Friday, October 7, 2011

Ode to Canada - Maple Syrup Guest Post

This week I decided that I wanted the world to see how many wonderful products and cultural dishes Canada has. 
Ode to Canada Week kicked off with the truly Canadian dessert “NanaimoBar” and its only fair to follow dessert up with a dinner dish right?  Because in my kitchen it’s ok to eat dessert first (as long as you eat dinner)!
I knew that I wanted to showcase maple syrup at some point and not just with pancakes. 
Photo courtesy of
In Canada we even have festivals commemorating the wonderful sap that drips from trees every year so why would I just tell you to place a pitcher full beside your waffles?  Clearly I wouldn’t!
Photo provided by
When I saw Kay from and then I ate it post her Maple Baked Beans recipe on her Facebook page I knew I had to ask if she would be willing to let me share the recipe on my blog and better still, guest post it.  As another fellow Canadian she definitely understands how important this beautiful natural condiment is.  She jumped at the chance and I was thrilled!
 I’m not sure if I was more excited to have a guest blogger or that I didn’t actually have to make and eat them myself, because you see, Little Ugh and I love them -  A LOT and it causes “fanning wars” after bowls are consumed (if you catch my drift).
I do know that Kay has only been blogging since January of this year and she has a million and one amazing  things posted.  Trying to pick my favourite post is really pointless since there are so many great inspirations but one of my “must tries” is her Bourbon Chicken.
When you’re finished checking out her  step by step instruction on how to make the wonderfully mapley flavoured side dish below go and check her out!
First off, I want to say how excited and honoured I am to be guest hosting for Betty Martha. As a fellow Canadian, I too am proud of my country’s diverse culinary achievements. But I have to tell you, it’s still the home grown recipes that I enjoy the most. Plus if they happen to have Canadian ingredients in them, the happier I am.
Several years ago I began to write down my recipes so when my daughter moved away, she’d have them in a nice cookbook created by me. In January of 2011, I took the giant leap by turning those recipes into a blog featuring not only my culinary achievements but also my joy of writing and photography. Then6 weeks later, I laid down my money officially making it my website. All the recipes are meant for those who are novice cooks such as my daughter and with ingredients that are easily found in your local grocery store. But that doesn’t mean they’re boring. They are as diverse and exciting as the country we live in. Go on, get nosey, go take a good look for yourself! 
Now on to those Maple Baked Beans ...
Baked Beans are a staple in this country as they are in many others. Now cooking beans in a crock pot without soaking them is both convenient and economical. The original recipe called for molasses but you know me, I had  to do something different. So I “Canucked it up” by adding maple syrup instead!!
Maple syrup! Can’t get more Canadian than that!
Gives these a try, I’m sure you’ll love them.

Crock Pot Maple Baked Beans
2 medium onions diced
4-6 slices of bacon
2 ½ cup navy or northern beans
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup REAL maple syrup
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 tsp black pepper
4 cups warm water
1.       Chop the onions and place in the bottom of the crock pot.
2.      Dice the bacon and place on top of the bacon.
3.      Pour out the beans onto a baking sheet, check for small stones that may have been missed in harvesting and packing. Discarding any beans that are discoloured or empty shells. Once cleaned, carefully pour over the onions and bacon.
4.      Ina large bowl, mix together the sugar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, black pepper and water. Mix it thoroughly so that the sugar is mostly dissolved.
5.      Gently pour the liquid over the beans, onions and bacon in the crock pot, trying hard to not disturb the layers.
6.      Place the lid on and turn to high. Cook for 6-8 hours or until the beans are soft and completely cooked. I visually checked mine several times during cooking and during the last hours gave them a stir so that all beans were coated with the then thick liquid which had settled to the bottom.
Serve hot or cold and they do freeze well.
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