Friday, July 27, 2018

Scrumptious Sweet 'n' Spicy Baked Beans

      I served this dish to many at a local Bean Days festival this summer and       heard many comments about how they thought they were the best beans in                                                               town. 

               ...And several came back for second...even third helpings! 

I combined and simplified ideas from a couple other bean recipes online, 
and this is what I came up with...MMM!

The BBQ sauce and chili powder add a bit of 'zip' to this tasty recipe!

This is not a HOT dish...just with a little kick-back to them...

(If you prefer to 'tame' this down, use a BBQ sauce with less tang). 

These are great for reunions, BBQ's, picnics or camping!

Hope you'll try them and see for yourself. 

Everything's better with bacon in it, right???? 


1/2 # bacon, diced and browned, undrained
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. Sweet 'n' Spicy BBQ sauce
(or your favorite)
2 Tb. white vinegar
2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. (fresh) ground pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 can (15 ozs.) pork and beans, undrained
1 can (15 ozs.) great northern beans, drained
1 can (15 ozs.) chili beans in sauce, undrained

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, cook bacon; remove from pan with slotted spoon when browned, leaving half the grease in pan; (reserve remaining grease) cook onion until transparent and tender in grease; add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. 

Place onion mixture in a large bowl with remaining ingredients, then add browned bacon and remaining grease. 

Place in lightly sprayed 3 qt. casserole dish; cover and bake 40 minutes; uncover and bake 30 minutes longer. 

Serve hot or at room temperature. 

Other popular bean dishes...

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Leader Enterprise - July 25, 2018 - Cooling Beverages to help you "Chill"

Before I share some tasty drink recipes to help keep you cool while the temps are hot, I wanted to share a few random household tips and picnic ideas for your consideration.  I do hope both 'lineups' will help make your life easier as you make the most of the rest of your summer! 

Slot the stick of a popsicle through a cupcake paper to prevent drips on little fingers.

Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and access.

A ball of aluminum foil makes a great glassware scrubber!

- Spoon fruit or veggie salads into mini mason jars - fun for summer picnics and easy to tuck into a picnic basket.

- If you're picnicking on the ground, a tray or two is nice for setting drinks on so they don't tip easily. 

Place a few drops of essential oil on the inside of the cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll to make your bathroom smell wonderful.

- When setting out chilled salads or other cold foods at your picnic, consider placing the serving containers in a larger pan filled with ice to keep them cold. 

- To test baking powder for freshness, add 1/2 tsp. to 1/4 c. hot water; if it fizzes, it's good.

- Replace 1 TB. cornstarch with 2 TB. all-purpose flour as a thickener in recipes. 


1 (6 ozs) can frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed
1 c. milk
1 c. water
1/3 c. sugar (or sugar substitute) 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ice cubes 

Put all the ingredients into the blender. Process until blended and frothy. Pour-relax and enjoy every sip. Yield: 3-4 yummy servings 


1/3 c. double strength regular or decaf coffee, chilled
1/2 c. 1% (or 2%) milk
1 Tb. instant vanilla pudding, dry (optional)
1 pkt. Truvia or liquid stevia to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. crushed ice 

Combine all ingredients in blender, blending on high until drink is smooth. Pour into a glass - top with light whipped cream if desired. Yield: 1 large drink


1/2 c. peaches, frozen or fresh
1 heaping tsp. flaxseed meal, optional
1/2 c. (1%) milk (or almond milk)
1/4 c. plain or vanilla (Greek) yogurt  
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. crushed ice
1 pkt. Truvia (or sweetener to equal 2 tsps.) 

Place all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth and frothy. Add more liquid if needed. Yield: 2 servings.  


3 pieces of ice, chunked
1/2 c. frozen raspberries
1/2-3/4 c. water
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 
2 tsp. honey (or liquid stevia, to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Start with 1/2 c. water and add more after you've blended the smoothie to get the consistency you'd like. If you let the blender stand just a few minutes most of the seeds will drop to the bottom. Just stop pouring before you get to that part. Yield: 1 serving 

You could try using a combo of raspberries and blackberries for this amazing drink! 


3/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 or 5 lemons) 
7 c. water, divided
3/4 to 1 c. sugar 
1 c. fresh blueberries 

Over medium heat, stir 2 cups of water and sugar in a pan until sugar is dissolved. Add blueberries; allow to simmer for 6-7 minutes until they begin to break down and color the sugar water. Pour mixture through a strainer to remove blueberries. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add lemon juice and the remaining 5 c. water, stir well. Serve over ice and garnish by adding lemon slices and fresh blueberries. Yield: about 2 qts. 

You can't see a rainbow when you're looking down - Charlie Chaplin 

Flashback Friday - Charming Chocolate Zucchini Recipes


Do hope you'll try some of these scrumptious dishes using zucchini...

How can you go wrong serving vegetables as dessert???
These are great! 

You'll get OOOHHH's and AAAAAHH's when you serve these to anyone.
Moist & flavorful...

(with a healthier option)

Moist, delicious - a perfect dessert to use up that zucchini! Love the crunchy topping.

Oh how I love being sneaky and adding veggies...and the family has no idea!
This is moist and tasty...(& you'll not guess it has the 'secret' in it!) 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Leader Enterprise - July 11, 2018 - Farmer's Market

I'm excited that farmer's markets are up and running in the area.  Hope you'll support the local folks who take time to share their goods.  With that thread of thought, I decided to share recipes using fresh items more readily available this time of year.  Enjoy!
These tasty zucchini sticks are luscious dipped in ranch or honey mustard dressing! Be aware you need to begin prepping these early as they have to drain before baking. 

3 medium zucchini, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 3" long sticks
1 tsp. salt
1 c. Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 - 3 tsp. dried oregano 
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder 
Olive oil spray
2 large eggs or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
(may substitute with 1/4 c. melted butter) 
Place the zucchini sticks (do your best to cut them all about the same size) in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tsp. of salt.  (I cut away the middle and use for bread or soup). Let drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 425. In medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan and seasonings; set aside.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; spray lightly with non-stick olive oil spray; set aside.  Dredge fries a few at a time, in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture.  Pleace on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil or lightly spray with cooking spray (optional). Bake for 12 minutes, turn over and bake an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. 

6-8 small new potatoes or 3 or 4 large ones
1 lb. green beans (fresh or frozen) 
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 c. butter (1/2 a stick), divided
4 ozs. cream cheese 
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Wash and chunk new potatoes into bite sized pieces. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add green beans; boil until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Place in colander to drain.
While veggies are cooking, melt 2 Tb. butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion slices and cook, stirring often, until tender and are getting nice and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet, and place over veggies in colander while you make the sauce. 
In same skillet you used to brown the onions, add remaining 2 Tb. butter, cream cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Over low heat, stir constantly until cheese melts. Use a whisk to beat lightly until smooth and creamy. Add a little more milk if you want a thinner sauce. Remove from heat. Add veggies from colander; stir to coat with luscious sauce. Sprinkle with more pepper if desired. Serve warm. 
1 c. white vinegar
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt (or less)
3/4 c. white sugar, or more to taste
(May use sugar substitute like xylitol or Swerve)
3 lg. cukes, peeled and sliced
sliced onion, to taste
In large bowl, add vinegar, water, salt and sugar; stir until dissolved. Add cuke slices and onions.  Eat right away or refrigerate.  These keep up to 2 weeks in the fridge (may reuse the brine a second time).  Yield 4 - 5 servings 

2 c. water
3/4 - 1 c. sugar
2 generous cups of cubed watermelon (seeds removed)
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (strained) 
(about 6 - 8 lemons)
2 c. cold water or sparkling water
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool.  Meanwhile, puree watermelon in blender and strain to remove any seeds.  You should have about 1 c. watermelon juice.  Add lemon juice, watermelon puree to the simple syrup (sugar water); add water; chill.  Serve over ice.
Hope to see you at Bean Days!
"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit." -- Aristotle 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Amish Cinnamon Swirl Bread (Copycat Bob Evans Cinnamon Bread)

If you've never been to a Bob Evans Restaurant (!) 
might be familiar with their wonderful and awesome breads!

Folks seem to LOVE the Copycat Bob Evans Banana Bread that I make
for market (Just realized I don't have a post for that...will work on that soon..)  They have great blueberry or pumpkin breads too, but this
Cinnamon Swirl Bread is fast becoming my favorite. 

My sis-in-love, Vicki, use to be a manager at a Bob Evans...she knows GREAT...and she thinks this tastes as good as the kind you get at BE!
That's quite a compliment...I dare say!!! 

Soon after my hubby began dialysis in March of our sweet friends (Thanks Cathy!) sent over a loaf of this amazing bread.  I knew I HAD to have the recipe, and was rather shocked at how simple the recipe is! 

It uses buttermilk, (You always get BEST results when you use the real thing**see note below) which explains why it melts in your mouth, and the
only 'extra' ingredient is baking soda.  HUH?  So you have the 'regulars'...sugar, butter, flour, eggs and buttermilk, the only other ingredient you add (to the batter...not including the streusel baking soda! 

So get yourself to the kitchen and try this wonderful bread. 
I love that it makes 2 loaves...You can easily cut it half to make 1...I always double the recipe when making it for farmer's market. Don't believe I've ever had any of it left over! 

I like using some raw brown sugar in the streusel topping...another special sis-in-love, Heidi, brought it back for me from the island of St. Kitts (where she and my brother have a villa)  It has bigger granules and adds a little more texture, but plain white/brown sugar (combo) works just fine too. 

It freezes nicely when wrapped in saran wrap and stored in a ziploc freezer bag or container. 

Perfect for drop in company...or not.  Enjoy a slice or two with your morning coffee...

You're gonna love this!



1 c. butter, softened
1-1/2 c. sugar
(reduced from 2 c.) 
2 eggs
2 c. buttermilk 
**(substitute by adding 2 Tb. vinegar or lemon juice to 2 c. milk...
allow to stand 5 minutes before using) 
4 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. baking soda


1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. brown 
(or all of one kind) 
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray 2 - 8" loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray; 
set aside. 

In large bowl, cream together butter, 1-1/2 c. sugar and eggs; beat until smooth. Add buttermilk, flour and baking soda.  Pour 1/4 of the batter in bottom of each of the loaf pans. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture, dividing evenly over the tops of each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with the last of cinnamon mixture.  Swirl with a knife or toothpick.  Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean

Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. 

NOTE:  You can bake this batter in muffin tins (it helps with portion control!) for about 18 minutes (be sure to check before time is up) or in 5" mini loaf pans for about 30 - 32 minutes..

Linked to 
Meal Plan Monday

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