Dinner ideas have to come from someplace… Cook books, magazines, the newspaper, walking through the grocery store, using up what’s in the ‘fridge or cabinets… Something sparks that idea.

Tonight’s dinner started with pulling the steaks out of the freezer before heading off to work.  And then cheesey potatoes entered my mind.  I didn’t have a recipe in mind – I just wanted cheesey potatoes.  And steak.  Which automatically called for my sister’s baked beans. (I made a half-batch.)

The cheesey potatoes were merely boiled potatoes drained and put into a casserole with a splash of heavy cream and about a half-cup of grated cheddar cheese.  Baked at the same time with the beans.

Phoebe’s Baked Beans

* 1/2  cup minced shallots
* 1  tablespoon ground cumin
* 1  tablespoon minced garlic
* 1/2  cup tomato puree (I use tomato paste – I never have puree in the house!)
* 1  tablespoon canola oil
* 1/4  cup honey
* 1/4  cup cider vinegar
* 2  tablespoons molasses
* 1  tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4  teaspoon salt
* 2  chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
* 2  (28-ounce) cans baked beans

Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 4 minutes or until golden. Add cumin and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and oil, and cook for 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients (except beans.). Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine beans and shallot mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until thick and bubbly.

Perfect for the first day of Spring!  (Never mind that it snowed this morning (melted right away) and is now about 35° outside.  Brrrrr.)