Vegetarian Barbeque Baked Beans


This time last year: Thai Veggie Burger with Peanut Sauce (2014)


Well, in case you hadn’t noticed from my apparent absence the last several days, it is finals week. Woof.

The last week has been spent with more cups of coffee and paper writing in front of my computer than I would like to admit.

However, there is a God, and finals week is almost over, so I’m Back!

The next few weeks are going to bring you lots of yummy southern summer dishes, so get excited and come back soon!

To kick that summer cooking off, here is a scrumptious baked beans recipe. Also, check the bottom for some other good summer cook-out and potluck worthy dishes in the Notes and Tips section below!

Got a favorite southern/ summer recipe? Leave a comment- I’d love to hear it!

Happy cooking 🙂

Love, a rented kitchen




  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (substitute with agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 3 cups canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional: Sea salt, to taste*


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the ketchup, barbecue sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, honey and mustard together.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for five minutes.
  4. Stir the beans into the pot and transfer to a baking dish. Bake uncovered for an hour and twenty minutes, or until the beans are soft.
  5. Serve and enjoy!



Notes and Tips!:

  • I did not add any salt to this dish, I thought it was plenty flavorful enough. However, feel free to season as you desire!
  • Source: Whole Foods Market 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’!:


Simple Southern Key Lime Pie

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There is nothing as perfectly southern and summery as a Key Lime Pie. I have been thinking about this recipe for two summers now, so I am not sure why it took me so long to post this recipe, but consider yourself welcomed. It’s fabulous!

My parents both grew up in the south. Lemon bars and key lime pies have always been a part of summer. That’s what my grandmothers used to make us, and if that’s what grandmother makes, then you know it’s a good choice.

In addition to the most delicious flavor, this pie is also quite possibly the easiest pie you will ever make, seriously. You just throw all the ingredients together, stir, bake, and eat- all of it. Thus, this pie is quite possibly the best dessert to take to any dinner party ever/ the best pie to make for any reason ever.

I don’t know why you’re still waiting. Dig in, happy eating!




  • 1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2- 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup key lime juice
  • Grated lime zest for garnish
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix until evenly moist.
  3. Press the graham cracker crumbs into a 9-inch pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly.
  4. In a clean bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and key lime juice until smooth and blended.
  5. Pour the key lime mixture into the pie pan and spread until even.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, until tiny bubbles form on the surface.
  7. Turn the oven off and allow the pie to sit, in the oven, for an additional 30 minutes (do not allow to brown!).
  8. Chill prior to serving and garnish with whipped cream and lime zest.




Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Your Homebased mom
  • Half the photos in this spread were shot by Anna Petrow Photography. Check her out and give her some love!
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious desserts from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links below):




Sweet Potato and Smoked Gouda Grits



My parents both grew up in the south, and I have spent more years on the south east than anywhere else, so despite currently calling Kansas City my home base, this girl is still pretty southern.

Therefore, to claim the southeast as home, and not have a grits recipe on my blog, is probably a sin. Just guessing, but probably.

I watched my great aunt make cheese grits a few summers ago. She threw in an absurd amount of butter, copious amounts of cheese, and several eggs. I was watching in horror, mentally calculating the amount of fat and calories in this beloved side dish, something that probably could have been rich and flavorful with half of the ingredients she was using. However, as she explained to me, cheese grits used to be a meal during the depression that was designed to sustain you for hours. More often than not, that bowl of grits may be all someone ate in a day, so it was intentionally full of calories and fat.

Today, we often do not need, or want, such high calorie and fat packed side dishes in almost any setting. Therefore, I am keeping true to my southern roots by posting a cheese grits recipe, but have taken my own liberty to eliminate much of the unnecessary butter/fat/calories found in my great aunt’s recipe.

Hold onto your pants, because these grits might just be your new best friend. I know I am biased towards all things sweet potatoes, but daaaang this dish is delicious!

Give it a try! You will never have loved a comfort food so much! And while you enjoy your grits, why not take a second to be grateful for those who came before us.



  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup dry instant grits
  • 8 ounces Smoked Gouda, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potato and wrap in a layer of aluminum foil. Place the potato directly on the oven rack and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, allow to cool enough to be handled, then remove the potato from the skin, transfer the meat into a large bowl, and mash.
  4. Cook the grits as instructed- heating 3 cups of water until boiling, adding the grits to the pot, reducing the heat to low, and allowing to simmer for five minutes.
  5. Once the grits are cooked, turn the heat off, and stir in the mashed potato and shredded Gouda until smooth and creamy.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!


Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, try these other dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links found below)

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Butter



Wow! Hello internet! Several weeks have passed since the last time I wrote, which means, I am officially back in the good ole’ United States, after six crazy and beautiful weeks trekking through Peru.

I have so much to be grateful for.

While I really miss Peru, and absolutely loved my trip with the program Operation Groundswell (I highly suggest this organization for any of you out there that love to travel!), I am very grateful to be back in a position where I can cook again and share some yummy recipes with you all! Thanks for all the views in my absence! You guys are amazing.

Because very few things seem more American and comfort food-ish than sweet potatoes and biscuits, I thought I’d share this yummy biscuits recipe I made  just before my Peru trip.

Fun fact- it turns out Peru has nearly 3,000 native potatoes that grow in the country (Whaaaaaat?), and while I feel like I tasted all 3,000 (slight exaggeration), I never tasted one that rivaled the sweet potato I am used to in the states. Go figure. I think some comfort foods just may never change.

Therefore, despite my recent expansive potato diet, I still find myself craving these delicious muffins.  Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I did- warm with a little maple butter.

Get excited for more fun recipes coming your way this summer!

The girl is back. Let’s get cookin’!




  • 1 medium – large sweet potato
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and shaping
  • 2 Tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Maple Butter Ingredients:

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Cook the sweet potato by either baking for 45 minutes at 450˚ F, wrapped in aluminum foil, or by peeling and dicing the sweet potato and boiling in a covered saucepan with water until tender.
  2. Once cooked, drain the sweet potato and mash into a puree (you should have about ¾- 1 cup of filling).
  3. Place the sweet potato in the refrigerator for an hour, or until chilled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425˚ F and lightly flour a clean cooking surface.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Using a fork, press the butter into the mixture and kneed until the batter resembles coarse meal (there may be some small pea-sized lumps of butter remaining).
  7. Gather the scraps, reroll the dough, and repeat in cutting as many additional biscuits as possible.
  8. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and buttermilk. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.
  9. Place the dough on the lightly floured surface and kneed gently until the dough holds together, but is still slightly lumpy. If the dough is too sticky, add additional flour.
  10. Roll the dough into 1- inch of thickness and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass.
  11. Arrange the biscuits snuggly on a greased baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter.
  12. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the maple butter, melt the butter and stir together the ingredients until completely mixed. Top warm biscuits with butter, eat, and enjoy!




Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Cozy Kitchen
  • Additional delicious toppings, other than the maple butter, include a drizzle of honey or apple butter! You seriously cannot go wrong with sweet potato biscuits.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!):

Brown Sugar Pound Cake




My grandmother could cook.  I feel like most people my age can say that with confidence, because our grandmothers from the 1950s were expected to cook, sad but true.  However, I truly believe that not only did my grandmother fit the stereotype for her time of the perfect housewife, but that she truly loved being creative in the kitchen, providing for her family, and gathering loved ones around the table.

There are dozens of recipes in my family that were originally made famous in my grandmother’s kitchen, recipes of chocolate cakes, sourdough bread, holiday dishes, and highly praised appetizers.  Her recipes, still to this day, are popular requests for every church potluck, birthday, and ordinary Wednesday in our family.

This cake recipe, is just one of those examples.

My wonderful boyfriend turned 22 this summer (Happy belated birthday Brian!). I sadly could not be with him on that day, which I hated, so to make up for my absence, I baked him a belated birthday cake. [enter brown sugar pound cake here].

I originally planned to make a classic southern caramel cake, but as I flipped through cookbooks and perused the internet, I remembered trying this brown sugar pound cake of my grandmother’s and knew this was the winner.

This cake is moist in the middle, with a thick strong layer of icing that is completely impossible to resist, and very similar to that of a classic southern caramel cake.  Baked either in a bunt pan or as a double-layer round cake, the presentation only adds to the glory of this cake.

Special occasions and special people are worth celebrating. It is an honor to share this recipe with you all, a recipe that I learned from one person that I love, and had the privilege to share with another person I love.  I hope all your cooking can be just that rich.




Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ pound margarine (2 sticks)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (sift with flour)
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cup light (or dark) brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F, and grease and flour two circular 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the dark brown sugar, white sugar, and margarine.
  3. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time, while beating on low with a hand-mixer.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla to the mixture, and stir in completely.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, and pecans (if desired) to the liquid mixture.  Using a whisk, mix the flour into the batter until completely blended and smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the two prepared circular cake pans, evenly distributing.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked all the way through and slightly brown on top.  Cool completely before icing. 

Icing Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in small saucepan, and stir in the brown sugar.
  2. Bring the sugar/butter mixture to a boil over medium heat and boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the milk to the mixture and bring to a full boil again.
  4. Remove the icing from the heat and cool.
  5. Once cool, stir in the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Add hot water if necessary to spread.



Notes and Tips!:

  • I left the nuts out of my recipe when making this cake, due to a food allergy.  The cake did perfectly fine without the pecans, however if you wish to add the nuts, consider either mixing the nuts into the batter, or distributing over the layer of icing between the two cakes. In other words, ice the top of your bottom cake, pour the nuts over the icing, and then place the second cake on top of that. This provides a layer of brown-sugar pecan crunch between the cakes. You may also garnish the top of the cake with copped pecans.
  • Source: Anne Wells (my grandmother)
  • If using a bunt cake, you may half the icing ingredients.
  • Looking for more delicious desserts? Check out these other treats from ‘a rented kitchen’: