Saturday, January 07, 2012

Plenty O' Pinto Beans

Growing up in South Carolina, we often ate at Cracker Barrel.  It was way back when the county store could still be called "quaint," and the prices were super reasonable.  We ate their after church most Sundays and tried to beat the Baptist crowd.

There were two items I really liked there in particular:  Bowl O'Beans served with sweet pickle relish, raw onion and cornbread and the Chicken and Dumplin's.

This past week, I've been baking out of my Cooking Light Way to Bake cookbook (a Christmas gift!).  Here are the recipes I've made:  Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits and Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins.  Both turned out great, and I was telling my Mother about them.  I told her they would really pair well with the pinto beans from Cracker Barrel.  She suggested I make them since the recipe was easy. 

Well, I did a google search for a recipe and came up with my own.  Soak two pounds of dry pinto beans in water overnight.  Throw them in the crockpot with a ham hock, some chopped ham, garlic powder, and cover everything with water.  Let them cook away for 10 hours.

Let me tell you...YUM!  Of course, it's enough beans for the next two weeks, but they are so tasty!  So delicious with the biscuits or corn muffins. 

Maybe use only one pound of beans next time....

Served with a cornmeal buttermilk biscuit!
I've been cooking lots of appetizers today, as some folks from the book club are coming over tonight.  Some of the recipes are new (I love to try out new recipes on guests just like my Mother), so I'll share the winners later.  A few recipes are the usual crowd pleasers....balsamic bean dip with flatbread from Trader Joe's and self-filled cupcakes (Thinking of you, Lori!).

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