Saturday, February 4, 2017

Texas Style Chili



I don’t like beans so I never put beans in my chili.  But I do usually use tomato sauce.  Here’s a link to my usual chili recipe

Today I decided to go all Texas.  Just beef and chilies.  And beer. 

Marinade for chuck roast:

  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juic2
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder
  • ¼ tsp green chili powder
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • ¼ tsp coriander

 For the Chili:

  • 1 lb. stewing beef, or chuck roast, cut up into small pieces
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 5 dried New Mexico Chilies
  • 4 dried guajillo chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 12 oz. bottle dark beer
  • 1 Tbl Sorghum (Or molasses)
  • ¼ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tb cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1 Tbl Chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TB salt
  • 2 Tbl cocoa powder
  • ¼ Cup Masa Harina (corn flour found with Mexican food in grocery store – do not substitute corn meal)



The Night before: 

 Salt and pepper the chuck stewing beef and toss with marinade.  Put in a plastic ziplock bag in the fridge and let it marinade over night.

The Next morning:

Cook some bacon for breakfast.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan.  Add a tbsp of butter and sauté onions, bell peppers and jalapeno pepper in that until it is soft and caramelized.  I like to season every layer of flavor so add a little salt and ancho chili powder to this so it turns a nice red color.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Cut off the stems of the dried chilies, cut open and dump out seeds.  Heat them in a dry pan for a few minutes, just to give some color, do not burn or char.  Add about a half a cup of water and bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let steep in water for about 5 minutes.  



Cut the chilies into smaller pieces.  I do this with scissors and just leave them in the water.  Blend the water and chilies until pureed.  Set aside.

Brown the chuck roast in the same pan you cooked the onions and peppers.  Cook on high heat to brown the edges.  Remove from pan. 

Brown the hamburger.  Add salt pepper and chili powder.  When hamburger is brown, add the onions and bell peppers and stir.  Add the chuck and the pureed peppers.  Add all the spices but the cocoa.  Add the brown sugar. 

Stir and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down and let it simmer about 15 minutes. Add a little beer if it gets too thick.

After 15 minutes, dump it all in a slow cooker plus the rest of the beer.  Cook about 3-4  hours, until chuck is very tender.  (Slow cookers vary as to how long it takes).

Add cocoa powder after an hour of cooking. 


When the chuck is tender, add Masa to about ¼ cup water and mix, then mix that into chili to thicken it.  Serve with cheese and sour cream. 



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Allspice Liquer



I was watching the Kitchen on the Food Channel and I was intrigued by one of the ingredients for a cocktail - AllSpice Liquor.


Turns out this is a Jamaican thing.  


Not real easy to find around here but pretty easy to make.
You need whole allspice berries.  Crushed into big pieces but not ground fine.  I put mine in the coffee grinder because I don't mind a little allspice in my coffee.


  • 1 Cup Rum
  • 1/4 cup crushed allspice berries
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar simple syrup  (Boil 1 1/2 Cup water & 1 1/2 Cup brown sugar until it dissolves - about 10 minutes)


Pour rum over crushed allspice berries in a mason jar with a tight lid.  Shake well and leave for five days, shaking every day.  On the fifth day, break up the cinnamon stick and add it. Keep shaking mixture every day.

After two weeks or so, strain the mixture through a fine mesh, then strain again through coffee filter. Add the brown sugar syrup.  Shake and let that sit a couple days. 

Then what to do with it?

Well there's my Snowy Day Warm Spicey Bourbon Cocktail:





  • 1 oz bourbon 
  • 1 oz Allspice Liquor 
  • 1/2 Cup Boiling Water with 1 Tbl brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp molasses 
  • Dash of apple pie spice
  • Dash orange bitters




Friday, November 25, 2016

The Best Pumpkin Pie


I like to give pumpkin a hard time.  


Because compared to sweet potatoes or squash, pumpkin isn’t really that good.  It’s not bad.  It’s just kinda meh.  What makes pumpkin pumpkin is the spices.




But I make a really good pumpkin pie.  


The secret is the sweetened condensed milk.  It gives it a real nice creaminess.  And easy because you can skip a few steps. Oh, yea.  And the bourbon.  Bourbon makes everything better.

Also use good quality spices.  I like Penzey’s and they make pumpkin pie spice which is a combination of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and ginger.  But because the spice is what makes pumpkin pie good, you need to use quality spices.


So here’s my recipe:


  • 1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Penzey’s pumpkin pie
  • ½ tsp. Penzey’s Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbl REAL Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbl  Bourbon
  • 1 Tsp salt (this is more than usual but because of the extra brown sugar and maple syrup a little more salt helps cut the sweetness.  TRUST ME!)

Preheat oven to 425.  Beat all the ingredients together.  Pour into unbaked 9-inch pie crust.  Good for you if you made it yourself.  I buy the pre-made crust that’s already rolled and cut and I think it tastes fine. 


Bake 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 and bake another 45-50 minutes.



Don’t ruin this pie by putting Cool Whip on it!


Take a cup of real whipping cream, add a tbs or more of sugar, and a capful each of vanilla extract and bourbon and whip that sucker up.  It hardly takes any time at all and it is sooooo good.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Say the Words



Something happened while Pastor Anne Edison-Albright was preaching at our Synod Fall Theological Conference I haven’t really been able to talk about.  

It was a Spirit moment that is hard to explain. 


But Anne and I realized that Spirit moments are not given to us to keep to ourselves.  We have the story of God’s work among her people because people did not keep spirit moments to themselves.


This is mostly Anne’s story.  So here’s what she says:

In Michele Obama’s speech on Tuesday, she talked about the real, visceral power of words, particularly violent language used against women. “It’s cruel. It’s frightening. And the truth is, it hurts.” 

When I was preparing to preach at the northeastern Iowa synod fall theological conference on Tuesday, focusing on the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8), I knew I wanted to communicate a couple things.  

I wanted my sermon to be more than a motivational poster/pep talk about prayer, rejecting the narrative of “Just keep praying; God’ll get around to you eventually.”


I wanted to emphasize that God is NOT an unjust judge. God is with the widow. 

The parable isn’t about my admiration for the widow or sympathy for her. It’s about God’s empathy and God’s love for and shared experience with her. 

Based on what we know about power and authority, it’s easy to imagine God as an unjust or absent judge. But that’s not who God is. 

To get more into who God is, I decided to spend a little time describing who the widow is, and that’s where I got into trouble.

 I noted that you might call her persistent, strong, courageous. And that she’s also called shrill, annoying and abrasive.

 “And,” I wrote in my notes for the day, “there are other words, words specifically used to demean women.”

And that’s where I stopped and wasn’t sure how to continue. 


Everyone would know what words I meant. I didn’t necessary need or want to give those words any more air time than they’ve already had during this election cycle. (“Oh, that’s a good line,” I thought, and wrote that in and continued my sermon.)


The truth is, it hurts. 


It hurts to hear those words, to say those words, to even write and think about saying those words. 

So the day of the sermon came and I stood in front if my new colleagues and started preaching, still not entirely sure what I was going to do when I came to that part of my notes. I got there, and I looked up and said, “And here’s the part of the sermon where I wasn’t sure if I should say the words or not.”

Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson said, “Say the words, Annie.” 


Typed words can’t convey the gentleness of her encouragement or the compassion and presence of the Spirit in her voice. 

“But it feels like violence,” I said, and the tears started, which I had not expected at all. Michelle Obama spoke of being shaken to her core, in a way she did not expect.

 Shaken and shaking, I said the words. 


“They call her a bitch,” I said. “They call her c***.”

I put myself back together, thanked Joelle, and continued with the sermon I’d prepared. When I sat down, I was greeted hugs and tears. Empathy. 

The truth is, it hurts. The good news is, God doesn’t meet our hurt with pep talks, platitudes, suspicion, denials, diminishments or blame. God meets our hurt with empathy. 


God gets it. 

I’ll never forget what happened during that sermon, especially that Spirit-filled communication between Joelle and me. I’m grateful to God for being present to us, and through us, in that holy moment. 

Now me:


 I did not plan to speak out during Pastor Anne’s sermon. But she looked at me and faltered.  

And I knew she had to say the words.  


She had to say those awful cruel violent words in that sacred space.  We were studying John and John is all about how the light has to shine to expose the ugly things that hide in the dark. 

The words had to be spoken to exorcise the power they have to define and demean and marginalize us.


We were both looking at each other.  

I learned to preach in a congregation with many African American members and I have appreciated and missed the way the congregation will pray and encourage the pastor when they falter.  

So I just held her gaze and prayed her into saying the words. 

And she said them.  And nothing bad happened.  

Maybe some were shocked or offended.  Or just confused. That’s okay.  It was a Spirit moment.  The Holy Spirit is shocking and offensive and confusing.

What I take away from that moment is the responsibility we crones have to lift up and support the younger women.  


Not complain that we had it harder.  Not whine that they don’t do feminism the way we do. Not resent the opportunities they have that we didn’t.  Just support them. 


 I am a crone.   


I can dye my hair and put on the night repair I fool myself is erasing those hard earned lines on my face.  But I am a crone.  


Being a crone is hard earned, important role.  


We need the crones.

We women, of all colors, of all ages, are always in danger--no matter how privileged we are—we are always in danger of being pushed back to the margins. (#repealthe19th anyone?) 

So we need to support one another.  And say the words. 

*The Rev. Anne Edison-Albright is a pastor at Luther College in Decorah, IA. 




Monday, October 3, 2016

Margarita Rice


This is how you want the cilantro lime rice you order in the restaurant to taste, but it never does.


So I was thinking tequila would be good, but alas!  I had no tequila!  But in the back of the fridge, a summer left over a bottle of that stuff that is sort of margarita-ish.  It has tequila and lime in it.  I think this is what made it really good.  So get that stuff.

1 small white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (take out the seeds if it’s too hot
Juice and zest of ½ lime
¼ Cup margarita mix (with the tequila)
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup rice
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Handful of roughly chopped or torn cilantro

Heat a skillet then add a tbs of olive oil, and add 1 tbs of butter.  Remember – hot pan, cold oil – food won’t stick!  

Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes and then add the pepper and cook another few minutes.  Add the rice and stir around so rice is coated in the oil.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Stir and add a little salt and pepper. 

Add the margarita mix and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil,  turn heat to low, cover and cook about 15 minutes.  You’ll need to watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn.  You may need to add a little more liquid. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Add the cheese on top and put the skillet (if you have a cast iron pan you can do this, I don’t know about anything else) in the oven and bake about 5-6 minutes, just enough to melt cheese and get it a little crusty around the edge. Sprinkle cilantro on top.




Once you have had this, no other cilantro lime rice will do.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew



This may seem like a strange combination of ingredients but it is delicious.



  • 2 Chicken thighs, cooked, shredded off the bone
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 Sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chili
  • 1 TBL tomato paste
  • 2 TBL peanut butter
  • 1 Cup red wine
  • 2 Cups Chicken stock
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 TBL brown sugar


Sauté onions and peppers and garlic in olive oil until transparent and caramelized about 10 minutes.  Add tomato paste and stir.  Add peanut butter and stir. Add wine, diced tomatoes, sweet potato and carrots, spices and sugar.  Simmer for 10 minutes.   



Add to crockpot with chicken and chicken stock.  After an hour add about a TBL of flour to thicken it up. Cook for about 3 hours.

Serve with yogurt and lime juice.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

Buffalo Chicken & Ranch Pasta Salad



I got this idea from Damaris Philips of the Food Network.  Of course, I had to put my own spin on it.

Here is her version:  Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

She makes a buffalo blue cheese from mayo.  I also like ranch with buffalo wings so I went with ranch.  And I just bought a bottle of Hidden Valley dressing.

Warning:  These measurements are not exact.  I eyeball everything.  You should learn to do that.  Except for baking.  You need to be more exact for baking.


Dressing



  • 1 1/2 Ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 Tbl Honey
  • 2 tBL Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper



Marinade for Chicken





  • 1 Cup greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbl buffalo sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Chicken




  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up, soaked in yogurt marinade over night
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 3 eggs, beaten



Put the flour in one bowl, eggs in another and breadcrumb cornmeal in another

I learned this trick from Rachel Ray.  Add a little salt to every stage of the dredge mix.  It doesn't have to be a lot, just a pinch or so but it really does season the chicken well.  I also add quite a bit of pepper to the flour

Heat frying pan.  Remember, cold oil, hot pan, food won't stick. Add a little less than an inch of vegetable oil.  Keep on medium heat.




Dredge the chicken first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and fry in oil.  Move the chicken around from hottest to less hot parts of the pan (or move pan around) to cook well but keep from burning.  You just get a feel for how long this takes. About 6-8 minutes.  Cut the chicken open to make sure it's cooked.  You'll want to slice it for the salad anyway.  I've had salmonella twice.  You don't want that.

Cool the chicken.





Veggies:



  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 6-7 green onions, chopped
  • 8 small sweet peppers, sliced


Cook about two cups of your favorite pasta.  I used Rigatoni.  This is my way of cooking pasta that works every time.  Bring about 4 cups of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta.  Bring to a boil, then turn down fire and simmer for 8 minutes.  


Drain and cool the pasta.  I add salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over it, then add veggies.  I store the chicken separately and only add it to pasta when I'm ready to serve it. 

You could add crumbled blue cheese to this and it would be really awesome. 

PS.  You could eat this with lettuce and skip the pasta and it's be pretty good.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Flan



I'm not much of a custard lover myself but I had yen for flan.


 My sister, Cathy, really liked flan. 


If a Mexican Restuarant didn't serve flan for dessert, she didn't think it was a real Mexican restaurant.    


I dedicate this post to my sister.


While looking for a recipe on  the internet I found a LOT of variations.  Heavy cream, half and half, condensed milk, 3 eggs, 5 eggs.  

Below is the recipe I settled on and I like it.  I like creaminess that sweetened condensed milk adds.  I always make my pumpkin pie with sweetened condensed milk.




 I also thought it would be fun to use a real vanilla bean.  What a messy pain that is.  Good vanilla extract is fine.


Preheat oven to 325


Start with the top, or the bottom.  This is the best part of flan - the caramel on top.


Watch this video to learn how to cook it.









This works perfectly.  I used a glass pie tin and melted the sugar right it.

DO NOT stir the sugar before it melts, it will just get hard



When it begins to melt, stir it in a circular motion, just like the video.  I found it worked better to let it cool and thicken and then move the pan around to coat the sides.

While it's cooling, mix the custard.


  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbl vanilla extract



Put the pan in the pan you are going to bake it in.  BEFORE you put the custard in it.  I learned that trick the hard way. 
Pour boiling water to fill the pan halfway.  






I spilled some custard in the water while moving it to the oven but I don't think that hurt anything.  Back 50-60 minutes until the center is still soft but not runny




After it cools what you are supposed to do is run a knife around it and turn it upside down on a plate.  That didn't go so well for me.  Oh well.  It's not the prettiest flan anyone ever made.  But it does taste pretty good.




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tomato Jam & Feta Cheese Spread Crostinis






We have this weird tradition in the Northeastern Iowa Synod Office.   You get a birthday card when you bring treats for everyone.

Well, we have staff that are gluten free and diabetic, so cake and ice cream doesn't really work.  I saw some sample cheese boards on Pinterest and thought "Ah cheese!"

There's a whole thing about cheese boards.  And the things that go with it.  Like nuts and fruit and olives.  Which I don't like, but it sounded like a fun treat to bring.



So I brought a cheese board to the office today.  Well, no actual boards were involved.  

On the menu


  • Sugared pecans
  • Grapes
  • A nice hard salami
  • Marinated mushrooms & artichoke hearts (instead of olives)


And the nice cheese monger at the Hy-Vee helped me pick some good cheeses


  • A VERY sharp Cheddar from Wisconsin
  • An Iowa Cheddar
  • Wisconsin Havarti
  • Smoked Gouda 
  • A soft mild Blue Cheese

It may not jive exactly with the ideal variety of cheeses for a traditional cheese board but they went over very well.


And a delicious tomato jam that paired really well with a feta spread.  Here's the recipe for that:

Tomato jam





  • 1 16 oz container cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar (depends on taste)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 or 5 leaves basil
  • tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes




Cook the tomatoes & garlic on low in tomato sauce until they break down.  You want there to be small, soft pieces, but not mush.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Add sugar.  



Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Turn heat down, add salt, pepper flakes, basil and lemon juice and simmer until it is a thick consistency.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Let it cool.  It may get thicker in time.

Feta with Cream Cheese Spread


16 oz cream cheese, room temp
16 oz crumbled feta
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbl Italian herbs
pinch of salt
2 Tbl olive oil

Mix all this in a bowl.  If you have a small food processor you can do that, but it's easy to mix and I didn't think it was worth dirtying my processor.


Put the cheese spread on a cracker or crostini.  Put a little tomato jam on that.  If you really want to go crazy, top that with shaved parmesan.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Italian Potato & Green Bean Salad





I got the idea for this from watching Giada at home make these:  Lemon Mustard Potato Salad

They looked really good.  Then I thought they would be good with green beans and what do  you know?

Italian Potato and Green Bean salad is a thing.  

Giada put hers on arugula.  What is with Arugula?  Every cooking show has to use arugula.  I hate arugula. 

I don't like Kale either while we are on the subject of what I don't like.

So this my version. It's really really good.


Potatoes



  • 1 dozen small yellow potatoes, quartered
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • tsp Penzeys Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • salt and pepper


Wisk all the ingredients (except potatoes) together in a bowl.  Toss the potatoes in the dressing.

Put potatoes, nonskin side down on the baking pan, bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

You will want to eat those potatoes right after you take them out of the oven because they smell and look so good.  Go ahead and have or two.  Then let the rest of them cool. 


Salad


Blanch 2 cups green beans for 5 minutes in boiling water, then plunge into ice water to stop cooking


Dressing:


Juice and zest of one large lemon
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbs sugar
2 sprigs of rosemary cut up
A few hot pepper flakes
salt, pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Wisk all this together.

Mix all these in a bowl and pour the dressing over it.

Potatoes
Green Beans
2 small red sweet peppers sliced
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces
About a tablespoon grated parmesan cheese


Trust me, this is good.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce



The French have their Mirepoix, which is just chopped onions, celery, and carrots.  These form the basis of nearly all soups, stews, and sauces.  

The Cajun version of this is the Holy Trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper.   That used to be the basis of all my cooking until I discovered red bell peppers and I ditched the bitter green peppers.  Then I ditched celery unless I’m cooking for a crowd.  I just think celery is kind of a waste of time.



Then I discovered these little sweet peppers.  They are fun, a little sweeter than bells, come in different colors and slice up into nice rings.  I always have some in the fridge.

So Enchiladas.   Lots of ways to make them.  You can make them with ground beef, shredded beef, shredded pork, chicken, cheese, spinach.  I love em all.

Now my mom used to fry up the corn tortillas before rolling them up.  And who doesn’t love a fried tortilla?  But you don’t need to do that—just make sure they are moistened with sauce.  Or heat them over a flame.  



Don’t have a gas stove?  I’m sorry, that sucks.  But you can lay it on your burner and get the marks.

Now I have made my own enchilada sauce but that’s a lot of work.  Canned is fine.  I’m not a snob.  I usually use red with beef and pork, green with chicken.  



When I gardened I made a green tomato sauce that was really good.  Could have sworn I posted the recipe somewhere but not on this blog.

Chicken:  You can cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker, shred it and freeze it and use it as needed. But I prefer dark meat so I used thighs this time.  

I buy the family packs and freeze them in twos in ziplock bags.  I just used two thighs for these.  I cut the skin off and marinated in for a half hour with

¼ cup tequila
¼ cup olive oil
Zest and juice of half lime
Garlic powder
Cumin
Lots of pepper
Green chili powder
Chili powder
(so I just put a few shakes of everything)



Then I cooked the chicken in my George Foreman Grill.  I never worry about the chicken being cooked enough in this thing.  About 6 minutes on each side. 

Do cut it open to check. I’ve had salmonella poisoning twice.  You don’t want that. 

Thighs don’t shred as easily as breasts so I just took the meat off the bone, tore it up and cut it up with kitchen scissors.



Now for the veggie filling:

Saute ½ yellow onion, chopped & Four small sweet peppers in a little olive oil.  Add salt and lots of pepper, green chili powder, chili powder, zest and juice of the other half of lime. A little splash of tequila, and a little brown sugar.  Add just enough of the enchilada sauce to moisten it.  



Cover a flat glass or casserole pan with enchilada sauce. 
In each tortilla add a little sugar, a little veggie mix, and a little cheese.  I used Colby Jack.  



Roll it up tight and place seam side down in pan.  Cover them all with enchilada sauce and make sure all the enchiladas are covered.  



Cover with cheese and sprinkle a little chili powder on top.



Bake in 350 oven for 35 minutes.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Barbecue Baked Beans with Apples & Sweet Potatoes



I love the convenience of slow cookers.  But nothing beats the way oven baking caramelizes a barbecue sauce.  So on some things like ribs and beans, I do both.

  • 4 Cups dried pinto beans
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 4 or 5 small sweet peppers (or one red bell pepper)
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled & chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbl tomato paste
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 tbs ketchup
  • 5 slices of bacon cut into 1-inch strips
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Salt


Cover the beans with water in a large pot and bring to a boil.   Take off the fire and let sit an hour or so.  Drain the water

Cook 4 slices of bacon and either eat it or feed it to someone in your house that likes bacon.  Leave the grease in your pan and add ½ stick of butter and melt it. 

Add onions, a little salt and lots of pepper, sauté until they are transparent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the peppers and garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir. 



Add half the bourbon and simmer until it cooks down and gets thick.  Add the rest of the spices.  Add molasses and brown sugar.  Add the wine, apples, and sweet potato and simmer about 10 minutes.  Add more bourbon when it gets too thick. 

Line the slow cooker with the bacon, and add the vegetable mix and beans.  Add barbecue sauce and ketchup.  Mix and add enough water so beans are covered.  Cook on high for an hour and low for 3-4 hours.

Pour mixture into greased casserole and bake in 300 oven for an hour.  These are really good.