Best Baked Bean with Bacon Recipe EVER

You were interested in the recipe so I’ve decided to post the exact recipe. I was so pleased with this! And I’m still loving my Pioneer woman casserole dishes that came in two sizes. I used the biggest casserole dish!


  • 1 lb dried NAVY BEANS
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce (tomato based)
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Rinse beans and place in a large bowl with water to cover. Set aside to soak for 2 hours or overnight. I like to do this the day before.

Drain the beans and transfer them to a large pot. Add 1 gallon of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until tender. (I had reduced mine to low and it still simmered just fine for about 1 and half hours. I tested a bean to make sure it was tender!) Be SURE and save the bean water though, you’ll need it!

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Oil or Pam Spray a large casserole dish.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, chili sauce, BBQ sauce, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of the bean water (see I told you) and whisk it all together.

Put the drained beans and sautéed vegetables into the casserole, pour the sauce over, then stir it to coat the beans real good. Lay the raw bacon over the beans. (It’s gonna crisp up nicely in the oven). Bake uncovered. (Recipe said to stir occassionally, I didn’t stir mine much b/c I didn’t want to disturb the bacon!)

Recipe said to cook for 2 hours. I cooked for about 1 1/2 hours because it was done – bacon was done and browning on edges, etc. I tasted and it was perfect.


You can make ahead, let it cool, and put in fridge and rebake the next day. But I soaked my beans overnight and made the recipe the day of our cookout.

These were fun to make. While the beans are cooking you can do your chopping, sautéing, and making of the sauce. I’m adding this to my family recipes to KEEP!

How Not to Be a Miserable Cow, Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice, and Good Girls

In the striving to get things done yesterday, I had someone to be EXTREMELY rude to me. But I’ve been reading the Bible every morning and I can say that it makes a difference in being in the daily WORD instead of the occasional WORD. The WORD is truly very active and living. The OLD Sonya would have given this person a piece of their mind. I was trained to “not let anyone run over you or take advantage of you”, and I’ve watched plenty of examples of how to “show their tail” to people as it was called. And while God doesn’t intend on us being door mats or stepped on like trash in the floor, there IS something to say about being kind, showing love, and responding with a gentle spirit when someone is rude. I could totally see the difference in the reactions with my response. When someone is mean or nasty to you, it doesn’t give you a license to be ugly back. But responding with gentleness and turning the other cheek actually SAYS a lot. And for those that know better and know they have acted out of line it “heaps the coals” as the Bible says, on their forehead.

My first tendency is to experience “hurt feelings”, sometimes even cry when I’m mistreated. It’s different if I’ve done something wrong. I teared up a bit because I knew I’d been mistreated when I was trying to “give of myself” and “help” a situation instead of expecting someone to be left to it on their own. And someone being angry with you because you are trying to help them, is just not a reason for someone to be angry with you or nasty with you. It did hurt my feelings in a big way. But I knew God saw it and I kinda felt He wanted me not to focus on it a lot. So I didn’t let it take control of my day, but it IS a little hard to forget, I’ll say. I always remember George saying “don’t let someone control your day”. So I replaced the thoughts anytime I thought of it with better thoughts. I did, however, have to refrain from saying much to the person most all day. It was not in a huff or shun or pout type of thing, but mainly in a way so that I could control my tongue and response with yes, no, and maybe so’s. Because when I talk my true feelings come out. lol. I didn’t want to start a wildfire or tell the person what I thought, lol! And what I was thinking about was this photo and how miserable the person must be today over something:

Can you imagine the wild fire started if I had said “You’d have a better day if you weren’t being a miserable cow”? LOL LOL. I would never ever say that to anyone. However, I have hung on to this photo b/c I use it inside my head to make me laugh whenever someone is rude or unkind, or “being a miserable cow”. I kept my thoughts to myself and I laughed, and then I laughed that I had laughed. And then I remembered that God wanted us to forgive. I immediately said to myself “but the person hadn’t apologized”. And the Spirit shouted “that doesn’t matter, you are called to love”. Here is where I get all confused about forgiveness. Trying to love the person and forget the sin, though is what helps me stay on track.

In your dealings with people across your life – if they were to give you a “chip” for every interaction – a white chip for good interaction and a black chip for bad interaction, would you end up with a lot of white chips or black chips? Sometimes we have no choice but to be in situations where can’t block negativity from your life. And we are all negative at times. But overall, do you give white or black chips, of goodness and love, or ugliness and meanness? There are just some we cannot avoid, but you can do the best you can to be an example, show love, and maybe it will make a difference in their own life and they will see how they are being. To respond nastily just ignites the flame. So I thought I would share this with you and you can ponder it too. Maybe this will help you too.

News from Little Roo

Findlay and Little Roo are getting to know each other better. There were some cute Instagram stories yesterday. And Findlay’s face! lol

My “Healthy but Not So Healthy” Lunch Getaway

I retreated for a little break to Logan’s for a salmon Caesar salad, proud of myself for being healthy. The salad must have been delivered from Italy itself, as it took forever to arrive but no worries, my hunger was satiated by the two HOT rolls and butter placed in front of me. And as I ate the creamy Caesar dressing along with the mountains of wonderful Parmesan cheese and the fried buttery croutons, I realized I was probably having all the calories of one day that I should have. There must have been a half block of cheese on that salad! ha. It was wonderful though. But next time I’ll have to get a different salad and no rolls. I did get unsweet tea but it was a little too late to be thinking about calories at that point. Oh well.

Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage in the Instant Pot

Oh my gosh. I think I have just found my favorite meal – replacing spaghetti and prime rib forever – well let’s not get too carried away! But oh my gosh, this was heavenly. I enjoyed my first experience with the Instant Pot, but I was sooooo glad George was there. I asked him before I began if there was anything quirky I should know. And yes there was. Just learning how the Instant Pot “did things” lol, when it goes from segment to segment. There are some things the instructions doesn’t show you. You’d probably figure it out on your own but it would stump you if someone didn’t explain things first. Learning what a “natural release is” and when to release the steam for real.

The recipe had three strips of uncooked bacon, chopped that you sautéed in the Instant Pot. Then you took the bacon aside and sautéed onion for 2 min and green pepper for 2 min, added the garlic and sautéed for a min, some hot pepper flakes of some kind, and then added the cup of “long grain white rice” and added the bacon back in and two cups of chicken broth. Put the seal on and I think it cooked for 5 minutes and then the natural release for 10 and then let the steam out. I cooked the smoked sausage in the air fryer to rid of fat and grease.

This was the “creamiest” and “best” red beans and rice I’ve ever had. I also used the Carolina rice we had. I think it was the Aromatic Rice I used last night.

This is the cookbook I’m using and it has some awesome recipes in it, very simple, and very good. I cannot wait to fix more things in the Instant Pot. Yes I”m late to get on the bandwagon!

“Good Girls” on Netflix

So we have been watching Good Girls on Netflix the last couple of nights. Oh my gosh it’s good. It’s kinda like Breaking Bad in some ways. It’s pretty humorous. Definitely entertaining. Some of these shows you have to go into the 2nd and 3rd show. Like Brigerton. I was in after the 3rd show. I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Leaving you with Mr. Roger. He gets a little more into “doggie Alzheimers” every day. He stands and stares at the wall sometimes, he thinks we are gone when we are there at barks at the stairs until we go and show him we are actually home and he wags his tail and starts to follow us, but sees his water bowl and goes to it. He is obsessed with his water bowl. He sleeps and wanders. His eye sight is going. Yet he still wags his tail a lot, and when disgusted will grunt just like a human would. George leaned him over to kiss me and allow me to kiss him and he didn’t want that and gave a big grunt like a human. LOL. I laughed at being rejected in such a way. I forgave him too. He just didn’t want to be leaned over that way.

Well, I miss having a dog that loves me and wants to be with me every moment. Life is kinda lonely right now but it’s ok. For a season it is definitely going to be the time to wait. So much I want to do first before getting another dog. It will happen in time and “when it is supposed to”. Now is not the time.

Ok off to work. I awoke after a pleasant 8 hour sleep, still very tired. Coffee is waking me up. It’s my 6th day of work this week. I’m honestly over it and need a change of pace, but I’ll go in and give it my best. I’m trying to finish up something that needs to be finished today and I’ve asked God for help. It’ll be a crunch day. I’m NOT working tomorrow.

Anyway, take care. Gonna rain A LOT here this weekend – like SEVERAL inches and with flood warnings predicted.

Keeping the Spirits Lifted

It was fun to get out yesterday. Just a gorgeous sunny warm day. A bit hot but not too bad and lower humidity than we normally have in the summer. We took a drive by the new Amazon building not too far from us- so big it should be called an airport! Here’s a clip as we drove by. I know the reason they are building near us is so they can be near me since I keep them in business! :-O

Our first actual stop was restocking on spirits! Ha, yes we have been low in spirits in several ways. Here is the store we go to on occasion in our area, Providence Wine and Spirits. See store – first photo at the top.

They are a bit different in that they have a gift area and they even sell Pasta from a long time Italian Restaurant in Nashville area, Coco’s.

We then went to Aldi. Going to the grocery stores always did bring delight in our family.

Side note: It was interesting that they no longer have anyone wiping down carts even with virus going full blown now. I think so many are just over it. And the numbers show as people let the guards down. We are hunkering down though. We did go to a grad party and that was our riskiest thing yet. But we really don’t want this thing and we really don’t want to take anything to our pregnant daughter in Texas and we don’t want to take anything to Mom. We will be seeing her soon as well. And as George says, if we get it, we could die. We would like to avoid that if we could.

But it doesn’t keep us out of the grocery stores for our necessities and we are both wearing our masks now as it is a requirement. Still there are some who refuse under the requirement. And one lady yesterday was on the phone “just a fussin'” about something at Aldi. We had to wait behind her. I thought oh my we are breathing in all her hot air and germs and I tried to stand off aside. Isn’t it funny the things we think now. I’m thinking as mad as she was flappin’ her gums that if she had COVID we were all going to get it. You want to stand up and say “no body exhale, just hold your breath til we come through ok?” LOL LOL LOL

Anyway regardless we had fun at Aldi. It had been a while.

And then we went to Houston’s Meat market. Had we ordered on line we could have got 10% off. But then you have to wait 4 hours to pick it up so we just got what was in the store. It’s a little store and kinda hard to stand 6 feet apart. But we all tried our best. We bought pork chops for dinner. I found my old recipe. I’m shocked at how worn it looks. It’s had a lifetime of use. Also found the BBQ Meatloaf recipe as well. Is that not awful looking?

But you know what it says? They must be some darn good ones to have been used that much. TRUE THAT! I think the recipe for pork chops needs to say 1.5 hours and check it. They are scorched looking at 2 hours but….they don’t taste scorched.

See, they looked burned. But mainly it was what was on the side. They were heavenly. And yes the beautiful casserole dish had to do a major soak. So yeah. 1.5 hours NEXT time.

I made a squash casserole with it also. YUM! And asparagus. And we had noodles left over so I made a pasta salad with simply olive oil, red wine vinegar, feta cheese, shredded carrots for crunch, garlic powder, onion powder and Penzey’s “Pasta Sprinkle”.

George is the usual one to cook. He loves it so. But it’s nice to give him a break. He needs it more in the summer as he spends a lot of time in the yard. I’m glad to do it. And last nights meal was pretty darn good if I can say so myself!

When the pork chops were put in the oven, George came in and fixed us a cocktail. He fixed us a Manhattan.

I picked the Rye Whiskey as I’m not much of a drinker beyond wine or beer or a refreshing herby or fruity drink – like a margarita, mojito, or something like that. I suggested a better one so it would be smoothe. I like to add an “e” on the end of “smooth” for dramatic effect when needed. I wanted smoothe! So we went for this one.

But our friends, Don and Lisa, made these for us in Tybee Island so it’s been a big hit. When the first round was gone in Tybee, as Lisa and I made dinner, I offered to refill the guys drinks as they conversed on the porch. I thought surely I can recreate these. I watched a video like I do everything these days when learning. And I didn’t have a measuring cup so I just guessed on the quantity.

Let’s just say the guys stuck to “sippin'” that one most of the night. And they STILL talk about my Manhattan! lol lol I guess it was a little too STIFF. Or should I add extra “FFFFF’s” for dramatic effect? It was a STIFFFFFFFFF one.

You know, more than anything, I think George loves my participation in planning our meals. I’ve noticed that he seems to really like my input and so I’ve tried to do more of it. We have taken a lot of joy during this Pandemic at planning our upcoming meals. Often we open the freezer and do a Geeky type of inventory and make lists of what all we could have.

It’s kind of a hobby to fill the freezer up and then work really hard at eating it all up before the next cow and pig we purchase. And George has a huge lot of recipes, also Geeked out in an Excel Recipe spreadsheet and organized by type and references the cookbook and page number. Oh yes. We are both Geeky in the things we do.

Here’s George’s plans, with my help. We will wait a bit to plan Week two upcoming here, but all our choices are in the side bar.

I personally like to have a variety of meats and not too much of the same in a row. I really like my chicken and fish and less of the reds these days as I think it’s better for you. And I’m a stickler for wanting my greens and veggies now. Really have worked hard to cut out the pasta. But I am keeping the taters and beans when it comes to carbs! Natural foods are better than enriched flour but sadly I’ve succumbed to bread a bit more.

Just this morning we had biscuits from Houston’s meat market. They have a lot there in addition to meat. They have a small store kinda like a campground store. Just enough to be able to have sides with your meat for the evening etc. But they also have a little cafe with a few tables and you can get plate lunches and sandwiches. It’s these cute little individually owned stores that make life wonderful. There should be more of them. No pics. Too many people and it’s awkward to take pics of everyone, lol.

I did laundry and worked on the kitchen and took some things down for storage.

I also have some VERY good news. I decided to bring up the flooring. We had a good day and I thought maybe it was a good time to bring it up. It’s usually never a good time to bring up spending huge amounts of $$. But, I asked WHEN it might be good to look at flooring and the costs and when it might be feasible to redo our floors. Adding in that the longer we wait the more of the house we’ll be needing to upgrade because later trying to match it might not be so easy.

I showed him a pic of the look I wanted. I really like the look of a grey floor. We had grey carpet in our old house and it was so relaxing looking. Grey blends with beige and just about any colors when it’s uniform throughout like this. Any room can be whatever decor you want and it lightens the room in a relaxing and refreshing way.

He also has his own ideas, but we will go and price this before long and he says either late in the year or as I suggested after the first of the year as we are still paying for major re-plumbing. Which probably means February as the baby is due in January and we can’t schedule anything. And I probably will be working whatever weekends we are not in Texas or traveling. January will be hard time to get it.

But, you know me! I’m as excited as I can be just having a tentative date. Who knows maybe we can do it sooner. But no pressure. I know he wants to get this other paid off first. Best to do 12 months same as cash on one thing at a time.

Of course if we end up moving that will be a non issue point I guess. But I was told by Kate not to move that they would be coming home before too long. I just know they are happy down there. But we have Momma up here. She may go with us to Texas but she might not want to. So that would be an issue of how to make sure she is taken care of, but I’d want her to go with us. I just have a feeling they will come home so the baby can be with the grandparents and they can have baby sitters. We can all help them get set up and re-situated when the time comes. Right now though, it’s probably best to stay put with the virus anyway – for them. On our end, we feel like getting in the car and hauling our stuff and just going down there right now. lol Of course we couldn’t do that. It would take a lot to get us down there. I mean new jobs, and selling our houses (plural if Mom goes). All that would not be an easy feat. Nothing is guaranteed, so I want to move on getting the flooring. Even if we do sell our house it’ll be a plus and add value. But like I always say, I’d like to enjoy it since I’ve waited for it for so long. No more blue linoleum. Soon. Very soon! Hearing those words were like the heavens opened up and angels came down and began singing a righteous and glorious tune that I will call “Sonya’s Song of Old Blue Be Gone”.

It was a marvelous day yesterday. We enjoyed our day so much! And today is a day of rest and fun and a few chores, and getting ready for the work week.

So what all did you do interesting this weekend? Cooking anything new? Any old favorites? What are you doing to keep moving and shaking? What are you doing to keep YOUR spirits up!