano. Then grill it on the bbq.

Make couscous according to package directions. Feel free to add extra veggies or change it up. Combine all ingredients and enjoy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Potato Salad

2 lbs. Red or Waxy Potatoes, whole

½ cup Crumbled Bacon

5 Green onions, chopped

1 cup Celery, chopped

3  Dill Pickles, chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

¾ to 1 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover the potatoes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 20 - 25 minutes. Drain, and cut into bite-sized pieces.  

Mix together the mayo and vinegar.  In a large bowl, toss the still warm potatoes with this dressing and add the bacon, onions, celery, pickles, parsley and season with salt and pepper.  

Top with crumbled bacon and fresh chopped parsley.