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Soooo, baked beans are more of a stewed dish than a soup, but hey, we’re not all perfect.  It’s been so warm and spring like, I wanted to make something that reminded me of picnics and summer block parties.

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This recipe is so easy; I was even surprised at how simple, but delicious, it is.  My rather picky friend Elissa (a bean connoisseur) even liked it despite it containing the dreaded onion!  Success!

If you were short on time, you could start with canned beans; another time saver would be to put everything together in the crock pot on high for the same amount of time that you would bake it.  This dish feels like more than the sum of its parts to me; it tastes like you worked all day on it when it really only takes 10 minutes of your time to throw together.

The difference between my lady-like plate and a fireman's plate...

The difference between my lady-like plate and a fireman’s plate…

Baked Beans – served with cornbread and coleslaw

Serves 4-5 – cost approx $.88 per serving, including sides (estimating the cornbread @ $.75 and coleslaw @ $1.50 overall)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry white/navy/canellini beans ($.99)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small onion, small dice ($.15)
  • 3-4 slices of bacon, small strips ($.32)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup or mollasses
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs mustard, I used Dijon, but use your favorite type!
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the beans in a large, oven-safe pot with the bay leaf until tender and fully cooked.  (This can be done the day before or earlier and put in the fridge until you’re ready cook the rest of the dish.)  Drain off most of the cooking liquid and keep the bay leaf in the pot, reserve a couple cups of the cooking liquid.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Put all remaining ingredients into the pot with the beans and give it a good stir.

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Cover the pot and bake for 2-3 hours, stirring every half an hour or so.  If the beans are looking a bit dry or sticking to the bottom of the pot, add some of the reserved cooking liquid to loosen it up a bit.  Towards the end of the cooking process (when the bacon is fully cooked), give it a taste and adjust the seasonings.  Pretty simple, huh?  Add some sides and you can have a sunny day on a plate in no time!

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