Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans

I don’t know why, but I’ve been in a baked beans mood lately.  It might be a desire for some comfort food as the weather is getting colder.  Over the summer, I’d clipped this recipe from Cooking Light’s July 2017 magazine and had been looking for an opportunity to make it.  So, over lunch one day, I threw it in the crockpot and came home to some delicious baked beans.  The peach flavor was extremely subtle, whereas the bourbon flavor hit the nostrils.

Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Bourbon Peach Baked Beans

3 center cut bacon slices, chopped
Cooking spray
2 cans unsalted cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans unsalted pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 ripe peaches, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c ketchup
1/2 c bourbon
1/4 c maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high.  Add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove bacon from skillet.  Coat inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients.  Stir well.

Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours.  Keep covered until beans are ready to serve.

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Roasted Fresh Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza

To cook with the sourdough pizza starter I’d made, I decided to throw together this corn, poblano, and cheddar pizza.  I think it’s been on my list of pizzas to make since I first saw the recipe in a Cooking Light magazine back in 2006 and it’s been flagged in the annual cookbook since I got it.  So, with corn in season in August, I decided to finally make this.

Roasted Fresh Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza

Roasted Corn, Poblano, and Cheddar Pizza

2 poblano chiles
Cooking spray
2 c fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c low-fat milk
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can refrigerated pizza crust dough*
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat boiler.  Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 10 minutes or until blackened and charred, turning occasionally.  Place in a heavy-duty ziploc plastic bag; seal.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Peel and discard skins, seeds, and stems.  Chop peppers.

Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees.  Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add corn, green onions, and garlic; saute 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Stir in milk; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.  Cool slightly.  Place egg whites, egg, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; stir with a whisk.  Stir in poblano peppers, corn mixture, and cheese.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Unroll dough onto parchment paper; pat dough to form a 13×8-inch rectangle.  Spread corn mixture over dough, leaving a 1-inch border.  Fold 1 inch of dough over corn mixture.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until set.  Serve with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.

Lemon Honey Chicken Thighs

A few weeks ago I had some friends over for dinner.  I was trying to determine the menu when I remembered this recipe from last August’s Cooking Light magazine (2016) and thought it was probably time to try it.  It appeared to be something that I could finish make relatively quickly as we prepared to sit down, without much last minute fuss.  For the most part, this was pretty accurate.  My only issue was that I should have swirled the olive oil around on the pan a little bit better because the chicken thighs stuck to the pan in some pretty significant ways.  Otherwise, this was a nice, light chicken thigh recipe, and I almost always use chicken thighs because they tend to not dry out as easily, so I was happy to have a recipe that used them.

Lemon Honey Chicken Thighs.jpg

Lemon-Honey Chicken Thighs

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c thinly sliced shallots
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned and done.  Transfer to a warm plate; keep warm.

Add shallots to pan; reduce heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, or until beginning to brown and soften, stirring frequently.  Add 2 Tbsp water, juice, and honey to pan; bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Return chicken to pan, turning to coat.  Sprinkle evenly with fresh oregano, and serve immediately.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

My hippie puppy Meg was groomed last week.  How adorable are thee flowers for her ears?

Meet my puppy, the hippie. #thatsmymeg

A post shared by Gwen Schimek (@gwenschimek) on

I have been meaning to make this recipe for months.  I decided to finally commit to doing it and am so glad I did.  I modified from the original recipe and instead of broiling, used the grill to cook the chicken thighs, but loved this Cooking Light recipe.  This is a recipe that I thought tasted exactly how I expected it to taste and I hope to make it again soon!

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Cooking spray
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 chicken thighs)

Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw

Finding a salad that will hold up for a day that doesn’t involve pasta or other grains can sometimes be a challenge.  For one of the funerals we had this month, I wanted to bring a salad that would hold up, but also be a little outside the box.  This recipe came from the August 2016 Cooking Light magazine and I’m so glad I made it.  It’s a nice change from the usual broccoli salad with mayonnaise and sunflower seeds.

Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw.jpg

Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw

12 oz broccoli stalks
8 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c seedless red grapes, halved
2 Tbsp pine nuts

Thinly slice broccoli and Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with the slicing blade.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt; toss to coat.

Combine remaining salt , oil, and next 5 ingredients (through cheese) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add dressing, grapes, and pine nuts to broccoli mixture; toss.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes with Goat Cheese

When I started cooking dinner for folks on occasion, I found myself experimenting with ingredients I had never before used.  Sometimes this was something that I couldn’t find in my small Minnesota town.  Other times it was something that was present, but hadn’t been part of our regular menu.  This recipe for rosemary-roasted potatoes with goat cheese caught my eye as I was intrigued by the use of goat cheese.  One of my guests enjoyed this recipe mostly because they liked hearing my Minnesota accent come out with an elongated oooooo in the goat and the shortened ee in the cheese.  With that in mind, here is this recipe, originally from Cooking Light.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes with Goat Cheese.jpg

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