About Mrs. Betty's Recipe Box
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 attended a stress reduction course a few years ago, 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 rich and 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.
Here are the ingredients. You probably have most, if not all, of these in your pantry and fridge already.
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. Add the chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté until tender.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, celery, and bell pepper mixture with the drained green beans and corn.
In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream, and soup. Add the mixture to the other ingredients and stir together. Pour into a greased casserole dish. I could just eat it like this!
Place the Cheese Nips in a plastic bag and lightly crush them. Don't go too crazy, or you'll just end up with cheese-flavored dust.
Sprinkle the crushed Cheese Nips over your prepared casserole dish. Then melt that remaining glorious butter and drizzle over the top. Oh, I know just what you're thinking right now--about all the new friends you are going to make with this dish!
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm while the cheese is still gooey. Everyone will be so GRATEFUL you made this!
Happy Thanksgiving! ~Wendy
MRS. BETTY'S GRATEFUL GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
1 (15-ounce) can French cut string beans, drained
1 (11-ounce) can shoe peg corn, drained (substitute with white sweet corn if you can't find shoe peg)
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 (or Cheez-It Crackers)
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper; sauté until tender and then remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine sautéed onion, celery, and bell pepper with the green beans and corn. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream, and soup. Add the mixture to the other ingredients and stir 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 in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
'MUST-HAVE-CRANBERRIES' CRANBERRY SAUCE
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. I usually host Thanksgiving at my house, and there are two 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, and that's okay. Remember, I said there are no rules. However, making cranberry sauce is fun and so pretty while it’s cooking! When those cranberries get that shiny glaze from the sugar and start popping (yes, they have a delightful 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 four 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 three 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.
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!