Wow! This weekend flew by and Monday did as well. I’ve been too busy to post since Friday, and I’ve missed it and all of my bloggie friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I did! It even came complete with a tiny bit of sunburn. I wasn’t properly prepared for the beautiful weather at the cookout on Sunday, but it was certainly nice to see the sun!
Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments you left on my last post. I will treasure them! I’m so happy with my new approach for now, and I have to say that I had a much less stressful weekend full of eating activities, largely due to my new outlook. It was lovely. I didn’t realize how stressed I had been about food situations. I’ve just been doing my best to choose things that I really want, and then eat reasonable portions. I think I’ve done pretty well.
I don’t have any photos (some friends don’t know about the blog…), so I won’t get into too many longwinded details, but I will say that over the past few days, I’ve enjoyed bastilla, lamb couscous and chicken mkali at a Moroccan restaurant. I had Rabbit Fricassee with Gnocchi, Coq au Vin, Chocolate Mousse Cake with Bourbon Cherries, and an assortment of items from the charcuterie menu including spanish ham and an amazing duck prosciutto at Vinoteca, which is a very cool wine bar and bistro on U Street. At the cookout, I had a small portion of some pulled pork that my friends had smoked, salad, some of the baked beans I’m going to tell you about, and a small lemon bar for dessert. I love lemon bars. Yum!
I’ve kept my portions small, tried to skip the bread when possible because it isn’t my favorite thing anyway, and tried to plan ahead while eating during the rest of the day so as to leave a bit more room in the calorie count for these richer foods. I’ve kept up with my workout schedule too. The last few days have been nice, and I haven’t regretted any of the things I’ve eaten. I figure that’s a pretty good sign that I’m doing ok. Time and the scale will tell, but, as I said before, I’m absolutely prepared to keep tabs on the situation and adjust if necessary.
So, on to the beans! I volunteered to bring baked beans to the cookout, and I wanted to try making them from scratch rather than just doctoring up some canned beans. Here’s the recipe I came up with:
Slow but Easy Baked Beans
1 lb. small white beans, uncooked
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped onion
3 ounces center cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup Virginia Gentleman Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
2 tsp. dijon mustard
Rinse and sort the dried beans. Place the beans in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the pot to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Cover, and allow the beans to sit for one hour. Drain the water, rinse the beans again and place them in a slow cooker. Add 1 1/2 cups water, onion, syrup, brown sugar, salt and bacon. Cook over high heat for four hours. I added a splash more water to the slow cooker around hour number three because the beans were looking a bit dry. You might want to keep an eye on them and add a little water if needed.
Add the barbecue sauce and dijon mustard and allow to cook for an additional hour.
I made mine the day before the cookout, so I spread them in a baking dish and reheated them at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes just before I got ready to serve them. I think this was good as it allowed a bit of a crust to develop on the top.
This made about sixteen 1/4 cup servings.
I decided to use smaller amounts of syrup and brown sugar than usual, and then to finish it off with a distinctively flavored barbecue sauce to punch up the flavor. I think that the sauce gave the beans a nice taste without adding quite as many calories. I also wanted some bacon, but I didn’t want to go overboard. There was enough in there to give it some good bacon flavor without resulting in greasy baked beans. Here’s what they looked like right after I put them in the slow cooker:
I know this post is short and sweet, but I need to head off to bed. I have a bit of an early day tomorrow. I’m headed to the dermatologist in the morning for an annual check-up, and I’m sure that my bit of accidental sunburn will earn me a well deserved lecture. Here’s a question: Do you wear sunscreen every day or just when you expect to be out in the sun for a long period of time?
My everyday foundation has sunscreen in it, and my face didn’t burn at all. I have a weird stripe on one forearm and my collar bones got a bit singed. It is lovely, to be sure. Speaking of lovely, I hope you all have a lovely night and a lovely week. I’m hoping to get caught up on reading/commenting over the next couple of days. I’m sure I’ve missed some great posts! Goodnight!