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Turkey Bacon Beans and Hasselback Turkey Kielbasa!

Who doesn't love baked beans? I make a few mean versions, with the best in the slow cooker. However, if you don't have all day, this recipe is pretty great. The beans are sligthly sweet and bacony, served right off the stove. For last night's meal, I also prepared a Hasselback Turkey Kielbasa - and served it right on top of the beans. It's an elevated version of Frank and Beans Soooo good!

Make Your Beans: In a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil, then add to it 6 chopped slices of turkey bacon, a couple of cloves of chopped garlic, a diced onion, a few teaspoons of thyme. Cook for about 6 or 7 minutes, softening the onions and starting to brown the bacon bits. Add 2 15-oz cans of white beans (I used Great Northern to this version), along with 1 1/2 cups of water, a tablespoon of molasses, 1/2 cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup of maple syrup, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and about 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until thickened and hot and yummy.

Hasselback it up: Once you get the beans cooking, work on the kielbasa. Have your oven preset to 425 degrees. While preheating, keep a cookie sheet in there to get hot. Toss a sliced red and orange pepper (any color really) and a chopped onion in a small bowl, with a splash of olive oil. Scatter those on the hot pan (they'll sizzle!) and put back in the oven. Take a turkey kielbasa, and give it the old hasselback treatment - slice into thin slices, but not going all the through. You are basically making a kielbasa accordion.

When done, carefully put this right on top of the peppers, and back in the oven. In a small bowl, stir together a few tablespoons of apricot (or apple) jelly/preserves with a few tablespoons of Dijon, and baste the kielbasa a few times in about a 30-minute cook time. When done, place the kielbasa and the peppers/onions directly on top of the stovetop beans, and serve!

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