CROCKPOT PICNIC BEANS

I've been making these beans for my family for 30+ years and they are always a hit. Now that we are empty nesters, I make a big pot of these and then freeze them in 2 cup containers for a quick and yummy side dish for any meal. 



I put the following ingredients (which are always in my pantry) into a large crockpot before I go to bed and let them cook on LOW all night.



2 cups DRY navy beans (do not soak)
6 cups water
1/2 cup dark brown sugar  (light brown sugar works well too)
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3/4 cup sweet onion chopped small and sautéed
(1) 8 ounce can tomato sauce
small pinch of cayenne pepper
6 slices crisp cooked and drained bacon

Now, a word about the beans:  Over the years, I've tried every kind of DRY bean there is and they ALL work, however, the tiny little "navy beans" work the best and tolerate re-heating without going mushy. I highly recommend that you use navy beans. Make sure you rinse and sort the dry beans, but do NOT pre-soak them.

Put everything into a large crockpot and cover with 6 cups of water. Stir well and set on low for 12 hours. The last 3-4 hours, prop the lid of the slow cooker open (just a little) with a spoon, to thicken the sauce. 


Note about onions: When I decide to make these beans (and I'm out of fresh onions), I use a scant tablespoon of dehydrated onion flakes, they work well.


ENJOY !!!
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LIGHT AS AIR PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Most peanut butter recipes like this are way to "heavy" and way to sweet, but this one is PERFECT, it's more like a light mousse. 

Double the ingredients and put it in a 9x13 dish and it will disappear from ANY buffet table in a wink, followed by lots of requests for the recipe. IT IS LIGHT AS AIR !!!!!




9" Pie or double the ingredients and
make a 9" x 13" size for a crowd 


CRUST
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all crust ingredients and press into a 9" pie pan (pushing up the sides) sit it in the fridge while you are making the filling.

FILLING
8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter  (I use Jiff)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoons soft butter
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup whipping cream

Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then add the peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla.  Beat on high until the mixture is very well mixed and smooth.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until you get stiff peaks, then gently fold it into the peanut butter mixture by hand, making sure that it is well mixed and you don't see any streaks of white.

Spoon filling into the crumb crust. Chill the whole thing for 3-4 hours or overnight.

NOTE: For the chocolate decoration on this pie, I heat 1/4 cup of milk to boiling, then pour it over 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Stir until well melted and smooth. drizzle over the finished pie and then sprinkle with a few graham cracker crumbs and chopped peanuts for decoration....(not  necessary, but fun).

NOTE: OK......here's a warning.... if you are like me and you like to lick the beaters and spoons, you will notice sugar grains in the filling.....don't freak out. After it chills in the fridge for a couple of hours, they will totally disappear and the filling will be SILKY SMOOTH!! I promise!!!



This stuff is totally addicting!!

ENJOY !!!

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