Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Menu Sides and The World According to Bella

Memorial Day Greetings 
Cook's Notes: Today also marks the unofficial start of summer despite a rainy start here in northern Minnesota. Last summer in honor of National Root Beer Float Day August 6th

I posted a recipe for root beer cake.

I was intrigued with the ingredients in the recipe. In addition the directions seemed a bit different than the usual cake baking steps. My adventurous cooking spirit spurred me on to take the plunge. Oh, my, this cake is moist and will satisfy anyone who has a chocolate craving. The cake sort of soaks the flavors the longer it sits. After the cake cools wrap in plastic wrap and the root beer flavors will intensify. Root beer brings out the depth and richness of the chocolate while imparting its own unique flavors.  So with that being said I knew I had to try Root Beer Baked Beans the perfect side for a grilled meal.  
The addition of root beer gives a bit of sweetness to the baked beans and bacon adds some smokiness. One of the best parts of making this recipe is using a slow cooker which frees up your day for other things.  The recipe can also be baked in an oven.  
Recipe adapted from Serves 8-10
Cooking tip: Pour the root beer slowly as it foams up quickly.  
  • 6- 8 pieces of bacon
  • 1-1/2 cups diced sweet onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-28 oz. can baked beans, drained
  • 1-15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-15 oz. can cannellini, kidney or chili bean, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce e.g. Sweet Vidalia Onion
  • 1/3 cup each molasses, pure maple syrup and brown sugar 
  • 2 TB. each Dijon mustard or Spicy Brown Dijon mustard, ketshup, Worcestershire sauce and cider vinegar
  • 1-12 oz. can or bottle root beer (not diet) 
  • Fry bacon, set aside and reserve 1 TB. bacon drippings.
  • Saute onions and garlic in reserved bacon drippings, set aside on a paper towel.
  • In a 4-6 qt. crock pot, add in all ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on low until sauce is slightly thickened about 4 hours.  Serve using a slotted spoon.
  • If baking bean dish in oven preheat to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-3 qt. baking dish. Add in all ingredients and mix well. Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until sauce is thickened. 
 Cucumber Potato Salad with Ranch Dressing
Cook's notes: Serves 6-8 and options include adding halved cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced radishes.
Recipe adapted from Cuisineathome June 2015
  • 1-1/2 lbs. red skinned baby potatoes, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup lite mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 1/4 cup each low fat buttermilk and lite sour cream
  • 3 TB. fresh dill or 1 TB, dried dill 
  • 1 TB. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TB. cider vinegar 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 TB. Dijon mustard
  • pepper
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and patted dry on a paper towel.
  • 3/4 cup radishes, thinly sliced  
  •  3/4 cup diced red onions or scallions,diced
  • Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender but not mushy, drain.
  • Hard boil 4 eggs. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool, then peel and quarter. Refrigerate eggs and potatoes in a large bowl. 
  • Whisk together mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, buttermilk, sour cream, dill, parsley flakes, garlic,vinegar, mustard and salt for dressing. Season with pepper.
  • Add diced cucumbers, tomatoes,radishes and scallions to the bowl with potatoes and chopped eggs. Add dressing and toss to coat. There may be extra dressing. Save if needed when serving. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Refrigerate for several hours for flavors to meld.   
The World According to Bella
I am back with new developments. So far I've gotten 4 pieces of mail this past week. Each envelope was filled with my favorite treat Beggin Strips-Bacon Flavored. 

 and today Mrs. S cheered me up (I can't go out it's raining) with WWN news. My story Catching Up on Spring at the Lake was published. Check it out.
Love, Bella

1 comment:

  1. Very nice Sue :) love the idea of adding beer to beans. Yum! Happy Memorial Day!


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