~ Comfort Food Bliss ~

Mmm... baked beans

Mmm… baked beans (Photo credit: jeffreyw)

It is cold. It is the last week of January. It is time for a comforting recipe that is easy and good and goes with all kinds of entrées. What is this magic bean of a recipe? Why Baked Beans of course.

I love baked beans though I have to be careful not to eat them when I have to cover a municipal council meeting for my newspaper at night. I am sure I do not have to explain any further.

In fact, I have a stomach that is a bit “delicate” so when I have to work at night I do not eat before I go so that it does not do something unexpected. It is funny how we have to adapt to things in life. Nine times out of ten my stomach survives a meal successfully, but it is that tenth time that makes one take precautions. But I digress (I often think that if I did not digress, I would not have much of a post).

This recipe was given to me by my sister, hence the name:

Great Baked Beans à la Peggy

4 – 15 oz. cans of baked beans (any kind you like; if I am feeling virtuous I choose the kind without pork—if I need comfort, I choose pork and beans)

1 onion, diced

3 tbsp. vinegar

¾ cup molasses

1 tsp. dry mustard

¼ cup ketchup

Bacon on top

Bake one hour at 350 degrees then 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

So simple, yet so good. You may think the magic ingredient in this is the bacon, but the real ingredient that makes all the difference in the world is molasses. Seriously—it gives it the right “body” and makes it kind of velvety—words I know not usually ascribed to baked beans, but it is true.

Sometimes I do not use this official recipe because I do not always have all the ingredients—if you have no dry mustard, use the yellow stuff. No molasses, throw in some brown sugar or maple syrup. No bacon? Cry a little—then make it anyway. Sometimes I crisp the bacon and put it right in with the beans. You can get as creative as you want.

I use this recipe when I have family dinners and it always disappears. For these dinners I serve it with spiral cut ham, cranberries, coleslaw, green stuff (I will give you the recipe for this some day), and roasted potatoes.

Cappuccino at Black Star Pastry Newtown

(Photo credit: sachman75)

I have two questions for you today. The first is existential: Would you consider someone a coffee lover if they have to use 3 teaspoons of sugar and a pint of milk in their morning coffee?

The second is: What is your favourite comfort food bliss? Feel free to answer one or both questions—and if you want to leave a recipe, feel free.

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79 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. To me coffee is coffee no matter how you drink it. I drink mine black with a little sugar.
    Gawd– comfort food bliss? My list could go on forever :) Mac and Cheese would be somewhere on the top though. or mashed potatoes and gravy.mmmm

    • Mashed potatoes and gravy – heaven on a plate. My mom once asked me if I loaded my plate down with gravy when I was away from the house like I did when I was home (my plate was almost always overflowing) — yes, yes, yes–I love gravy!

      • because of this blasted post I had to make a batch of mac and cheese.. and brownies. You dastardly blogger you

      • so sorry – I am eating an apple right now and it is not filling the gap

      • my diet thanks you kindly…

  2. Coffee is coffee for me too … I drink mine black or, as an indulgence, espresso.

    Comfort food? Mashed potato with lots of butter, or, most gloriously, Tartiflette ~ yum :)

  3. Ok, so I always have to be the odd one out – coffee is GROSS!! LOL Sorry to say it, and no offence intended, but I will have to pass on the baked beans too. I have never been a fan, but the rest of my family will love this recipe :).

    As far as my comfort food bliss, of course it has to be something containing chocolate, but if I had to narrow it down to something specific, I would have to say a really moist piece of chocolate cake with creamy, delicious chocolate icing. Mmmmmmmm, yummmmmmyyyy!!!

    • I love chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a cold glass of milk–I understand your coffee un-addiction–I have to add a lot to it to make it palatable

  4. You and I have the same stomach. :)

    Are they a coffee lover – no way.
    Comfort food – mac and cheese made with spelt pasta.

    • sorry about your stomach–it is a pain (literally)
      like your choice of comfort food with a twist!

  5. I’m not a huge fan of baked beans, but your recipe definitely looks tasty!

    Grilled cheese sandwiches with whole wheat bread and tomato soup is my comfort food.. I like to sprinkle a bit of oregano or basil in the soup to jazz it up. Mmmmmmm.

    French cuisine has a sandwich called a croque monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) which I’m trying to figure out how to recreate. I’ve had it and it’s so good.

    • Just intercepting here – ooh yes croque monsieur! My grandmother was part-French and used to make them for me for lunch sometimes, so they’re a lovely childhood memory for me.

    • I love grilled cheese and tomato soup — that is a perfect comfort lunch or dinner when you want something light and easy

      croque monsieur – does that translate into mr crusty?–just kidding–my french is fractures

      • Close. According to Wikipedia, it could be translated as “Mr. Crunchy”. Add a fried egg on top, and it becomes a croque madame, or “Mrs. Crunchy”.

        There are different variations on it, but all are delicious!

    • Now I want tomato soup with a grilled cheese to dunk…

  6. If someone says they are a coffee lover then I say they are, no matter how they take it, just because the coffee hit is diluted somewhat by sugar and milk doesn’t mean they’re not loving the coffee. It’s a bit like chocolate, I consider myself a chocolate lover but I much prefer milk or white chocolate, and yet there are those people who say you’re not a real chocolate lover unless you prefer dark chocolate, I say tosh to that! Ha!

    Comfort food bliss, hmm, maybe spaghetti and meatballs, or sausages and mash with gravy.

    • I like milk chocolate too–but I have found a way to like dark chocolate–pair it with my favourite local winery’s rose

  7. Coffee is coffee no matter what you add to it….and I consider coffee a comfort beverage. I so look forward to that first cup in the morning. Shepherd’s pie is my “go to” comfort food…..so cold here, I think I should make it today.

    • I have a meatloaf in the fridge that I made yesterday when I made stew–two good comfort foods

  8. coffee is coffee is coffee. The rest is just dressing. All good.

    Comfort food? Mac and cheese. Spaghetti. Homemade Chicken soup.

    • all good comfort foods — I am assuming it is not that old university/college standby-Kraft mac and cheese

  9. I drink my coffee with cream only, no sugar, so people look at me as odd.. Hey, the cream sweetens it enough and I really love the flavor of good coffee.
    Now about that pot of beans, what time is dinner?

    • 5:30 tonight

      • I’ll be there ;-)

  10. I don’t drink coffee, so anybody who drinks any amount of coffee is a coffee lover. My homemade mac and cheese with fontina cheese. Yum.

  11. Coffee is coffee. Coffee is delicious. Coffee is essential!

    Comfort food? Well, now I want coffee…with some milk and sugar….

    • done- have it ready for you in 10

      • Haha! Starbucks hooked me up. Yeah, they love me.

  12. Whether you like a little coffee with your cream or a little cream with your coffee (as I do), it’s still coffee. I think food is comfort and my mouth is watering with all the great dishes in the comments. I love creamy casseroles and mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and mushrooms, but my family doesn’t, so my comfort food has to be something I can make easily for myself and still has that creamy, savory thing going on. Believe it or not: ramen noodles doctored up with whatever chopped (or frozen) veggies I may have on hand. soy sauce, peanut butter or tahini for protein/creaminess and a little Sriracha sauce for spice. One bowl, 7 minutes, and I’m in heaven! xoxoM

    • creamy shouts comfort – Sriracha is supposed to be really good for you too

      • And a little goes a long way!

  13. Bliss and comfort foods are the perfect match. For me, well it depends on the mood. Sometimes its meatloaf … other times ribolita, … or sometimes its something unique.

  14. As long as you drink coffee, you’re a coffee drinker. I put cream in mine and grind it every morning. One of favorite comfort foods is hubby’s chicken and rice. It is so wonderful and no one, not any restaurant anywhere can top it. Thanks for the recipes!

    • how about sharing his recipe or telling us why it is so special–you have created a mystery here

  15. I don’t think if you have to mask the taste of something you can be considered a lover of that food or drink. It’s like me with oatmeal, I can’t eat it without seasonings whether that be fruit or sugar, so I eat it, but don’t love it.

    As for my favorite comfort food it’s the simplest thing and something I made this week with the extreme cold we’ve had (btw it’s supposed to go from single digits to in the 50s again, I’ll never get used to this winter), anyway, my comfort food is an onion soup, simple with few ingredients.

    • your weather sounds like ours–on Monday we are supposed to be in the 40’s, Tuesday the 50’s then back down or in Canada around 8 – 12 C
      I love onions and onion soup and I like oatmeal with brown sugar – yum

  16. I looooove baked beans with bacon! Thanks for inspiring my dinner tonight! I drink my coffee with one cream, one sugar and am weirded out by those who drink it black. It’s a bit hardcore for me, like drinking motor oil!

  17. I’m not a coffee drinker, so to me you are a lover if you drink it in any way shape or form. I will start drinking coffee when I find some that tastes as good as it smells. I think it smells divine. Does that make me a coffee lover?

    Comfort food to me is definitely mashed potatoes and gravy.

    • it does smell wonderful – taste–not so much unless it is doctored

      mashed potatoes and gravy — my favourites!

  18. :-) Depends on how much coffee they drink. Who knows? Probably not. I add a bit of soy to instant because brewed coffee is too harsh for my stomach (GERD). I love coffee and have been called a coffee hound! I also drink hot tea sweetned with honey and soy to make it look “blonde.”

    Don’t have a comfort food. I had to give up all those kinds of things many moons ago.

    • I usually only have one cup a day because of the amount of sugar.

      No comfort food? so sorry

  19. Re the coffee …You’d likely not taste the coffee..but I say do what makes it right for you…. I think my comfort food is potatoes in almost any form of cooking but I especially like scalloped potatoes…

    It’s strange really because my mother cooked potatoes with almost every meal when growing up…with beans, with hamburger with roast etc. so you’d think I’d be tire of them….

    My next challenge is to cook baked beans and the current recipe I have also has molasses in it and most of the other ingredients in yours’…Maybe this week?….Diane

    • my mom fixed potatoes every night too – they are certainly a comfort food

      good luck with your baked beans

  20. Coffee = does not equal comfort for me BUT I love Mac and cheese :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • me too – coffee in the morning is comfort to me though I have to doctor it to make it palatable

  21. The amount of sugar depends on the strength of the coffee for me. If it’s really strong I need more sugar, but I always have it with milk because I love cappuccino :)

    In love the look of your baked beans recipe and am trying it. I’m surprised about the molasses – that’s different!

  22. Beef Stroganoff!

    P.S. How did you work my name in as a tag? Just threw it in for the randomness of it? Did it work?

    • yep that is what I did — I noticed you got a lot of hits from our Christmas party

  23. First of all, I love baked beans- I always have.
    I drink my coffee with some cream and a tiny bit of sweetener. I can use one package of Sweet n low for 4 cups!
    My comfort food is heavy on the carbs, either a bowl of mashed potatoes, (actually potatoes any which way) OR a stack of pancakes, with maple syrup, butter, and ice cold milk on the side. YUM!

    • there is nothing better than milk with something sweet–it is the only time I eat it
      potatoes are a great comfort food hands down–but mashed potatoes are winning

  24. Oh my – This sounds delish!

  25. To me, coffee is coffee. Most of the family takes it black, I like mine with milk, and an uncle puts ice cream in his.

    And my favourite comfort food is a Sunday roast with mashed potatoes and gravy (and maybe some baked beans).

    • that is my favourite dinner in the world–that is what I asked for when I was young for my birthday every year!-think I will go pick up a roast (they are on sale at Foodland and some potatoes and have that tonight)

  26. Hello, I learned how to make beans like this when we first visited America 30 years ago and we’ve made them like this ever since (though with maple syrup not molasses, I’ll have to try that!) Fabulous recipe – thank you :)

    • maple syrup is good but molasses gives it just more of something and is good for you for your calcium intake (I just read that somewhere)

      • That’s useful to know – especially as we get older and our bones need support! :)

  27. mashed potatoes – butter or gravy, soup of any kind, and coffee – a good cup with frothed milk.

  28. First, I have to laugh…like you, often my digressions are the biggest part of my posts!

    Coffee lover who uses cream and sugar? Absolutely! I use one tsp of sugar and a healthy dollop of cream…real cream, it’s my acknowledged vice…and I love the flavor of robust coffee with these additions.

    Comfort food…chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, potato soup, grilled cheese…all simple, wonderful, hearty…not gourmet, but satisfying!

    • Potato soup and shepherd’s pie are two of my favourites. And hurray for our digressions–they stand us both in good stead!

  29. It is not good to be reading blogs about food when one is on a detox diet. Not at all. (Let me just whisper that this looks great…)

    • maybe I can do a detox recipe?

      • ha ha, sure! I can add in grains and legumes on Tuesday, whoop, whoop!

      • you don’t sound convinced that this is a breakthrough

      • I’m still enjoying Week One a lot, but looking forward to adding some more foods in. It’s a great cleanse. Haven’t felt this good in years.

  30. I like beans, though I have to be careful when to eat them too! My favourite comfort food has to be mac and cheese. It just makes me really happy. :)
    I like that you mentioned coffee here, haha. You know how much sugar I use!

    • no sugar in my coffee and it is just tar to me–mac and cheese is such a favourite


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