Archive for June, 2010

It was a yucky day here in upstate NY this past Saturday. Hot, very humid, oh so ungawdly humid and just the kind of day you don’t want to be outside sweatin’ your buns off. So I had me a “Me Day”. I watched some of the first season of Raising the Bar on DVD, while knitting on my shawl. I turned the channel to the Food Network and Claire Robinson came on the screen with her 5- ingredient fix for yummy beans; The three B’s; bacon, brown sugar and bourbon. I took the base recipe and added my own spin. Basically I added more brown sugar, mostly because I had a block of hardened sugar in my container so I tossed in the water and liquefied it, no wasting of sugar in this house. I also added onion, just because I could and because I love onions. I went with a full cup of bourbon because that is what was left in the bottle, and I don’t drink the stuff, I just use it for cooking. And instead of cooking the beans on the stove top, I threw them into my Crockpot before I went to bed last night and woke up this morning to a heavenly smell. My adaptation of the recipe follows. I had a couple tablespoons for breakfast this morning…oh my, are they delish!!

The 3 B’s Beans (Bacon, Brown Sugar and Bourbon)

1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight in a large bowl of water

1 ½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup stone-ground or spicy Dijon mustard

1 ¼ cups water

1 cup bourbon

4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1” pieces

1 medium onion, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the beans and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, mustard, water, and bourbon until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture and the beans into your Crockpot.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon and onions together until the onions are translucent, and the bacon has a nice brown on it. Put this mixture into the Crockpot and slow cook for 10-12 hours (I cooked the mixture for about 12 hours give or take an hour and the beans are nice and soft in a delicious thick sauce).

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You know summer is here when all those yummy summer salads start popping up on your menu. I’ve been making this recipe for ages, love the subtle taste of the honey, not too sweet, and it blends well with the vinegar and oil. I always try to keep a container of this salad in my fridge all summer long. There are nights that I don’t feel like dragging out the grill, or cooking in the house, so I just have me a nice bowl of Five-Bean Salad. Yum!!

Five-Bean Salad

1 – 14.5 oz. can Green Beans 

1 – 14.5 oz. can Wax Beans 

1 – 15 oz. can Lima Beans 

1 – 15.5 oz. can Garbanzo Beans 

1 – 15.5 oz. can Dark Red Kidney Beans

1 large onion 

½ cup wine vinegar 

½ cup canola oil 

2 tablespoons honey 

1 teaspoon salt 

½ teaspoon black pepper

Slice onion in half, then slice thinly. Drain green beans, wax beans. Drain and rinse lima, garbanzo, and red kidney beans. Place all beans in a large bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over beans. Refrigerate and let flavors meld for at least 8 hours.

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