Thanksgiving Day: The Results

From the top:

Green beans, stuffing, chicken, gravy, smashed potatoes, baked beans, corn muffins, honey butter, regular butter. Not pictured: butternut squash bake; assorted wines.

The Gravy: No recipe but basically, heat some broth/stock over medium heat.  When bird comes out of the oven, place chicken/turkey on serving platter to rest.  Heat roasting pan over a burner, add wine, stock or water to deglaze tasty bits.  Pour off drippings in to a measuring cup. I had some big solid flavor-enhancers (whole garlic cloves, sprigs of fresh herbs) in the roasting pan so to save time, I filtered the drippings through a 3-ply square of cheesecloth, squeezing to get all the liquid through.  Let the liquid settle/cool so the fat starts to rise up and can be skimmed off (you can put it in the fridge/freezer to speed things up).  While the drippings were cooling, I was jazzing up the broth by mashing the garlic cloves from the roasting pan and adding a little dried sage.  Add defatted drippings to broth, bring to a rolling boil and allow to reduce by about 1/3.  Add 2 tablespoons cold butter and 1 tablespoon flour to thicken. Serve immediately.  This makes a moderately thick gravy; you could add more broth to make a thinner style.

Baked Beans: Yeah, I had big plans for these. I was going to dice up bacon, make the beans in the crockpot and so forth. Then I got busy and voila, one can o’  beans. With maple flavor and bacon, as requested.  It turns out my brother was envisioning the beans my aunt Bonnie makes.  And I don’t know how to make those anyway except it was described as “a bacon sandwich, with beans in between.”

Wines: We had a bottle of Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel & one of Susana Balbo Malbec with dinner then had a very dark cherry-chocolate cabernet from Mitolo (soon to be on the Winning Wines list).

Pre/Post Dinner Snacks: We had cheese and crackers with some yummy Vidalia-Onion fig sauce and sliced bell pepper. We also had a mushroom-cashew nut spread made by my mom. Excellent on crackers or slices of bread.  And this quite frankly evil dark chocolate-matzo cracker-pistachio concoctation that I’m really glad is all gone.  I’m not so glad that its all gone because I ate most of it.   Sweet-salty and just not right!

Turkey Day Recipes: Green Bean (Casserole)

Chris asked me to make this.  Up until the day before Thanksgiving, I thought it was the traditional green bean casserole. Admittedly, I didn’t know what was in that except beans, some kind of mushroom soup and those fried onion things.

As it turns out, his requested dish, recipe provided by mom, is not green bean casserole but Christmas Green Beans. And here is the recipe:


3 cans green beans
8 oz sour cream
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper


  • Put beans in a greased 2 qt casserole dish (8x)
  • Saute onion in butter in saute pan
  • Add flour, sugar, pepper and sour cream to onions; stir til boils
  • Remove from heat and pour over beans
  • Cover beans with swiss cheese
  • Bake 20-25 minutes at 350°, until cheese is melted and turning golden brown

Delicioso Green Beans & Potatoes (and Baked Chicken)

A little late, but here’s the recipe for that Sneak Peek photo from a few days ago.

Baked Chicken with Potato-Green Bean Saute


Green Beans, about 2 handfuls fresh. Trimmed and cut in half
5-6 fingerling potatoes
1/2 red onion, frenched
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts (from Kroger)
balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tablespoon rosemary
butter & olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth


If you follow these directions in order and with the right timing, it all comes together exactly right. Not planned that way, I just got lucky.

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 and bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove.
  • When water boils, add potatoes and keep boiling, 7-10 minutes. The potatoes are done when you stick a knife in about 1/2 way.
  • Drain potatoes and return to pan to cool slightly.
  • Place onion wedges in a small baking pan, coated with non-stick spray or olive oil. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on the onions then lay chicken breasts over the top of the onions. Bake in oven, uncovered, about 15-20 minutes.
  • While chicken bakes, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds then add green beans and cook 3-5 minutes until beans are softened up. Remove beans to a bowl.
  • While beans and chicken are cooking, quarter potatoes and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • After 15 minutes in the oven, check chicken for doneness. Depending on the size of the breasts, 20 minutes may be all that is needed. Sometimes we get really big chicken pieces from Kroger. This time, they were normal sized, individual portions.
  • During last 5 minutes of baking for chicken, heat 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in pan (same one from green beans). Add dried rosemary and potatoes; saute about 5 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from oven and set aside, covered to keep warm. Add onions and reserved green beans to pan with potatoes. Cook 2-3 more minutes then add chicken broth to deglaze pan and glaze vegetables.


As I mentioned, the timing on this worked out really well especially since I wasn’t really trying. The chicken came out of the oven right about the time I needed those onions for the potatoes.

We have come to like the Parmesan Chicken Breasts from Kroger’s meat department as they can easily be jazzed up. Garnish chicken breast with balsamic vinegar, if desired.

This dish is very similar to my Summertime Potato-Tomato Saute.

We really like balsamic vinegar, especially the pictured variety from Cherry Creek.  The bottle is almost gone.  Yikes!

1106 dinner