Thanksgiving Side Dish: Green Beans w/ Caramelized Onions & Toasted Almonds

Green Bean Casserole is the coveted Thanksgiving side dish. It’s everyone’s favorite, a true American classic. Would it really be Turkey Day without these haricot verts making an appearance? Probably not.

However, there are certain situations that are not supporting of Green Bean Casserole. Think I’m crazy? Think again! Although my sanity is questionable at times, I am completely in the right mind when I tell you this: Green Bean Casserole ain’t always the way to go.

First of all, it is possible to get sick of the stuff. Make it too many times, and you’ll be searching for a switch up. It’s also very possible to have a mushroom-hater at your dinner table. A lot of people actually don’t like mushrooms, which means they aren’t going to be crazy about a dish made with cream of mushroom soup. Also, if you’re already serving a lot of cream-based sides like mac and cheese, gratins, and cheesy or creamy potato bakes, then you might want to lighten up in other places. Rich, creamy dishes are delicious in moderation, but if you go too crazy, you’ll feel sick and riddled with guilt.

Lastly is a reason I can really relate to: lack of oven space. If you’ve got a bird in the oven then finding room for all your sides and breads can be quite a challenge. Stove-top sides can really come in handy. But what kind of delicious stove-top dishes are ideal for the Thanksgiving table?

Alas, my little cookies, there is a solution to all of these predicaments: Green Beans w/ Caramelized Onions & Toasted Almonds. It’s not too far from that classic casserole you know and love. You’ve got those tender green beans and the must-have onion topping. But instead of using processed onion-chips from a can, you use fresh, sweet, and buttery caramelized onions. Are you drooling yet?

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Linguine with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Pasta is a multifaceted food. It’s essentially a shape-shifter, resembling everything from curvy Cavatappi to pin-straight Spaghetti. And the pastabilites are endless. You can make classic mac & cheese, rich baked pastas, layered lasagnas, stove top skillets, or simply smother the pasta in an array of delicious sauces. Marinara, alfredo, bechamel, oh my! Is there anything pasta can’t do?

I must admit that all of the different options can be overwhelming. How does one choose between making, say, pasta primevera or pasta carbonara? Sometimes, the solution is simpler than it seems. A pasta dish with a multi-step sauce and all kinds of add-ins can be delicious no doubt, but there are occasions when less is more.

Take for example this Linguine with Brown Butter Sage Sauce. It’s one of the easiest pasta dishes out there, requiring minimal ingredients and effort, but yielding a sauce that’s overflowing with flavor and complexity.

The magic here is in the browned butter. Nothing adds flavor quite like this stuff. Plus, sage is such a delicious and warm herb. Pair it with fresh garlic, and you can’t lose.Brown Butter Sage Sauce sounds so fancy, and it tastes it too. But really, anybody can make this. It’s one of the “essential sauces,” a recipe you should know, master, and always have on hand when you need a quick pasta fix.

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese: My Favorite

Every Fall, I patiently await the arrival of two things: pumpkin & butternut squash. I’ve been going pretty pumpkin-happy lately, but good ol’ butternut squash has been getting the cold shoulder. I knew it was time to turn my attention toward this slightly sweet squash. And what better way to do that than with one of my all-time favorite recipes?

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Sweet & Simple: Basil Garlic Bread

Garlic is a beautiful thing. It’s flavor is so fantastic and so powerful. And yet, garlic is also universally complimentary of a plethora of foods. That’s one brilliant bulb. But garlic is in danger, my little cookies. It’s being exploited, overworked, and depreciated. We use garlic all the time, but hardly give it its place in the spotlight that is deserves. Basically, we’ve been putting garlic in things just for the sake of putting it in. Don’t get me wrong, most dishes are bettered by the addition of garlic. But sometimes, we need to step back and remember why garlic is such a wonderful herb/vegetable/spice in the first place.

Garlic bread is a fabulous way to showcase that. I’m not talking about that crap you get in the frozen section of your grocery store; I’m talking about the stuff you make fresh at home that is practically just as easy as throwing some frozen slices onto a baking sheet and tossing it in the toaster. There are a few simple steps and an itty-bitty ingredient list. The results that this quick and easy recipe yields are unbelievably delicious and packing tons of garlic impact. You won’t believe how this simple homemade bread can be some of the best you’ve ever had. Olive garden breadsticks, step aside.

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The Hashy Sammy

As I once explained to you little cookies in my Roasted & Toasted Taters post, I have an obsession with all things potato. This infatuation has followed me since childhood, throughout adolescence, and continued into to my young-adulthood. You can probably guess then what my favorite breakfast food is: hashbrowns. Now, hashbrowns come in all shapes and sizes. There are shredded hashbrowns, not to be confused with homefries (which I also love), little tator tot-like hashbrowns, and the trusty hashbrown patty. I ate and loved them all.

On school mornings, my mom would fry up a hashbrown patty with melted cheddar cheese for me. On the weekends, I’d indulge in basically the same thing except with shredded hashbrowns. I was always looking for a new way to get my daily potato fix. The problem was that many people looked down upon making a meal out of potatoes alone, especially for breakfast. So I’d have bacon on the side or an egg, but it just didn’t do it for me. You have to eat a lot of hashbrowns to feel satisfied. Somewhere along the line, gears started to turn. An idea began to take shape in my head.

Breakfast sandwich.

Hashbrowns.

A HASHBROWN BREAKFAST SANDWICH.

Sounds crazy, right? That’s what everyone said. They said I could do it. But I did, my little cookies. I did. Read the rest of this entry »