Friday, June 5, 2015

Do You Still Do That Food Blog?

After I went back to work a few years ago, I  remember I used to get this question all the time: Do you still do that food blog? Another popular question was (and is) do you still bake and cook?

Truthfully, I cook all the time, but bake less often to watch the calories and sugar that come into the house.  It is been a super long time since I last posted anything I created in my kitchen. My  weekday cooking and baking morphed more into 30- minute meals, than my past  Food Network creative days, but I still love the feel of standing behind the island prepping and playing Chef, or short-order cook. It relaxes me after a long day.

Even while on my blogging hiatus, I continued to take pictures, with the hope that  one day I would blog again.

 Well, last night, I picked up my lap top and thought; why not? You miss it. You can fit it into your schedule. The kids are older.  There are no pressing  deadlines. And you enjoy it. A love of writing, cooking, baking, and entertaining is the essence of a blog that will be good aromatherapy. So here I am, blogging again.

Among my many passions (okay more like 5), I also love to read. Books have always been my friends and great escapes. I am in my neighborhood's book club and it is often at our  monthly get-togethers that I try out new recipes to take for our potluck.

The last book we read was Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, just in case you wanted to know. 

The hostess was serving a casserole as the main dish and I needed something to pair with it, but that would not be overwhelming or even worse, UNDERWHELMING. Therefore, I chose to "bling" up some green beans.

Ok, it is not the best picture but I swear it is a nicely presented dish.
My inspiration for this dish came from several recipes I found on Google. What I do is read a few recipes I like and Frankenstein  then into ONE recipe that represents what I liked in them.

And I came up with this....

Carolina's Souped Up Green Beans, but not in a soup.

Here is the recipe:


Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds of fresh, trimmed green beans
4 slices of center cut bacon
4 oz. of Blue Cheese Crumbles (split portion in half)
1/2 small sliced strips of sweet red onion
1 1/2 cups of chopped toasted honey roasted pecans


1.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

2. Add the trimmed fresh green beans to the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. 

3. Remove the beans from the boiling water and strain them through a colander. Top the colander 

with ice cubes and cold water. Allow cold water to run over the green beans in the sink for extra 

cooling. This prevents the green beans from continuing to cook and remain crisp.

4. Remove the green beans from the ice water and set aside in a medium bowl. We will come back to 

them later.

5. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and place on

paper towels.We will come back to it later.

 6. Add the beans and sliced red onion to the bacon drippings and cook over medium heat for  3 

minutes. See we came back to the green beans!

7. Break the cooked bacon into bite-size pieces and add to pan.  We came back to the bacon, too!

8. Add 1/2 the Blue Cheese crumbles to the pan with the green beans and bacon.

9. Allow it to finish by stirring in the  chopped pecans. Allow 30 seconds to 1 minute to cook.

10. Season with the freshly ground black pepper and just a tiny pinch of kosher salt, plus sprinkle 

remainder of blue cheese crumbles on top.

11. Serve immediately.       

Tips to make it the recipe easier, a.k.a., faster to make:

  • Use pre-trimmed fresh green beans
  • Use packaged crumbled cheese
  • Use canned pecans

I think next time I make this, I will add  dried cranberries to the mix. Different hard cheeses could also be used, as well as,  fresh parmesan and maybe tossed mozzarella balls at the end, instead of a hard cheese.  Of course, other types of nut can be used or nuts and onion omitted just the same if needed. 

Let me know how it goes when you make this. It will be a new side dish to add to your recipe savers! 

More to come.... I hope! Still cooking, still baking, and for the moment, still blogging. 

Have a great weekend! 

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