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Mrs. Betty's Grateful Green Bean Casserole with Bonus Must-Have-Cranberries Cranberry Sauce

About Mrs. Betty's Recipe Box

Grateful Green Bean Casserole

Did you know that 57% of Americans don't know that they can eat Green Bean Casserole on other days of the year besides Thanksgiving?  Okay, I just made that up, but I didn't make up this next study. I was in a stress reduction class last week, and the nurse teaching the class talked about a 20-year study done by the Institute of HeartMath. The research shows that feelings of gratitude and appreciation are the most effective emotions we have--to the point of being mentally, physically, and behaviorally  transforming. 

When monitoring the hearts of patients with negative emotions, the heart-rhythm patterns appear jagged and disordered, but as soon as that person replaces the negative with feelings of appreciation, the heart-rhythm becomes very smooth. The result is a healthier body and mind. 

Yes, we can eat Green Bean Casserole, and even turkey and dressing, on days other than Thanksgiving, but we can also live a life of gratitude 365 days a year. A sweet young lady that I know hand painted a sign for me last Christmas with the familiar saying that There's Always, Always, Always Something to be Thankful For.  I walk by it every day in my craft room and think of one more reason to give thanks--even on the crummy days.

As for the Green Bean casserole, it is really tasty, and although it varies slightly from the traditional recipe, everyone will recognize it on your buffet. My sister was a little skeptical about the Cheese Nips topping, since she is a steadfast traditionalist when it comes to holiday foods.  She said it had to have fried onions on top (she makes her French fried onions from scratch, not from a can); however, once she realized that there were onions cooked in the casserole, she accepted it and really liked it.  Of course, you can top yours with the French Fried Onions if you want; there are no rules here.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

MRS. BETTY'S GRATEFUL GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

1 (15-ounce) can French cut string beans, drained

1 (11-ounce) can shoe peg corn, drained

6 Tablespoons butter, divided

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream

1 (10.5-ounce) can Cream of Celery soup

1 cup Cheese Nips

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet.  Add onion, celery, and bell pepper; sauté until tender; remove from heat.  In a mixing bowl, combine sautéed onion, celery, and bell pepper with the green beans and corn.  Add the cheese, sour cream and soup and mix together.  Pour into a greased 2-1/2 quart casserole dish.  Place the Cheese Nips in a zippered plastic bag and lightly crush them.  Sprinkle the Cheese Nips over the casserole.  Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

MUST-HAVE-CRANBERRIES CRANBERRY SAUCE

 Cranberries in Pot

This isn’t from Mrs. Betty’s Recipe Box, but since we were on the subject of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share one of my favorite holiday recipes. It’s so simple, yet so fun to make.  For most of the last 13 years, I have hosted Thanksgiving at my house, and there are 2 must haves for me.  I want the tables dressed nice and pretty so that my guests feel special when they sit down at their place settings.  The second thing is not really a must have, but actually a must not have—gelatinous cranberry sauce shaped like a can.

I know some of you have true sentimental attachments to canned cranberry sauce; however, making cranberry sauce is fun and so pretty while it’s cooking!   When those cranberries get that shiny glaze from the sugar, and they start popping (yes, they have a glorious sounding pop as they cook) that is when my holiday spirit kicks in. 

This is the recipe that’s always on the back of the fresh cranberries in the produce section of the grocery store. I will be making this at least 4 times between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.  If you prefer a relish type sauce, there are plenty of ingredients that can be added for different flavor and texture.  Calico Creek is all about living simply, and I’m keeping with my simple 3-ingredient recipe.  My friend Sherry says if a recipe has more than 3 ingredients, then it’s probably too many anyway.  I think you will love it as much as my family, but if not, you can always go back to the ol’ plop, serve, and watch it jiggle method.

Cranberry Sauce in Bowl   

1 cup water                                         

1 cup sugar

1 (12-ounce package) fresh or frozen cranberries

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add cranberries and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour sauce into a bowl, cover, and cool completely at room temperature.  Refrigerate until serving time.  So easy!

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