Tag Archives: green beans

My Holiday Dinner Must-Have

Several years ago I tried out Tyler Florence’s Green Bean Casserole and have made it during the holidays every year since.  The cremini mushrooms are sauteed with minced shallot and garlic, then made into a cream sauce, the blanched green beans are added to it and it’s all poured into a baking dish, which is then topped with parmesan and homemade croutons and it’s all baked and ready for indulging.

If you’re still making Green Bean Casserole with a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and a can of green beans, shame on you I’m here to help.  Although I think that classic casserole is enjoyable because it takes me back to my childhood, reminds me of my grandma, is so easy to make, and pretty good with lots of those crunchy french onions on top, I thought I’d share my ‘MUST-have’ for the holiday dinner.

This year for turkey day we will be out of town, but I’m still going to make my favorite casserole, and a dessert (of course!).  I’m pretty excited for all of the holiday fun, so I cooked this up for part of our dinner last weekend.

The recipe is here, I make it pretty much the same.  I do love to use creminis and one big portabella for this, and simply using just fresh thyme to herb it up works well.  I add in a few minced garlic cloves when sauteing the shallots.  The cream sauce can sometimes be a bit thin, so be sure to simmer for 5-7 min. once the cream is poured in.  Only bake the croutons for ten minutes, or just until they’re starting to turn golden since they’ll toast up more later when baking.

My food photography really doesn’t do this delicious dish justice as the pics were taken indoors and at night, but (in my opinion) the holiday dinner table just isn’t complete without it. =)


It was great with the Elk Steak that Will grilled up and the acorn squash that I baked with butter and brown sugar.

The only bad thing about this casserole– it is very likely that you will already be filled up on half of a pan of warm yummy croutons before the dish ever hits the table!

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Dilly Beans

Well I had a full day of work today, made 2 Chocolate Hazelnut Tortes, a Ricotta Tart in an Almond Crust, 2 Lemon Olive Oil Poundcakes, one New York Cheesecake, a Tiramisu, some Tuille cookies, Flathead Cherry Sauce (for the cheesecake of course), and a Rhubarb Compote for the tart.  Whew!  I will post recipes for a couple of those lovely sweet treats soon.  But for now I wanted to tell you about the Dilly Beans I made and canned a few days ago.

Last week Will was working in WA and visited the produce farms in the area.  He brought home a large bag of green beans, among some other great fresh produce. 🙂  So I figured this was my opportunity to make Dilly Beans for first time and can them.

I ended up with six pint jars of canned beans and gave two to my mom.  I like them a lot, they are very dilly and very good.  If you like pickles or pickled asparagus, you’ll love these.  Perfect to snack on, have as an appetizer, or even part of a meal.  I put a couple in my sandwich since I didn’t have pickles!

The recipe is from my cousin, Nichole, over at Born in the Wrong Century.  It can also be found in one of my favorite books, Williams-Sonoma The Art of Preserving.  Nichole recommended it to me a year ago and I’m so glad I got it.


It is chock-full of beautiful photos, great recipes, and helpful instructions on canning.  If you love to cook, and enjoy canning also, this is a great book to add to your collection!  Very inspirational during the summer months, but can be used all year long.

::Dilly Beans::
(Compliments of Nichole)

(Yield – 6 pints)
3 cups white vinegar, 5% acidity
6 Tbsp kosher salt
3 cups filtered water
6 fresh dill heads (or 6 Tbsp dill seeds & 6 fresh dill sprigs)
Cayenne pepper
Yellow mustard seed
6 cloves garlic
4 lb green beans

In a sauce pan combine vinegar, salt and water. Bring to a boil to dissolve salt.

Meanwhile, place the following in each sterile, hot pint jar: 1 dill head (or 1 Tbsp seeds & 4 sprigs), 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/8 tsp mustard seed and 1 clove garlic. Trim the beans so they are 1/2 inch shorter than the pint jar. Pack the beans as tight as possible into the jars.

Ladle the hot brine into the jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a chopstick to remove any air bubbles and add more brine if necessary. Wipe the rims and seal. Process the jars for 15 minutes (for 5k’ elevation) in a hot water bath. Let cool and check the seals.

I will add that I ended up making twice as much brine, I ran out while filling my jars! 🙂

Have you had, or made, Dilly Beans before?

Mom, you better pop open that jar and enjoy!

🙂