Oven-Fried Green Beans with Chipotle Aioli

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A while back, I spent the weekend in northern VT with my SO, who is finishing his degree in the coldest place on the planet.  I mean, it’s beautiful, and it’s a great school, etc etc etc, but there’s Miami, Hawaii, Cali… what’s wrong with those?  All joking aside, it’s a lovely time, mainly because we pig out.  That’s really all I do on the weekend, but we do it like we are trying to win a prize.  This particular weekend, we went to a spectacular dive to shoot pool, and of course needed to order every appetizer they have on the menu.

And that’s when they entered my life:  Green Bean Fries.

Come on.

I’ve had (and made) fries of all sorts:  carrot, sweet potato, you name it.  But beans?  As fries?  Seriously?  I was skeptical.  And wrong.  These things are so addictive!  Dangerous.  Don’t think that you deserve a pat on the back for choosing green beans on the menu:  these battered-and-deep-fried bunches of goodness are death.  The best part had to be the dipping sauce:  they had this chipotle mayo that was so heavy and spicy and oh oh oh my mouth is literally watering right now.

So, being a formerly extremely heavy gal, I had to figure out how to harness their superpower for good.  I give you: the oven-fried green beans.  Their only breading is parm cheese, so if you’re carb-contious you’re still safe.  And the sauce?  Yup, I got that for you too.  My boo gave it a “hey, when are you making that sauce again?” approval, so you know it’s a win.  Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  •  2 mixing bowls (one can be small)
  • fork
  • non-stick pan
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

For the green beans:

  • fresh green beans (I didn’t measure… I just grab about 2-3 handfuls)
  • 1 egg
  • minced garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chipotle aioli:

  • 3T mayo (I use olive oil-based)
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1T smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and snap the ends off the green beans.  Pat dry.IMG_6939
  3. In a bowl, mix egg, garlic, salt, and pepper with a fork (like you’re making scrambled eggs).IMG_6942
  4. Dip green beans in egg mixture, shaking off the excess egg.  Place in a non-stick pan (be sure to spray it first).IMG_6943
  5. Coat beans with Parmesan cheese.IMG_6944
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.FullSizeRender
  7. While the beans are baking, mix the mayo, lemon juice, and paprika in a small bowl; IMG_7012set aside.IMG_7013
  8. Serve beans hot with the aioli.  Enjoy!FullSizeRender (1)

 

Oven-Fried Green Beans with Chipotle Aioli

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

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Materials:

  •  2 mixing bowls (one can be small)
  • fork
  • non-stick pan
  • cooking spray

Ingredients:

For the green beans:

  • fresh green beans (I didn’t measure… I just grab about 2-3 handfuls)
  • 1 egg
  • minced garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chipotle aioli:

  • 3T mayo (I use olive oil-based)
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1T smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and snap the ends off the green beans.  Pat dry.
  3. In a bowl, mix egg, garlic, salt, and pepper with a fork (like you’re making scrambled eggs).
  4. Dip green beans in egg mixture, shaking off the excess egg.  Place in a non-stick pan (be sure to spray it first).
  5. Coat beans with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  7. While the beans are baking, mix the mayo, lemon juice, and paprika in a small bowl; set aside.
  8. Serve beans hot with the aioli.  Enjoy!

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Courtesy of Cookinglight.com

When I was a little whipper-snapper, all I wanted was a doll that looked like me.  I know what you’re thinking:  a toy-maker could never capture my beauty.  An impossible mission.

Joking aside, I wasn’t all that into the whole Barbie thing, mainly because the gal was a tall, skinny, blue-eyed blonde, and I was, well, pretty much the exact opposite of that:

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Where was I going?  Not sure.  But I was going to be fabulous.

Studies show that girls desire to play with dolls that most mirror themselves, and I was no exeption:  I wanted an olive-skinned, short, dark and curly-haired doll, preferably one with high ambitions and little patience. My poor mother’s best solution was a Native American doll, thinking that the hair and skin would be a closer match than Barbie.

Now, Barbie has launched a new campaign with a wider range of dolls:  there are tall, curvy, and the original skinny B’s with a variety of styles.  But…. what about us average gals?  I know Matel cannot please everyone, but how about a brunette with green eyes, and normal height and weight?  Maybe they thought the most popular combination of female attributes was too obvious…

Anyway, given the way my weight fluctuates the search for the doll in my image is futile.  If they can come up with a doll that is constantly stressed at work, eats like a linebacker, then guilt’s herself into losing the weight a few times a year, I’m game.

Here’s a binge-worthy recipe for you!  I got this recipe from Cooking Light, and it was a HUGE hit at my Superbowl gathering.  I served it slightly warm, with sliced french bread.  Enjoy!


 

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • aluminum foil
  • small pot with lid
  • food processor
  • measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 1 c water
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove paper coating from garlic.
  3. Cover garlic with olive oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil, and roast for about 12 minutes.
  4. While garlic is roasting, place sun-dried tomatoes and water in a small pot.  Boil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.FullSizeRender (5)
  5. Remove garlic head from the oven, carefully popping out the cloves from the shells.FullSizeRender (4)
  6. In a food processor, combine all ingredients.  FullSizeRender (3)
  7. Pulse until well-combined.  It should have the consistency of hummus.FullSizeRender (2)
  8. Serve warm with bread.  Enjoy!FullSizeRender (1)

 

Sun-dried Tomato and Roasted Garlic Dip

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • aluminum foil
  • small pot with lid
  • food processor
  • measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 1 c water
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 can of white beans, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove paper coating from garlic.
  3. Cover garlic with olive oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil, and roast for about 12 minutes.
  4. While garlic is roasting, place sun-dried tomatoes and water in a small pot.  Boil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.
  5. Remove garlic head from the oven, carefully popping out the cloves from the shells.
  6. In a food processor, combine all ingredients.
  7.  Pulse until well-combined.  It should have the consistency of hummus.
  8. Serve warm with bread.  Enjoy!

Superbowl Sliders!

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You know those moments when you are so proud of yourself it’s a little embarrassing? Example: bringing in the groceries last night, I spotted my umbrella in the back of the car. Remembered that it’s going to rain like whoa today, I grabbed it, and then was SO PROUD of myself for having the forethought of grabbing my umbrella to shield my from tomorrow’s rain, rather than cursing it in my groggy morning haze.  I was soon dethroned after climbing my 4 flights of stairs and realizing I left my purse on my front seat of my car.  Way to win, Jenni.

Hey, the SUPERBOWL is this weekend!  Who do you want to win?  The New York Trumps, or the Vermont Sanders?  Oops, wrong sport.  I get those two confused:  they are both blood-bath sports that involve head-bashing all the time, and everyone is trying to figure out if they are that way because they have a concussion or not.

I love football so I will definitely watch, but don’t care who wins.  I will probably hedge a funny bet with my friends on who wins, and I will most certainly P-I-G out.  That’s the best part of the day, right? Well, that and the commercials.

So, what are we going to eat?  Pulled.  Pork.  Sliders.  Yaaaaaaaas.

I made this fool-proof recipe twice in December for large audiences, and it was a huge crowd pleaser.  Ladies and gents, I am about to unleash one of my best recipes I own:  my slow-cooker pulled pork.  This pork is simple, yet so good you will over eat.  I warned you.  I had two different people say it was the best pulled pork they’ve ever had, and I don’t take their opinions lightly.  The secret is to cook on HIGH for at least 6 to 8 hours.  Please, please trust me on this.  Well worth it.  MVP.


Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • slow cooker
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs and forks, for shredding

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-7-lb pork shoulder (aka pork butt, aka picnic cut, aka boston pork)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 T paprika
  • 3 T liquid smoke
  • 1 c chicken broth (or water)
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pat-dry the pork after removing it from its wrapping.
  2. Mix all spices in a mixing bowl.
  3. Rub liberally all over the surface of the pork.FullSizeRender (7)
  4. Place pork in slow cooker.
  5. Pour broth in over pork and close the lid.FullSizeRender (5)
  6. Cook on HIGH for at least 8 hours.
  7. Shred using a fork and tongs.FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (8)
  8. Serve on buns, with favorite BBQ sauce, or mustard.FullSizeRender (2)
  9. Enjoy!

 

Superbowl Pulled Pork Sliders

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Time: 10 min plus 8 hours cooking
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Materials:

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  • mixing bowl
  • slow cooker
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • tongs and forks, for shredding

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-7-lb pork shoulder (aka pork butt, aka picnic cut, aka boston pork)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 T paprika
  • 3 T liquid smoke
  • 1 c chicken broth (or water)
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pat-dry the pork after removing it from its wrapping.
  2. Mix all spices in a mixing bowl.
  3. Rub liberally all over the surface of the pork.
  4. Place pork in slow cooker.
  5. Pour broth in over pork and close the lid.
  6. Cook on HIGH for at least 8 hours.
  7. Shred using a fork and tongs.
  8. Serve on buns, with favorite BBQ sauce, or mustard.
  9. Enjoy!

White Cheddar Cran Ball

 

Oh, hi.  It’s me.  I hope you had an epically fantastic holiday!  I did, which is partly why I am just now writing, two weeks later.  Whomp whomp.

I spent several bliss-filled days with my two 10-ish-year-old nephews.  and my 8-month old niece. I love spending time with them so much, and get so depressed when I have to drive back to Boston, far, far away from them.  My niece is without a doubt the most adorable baby on the planet, and happens to be the heaviest thing I’ve held since Nam.  Seriously, after Day One of my visit, my biceps were sore.  Why is it that rolls of fat on my niece’s thighs are adorbs, but not so much on my 30-year-old legs?  Oh, the humanity. Continue reading

Caprese Salad Skewers

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How was your Thanksgiving?  I know, you’re over it, right?  That was so last week.  Well, I’ve been completely swamped, and sick, and am finally starting to catch up with y’all.  So, I hope it was wonderful, and full of family drama, arguing over the Macy’s parade vs the football game, and of course a food-induced coma.   Or, maybe you skipped all of the nonsense to hit the stores!  I mean, it’s only a matter of time before our Thanksgiving day will be completely replaced by Brown Thursday, or whatever ridiculous name they come up with.  You know what I’m thankful for?  Amazon prime.   Continue reading

Kale Chips

Oh my me oh my.  I turn 30 in 30 days.  Can you believe?!  Don’t answer that.

Like I said last year, I get very reflective around my birthday.  I tend to look inward a lot this time of year– taking into account where i am in my life, what I have achieved thus far, what I have yet to achieve and still want to, and changes I want to make.  With such a large milestone as this,  I am pretty much in a constant state of self-reflection.  Soon, I will be revisiting my “things to do before 30” list, and see where I’m at.  For now, I am thinking about where I am in my life in a larger sense, and what BIG changes I want to make.  I’ve decided that I need to make some changes in my life, and have put myself on a timeline to really kick myself into gear. Continue reading

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

So I may or may not have mentioned that I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.

Okay, how many of you did I just lose by that statement?

It’s the truth though–I have been since Nam.  Not going to change, regardless of my location.  So you can imagine how I am feeling right now going into Week 3 with Romo’s busted collar bone.  Oh well, winning was fun for a while.  #bringbackAikman

Anyway, on to food! Continue reading