Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homemade Baked Beans

What is this, you wonder?

Why this is the result of one of my wonderful children (I won't name names) who lovingly cleaned the dishes after supper the other night.

Trying to cop out and load the dishwasher without rinsing paid its price later. The nameless child created more work for his/herself when the entire load (due to other items that mysteriously missed the rinse cycle) came out covered in a hard, baked bean powder and he/she had to wash each dish by hand.

A lesson was learned, or at least a parent can hope.

Anyway, despite the picture above, this is actually a great recipe for the cold, winter days that lay ahead. An old favourite of my Grandma's, this traditional comfort food will warm you right up.

photo by kicthenroadie on flickr

Grandma Anderson's Baked Beans

1 lb. white navy beans (soaked overnight then rinsed well)
1 cup Ketchup
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup diced onions
1 pkg. bacon - fried and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tbsp. dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
*3 cups water

*plus a possible addition of 4 cups of water during cooking time

Mix together and bake for 6-8 hours at 275-300 degrees (depending on your oven). Add water over the course of the cooking time if beans are looking thick.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Back in Action

Hoo-boy. Wasn't sure of the last time I posted and realized I still had a Christmasy entry! Those cookies sure were good, but I've got to get back on the training regiment. Hard to be motivated during these hibernation months.

I've also just returned from Florida with the family. Sigh...ten days filled with bike rides on the beach, long walks collecting seashells and surmising other sea creatures that came in with the surf. Not to mention frosty, thirst-quenching beers on the pier with good company. Missing it so much.

But onwards and upwards!

I have signed up for a spring race in May so I have something to pull me through these next three months of indoor training. Wind trainer, weights, squash...I'm hoping to mix it up to fight off boredom as well as lax muscles and extra bike weight that won't help me climb those hills come thaw time.

To keep with this theme, I am doing my best to eat clean. My sister-in-law (Hi Denise-ee!) passed this along and I couldn't believe it was on the clean eating list. It is a great way to transition me from Florida back to Ontario.

I will credit Clean Eating Magazine for this one (and Denise of course!):

Baked Lobster & Brie Dip

This is a decadent and rich dish that no one will guess is clean! When shopping for ingredients, purchase fresh-cooked lobster from your local fishmonger.
By Joanne Lusted | Photo: Donna Griffith 


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups baby spinach, lightly packed
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked lobster meat
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat Brie cheese, diced (about 7 oz)
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh chives and flat-leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Cooking in batches if necessary, add garlic and spinach and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach is just wilted. Transfer to a colander, allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes and gently press to drain excess water. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add mozzarella, yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice and cayenne to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Using a spatula, scrape cheese mixture into bowl with spinach. Stir in lobster, Brie, chives and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer dip to a shallow ovenproof casserole dish and place dish on a baking tray. Heat in oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove from oven and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.

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