Category Archives: Baking

Mom’s Chuck Wagon Beans

Chuckwagon BeansThe Chuck Wagon Beans recipes I have encountered are full of green and lima beans, not baked beans. I really do not like green beans and I hate lima beans and wax beans. Thankfully, my Mom never made those recipes! 

This is the recipe I was going to prepare when I ended up making Baked Chili. My mom made this frequently when I was growing up. I am one of 6 kids. When she made this, it would never last. The recipe below is half of what my Mom would make. Double it and take Chuck Wagon Beans to a potluck.  It is only slightly changed from Mom’s original.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Brown 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, adding about 3/4 cup of diced onion when the beef is nearly completely browned.  Drain.  In a greased 9×9 pan, pour in the beef and onion, adding the following:  1 28 ounce can of baked beans, 1/3 cup beef broth, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons dried ground mustard, 1 garlic clove, minced  and 1/4 ounce fresh grated ginger (or 1 to 2 teaspoons ground).  Mix well. 

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

Cover with foil and place in oven.  Bake for about 45 minutes.  While the beans are  baking, fry 6 slices of bacon until crisp.  Crumble.

Bacon-nothing more to be said!

Bacon-nothing more to be said!

After 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the beans.  Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.  This recipe is a good candidate for the dutch oven (read more at the preceding link).  Cast iron cooking with a bit of natural smoke flavoring added!  Enjoy!  Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!


Baked Chili

Baked Chili This isn’t what it started out to be. My mom used to make this recipe she calls Chuckwagon Beans, which I will be posting sometime in the future. That is what I was thinking I was going to make for dinner. Turns out, I had one 16 ounce can of pork and beans, meaning I wasn’t making my Mom’s recipe. It was one of those days I was not planning to go anywhere and I was not changing the plan. So Baked Chili is what happened. And I mean, what happened. I started pulling things out of the pantry and the veggie drawer and this is what I came up. All of these ingredients are available in my house 90% of the time.

Although I baked this in my oven, it will easily translate to the grill. A cast iron skillet or a Dutch Oven on the grill or a Dutch Oven over an open fire or with coals will make this recipe even better than it is baked in the oven in the house. Adding natural smoke flavor to any dish such as this improves the overall taste-so pull up your stump around the campfire for this one.

This recipe makes a lot. It will be good for a potluck or when you have a crowd. Of course, you can cut it down 1/2 or 1/4 easily enough. The end result filled a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. To prevent a mess in my oven, I laid a sheet of foil on the shelf below the chili to catch the inevitable drips.  Also, plan ahead.  This will need to bake about an hour and a half.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Brown 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of hamburger in a large pot.  Drain and set aside.  In the same pot, saute 2 medium to large cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped, one large diced green pepper and one large diced onion, about a cup and a half each.  If you don’t like that much, cut the amount.  I love peppers and onions.  For a bit of heat, you could add a diced chili pepper.  Saute the pepper and onion about 5 minBaked Chiliutes or so, just until crisp tender.  They will cook further in the oven.  Baked Chili







my favorite brand of beans


Add the cooked hamburger back to the pot and stir all together.  Next, you will be adding 3 undrained 16 ounce cans of chili beans, one 16 ounce can of baked beans,one undrained 16 ounce can of kidney beans,one cup of beef broth or stock (veggie works well, too), 1 tbsp dried cilantro or 2 tbsp chopped fresh, 2 tbsp ground mustard, 1 tbsp cumin, 2-3 tbsp chili powder (to your taste).  Stir well.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in the oven (preheated to 375 degrees F) for one and a half hours.  After taking it out of the oven, remove the foil  and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  It will be very hot!! 

right out of the oven

right out of the oven

In my house, we have cornbread with our chili and sometimes a bit of shredded cheese over the top (sometimes for my husband and myself, every time for my daughters).

When I eventually bake this outdoors, I will prepare the chili completely in my Dutch Oven.  I can brown the hamburger, saute the veggies and stir it all together in the same.  Over an open fire, I use my tripod and keep my fire pretty hot, adjusting the hanging level of the oven with the chain (for more on Dutch Oven cooking, see Heaven and Earth/Himmel und Erde).  On the grill, I will start with a hot fire and keep up the heat, spreading the coals around the perimeter of the grill, placing the Dutch Oven in the center (after removing the cooking grate).  The way cast iron holds heat, I don’t anticipate any issue keeping the chili hot enough to bake as completely as it does in the kitchen oven. 

This is a different kind of chili.  A little off from the chili I make in a pot, but it’s a keeper.  No tomatoes, no tomato sauce, really thick and meaty.  It was good.  I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

The last time we had chicken fajitas (unfortunately, not cooked on the grill), we had enough leftovers to do something else with the ingredients. This recipe is one thing you can do with leftovers from the Sizzlin’ Chicken Fajitas ( ).

You’ll need about 2-3 cups of shredded chicken and about the same amount of sauteed onions and peppers. Additional ingredients:
6 8″-10″ flour tortillas
2 16 ounce cans of refried beans
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 cups of salsa
4 cups of shredded cheese (I like the mexican blend of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine well the refried beans, sour cream and 2 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. In a greased 9×13 baking dish, lay 2 tortillas side by side on the bottom. Spread 1/3 of the refried bean mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/3 of the chicken and peppers over the mixture. Finally, spread 1 cup of salsa over all. Repeat layers 2 more times. You will have 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese left. Set this aside for later. Once all layers have been assembled, cover the lasagna with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbling. Take out, remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over all. Bake, uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Berry Delicious Muffins

I know this is a grilling blog, but I just love to cook and bake. Every now and then, when I come up with something that I just have to share, I will. This is one of those times. I wanted to use up some blueberries and strawberries before they became fodder for my compost bin. I looked through my recipe books and found a muffin recipe that sounded good. However, I didn’t have a couple of key ingredients, so I did my usual and made it my own. The muffins turned out fabulously! Not only do they taste great, but the presentation is delicious to the eyes. I ate one warm, only a few minutes out of the oven. I know you will enjoy these muffins!

The first ingredient the recipe calls for is biscuit/baking mix.  I do not keep that on hand.  I did find a substitute here:,1741,154172-230202,00.html.  The recipe also calls for sour cream.  I had a tablespoon if I was lucky.  Instead, I used cream cheese.  I had less regular cream cheese than needed, so I also used strawberry cream cheese.  And, this was a recipe for blueberry muffins.  I added the strawberries, too.  Additionally, I doubled the recipe.  The original recipe makes only a dozen.  Those would be gone in a day in my house!


  In a large bowl, combine 4 cups biscuit/baking mix and 1 1/4 cups sugar.  In another bowl, mix together 4 eggs and 2 cups of softened cream cheese.  Mix until smooth.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the dry mix, combining just until the dry mix is wet.  This will be a thick batter.  Fold in 1 cup fresh blueberries and 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries.  Fill muffin cups to 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 375 F oven.  Check for doneness.  I set my oven for 22 minutes.  As you can see from the pictures, they turned out perfectly. 







Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!