I hope you are having a lovely holiday season! Hubs and I are so enjoying being with all the kids. There is truly nothing better. Once the kids leave, you relish any time you spend with them! We had the best visit with my family on Long Island and now we are in Utah with Hubs’s family. I will pray for good snow but mild temps! I’m such a wimp. If you want a super impressive and delicious main dish for a night in or for a New Year’s dinner, I have you covered. I served this Mushroom Wellington at a dinner party last year, and I couldn’t believe how everyone went crazy for it – even the carnivores!Continue reading
If you didn’t notice that Thanksgiving is basically around the corner, I am here to remind you! I am teaching a Thanksgiving bootcamp starting next week (!) which will get you so prepared, you will actually be EXCITED and LOOKING FORWARD to hosting and enjoying the Thanksgiving of your dreams. For my community, I always like to entice you with a good discount. Take $100 off with code TDAY100. You don’t have to watch live. I have payment plans available. You don’t have to use PayPal. You can watch the videos over and over and over again. You can ask me any and all questions. I’m like your personal Thanksgiving consultant until the day of. Menu suggestions, how to deal with different types of eating styles, limited resources in the kitchen, no oven, how to deal with the worst in-laws ever. Just kidding! Sign up today. We are going to have so much fun and you’ll be able to use these tips and systems forever!Continue reading
BIG NEWS! I am repeating my very popular and successful bootcamp, Raising Healthy Eaters. I feel really good about the fact that I launched three healthy eaters into the world and have helped hundreds of students with their kiddos. Take my course and you will be in very good hands. Here’s the info and I am even adding BONUS OFFICE HOURS if you need extra support or the class times don’t work well for you. Use the code KIDS100 for $100 OFF. Continue reading
This was originally published in January 2014, but I have been making it again on the regular and thought the website needed updated photos!
You know what is just the worst? Getting sick. Life is great until you feel horrible. I think most of us run around like maniacs until we’re so wiped out while our poor bodies are trying to tell us to slooooooow down and get some rest. First it’s a little whisper like feeling so tired. But we don’t listen. Then we get a sore throat. We don’t listen. Then our bodies have to whack us over the head with a crazy cold and body aches until we have no other choice but to stay in bed. A friend of mine who came down with a bad cold said to me the other day,”If I just spent a little time in bed resting when I wasn’t sick, maybe I would have stayed healthy!” I think she’s onto something.Continue reading
I receive a lot of requests for recipes – more entrees, more low-carb, more “kid-friendly” (I don’t like that phrase, by the way), and the most popular, easy. The term easy means different things to different people. In my opinion, easy means not complicated, something that a cook of any skill level can successfully prepare. Or perhaps easy implies very few steps. But what I have deduced is that most of my students think that easy implies “quick,” as in quick to put together and minimal hands-on time.
Sometimes, a little freshening up is in order. I put this chopped grilled vegetable salad on my weekly dinner planner and when I pulled the image for it, I cringed a little. The photo did not do it justice at all. This salad is one of my absolute favorites and one that I posted almost 5 years ago. In all fairness to me, I didn’t even know how to use a camera when I started this blog, and although I am still no photography expert, I think my images have improved since 2011. So I thought I would pull this post from the archives and give it a facelift, especially on the eve of Memorial Day weekend when you might be inclined to make a fantastic, crowd-pleasing salad such as this one.
I was talking to a few ladies in my class this week about the Thanksgiving meals we remember from our childhoods and how they have evolved, if at all. We celebrated with my mother’s family some years and with my father’s family other years. Even though my mother’s family is Italian-American, their Thanksgiving dinners were pretty straightforward, even including sweet potatoes with marshmallows. My father grew up in Italy and therefore Thanksgiving was truly a foreign concept. Suffice it to say, that side of the family served ravioli as a first course. No, not pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage. Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce! Cracks me up to think about that now.
Then the discussion transitioned to new recipes which have made it onto our Thanksgiving menus in the last few years. That’s a tough one, no? I’ll tell you right now, I teach 5 new recipes every November and very few make it to my personal Thanksgiving table. Not because they aren’t fantastic, but because how many recipes can you really have on one menu? At some point, enough is enough and my menu has been at capacity for a few years now.
But, allow me to introduce a favorite newcomer to my Thanksgiving spread…..green bean casserole! But not just any green bean casserole. I am not talking about canned green beans, coated with cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions. Thanksgiving deserves more respect than cans, people. Sure, we can use heavy cream and loads of butter instead, but we don’t have to.
This green bean casserole is fresher, lighter and even tastier than all of those. I use mushroom stock with a little (and I mean little) flour and butter to thicken it up. Super good flavor and super easy to make. Plus homemade crispy onions that everyone will be sneaking bites of during the day. Trust me — 100 times better than canned. Voila! The best green bean casserole ever. I have served this the last two years and I have never had a single green bean left. If you like getting stuff done ahead, here’s your plan:
Blanche the green beans the day before
wipe mushrooms clean and slice the day before
make the onions the morning of
make mushroom mixture and assemble casserole up to 2 hours ahead
bake when the turkey is resting out of the oven.
See you back here next week with some more fabulous Thanksgiving recipes and tips!
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced and pieces separated
¼ cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
2 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
Unrefined, cold-pressed olive oil
1 pound of green beans, trimmed
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, or flour of your choice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 ½ cups mushroom stock (or chicken stock) + possibly a little more in case the gravy needs thinning
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Make the onion topping: Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl or paper bag and toss to combine.
Warm 1 ½ Tablespoons of butter and 1 ½ Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop one piece of onion in the pan to make sure it sizzles. Add as many onion pieces as can fit in the pan in one layer. You may need to do this in batches.
Turn the onions when they become golden on the bottom. Cook until crispy and golden on the other side. Transfer onions to a plate lined with a paper towel. If you have to cook a second batch, you may need to wipe out the pan and start with fresh butter and oil.
Prepare the green beans and casserole:
Blanche green beans: prepare a bowl of ice water for the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the kosher salt. Add the beans and set a timer for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in the ice water bath. Drain after 5 minutes or so, pat dry, and place green beans in a 9” square or round baking dish.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté over medium until mushrooms have lost their shape and released most of their liquid (about 5 minutes).
Stir the flour and thyme into the mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the mushroom stock, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Pour evenly over green beans, top with the crispy onions and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling on the sides and the beans are warmed through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.