Connie’s kitchen: think spring with side dishes

Connies KitchenBy Connie Emmons

Time to think spring and run those winter blues away. While getting ready for wedding menus, I found myself hungry for my favorite side dishes. Conversations about pulled pork and chicken were making me wish for warmer weather and fresh vegetables.

I know that I don’t have to wait for summer to enjoy these, but sometimes simply forget until warm weather.

Having an indoor picnic seems in order especially due to this cold weather we are having. Throw down a blanket or sheet on the living room floor, put on some soothing music and dig into your own beach party.

Baked beans

3 cans pork and beans or your own cooked many beans

1/3 pound cut peppered bacon

1/2 onion diced

1 small bell pepper diced (any color)

1/3 cup cider or regular vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 bottle brown sugar BBQ sauce

Cook bacon (not crispy). Remove bacon and set aside. Using bacon grease, cook onions and pepper until done. Put this mixture into a medium pot adding the bacon and the beans. Simmer for 15 minutes then add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Apple mango salad

4 apples (skin on) julienned

1/3 cup diced mango

1  12 oz can mango nectar

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbl mayo

In a saucepan combine nectar, raisins and sugar. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk in mayo. Place apples and mango in bowl, pour sauce over and mix in then refrigerate.

(Connie Emmons is the owner and chef of the popular restaurant, Connie’s Kitchen, in Seymour, Tenn. She appears as the frequent guest chef on Knoxville’s Channel 10’s top rated afternoon show, Live at Five at Four. She is also known as the creator of unusual and delicious recipes.)

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