Monday, August 16, 2021

Cowboy Beans



If you know me, you know that I LOVE baked beans. I love 'em in any kind of casserole, and yes, I happen to be famous for my own baked beans, thank you very much.
So, when I happened upon this recipe for Cowboy Beans, I knew I'd be making it sooner than later. It comes from one of my favorite Youtubers, Miss Lori, from Whippoorwill Holler.
Now, usually, I would google a million other recipes, just to compare ingredients and methods, but this one looked so good, I didn't even bother. (I even texted a couple of my nephews to say "how can this not be good?) The recipe below is almost exactly as dictated in her video, only I swapped red and green peppers for the yellow ones that Miss Lori used, and I guessed at the amount of BBQ sauce. Pretty much everything is to taste anyway, so if you like a lot of something, add a lot!
Thank you Miss Lori for another great recipe! I'm sure I'll be making this one again!



1 lb ground beef
1 (14oz) pkg smoked sausage
1/2 lb bacon
2 (28oz) cans baked beans
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
1 cup BBQ sauce
Salt and pepper

In a large pan, brown your ground beef. Drain excess fat and place beef in a large mixing bowl. While the beef is browning, slice your smoked sausage and bacon strips into bite sized pieces. Place the bacon and sausage into the pan. Sauté until browned and slightly crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, dice your onion and peppers.
When the bacon and sausage are done, use a slotted spoon to place them in the bowl, but leave the fat in the pan.
Now add your vegetables to the pan and sauté until they begin to soften. While they're cooking, add your cans of baked beans, and your BBQ sauce to the bowl.
Add your vegetables to the bowl and give everything a good stir.
Add salt snd pepper to taste, and more BBQ sauce, if desired.
Pour into a big casserole dish, and bake uncovered for  about 45 minutes to an hour at 350.
Serve as a stand alone dish with some corn bread, or as a side dish with your favorite barbecue, some tater salad, and a mason jar of sweet tea.



Tips:
I love the idea of making this a stand alone dish, so I think next time I might just treat it like a bowl of chili and melt some Cheddar cheese over the top with a big dollop of sour cream. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
If you'd like to add some heat, add a diced jalapeño or some Tabasco sauce to taste. You do you!
 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Simple Summer Squash Starter

 

This is an easy side dish that is as simple as can be. If I’m being completely honest, I debated on whether or not to post it, because it’s not really a recipe, exactly. It’s just a few veggies sautéed together. Does that count as a recipe? I guess it doesn’t really matter. Anyway, I’ve made it several times over the last few weeks because it’s just so good, so I figured I’d share.
 So lets talk about it for a second. Want to?
It’s just any combination of sliced summer squash… Zucchini Yellow Crookneck, Pattypan, any kind you like… sauteed together with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and fresh basil. Thats it. No bells and whistles, just as simple as that. But here’s the thing.. You can either serve it as its own side dish, along with grilled chicken, or fish or any other main dish you like. Or else you can use it as a starter for other dishes. Toss it with any kind of pasta for a main dish. Add some sautéed diced chicken and a little heavy cream for a rich and creamy sauce. Toss it into any casseroles, soups or stews whenever your dish needs some fresh vegetables. The possibilities are endless!
Last week, I made a casserole that I’ve been calling the Kitchen Sink Casserole, because it had everything in it but the kitchen sink. I started with the summer squash, added cheese tortellini, then added shredded chicken, basil, oregano, parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese on top, and then baked it in a giant casserole dish. It was a HUGE hit and it fed a crowd. Doesn’t that sound amazing?? it’s also a great way to use up all that extra zucchini from your garden. So, I hope you’ll give this a try. I’m sure you can think of loads of other ideas! Enjoy!


vegetable oil
Zucchini or any other kind of summer squash, sliced or diced
Onions, diced
Tomatoes, either fresh or canned
Garlic, minced
Fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Use as much or as little of each item as you like.
Slice or dice all the veggies. Toss them into a big skillet or wok with a little oil. Toss them around the pan until they’re tender and cooked through. That’s all there is to it. Add fresh herbs, and season to taste.
Depending on the size of your skillet and how many veggies you have, you might want to sauté them separately or in batches, and then toss everything together after they’re cooked. That’s it!


Tips:
I like to use canned sliced stewed tomatoes. You could also use diced or whole canned tomatoes and then cut them up. I wouldn’t use puree or crushed, because I like the large pieces of tomato. If you’re using fresh, you can choose to peel them or not. Either way would be fine.
If your squash is not too large, you don’t have to peel it. The skins are very tender and add delicious color to your dish. If you let your garden squash grow quite large, then the peels became quite tough and much less palatable, so peeling them would definitely be a must.
You can make a big batch and then just store it in the fridge or freeze in ziploc freezer bags. I made a giant batch and then pressure canned it in jars (which is actually not recommended, but what can I say… I’m a rebel.) You do you!