Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slow Cooker Calico Bean Bake

Perfect Pairing:  Thorough rinsing

So it turns out Slow Cooker Calico Bean Bake is not an easy thing to photograph.  It must have something to do with it being all one color, not holding any shape, and let’s face it, it is just not very beautiful.  My cousin took these pictures for me because she is awesome at photography, and I was baffled on how to take a good picture of it.  Fortunately, it tastes about 100x better than it photographs! 

Part of my job requires me to spend long days in production studios.  I assure you, I am not doing anything too exciting in said studios.  My absolute favorite studio is here in Chicago.  They have an amazing facility with multiple stages and sets.  One of those sets is a gorgeous, fully functional, kitchen. 
kitchen set-001

Next to the gourmet kitchen is a prop room.  An entire room dedicated to kitchen props!  I pretty much lose my mind over that room.  Each time I am at that studio I daydream about how awesome it would be to photograph my recipes there.  The backdrops!  The lighting!  The utensils!  The plates!  The trays!  Nerd alert.

Perhaps I could even make Slow Cooker Calico Bean Bake looks gorg in that environment.  This is definitely a family favorite.  It is so good!  Even my little cousin Callie loved it!  I mean…. She REALLY loved it.  We lost track of how many bowls she polished off. 

Now this dish will forever be known as Callie Bean Bake instead of Calico Bean Bake!  This recipe is so flipping easy.  After browning the meat and cooking the bacon you just throw everything in the slow cooker and let the flavors develop.  It is fantastic served alongside anything you take off of the grill.  I recommend thoroughly draining and rinsing the beans.  This removes a good amount of sodium and can make it easier to digest. 

Slow Cooker Calico Bean Bake

Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing


·         ½ lb bacon, chopped

·         1 lb lean hamburger, cooked and drained

·         1 onion, chopped

·         28 oz can pork and beans, drained and rinsed

·         15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

·         15 oz can butter or lima beans, drained and rinsed

·         ½ cup ketchup

·         ¾ cup brown sugar

·         2 Tb yellow mustard

·         2 Tb Worcestershire sauce

·         ½ tsp garlic salt

·         ¾ cup beef or chicken broth

Partially cook the chopped bacon in a skillet or in the microwave.  Drain off any excess grease.  Add the cooked bacon and the remaining ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker.  Stir well to combine.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

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