Green Beans with Browned Butter and Almonds

I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party with friends recently and our ugly sweater game was ON POINT.

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The usual and definitely necessary “funny faces” photo.

I didn’t own an ugly Christmas sweater so I tasked my brother to find me one on a thrift store shopping trip.  He came home with a gem of a sweater.  I couldn’t have found an uglier one if I tried.

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I’d like to note I showed this picture to my grandma and she went, “Oh, what a cute sweater!”  It just shows, one person’s ugly sweater is another person’s, well, not ugly sweater.  The one thing I will say about this beauty is that it was nice and warm.  I think I’m so accustomed to wearing the light knits and cardigans that are popular these days that I forgot what it’s like to wear a proper sweater.   It was warm…and sometimes a little sweaty.

Anyhoo, I made these green beans for the dinner.  We all chose what we wanted to bring, and while I usually am the queen of desserts I wanted to try something different.  Of course, I still ended up using browned butter.  Because, it really does make everything taste better.  Green beans are paired here with browned butter and toasted almond slivers.  It’s a nice change from your run of the mill vegetable side!  I seem to remember this being a How Sweet Eats recipe, but when I tried to google it nothing came up.  So, at the least it is How Sweet Eats inspired!

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Almonds

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Ingredients:

2 lbs green beans

6 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup slivered almonds

salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, bring water to a boil.  Salt the water generously.  Add the green beans and cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Cook until the butter has browned, watching for an amber coloring and nutty smell.  Watch the butter – as it turns pretty quickly from browned to burned.  In a separate dry saucepan toast the almonds until lightly browned, around 5 minutes.

Mix together the green beans and browned butter.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

BBQ Chicken Chili

It’s been over a month. I’d like to say I’m surprised but it was finals, and then it was the holidays, and then of course I needed to go play with all of my new toys. Although, let’s be real, I’m too old for toys. This year I got a bunch of fancy candles like the old lady I am. I picked them out with my mom at the Bloomingdales Home store and she proved her sainthood yet again by humoring me as I proceeded to smell every candle in the store about eighteen times. I also got a 1936 Gone With The Wind that I’m sort of afraid to touch because MONEY.

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I feel the need to tell you about what I’ve been cooking in my time away from the interwebs. The answer is soup. So much soup. Living alone, I really love making soup because I can make a big pot on Sunday and literally have meals for two weeks. Of course, I don’t ACTUALLY eat it for two weeks straight, but I like having the option. I like knowing that I if I don’t want to cook there’s soup waiting for me in the refrigerator or freezer and odds are I’ll like it. Of course, when I don’t want to cook I usually end up in the Meatheads drive thru, but it feels like a more conscious (i.e. not giving up on life and pants sizes) decision with leftovers in my freezer.

Today, I bring you one of the soups that I have already made twice. It is from How Sweet Eat’s cookbook, which means it has to be good. Seriously, when has she put out a recipe that isn’t delicious?

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I love BBQ. I always have a bottle in my refrigerator – usually Sweet Baby Ray’s – and will dip just about anything in it. It’s probably all that brown sugar and salt, but everything tastes better drenched in barbecue sauce. What I love about this recipe is that once you have your chicken cooked and shredded (you do this beforehand) the soup takes about forty minutes from stove to bowl. I don’t know about you, but I have too much to do to slave away in front of the stove. I have people to see. Leftover Christmas cookies to shovel into my mouth. A FULL DVR to get through. So much to do, guys. Thank goodness for quick recipes like this!

BBQ Chicken Chili

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Please excuse this dark photo.  It has a lot going against it.  I took it at night, on my lap, with my phone, AND decided to play around with filters.  It’s a wonder it turned out at all!

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup red onion, diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

pinch red pepper flakes

12 oz shredded chicken

12 oz jar roasted red peppers in water, drained and chopped

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups low sodium chicken stock

28 oz diced tomatoes, with juices

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I’d recommend a thinner sauce)

cheddar cheese, for topping

Directions

Begin by cooking your chicken.  I like to poach mine.  Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan.  Add the chicken, making sure it is submerged entirely, and simmer until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breast.  Let cool slightly and shred.

In a large stock pot add the olive oil, onion, jalapeño pepper, and garlic.  Cook until soft, around 5 minutes.  Next, add in your spices.  Stir and cook for about 5 minutes more.  The onion mixture should get nice and fragrant.

Add the chicken, red peppers, beans, chicken stock, tomatoes, and barbecue sauce.  Stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover the pot and let cook for twenty minutes.  Remove the lid, adjust seasonings if needed.  Cook another 10 minutes.  This is a soupier chili than most.  If you want it thicker let it cook a little longer, some of the liquid should evaporate.

Source:  How Sweet Eats cookbook