Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Delicious Baked Beans

I have to admit, making homemade baked beans has always intimidated me. There are a few things that I have always avoided making, because of intimidation. And because they are just so much easier to pull from the box or the can. Because of this blog, I've jumped to higher heights. Thanks everyone for the motivation!!!  Brownies, cakes, tortillas, tamales and baked beans are on my list.  Tortillas are the only things I haven't checked off the list so far.   The funny thing is, these hurdles are so much easier than what I thought they would be, but for some reason, they just seemed so out of my league.  Do you have some like that?  Seriously, what a rush, to tackle a recipe that you have been avoiding because you were too intimidated.

So yesterday I was browsing around, wanting to give it a try. I was looking for a from scratch recipe (almost all recipes I had seen added canned baked beans... It doesn't make sense to me! Why not just eat it straight from the can then.) I found a few recipes to get an idea of what I needed in it, and then decided to just create my own recipe.  I figured, hey, face the fear and try something new. 

I am not going to lie... I am so proud of myself.  To me, tweaking someone else's recipe to be my own, is easy.  Even creating my own recipes on every day meals, is pretty easy for me now. (It hasn't always been.  Actually following others' food blogs and seeing what they do, has really helped me to be more confident in the kitchen.  I am realizing that a recipe, is just a guide, not a "must do") For this though, it was a huge accomplishment for me.  I've never seen anyone make baked beans from scratch, and only know of two people in my entire life that have. It was a huge shot in the dark, but it turned out fabulously!!!

Ok I'm off the bragging train now :) I made these more of a southwest style. But play around and change things to your tastes.  My husband who doesn't like bell peppers, LOVED these beans.  There is no greater feeling than to create something and then to have your family chow down on it because they like it so much!!  I wanted the beans to be done, that day, so I opted out on soaking them etc.  So not 100% from scratch, I used canned beans, but not canned baked beans :)

Delicious Baked Beans

1lb bacon crumbled
1 medium onion minced
1 green bell pepper minced
1-2 cloves garlic
2 cans northern beans
1 can red beans
1 can black beans
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
3/4 cup ketchup
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp dry mustard

First: chop your onion and bell pepper. (I liked mine chopped pretty small)

Chop bacon into pieces.  You can do this after it is cooked, but I like it better this way.

Toss the bacon in a skillet and fry until done. (I liked mine crispy)  When done, take bacon out of the pan and set aside. What ever you do... save the bacon grease.  Tons of flavor it this stuff!!!

Fry the onions, garlic and bell peppers in the bacon grease until tender.  (It's ok to even fry it all with the bacon too)

Combine all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.  

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