Browse Category: From the Kitchen

YUMMY YUMMY – Baked Beans Recipe!

First off I want to say the the Pioneer Woman’s Baked Beans look YUMMY! It is her picture, and while her recipe is nothing like mine, they look the same going into the oven.

So be sure to visit her website to see how hers are made, and I will give you mine here! There you go! Two for one! Well, actually more than two if you check out page 2! Now, like my potato salad recipe.

Baked beans recipe

this is a family one handed down by word of mouth, and while I never measure anything they always taste basically the same.

I usually made a 13″ x 9″ cake pan full (huge roaster if a BIG party but easy enough to adjust) so keep a cake pan in mind as I tell you how I make them… they are award winning and guaranteed to bring compliments!


  • One large, 55 ounce, can of Baked Beans of your choice + one smaller can to fill the pan to full
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Karo (light) Syrup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Mrs. Butterworth’s Pancake Syrup*
  • BBQ Sauce*

*This is a very flexible recipe, so you can substitute BBQ sauce for ketchup, or add it in conjunction with it, and the same with the Mrs. Butterworth’s… you can add some if you have it or leave it out if you ran out last week… it makes it that much better but your guests will not be the wiser.


  • Open and drain the juice off the canned beans, removing any fatty bacon chunks that might be in it too… and pour into sprayed with Pam pan.
  • To the bean squirt about 1/4 cup of ketchup across the top in squiggles. You can cut back on amount of ketchup and add the equivalent of BBQ sauce if you prefer.
  • Squirt a small amount of prepared mustard over the top of the beans
  • Pour abour 1/4 cup (I emphasize I do not measure it) of Karo syrup over the beans
  • Do the same with the Mrs. Butterworths if you like the added maply buttery flavor
  • Squirt a small amount (maybe the equivalent of a tablespoon or less) of Worcestershire sauce to the rest
    Add about 4 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
  • Mix well
  • Cover the entire top of the beans with wall to wall bacon
  • Bake on the middle rack of your oven at 335 degrees for approximately 2 hours or until thickened and the bacon crispy
  • The beans will be soupy (but not overly so) when they go into the oven… you need the moisture so they do not dry out during the baking process. Once done let them sit for about 10 minutes and serve warm.

Be sure to make PLENTY! I have had guests come back for THIRDS!…

Root-Master – Quick HERB Guide


  • Allspice – Similar to cloves, but more pungent and deeply flavored. Best used in spice mixes.
  • Bay Leaf – (also: Indian Bay Leaf) Adds a woodsy background note to soups and sauces.
  • Cardamom – This warm, aromatic spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also great in baked goods when used in combination with spices like clove and cinnamon.Parsley
  • Cayenne Pepper – Made from dried and ground red chili peppers. Adds a sweet heat to soups, braises, and spice mixes.
  • Cloves – Sweet and warming spice. Used most often in baking, but also good with braised meat.
  • Coriander – Earthy, lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Indian dishes.
  • Cumin – Smoky and earthy. Used in a lot of Southwestern US and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian.
  • Fennel Seed – Lightly sweet and licorice flavored. It’s excellent with meat dishes, or even chewed on its own as a breath freshener and digestion aid!
  • Garlic Powder – Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves and can be used to give dishes a sweeter, softer garlic flavor.
  • Mace – From the same plant as nutmeg, but tastes more subtle and delicate. Great in savory dishes, especially stews and homemade sausages.
  • Nutmeg – Sweet and pungent. Great in baked goods, but also adds a warm note to savory dishes.
  • Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.
  • Paprika – (also: Smoked Paprika) Adds a sweet note and a red color. Used in stews and spice blends.
  • Rosemary – Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.
  • Saffron – Subtle floral flavor. Used mostly as a coloring agent.
  • Sage – Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.
  • Smoked Paprika – (also: Paprika) Adds sweet smokiness to dishes, as well as a red color.
  • Turmeric – Used more for its yellow color than its flavor. Can be used in place of saffron.
  • Thyme – Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor. Great as an all-purpose seasoning.
  • Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon – Sweet and spicy. Can be used in both sweet baked goods and to add depth to savory dishes.

Fresh Herbs


  • Basil – Delicate flavor that lends itself well to Italian salads and dishes, especially pesto
  • Chervil – Delicate anise flavor. Great raw in salads or as a finishing garnish.
  • Marjoram – Floral and woodsy. Try it in sauces, vinaigrettes, and marinades.
  • Mint – Surprisingly versatile for such an intensely flavored
  • basilherb. Try it paired with lamb, peas, potatoes.
  • Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.
  • Rosemary – Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.
  • Sage – Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.
  • Tarragon – Strong anise flavor. Can be eaten raw in salads or used to flavor tomato dishes, seafood, or eggs.
  • Thyme – Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor. Great as an all-purpose seasoning.



  • Bouquet Garni – Thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Used to flavor broths and soups. (Classic French)
  • Curry Powder – Typically includes tumeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper, but mixes can vary. Used primarily to quickly flavor curry sauces. (Indian)
  • Herbes de Provence – Usually savory, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and sometimes lavender. Use as a marinade or dry rub for roast chicken, fish, and vegetables.
  • Pickling Spice – Most often, bay leaf, yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, allspice, coriander. Used for pickling vegetables in vinegar.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Used for seasoning pumpkin pie, but also great in other spiced baked goods.

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Root-Master Club – Gazpacho Recipe

Yesterday we discussed a great curried stew to use up all those veggies ripening in our gardens.

gazpacho recipeToday we use some of the same vegetables to make a cold dish…. GAZPACHO! Gazpacho is a wonderful cold soup that is wonderful by itself, with a salad or as the opening course to a summer dinner.

Use whatever veggies are coming your way to make a dish that evolves as you, and your garden do!

Stay tuned to page 2 (Read More) for my Gazpacho Recipe and even MORE cold soups for your perusal…. ENJOY!


  • Yield:8 servings
  • Time:20 minutes + several hours to chill
  • Tools   1. large, covered bowl
    2. stick blender (optional)




  • 4 c tomato juice or diced tomatoes
  • 2 c diced tomatoes
  • 1 peeled, seeded, diced cucumber
  • ½ c chopped red onion
  • ½ c chopped celery
  • ½ c chopped bell pepper
  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Twine vinegar
  • 2 T lemon and/or lime juice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt, pepper


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Purée some or all of the soup (optional).
  • Chill for several hours.


This recipe is quite flexible. I’ve seen it with corn, green chiles, zucchini – you name it.
Experiment to find the version you like best.

Gazpacho is often served with side dishes of various toppings, such as diced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, avocado, red onion, cilantro, and croûtons.

I have found gazpacho recipes where they add navy beans, garbanzo beans,or even sliced black olives to the final chunky “puree”… experiment to make my recipe YOURS!…

#1 Root-Master Pizza Recipes

Well, as always, Jamie Oliver has done it again!
I was skeptical when we first traveled to Italy… I thought, oh sure they are going to have some horrible version of what we think of pizza…Italian_Pizza

BUT I was pleasantly SURPRISED!

We ate pizza on the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge), built in 1345, in Florence… or Firenze as it is called in Italy (I still cannot understand why we insist on calling it Florence) … in the piazzas, on the Spanish Steps in Rome… and in, of course, Figline Valdarno, located in the countryside of Tuscany, where we love to stay at CasaNuova, a 350 year old monastery turned working vineyard!

I would be there in a heartbeat tomorrow if I could! Awww… to sit on the veranda, sipping wine, eating… oh but I digress.

Jamie calles this yummy concoction pizza with spicy salami, courgette, basil, tomato and mozzarella.

Don’t let him fool you… courgette is ZUCCHINI! HERE is something to do once all that zucchini starts coming in your garden! So start picking those herbs, tomatoes & zucchini and make Jamie’s pizza TODAY! Want EVEN MORE pizza?

Chicago-style stuffed pizza

I had my first taste of stuffed pizza at giordano’s as a teenager. years later while working in chicago I frequented several of the great pizzerias, but the stuffed pizza at giordano’s always kept me coming back. …

tightwad Wednesday – stain recipe & no-knead pizza dough – each week, I will test out two tips from the complete tightwad gazette, and on the following Wednesday.

I’ll review how they went and evaluate if it is worth my time/effort/money to continue with it. both challenges were not too bad …

Grissini (thin bread sticks)

grissini bouquet. if you think you can’t bake bread (which is probably a false notion, by the way), grissini are a sure-fire way to fast success. these thin bread sticks could not be simpler to make. if you love playing with dough, …

Weekly Dish »

Apologies for my long absence life has taken over. We have managed to eat here and there in the midst of that life, so this week I hope to share more of the busy-life dinners that have become so much a part of our routine.

One of the ways I’m surviving this tornado of grading papers, writing, reading, discussing, tutoring, planning, committee-sitting, and teaching is by spending a little time in the kitchen to prepare for (at least) two meals at a time.

Top 10 Meals on a Budget

–Frugal living list – 10 inexpensive meals. The best thing about frugal living is that you get to enjoy much nicer food than you would if you were constantly buying fast food.

Steak Pizza Recipe | Italian Recipes | Simple Recipes

– This is not your usual pizza recipe- but it is just delicious. This steak pizza recipe is simple. Just use your favorite crust and follow the recipe. There is.…