Monday, May 30, 2011

Bigfoot, Beer Braised Cowboy Beans and Beer Wench Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I thought this summer would be my first summer in twelve years to not be teaching a summer camp.  Then I got my part-time job and guess what…I started teaching camp today.  I’m glad.  I know it would be something I would miss.  I’m never totally sure of things I’m good at, but I know I’m good at summer camps.  That is one thing my former job might be coming to realize.  At any rate, the camp I’m teaching now is out in the woods.  This video came out a few days ago.  I’ve always been obsessed with Bigfoot.  My goal, along with having a lot of fun with camps this summer, is to see Bigfoot.  I will keep you posted. 

I like beer.  Beer is good.  You should try drinking beer and cooking with it, too.  Here a few of my favorite recipes that include cooking with beer as you drink beer.  Enjoy!
Beer-Braised Cowboy Beans (

12 slices lean bacon, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
6 cups cooked pinto beans, rinsed
12 ounce beer, such as Tecate
2 cups water plus more as needed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile
2 teaspoons McCormick chili powder
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
10 scallions, trimmed and sliced

Set a heavy-bottomed 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon to the pan and fry until lightly crisp, about 5 minutes.  Add green peppers and garlic; mix well.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is soft.  Add the cooked beans, beer and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the coriander, ancho chile, chili powder and salt.  Add more water if necessary.  Simmer gently for 40-50 minutes to blend flavors.  Ladle into bowls and serve topped with generous spoonful of sliced scallions

Beer Wench Bacon Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (

1 box of brownie mix
3 eggs
Vegetable oil (whatever amount indicated on brownie mix)
1/3 cup chocolate, oatmeal or regular stout
1 package of bacon
6 whole peanut butter cups – chilled
2 tbsp butter

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease pan with butter. Yes, butter. Because butter makes everything better.  Cook entire package of bacon to desired consistency.  I like a combination of crispy bacon and chewy bacon.  They both add an interesting texture to the end product.  Allow the bacon to cool and then dice it.  Chop the peanut butter cups into small pieces.  Melt the butter and mix with the bacon.  Combine the eggs, oil, stout and bacon butter with the box brownie mix in a large bowl.  Do not over mix.   After all ingredients are combined, fold in the peanut butter cups.  Pour the mix into the greased pan and spread it evenly.  Bake according to mix directions.  Obviously, serve with the rest of the stout. 

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