#SundaySupper: Beantastic

Today’s #SundaySupper is celebrating the bean. Any type of bean is fair game. When you stop and think about it, that’s a very broad assignment. Which doesn’t make narrowing down a recipe to make very easy. There are the beans that first come to mind – those beans in a can (or dry): black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc. There are the beans in the produce aisle: green beans, pole beans, lima beans, etc. Then there’s the beans you don’t think of as beans – those on the sweet side of life: cacao, coffee, and vanilla. And don’t forget about the soy bean!

I’ve never thought about beans so much in my life and I have Tammi of Momma’s Meals to thank. Make sure you scroll past my recipe to see the wide variety of beany recipes!

Making baked beans from scratch has been a culinary bucket list item for me. My recipe though isn’t a technical baked bean because I tackle the job with the help of my trusty slow cooker! I did my research and created a Lauren Everson original recipe. And this one isn’t even my New Year’s Resolution recipe! I’ll be sharing that for Stir Fry Day Friday this week.

Back to the beans. There’s been a bottle of whiskey sitting in our liquor cabinet for quite some time. I don’t even know where it came from. I almost donated it to my brother-in-law when we moved, but I held on to it, thinking it could come in handy. The day had finally arrived. I decided to use it in my baked beans! Whiskey and bacon. I knew I had a winner there.

I loaded up my slow cooker and crossed my fingers that my flavors would meld nicely and my beans would cook properly. This adventure was the first time I’d purchased dried beans! Question: what does it mean when “they” say to “sort” the beans? My intuition tells me it means finding the “bad” beans and tossing them – but how do you know if it’s a “bad bean?”

When I dumped all of the ingredients into the slow cooker I was over powered by the smell of the whiskey. I figured I’d give it half of the cook time before deciding if I needed to mellow it down with more sugar. I tasted my sauce throughout the day and was excitedly happy with how perfect things were coming along. These baked beans are easy to make and have much more flavor than a can of baked beans. Bring a pot of these to your next picnic or potluck and you’ll be everyone’s favorite person. Did I mention whiskey and bacon?

An Original Recipe

Whiskey Bacon Baked Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dry navy beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 strips center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 2 tbsp spicy mustard (I used El Diablo Texas Chili)
  • 1 C whiskey
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Steps:

  1. Rinse, drain, and sort beans. Soak them in 2 qt water (or according to package directions) over night.
  2. Put beans and remaining ingredients in to a slow cooker.
  3. Cook on LOW 10 hours, or until beans are tender and sauce has thickened.

Whiskey Bacon Baked Beans | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Beantastic Beginners:

Bean-a-rific Soups and Stews:

Bean-a-licious Sides:

Incredi-bean Main Meals:

Amaze-beans Sweet Endings:

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Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Maple Blueberry Pancakes

Do you know what today is?

It’s National Pancake Day!

I didn’t know that until yesterday. When an email from Yummly showed up in my inbox. (Honestly, I have tried to unsubscribe from their emails for way too long now. But I guess today I was thankful to have received it.) I immediately rushed to the computer to start typing up this post. I already had pictures of pancakes on my camera patiently waiting for the perfect day to be transformed into a blog post.

That day is today.

Maple Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 C whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C yogurt (I used vanilla)
  • 1 1/4 C milk
  • 1/4 C real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2 C frozen blueberries

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In another bowl whisk together eggs, yogurt, milk, syrup, and vanilla. Whisk in the melted butter.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold in the blueberries. (You can also add blueberries individually to your pancakes when you drop the batter onto the griddle.)
  4. On a hot buttered griddle drop 1/4 C of batter into pancakes. Flip pancakes when batter starts to set and bubbles form in the center of the pancake. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

*This recipe is adapted from Sally at http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/01/16/whole-wheat-blueberry-pancakes/*

Maple Blueberry Pancakes | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Yes, that’s my quilt Blueberry Pickin’ used in the photograph of these blueberry pancakes. ;-)

Caesar Tart

Sometimes salads can be boring. Even your favorite salad can end up leaving you wanting more. I challenge you to “fancify” your next salad by placing it atop a tart!

My favorite salad is Caesar and the tart it’s been placed upon is roasted garlic. When I found this recipe 8 months ago I’d been searching for the perfect time to make it. For a side dish it seemed like quite a lot of work. So when we were invited to our neighbor’s home for dinner I was provided my opportunity! Without the added responsibility of creating an entree I could spend my time on this fancy salad.

Turns out you can make this side dish in stages! My excuse for not having made it sooner was simply made invalid. You can make the dressing in advance. You can make the tart shell in advance. You can even shave or shred your Parmesan ahead of time. I waited to dress the salad until we were ready to eat, gently placed it on top of the tart shell, and topped it with Parmesan. Note: there aren’t any croutons in this salad – the tart shell acts as your croutons, but if you simply can’t live without them, feel free to add them to your salad too.

If you want to make this more of a main dish feel free to top your tart with some grilled chicken or salmon.

Caesar Tart

Ingredients for the Roasted Garlic Tart:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 C grated Paremsan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C flour

Ingredients for the Caesar Dressing:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 anchovies
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 3 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, so the bulbs are exposed but still in tact. Pour the olive oil overtop the garlic. Wrap in aluminum foil. Bake 40 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. When garlic is cool, squeeze the cloves into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter, Parmesan, and salt. Beat the mixture until combined. Add in the flour and mix until crumbly.
  4. Press the dough into a greased tart pan (I don’t have one and used a foil lined pie dish). Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Allow tart to cool.
  5. Make the dressing: Place all of the ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Pulse until combined. Taste to check for additional salt or sugar (will depend on how juicy the lemon is).
  6. In a large bowl toss the lettuce and Parmesan with as much dressing as desired. Top the tart with the dressed salad.

*This recipe is adapted from Mary at http://homemadecravings.com/caesar-salad-sweet-garlic-butter-crust/*

Casear Tart | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cinnamon Biscotti & A Baby Shower

Biscotti Baby Shower

Surprise!

Today I have gathered some of my favorite bloggers to help me celebrate a very special friend of mine. Tara! Tara is the host of Tara’s Multicultural Table.

When Tara was pregnant with her son Evan I threw her a surprise baby shower. So keeping with tradition I thought it’d be fun to throw her another surprise shower. Now that we live in separate states this shower would be virtual. Cinnamon Biscotti | Sew You Think You Can Cook 3 If I thought keeping a secret the first go around was difficult it was nothing compared to this time! Both being food bloggers we’re constantly in communication about what we’re cooking up in the kitchen.

I wanted to have a theme for this online party. I thought about tapas – tying in to Tara’s blog’s theme. But then into my email should come another biscotti recipe from Tara. Tara loves baking – cookies, scones, breads. While I’d never made biscotti before I thought it’d be a perfect theme! Because biscotti are twice baked cookies and this is Tara’s second baby!

I baked two different recipes for this event. I really wanted to make Tiramisu Biscotti.

The first time Tara and I ever worked together in the kitchen, before we had blogs, we tried our hands at a tiramisu cheesecake. Tara wanted to do everything from scratch – including the lady fingers. Well, we pretty much failed at that endeavour. The lady fingers simply didn’t have the texture required for breaking down into cookie crumbs to form the crust. But we powered through. The cheesecake filling part was quite delicious.

tiramisu BiscottiMuch like our first tiramisu adventure, mine too wasn’t a complete success. The biscotti, while perfeclty delicious were burnt along the edges and simply didn’t provide very appetizing photographs – and I took 31 photos! The white chocolate chips in the cookie turned a little yellow too and didn’t give quite the effect I was thinking they would. I would have loved to simply remake them and pull them out of the oven sooner – but I didn’t have the ingredients on hand and guess, what, it was snowing. I will remake these some day and they’ll be honored with their own blog post – and better photos. We really did enjoy these biscotti!

It was back to the drawing board and now with a slightly limited baking pantry. And then I found gold. Cinnamon biscotti. I have a very large obsession with cinnamon and could not pass this recipe up! Cinnamon Biscotti | Sew You Think You Can CookThese cookies didn’t turn out perfectly either – we cut them a little too thick and baked them a little too long. (I should have just followed the instructions – these cookies continue to harden once they’re out of the oven.) I know biscotti are supposed to be a hard cookie – perfect for dunking in coffee or tea – but these were too hard. They could not be enjoyed solo. As I don’t drink coffee, I ate mine with a cup a milk. And when the cookie was gone I was left with cinnamon milk to drink!

I would like to give a big congratulations to Tara. If you don’t follow her on Instagram you really should! (@taramctable) Her account is full of beautiful food photography and the occasional photograph of her adorable children and puppies. If you do follow Tara, you’ll have noticed that her precious child entered this world early a week and a half ago. (which means that I am now behind on her baby quilt! And I thought I was doing so well. The fabric is all cut and the sewing is underway)

So today’s suprise baby shower is more of a welcome baby party!

I would also like to thank my food friends in helping to celebrate Tara today! Please check out the beautiful cookie spread we have assembled for this event. You’ll find the list after my recipe.

Cinnamon Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 C sugar, divided use
  • 2 eggs, divided use
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon, divided use

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together butter with 1 C sugar until fluffy. Add 1 egg and the egg yolk, mix until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tsp cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer in 3 batches, mixing until combined before incorporating more.
  4. Shape the dough into a log about 10 inches long and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Beat the last egg and brush the cookie dough.
  6. Make cinnamon sugar: wisk together the remaining 1/4 C sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle some of the sugar over the cookie dough, reserve the rest.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Slice dough into 3/4″ slices on the diagonal. Place cookies cut side down onto the baking sheet. Top with the reserved cinnamon sugar. Bake 15 minutes more. Allow to cool.
  9. Enjoy with coffee, tea, or milk.

*This recipe is adapted from Joan at http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2012/12/cinnamon-sugar-biscotti/*

Cinnamon Biscotti | Sew You Think You Can Cook 2

And don’t forget to take a peek at what my other guests have baked up:

Biscotti Bites from Nicole at I am a Honey Bee

Blueberry Pecan Biscotti from Renee at Magnolia Days

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti from Stacy at Food Lust People Love

Dark Chocolate Orange Biscotti from Amy at Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Green Tea Biscotti Cookies from Rebekah at Making Miracles

Jam-Filled Mandelbrot from Kelly at Passion Kneaded

Maple Walnut Biscotti from Sally at Bewitching Kitchen

Nut-Free Anise Biscotti with Chocolate Chips from Susan at The Wimpy Vegetarian

Orange and Dark Chocolate Biscotti from Lynsey at Lynsey Lou’s

Parmesan-Peppercorn Biscotti from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Tangelo, Date, and Almond Biscotti from Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Spa Water from of Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

Fried Lemon and Chicken Wraps

Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Today I unveil my first New Years Resolution Original Recipe Creation! I developed Version 1 of this recipe on January 22nd. It was lacking a balance of flavor and the fried lemon wasn’t as successful as the fried tangerines in the Stir Fried Beef with Tangerines. I developed Version 2 on February 5. By happy circumstance a plan b (or would it be plan c?) the lettuce cups were transformed into a wrap. Applying mayonnaise to the wrap really provided the chicken mixture with that missing component. When you make this feel free to add your favorite sandwich toppings – tomato, lettuce, etc.

recipe development

In Version 1 I made a sauce using pomegrante molasses and honey. Wesley eating  sew you think you can cookBut still the chicken mixture was too dry. I made a note to cook the ground chicken as if it were taco meat. So I added chicken stock. I also increased the herbs and added chopped onions, a serrano pepper, and garlic to help create a depth of flavor. In tasting the meat during Version 2 I was pleased. We decided that that pomegranate sauce wasn’t necessary – and I wanted to see if my son would try it – which I couldn’t do with honey in the recipe.

frying lemonsOne thing I knew for certain for this first recipe creation of the year was that I wanted to fry lemons. Version 1 I used regular lemons but they were still bitter. I decided to go on a search for Meyer lemons. I’m so glad I found them because they fried up much more nicely – I also increased the amount of cornstarch. The cornstarch created an almost tempura-like batter to the lemons. These lemons were amazing!

I still wanted to serve the chicken in lettuce cups. I still had the head of bibb lettuce from Version 1 but it was up against the back wall of the fridge and was frozen. I salvaged a couple leaves for photography purposes – and Stuart ate them. I almost put my serving in a pita pocket but decided instead on using a tortilla. Stuart stated that they still needed a sauce of some kind. I agreed and added mayo to my wrap. It was perfect! It’s amazing how something so simply can help to meld the flavors and give it “completion.”

I hope you give my recipe a try and let me know what you think!

An Original Recipe

Fried Lemon and Chicken Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 C + 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 meyer lemon, sliced in circles
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 4 tortillas
  • mayo

Steps:

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F.
  2. Toss lemon slices in cornstarch. When oil has reached temperature fry lemons for 4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Remove oil to a heat proof container and carefully wipe out skillet. To the same skillet, add a fresh tablespoon of oil. Saute the shallot, serrano, and garlic until tender. Add the ground chicken and season with basil, thyme, S+P.
  4. When chicken is fully cooked add chicken broth and cook until absorbed.
  5. Cut fried lemons into quarters.
  6. Spread mayo on tortilla, add the chicken and some lemon slices. Optionally, add lettuce and tomato, or your other favorite sandwich toppings.

Fried Lemon and Chicken Wraps | Sew You Think You Can Cook

SRC: Ginger Beef Stir Fry

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Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned the blog Without Adornment written by Bean. Bean bravely talks about her battle with depression. Her blog title came to be from a sermon at church that really spoke to her. To live “without adornment” is something that I think everyone needs to learn how to do. To just be you. With the season of Lent upon us I found this to really hit home. It’s the time of year to reevaluate your relationship not just with God but with yourself. To better yourself, and what better way to do that than to live “without adornment.”

Bean leads a Gluten-Free lifestyle but that doesn’t hold her back from her favorite hobby of baking. I encourage you to check out her amazing recipe index. As I don’t keep gluten-free and am not proficient enough in my baking skills to alter recipes I looked to her savory dishes. With our new Stir Fry Day Fridays I was excited to see Pad Thai and Ginger Beef. I proceeded with the latter.

We enjoyed this beef not on a Friday, but for the Chinese New Year last week. I served it simply with white rice. I again had to eliminate the bean sprouts so I used a little more celery and carrots. I also used three large leaves from a bok choy instead of using baby bok choy. Oh, and I completely forgot to buy bell pepper, so that ingredient was also excluded from my version. This stir fry dish was a huge hit around the table. Thank you Bean for a great recipe.

Note: to keep it gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour (Bean used rice flour) and gluten-free soy sauce.

This stir fry feeds 4-6 people.

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb sirloin, sliced in thin strips
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalk celery, sliced diagonally
  • 3 bok choy leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cooking sherry
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Steps:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss sirloin strips in flour to coat. Stir fry in batches until cooked through and remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, ginger, and garlic to the same skillet. When onions are translucent add the celery and bok choy. Cook until bok choy is wilted.
  4. In a small bowl combine sugar, soy sauce, sherry, and vinegar. Pour over veggies and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. Make a slurry with the corn starch and 3 tbsp water. Gradually add the slurry to the stir fry (I didn’t use all of it) to thicken the sauce to desired consistency. Return the beef to the skillet and toss to coat. Add in the scallion.
  6. Serve with rice, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Bean at https://withoutadornment.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/gahigf-gluten-free-ginger-beef-and-chinese-esque-pork-dumplings/*

ginger beef stir fry | sew you think you can cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

#SundaySupper: Red Carpet Party

Today #SundaySupper is having a party perfect for any red carpet event! There’s an awards show on tonight. I think it’s the “big one.” I wouldn’t really know because I’m not all up to snuff on my Hollywood trivia. I do like Neil Patrick Harris though, so I will be watching. Or rather, I’ll have it playing on the TV screen. I don’t know how much I’ll be paying attention. (I’ll be participating in a Twitter chat after all! – See end of post for details.) I haven’t seen any of the movies up for nomination and I don’t know the who’s-who of actors.

Katie of Ruffles and Truffles is hosting this star-studded gathering so be sure to scroll past my recipe for a list of party worthy drinks and eats!

Thank You Peary Much | Sew You Think You Can Cook

I decided to create a very simple signature cocktail for the event. Because what party for the stars wouldn’t be complete with an original concoction involving champagne? I wanted to go with something gold in honor of The Oscar. It’s a gold award! Hey, at least I knew that!

This cocktail would be welcome at any brunch table.

An Original Recipe

Thank You Peary Much

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 2″ piece ginger root
  • pear nectar
  • champagne
  • crystalized ginger (optional)

Steps:

  1. Make ginger simple syrup: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat combine sugar, water, and ginger until sugar completely disolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Assemble cocktails: Put a little ginger simple syrup in the bottom of a champagne glass. Top it with pear nectar and champagne. (The ratios are completely up to you – do you like it mostly bubbly with a touch of juice or are you a juice fan with a hint of bubbly?) Drop some crystalized ginger into the glass and watch it fizz!

Thank You Peary Much | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:

Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:

Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:

Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:

Nominees for Best Dressed Table:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.