Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Bacon Baked Beans
I am always on a quest to make things from scratch that don’t take all day.  I try to eat as clean as possible by avoiding processed and preserved foods. This was a super easy recipe with a few ingredients.
You will need: 3 slices of center cut bacon- cut into 1 inch slices, 1/2 white onion-small dice, 1/4 cup ketchup (I like Heinz organic), 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1 can Great Northern Beans- drained and rinsed, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
Cook the small strips of bacon in a pan.  When it is halfway done, add the onion and cook until translucent.  (You could skip this and put it all in the crock pot, but I like the bacon crispy and you won’t get that any other way.)  While that is cooking, mix together the remaining ingredients, except the beans, in your crockpot.  (I use a small one.  This recipe serves 2-4 people, it could easily be doubled).  When all the sauce ingredients are mixed together, add in the bacon, onion and beans.  Mix together.
That is it.  Let it cook for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.  It might not seem like a lot of sauce at first, but the steam from the beans will add just enough liquid.    

Homemade Slow Cooker Maple Bacon Baked Beans

I am always on a quest to make things from scratch that don’t take all day.  I try to eat as clean as possible by avoiding processed and preserved foods. This was a super easy recipe with a few ingredients.

You will need: 3 slices of center cut bacon- cut into 1 inch slices, 1/2 white onion-small dice, 1/4 cup ketchup (I like Heinz organic), 1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1 can Great Northern Beans- drained and rinsed, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Cook the small strips of bacon in a pan.  When it is halfway done, add the onion and cook until translucent.  (You could skip this and put it all in the crock pot, but I like the bacon crispy and you won’t get that any other way.)  While that is cooking, mix together the remaining ingredients, except the beans, in your crockpot.  (I use a small one.  This recipe serves 2-4 people, it could easily be doubled).  When all the sauce ingredients are mixed together, add in the bacon, onion and beans.  Mix together.

That is it.  Let it cook for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.  It might not seem like a lot of sauce at first, but the steam from the beans will add just enough liquid.    

Bacon Wrapped Dates
These little bites are like bacon candy.  Sweet from the dates and salty from the bacon. Yum yum!  This recipe is inspired by my good friend Janice.. she makes these stuffed with Chorizo, which I was going to do but couldn’t find any at the store the day I was shopping.  So, mild sausage was my substitute and it worked out well.  
You will need:  Dates-pitted, 1 sausage link, bacon- I like center cut.  
Preheat oven to 400. I pitted 18 dates.  So, I needed 9 slices of bacon, which I then cut in half.  Next, you will need to brown your sausage.  Take it out of the casing and crumble it as it is browning.  When finished, pour the sausage out onto a paper towel to drain some of the grease. After it has cooled, stuff the sausage into the dates.  Wrap each date tightly with the bacon and place it seam side down on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 7 minutes.  Then, flip those puppies!  Allow to bake for another 7-8 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.  
These are so yummy warm out of the oven as well as room temperature on a buffet table.  Such a great appetizer!  

Bacon Wrapped Dates

These little bites are like bacon candy.  Sweet from the dates and salty from the bacon. Yum yum!  This recipe is inspired by my good friend Janice.. she makes these stuffed with Chorizo, which I was going to do but couldn’t find any at the store the day I was shopping.  So, mild sausage was my substitute and it worked out well.  

You will need:  Dates-pitted, 1 sausage link, bacon- I like center cut.  

Preheat oven to 400. I pitted 18 dates.  So, I needed 9 slices of bacon, which I then cut in half.  Next, you will need to brown your sausage.  Take it out of the casing and crumble it as it is browning.  When finished, pour the sausage out onto a paper towel to drain some of the grease. After it has cooled, stuff the sausage into the dates.  Wrap each date tightly with the bacon and place it seam side down on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 7 minutes.  Then, flip those puppies!  Allow to bake for another 7-8 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.  

These are so yummy warm out of the oven as well as room temperature on a buffet table.  Such a great appetizer!  

Homemade Baked Beans with Bacon
This is my first attempt at making baked beans from scratch.  My husband never liked baked beans, but he has recently started eating them, so I decided to make a big batch.  In the past, I have been eating a little can all by myself, so this is exciting stuff for me.  It’s the small things, I guess. 
You will need: 2 cans of great northern beans, drained, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup bbq sauce (check ingredients, I recommend Dinosaur brand), 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 onion-chopped, 6 ounces bacon-chopped, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
In a skillet, start to cook the chopped bacon.  After some of the grease is released, add the chopped onion. When the bacon is mostly crispy and the onions are translucent, pour them into a 8x11 casserole dish.  Add the two cans of beans and mix together.  In the skillet, mix together the rest of the ingredients- maple syrup, bbq sauce, vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes and tomato paste.  Alllow to simmer for a few minutes, whisking it together.  When the sauce is warm and smooth, add to the casserole dish and mix everything together.  Top with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.    
These will come out smoking hot, so allow to cool for a few minutes.  The bacon will get crispy and release some more juices into the beans.  They will be a little sweet and a little salty, Perfect!  

Homemade Baked Beans with Bacon

This is my first attempt at making baked beans from scratch.  My husband never liked baked beans, but he has recently started eating them, so I decided to make a big batch.  In the past, I have been eating a little can all by myself, so this is exciting stuff for me.  It’s the small things, I guess. 

You will need: 2 cans of great northern beans, drained, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup bbq sauce (check ingredients, I recommend Dinosaur brand), 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 onion-chopped, 6 ounces bacon-chopped, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

In a skillet, start to cook the chopped bacon.  After some of the grease is released, add the chopped onion. When the bacon is mostly crispy and the onions are translucent, pour them into a 8x11 casserole dish.  Add the two cans of beans and mix together.  In the skillet, mix together the rest of the ingredients- maple syrup, bbq sauce, vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes and tomato paste.  Alllow to simmer for a few minutes, whisking it together.  When the sauce is warm and smooth, add to the casserole dish and mix everything together.  Top with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.    

These will come out smoking hot, so allow to cool for a few minutes.  The bacon will get crispy and release some more juices into the beans.  They will be a little sweet and a little salty, Perfect!  

Brown Sugar & Bacon Wrapped Sausage
A few weeks ago we went to a party where everyone brought a side dish.  This kind of event makes me nervous to try anything, because I don’t know what is in it. However, someone told me exactly what was in these little snacks, and they were so yummy! So, I decided to make them myself for a little Big Brother double eviction get together.  Don’t judge.  Who doesn’t have a reality show guilty pleasure?
You will need a package of Hormel Little Smokies, about half a package of center cut bacon and 1/4 cup brown sugar.   Cut the bacon pieces into thirds, wrap the sausages and secure with a toothpick.  Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until brown, turning over halfway through. 

Brown Sugar & Bacon Wrapped Sausage

A few weeks ago we went to a party where everyone brought a side dish.  This kind of event makes me nervous to try anything, because I don’t know what is in it. However, someone told me exactly what was in these little snacks, and they were so yummy! So, I decided to make them myself for a little Big Brother double eviction get together.  Don’t judge.  Who doesn’t have a reality show guilty pleasure?

You will need a package of Hormel Little Smokies, about half a package of center cut bacon and 1/4 cup brown sugar.   Cut the bacon pieces into thirds, wrap the sausages and secure with a toothpick.  Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until brown, turning over halfway through. 


gastrogirl:

bacon wrapped bbq chicken bundles.

I made this tonight, but I used boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts and used center cut bacon instead of regular.  It was super yummy! 

gastrogirl:

bacon wrapped bbq chicken bundles.

I made this tonight, but I used boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts and used center cut bacon instead of regular.  It was super yummy! 

Wedge Salad with a Twist
There is just something about a crunchy wedge salad that really hits the spot on a warm summer evening.  I know it isn’t summer, but it sure feels like it here.  We have had 5 out of 6 days with record highs.  Super nice!  
I will admit that sometimes I just do not want blue cheese.  It is a main staple of the wedge, I understand. If you are ever at B-Spot restaurant in Cleveland, get the Wedge salad.  I know it is a burger place, but you will not regret it.  Anyways, this is my take on it, sans blue cheese.
Cut your head of iceberg lettuce into 4 wedge, removing the core. Make one piece of bacon for each salad and crumble over the lettuce.  I use the center cut.  It has just as much flavor but fewer calories.    Slice up one red onion as thin as humanly possible and layer that on the lettuce.  Do the same thing with an avocado.  Next, shred some gouda cheese all over your lettuce.  (Of course, you can use blue cheese if you want!)  Grind some black pepper over top and serve with your choice of dressing.  I like to make the good seasons Italian dressing and use white balsamic vinegar. 

Wedge Salad with a Twist

There is just something about a crunchy wedge salad that really hits the spot on a warm summer evening.  I know it isn’t summer, but it sure feels like it here.  We have had 5 out of 6 days with record highs.  Super nice!  

I will admit that sometimes I just do not want blue cheese.  It is a main staple of the wedge, I understand. If you are ever at B-Spot restaurant in Cleveland, get the Wedge salad.  I know it is a burger place, but you will not regret it.  Anyways, this is my take on it, sans blue cheese.

Cut your head of iceberg lettuce into 4 wedge, removing the core. Make one piece of bacon for each salad and crumble over the lettuce.  I use the center cut.  It has just as much flavor but fewer calories.    Slice up one red onion as thin as humanly possible and layer that on the lettuce.  Do the same thing with an avocado.  Next, shred some gouda cheese all over your lettuce.  (Of course, you can use blue cheese if you want!)  Grind some black pepper over top and serve with your choice of dressing.  I like to make the good seasons Italian dressing and use white balsamic vinegar.