Happy Present Day!


December 26, 2012 by hoosieroutwest

Now I know this post is a day late but lately my life has been running about a day late. What is Present Day you ask? Well since Greg isn’t religious and Hanukkah moves around each year we celebrate Present Day instead of Christmas.

Our tradition is to have Thanksgiving food on Present Day. Why? Because we never get Thanksgiving leftovers – and that’s half the fun of that holiday. We usually fly back to Indiana for the holiday and since leftovers don’t generally travel well we’re always left without.

stuffing getting ready

stuffing getting ready

This year was no exception. I went all out and made biscuits, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing and pecan bars for dessert. Needless to say, we didn’t make it to dessert – got too full on dinner.

green beans and stuffing waiting for the oven

green beans and stuffing waiting for the oven

One thing I differently this year was to make green bean casserole from scratch. While we LOVE the Campbell’s traditional recipe I wanted to try it without the condensed soup. It was a big hit! Even our friend Sam who rarely eats vegetables had a serving.

full plate = full belly

full plate = full belly

I hope everyone had a great Present Day/Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice! My present to you? Homemade Green Bean Casserole recipe and a promise to update the website with more recipes in the near future!

Happy New Year! Enjoy!

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Homemade Green Bean Casserole Printable

adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Makes 10-12 servings


4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 cups canned fried onions

Beans & Sauce

2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, broken into ½ inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 ½ cups heavy cream

For the topping: pulse bread, butter, salt & pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to large bowl and toss with onions*; set aside.

For the beans & sauce: heat oven to 425°. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and green beans. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and run under cold water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

Add butter to Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and liquid evaporates. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to approximately 3 ½ cups. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated*. Arrange in even layer in 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately!


Casserole can be made ahead of time. Store the bread crumb topping in an airtight container in the refrigerator and combine with the onions just before cooking. Combine the beans and cooled sauce in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and heat the casserole in a 425° oven for 10 minutes. Then add the topping and bake as directed above.

One thought on “Happy Present Day!

  1. Jan & George Rodgers says:

    Yummy dinner.  looks delicious. wish we were there to celebrate with you.  Can”t wait to see what wonderful things you’ll learn to cook at Sur La Table.

    certificate in the mail.

    Hope you got many thanks and kisses from Greg

    Love , Jan

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