Green Bean Bundles

I have to say that when I first heard of this dish, I though it was one of the most unusual combinations of flavors ever.  We were visiting my husband’s family for Christmas, and my mother-in-law was preparing the big feast.  I started to smell the most amazing aroma coming from the kitchen.  I went exploring to find a mixture of brown sugar, butter and garlic warming on top of the stove.  This was the start of what I would later learn was something called green bean bundles.  They were these elegant little bundles of fresh green beans, wrapped up in bacon and baked in this luxurious sauce that was bubbling away on the stove.  We always serve these bundles alongside our stuffed tenderloin for Christmas.  They appear super fancy, but come together very easily… making them perfect for a holiday gathering, or anytime you want a slightly unique veggie side dish.   Continue reading “Green Bean Bundles”

Cornbread Dressing

Growing up in Texas, I didn’t know about “stuffing” at Thanksgiving.  We had “dressing.”  It was made from cornbread, and we would have never dreamed of sticking it in unspeakable places inside a turkey carcass.  Ewww.  Just saying’.  If you’re into that…rock on.  But we cooked ours in a casserole dish and served it as a side dish that was yummy either with or without some gravy on top.  And, of course, we just ended up mixing everything together on the plate anyway…dressing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, etc.  I know that may scare those of you who don’t want your foods to touch!  That’s ok!  So, as we approach the big feast day…I felt it was important to include this in my “Twelve Weeks of Holiday” series.  Although I will not be completing this dish until the big day.  So, the pictures will have to come later!  For now, I will include a couple of pics from last year’s feast! Continue reading “Cornbread Dressing”

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potatoes, and fortunately, my family is on board also.  It’s probably one of the few things resembling a vegetable that I can get my son to eat.  Several years ago, I ran across a recipe for “fries” that you bake in the oven.  I played with the seasonings and cooking times, and this is the result.  I must have made hundreds of batches of these for a side dish or tasty snack.  I love that they aren’t so heavy and greasy from frying.  We enjoy them year round…but they seem especially appropriate with their beautiful orange color this time of year! Continue reading “Baked Sweet Potato Fries”

Gruyere- Parmesan Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic

This is probably my picky son’s favorite side dish ever.  He considers it a main dish and would be content if no other food showed up on the table.  It’s the ultimate comfort food turned up a notch with the addition of oven roasted garlic that gives it that sweet almost smoky mild garlic flavor.  Then, there’s the addition of smoky, smooth and melty gruyere and salty parmesan.  And, I didn’t forget what makes mashed potatoes comfort food…butter and cream…or half and half or milk if you forgot to wear your stretchy pants!  It’s up to you…how bold do you want to be?!  If it’s a special occasion, splurge a bit and neglect to count the calories!   Continue reading “Gruyere- Parmesan Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic”