Five Things

I would consider my “Signature” or most requested dishes.

5. Vegetarian Black Bean Soup. I just blogged about this a few weeks ago, but I’ve been making this for a few years now.  It’s a great and easy riff on traditional tortilla soup, and it turns out great every time!  Definitely a crowd pleaser.

4. Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and almonds.  I’ve seen a few Food Network personalities make versions of this dish, so one Thanksgiving I decided to combine a few recipes and give it a try.  It quickly became a staple at my family’s Thanksgiving table.

3. Rice Krispie treats.  This one is so easy, but so good.  Whenever I make a version of rice krispie treats to bring to a party, they get raves. I love them too, but I feel like people don’t realize that all I did was melt butter and marshmallows and add cereal. I usually make them because I need to pull something together at the last minute, and quickly realize that I could have made a soufflé and gotten fewer compliments.

2. Granola.  I saw a recipe for granola about three years ago and decided to give it a try. At the time, I didn’t even realize you could bake granola at home.  Three years later, my mother requires me to make a big batch to leave with her every time I visit her house.

1. Buttermilk Pancakes.  My grandmother trained me to make these with my great grandmother’s recipe at a very early age.  By the way, this is my great grandmother Sarah Church, aka Sadie.  This is my number one requested dish by friends and family hands down.  They are simple, light, and fluffy every time!

What is your best dish?

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Green and Loving It

I’ll tell you a secret.  I love a green vegetable.  My two favorite green vegetables are probably broccoli and green beans.  The topic at hand today is the green bean.  The key with the green bean in my mind is that they are cooked but still crunchy.  I’m not a fan of the mushy green beans that are either cooked to death or canned.  A couple years ago I took inspiration from a few different recipes that I saw from various sources and started making a fabulous green bean dish.  This dish has since become a staple at important eating occasions in my family, including a spot at the most important eating occasion: Thanksgiving.

If I were you, I would give this recipe a test run in the next couple of months and you might be convinced to replace a side dish at your own Thanksgiving feast.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds

Serves 4, scale up as needed

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs butter (or I used bacon fat this past time)
  • 1 medium onion sliced in half or quarter moons (white or yellow)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb of raw green beans
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • seasoning to taste

Method

  1. Heat a medium sized frying pan on low heat.  Melt butter in pan.  Add sliced onion, then minced garlic.  Allow to cook on low heat until the onion caramelizes and turns a nice brown color.  About 30-45 minutes.
  2. When the onions are close to done, blanch the green beans.  This is done by adding them to boiling water, allow to cook for 4-5 minutes, then transfer beans to an ice bath (bowl with ice water and room for the beans).  The transfer to the ice water will stop the cooking process and leave the beans crunchy.
  3. Meanwhile, give your sliced almonds a quick toast over low heat in a pan on the stove.  This should only take a few minutes, don’t let them get too brown!
  4. When you feel you have reached a good level of caramelization with the onions, add the green beens and almonds to the onions and mix them up.  Give it a sample and season to taste.  Then enjoy!