the ultimate food high

Our Holiday Favorites: New England Baked Beans

Growing up, I was never much of a carnivore, but my family’s Christmas Day meal provided one important exception: prime rib. We’d buy it at Noel’s, a small town grocery with big time meat. Served in all its glory alongside its own juice and horseradish for a tangy bite, it’s the centerpiece of our table every year. Classics like mashed potatoes, bacon and molasses-enriched beans, and a salad of toasted pine nuts and gorgonzola round out the feast. Though our Christmas tradition isn’t bound by culture—no Feast of the Seven Fishes here—its meat-and-potatoes sensibility speaks to the bounty of New England, echoed by our Christmas Eve ritual of steamed lobsters and mussels. I didn’t always prefer this kind of simplicity, favoring ethnic cuisines and far-flung flavors. But my appreciation of simple has grown with that of the best place to find it: home.

—Audrey Morgan, digital director of Baked Magazine. Follow Audrey on Instagram @audreymorg.


Baked Beans with Bacon and Molasses

The recipe for this simple Christmas side dish comes from my late Nana. Like the woman who made it, it’s sweet, a little salty, and wonderfully indulgent.



  • 2 (28 oz.) cans baked beans
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar of dark molasses
  • ½ cup onion flakes
  • ½ lb. bacon (You’ll use about half the slices)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Drain beans and place in a bowl.
  3. Add molasses and onion flakes and mix thoroughly.
  4. Transfer bean mixture to a casserole dish and top with strips of bacon. Bake for 1 hour.

About Baked Magazine

Baked is Syracuse University’s student-run food magazine. Founded in 2011, Baked aims to widen food options for SU students by introducing kitchen amateurs to cooking, highlighting local businesses and eateries, and connecting readers to the greater Syracuse food community. It publishes one issue each semester.

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