This Meyer Lemon Green Beans recipe has been updated with new photos as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project. We enjoy this recipe so much as a quick, healthy side dish alternative to heavier green bean casseroles.
I distinctly remember the texture of cold cream of whatever soup in the green bean casserole that came with the Thanksgiving dinners my mom would order at the grocery store. I promise we warmed them, but there were always leftovers and I have a habit of testing dishes cold and deciding if I really like them partially based on their texture at the one temperature most dishes are not designed to be served. That particular green bean casserole just didn’t make the cut.
I’ve had great green bean casseroles since then, but they’re clearly not an every day dish. Usually loaded with butter and other fats, it’s just not something I really want to put on our family table more frequently than say, Thanksgiving. That meant that green beans were not frequent guests at our dinner table, and rather under appreciated by me until a few years ago. I really love the flavor of green beans, they’re delicious! A little sweet, crunchy, a bit earthy, it’s just nice, and a flavor that deserves to be complimented and celebrated. (more…)
It’s time for some Godmother “life musings”. If you’d like to skip this part and go straight to the recipe and food talk, please feel free. I still love you, it is okay. I get excited about brussel sprouts too. Recipe talk resumes after the next photo.
I do want to take a little moment that defined the rest of my day. As I was unloading the clean dishes from our dishwasher, I found myself grumbling a little because there were so many to put away. Before I even finished the thought, a little voice told me to check myself. There were so many dishes because I cooked so many things the day before. I was able to make so many things the day before because we have food in our pantry. There have been moments in my life when it wasn’t always this way and I started tearing up, so incredibly thankful for dishes and the ability to easily feed our family nutritious food and treats, with more to share.
The thoughts snowballed from there as I thought about challenges we face that are really blessings in disguise. I’m thankful for deployments and separations, they help the Godfather and I value our time together. I’m thankful for living far from family, because real family will never be far at heart. I’m thankful for fair weather friends and opportunists, they remind me to cherish true friendship. I’m thankful for the plastic Easter eggs scattered in my living room at the moment, even though they’re impeding my progress to a cleaner home, they’re one of Princess A’s favorite toys this week. I’m thankful for the gossips, you teach me to watch my words and, when I am the subject, give me the opportunity to evaluate my actions and take steps to correct things should I be at fault. I’m thankful for the cluttered garage that’s going to take a weekend to clear out, it means we have more than we need and can use some of those items to bless others. You get the picture.
That little voice reminded me that so many things that can be seen as negative or nuisances are really only such because we choose to see them that way. So instead of spending the morning cranky because I have a home to clean, I instead feel joyful, blessed, and thankful for the beautiful things in life. I hope you hear the same little voice today. <3
I am also thankful for brussel sprouts. They’re one of my favorite vegetables ever, and I have yet to come across a preparation style I don’t love. The Godfather does not share my love of the brussel sprout, but I don’t really care since that means more for me and the bitties (who both like brussel sprouts). At least he will eat a bit and he doesn’t die of embarrassment when I do a little victory dance in the store or the market when we buy them.
In fact, whenever I do make brussel sprouts, it’s an event. I plan for at least two days how I will make them, think about the meal I would like to bless with the appearance of the brussel sprout, and basically talk about it all day before I make them and then talk about how wonderful they were and how excited I am about any leftovers after I make them. Brussel sprouts rank up there with Thanksgiving leftovers and half-popped popcorn kernels on my list of favorite things.
The recipe technically serves 4 as a side dish, but A, Dolce, and I polished off almost the entire batch in one sitting. Scale accordingly based on the number of brussel sprout lovers in your home and whether you plan to serve the dish as a side or just eat it practically out of the pan.
According to Merriam-Webster crock-pot is a hyphenated word, did you know that? I had to look it up since my spell-check always tells me I made a mistake when I write “crockpot”, but “crock pot” just seems funny, and I know not everyone uses the phrase “slow cooker”. I’m glad we all learned something today.
One of the things I’ve been most excited about having a “real fall” is apple picking. We did go once in California, and I loved it, but there’s something about the idea of picking apples on a crisp cool day that seems so very “autumn” to me and it was a non-negotiable thing we had to do this season. So we headed out to a lovely 250+ year old farm nearby to pick apples and a perfect little pumpkin. Even though Princess is still a little young for apple picking, she seemed to enjoy it, and I like to feel as if maybe the time she spends shopping at farmer’s markets, visiting farms, and making things from scratch will help her in the long run to make conscientious food choices. She’s only 9 months old though, so I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself.
If you are curious, she is wearing my necklace. Darling girl has a love for jewelry like her mama.
Back to the apples, we picked just over 10 pounds of assorted apples, and I had my first actually delicious Red Delicious apple. Fresh Red Delicious taste absolutely nothing like the sandy-textured rather bland monsters you buy at the grocery store. All the apple varieties we picked, which I don’t remember, tasted wonderful, and more importantly, were grown without pesticides and other icky things.
I have plans for all 10 pounds of apples, but the first thing I chose to make was this applesauce. First of all because it takes no time at all, second because it’s a great snack/condiment/side, and third because I have plans to make things that require applesauce.
Given how popular this has been in our house, I will be procuring more apples and making another batch or two for the freezer before apple season is over. You’ll be surprised at how easy this is to make and will never buy applesauce again, pinkie promise.
You can cook the apples over the stove, but I like using my crock-pot because I think it gives the natural sweetness a little more time develop so you don’t have to add any sugar to the recipe. I don’t add any butter either, just four ingredients and that’s it. You don’t even have to use a specific blend of apples. I like to use a blend of sweet and tart apples, you may feel free to do whatever makes you happy.
If you can though, head to a local farm before the season is over and pick your own. It’s not only a fun experience, but you support a local producer, and you’ll end up with some of the best-tasting apples you’ve ever enjoyed.
This rosemary garlic oven roasted potatoes post has been updated with new photos as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography challenge where I add new photos to already delectable recipes!
Yesterday we finished a week-long “Whole 30” challenge. That means no sugar, dairy, wheat, soy, or alcohol/alcohol-containing products (i.e. – vanilla extract) in our diet for the past week (read more about it here). Technically, the actual challenge lasts 30+ days. I will try the 30 days soon, but I wanted the Godfather to try with me, so we stuck to 7 this round. I think these rosemary garlic oven roasted potatoes helped win him over, even though technically white potatoes should be limited. (more…)
This post for smoked cheddar candied jalapeno cornbread updated March 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add better photos to already delicious recipes!
I got a new toy! After years of wanting a cast iron skillet and for some unknown reason, not actually purchasing one, I have my very own! Actually, it’s not quite my very own as I plan to pick up at least one more soon so I can gift one to Princess A when she’s all grown up and has her own kitchen. I want her first piece of cast iron to be familiar, seasoned with a lifetime of love and happy memories, a way for her to feel we are near even if she travels far. That way she’ll only have to step into her kitchen to be “home” again. (more…)