Several of my friends lost a friend, very dear to them, this past December. I do not know how it is possible that I never had the privilege of meeting their friend, Mary, but our paths never crossed.
In June of 2011, Mary found out that she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She fought this Leukemia, and was in remission until late 2012 when she began having health concerns and found that it had returned. She passed away in December.
During a fund raiser that was being held for Mary, the family put together a cookbook of many family recipes. One of Mary's daughters is a baker, so the recipes for the cakes and other baked goods are said to be outstanding. My friend, Stacey, made sure that I got a copy of the cookbook! Stacey takes good care of her foodie friend!
I suppose you are wondering why I am sharing all of this. Well, in memory of Mary, Stacey is participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. She is riding with Team Minnesota in America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe. This bike ride is 72 miles long! She has several different climbs in the ride, the most notable, are an 800 foot, and a 1,000 foot climb. These are all done at elevations not normal in Minnesota. Stacey is taking on quite a challenge in memory of her friend Mary, and I admire her so much for this! No matter how tough the training has been in preparation for this, she hasn't backed down. To help Stacey out with her fundraising, we are going to have an AMAZING EVENT going on here at the end of April, so make sure you are signed up for email and facebook to keep up to date! We will be having a bake sale and raffling off several prizes to raise money, to help my dear friend out with her cause.
In the mean time, I will be doing a series of posts this month out of Mary Swanson's Big Hearted Cookbook! There are so many recipes in here that I am excited to try!
Root Beer BBQ Baked Beans (Source: Mary Swanson's Big Hearted Cookbook)
5 Slices Bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 36 oz can baked beans, preferably Bush's ( I used 2 - 21 oz cans)
1 c. root beer (no diet allowed here!)
2 Tbsp dark molasses
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
2-3 whole celery ribs
Cook the bacon with onions in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the bacon is brown and crisp, and the onions have become transparent and are just starting to brown. Add remaining ingredients.
Over medium high heat, bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about twenty minutes. Remove celery and serve.
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