It’s pushing 90°F out there. That’s 32°C for the rest of the world. However you measure it, though, it’s hot. And muggy. Pretty typical for the July 4th weekend, around here.

But that’s okay, because 1) we have central air, and 2) we can grill in any weather. It really doesn’t matter. The grill is completely covered, so even though it’s hot, there’s no direct sun on me.

I can handle it.

Thunderstorms are in the forecast for fireworks, tomorrow night. I’ve seen a lot of fireworks in my time, so I’m not too bummed. And the fewer the fireworks, the happier the dog.

But on to dinner…

The steaks were excellent – nice bone-in strip steaks. The bone really does enhance the flavor and I liberally doused them with some barbecue rub from Kansas City. Potato salad from last night along with a new recipe for baked beans.

For years, now, we have made the chipotle baked beans my sister, Phoebe, makes – a recipe she originally got from Cooking Light magazine. I just found another Cooking Light recipe in the July 2017 edition that is nudging it off its pedestal.

They’re good. Really good. Smoky, spicy, sweet, boozy… all the proper flavors. I halved the recipe because Nonna doesn’t eat beans, but I could have doubled it just for the two of us. It really did come out that good!

The recipe calls for a slow cooker, but, since we don’t have one of those things, I just cooked them in a 250°F (120°C) oven for a few hours. Did I mention they came out really good?!?

Bourbon Peach Baked Beans

adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

  • 3 bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb peaches, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • S&P to taste

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Stir in remaining ingredients. Place in a covered oven-proof casserole and bake at 250°F (120°C) for about 3 hours. Serve hot or at room temperature.

You can also put the cooked bacon and remaining ingredients into a slow-cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

The peaches pretty much just disintegrated into the dish, adding a sweet texture to the sauce. The chipotles sneak up on you, and the smoky paprika makes everything a-okay in the world. This is definitely the way to celebrate a holiday when you’re not celebrating a holiday.

And we have peach pie for dessert.