Actually, I hardly used the kitchen at all for the cooking--just for prep. It's amazing what you can do with a barbecue grill (with a side burner) and a crock pot. I started the baked beans (below) for dinner and then set to work on two salads for friend Shirley. They're hosting a rehearsal dinner at their house this evening and I wanted to help out. I knew she'd have a houseful of helping hands and so I figured this was the best way to give. I made an Herbed Orzo and Summer Squash Salad and a Tomato Herb Salad, two of our favorites.
Here's the Amber Ale Baked Beans recipe from Cooking Light:
Amber Ale Baked Beans
Just a little bacon gives a lot of flavor to this classic barbecue side, especially when you add it to sweet caramelized onions and a bottle of slightly fruity and malty ale.
2 cups water
4 (16-ounce) cans low-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 bacon slices (uncooked), chopped
2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup no salt-added ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) bottle amber ale (such as Redhook)
Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain over a large bowl; reserve cooking liquid. Discard onion and bay leaves.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add chopped onion to drippings in pan; cook 10 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chili powder to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add ketchup and next 5 ingredients (through ale) and 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid to pan; bring to a boil. Add beans and bacon. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Transfer to a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes or until thick.
Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)