Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Three of my best recipes

Around this time of year, I start getting requests for my green bean casserole recipe, and I actually already have.

I can't really take credit for it...I found it in 2003 in an Ingles' grocery store weekly ad. It caught my eye because it contained ingredients that do a body good.

Like sour cream.

And shredded parmesan cheese.

And lots of those crunchy French fried onions.

You know, with a few green beans thrown in for good measure.

Here is the recipe:

Not Your Grandma's Green Bean Casserole (I made up that title b/c it's a lot different.)

4 cans green beans, drained very well (I prefer Del Monte French Style, but you could use the cut ones, too.)

1 cup shredded parmesan (Not grated, but shredded--there's a big difference!)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups (16 oz) sour cream

2 cans French Fried Onions (You can just use one, but let's be honest: this is the best part of g.b. casserole!)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine soup, sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper. Fold in green beans (drained well but uncooked). Stir in one can of French Fried onions if you prefer to use lots. Then top the rest with the other can. (Or if you're just using one can, top it with that one.) Cover with foil in a 9x13 dish and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until warm.

This recipe is actually doubled but fills a regular-sized baking dish just fine. If you're only cooking for a few people, you could probably half it. This is the only dish I was personally responsible for this year at Thanksgiving, and we had nine people. I made one on Thanksgiving and then made one the next day to eat with the leftovers. (It's so easy to assemble that I just made it fresh the next day; I don't think it would be great to make ahead of time b/c of the onions.)

Warning: This dish is cheesy and fattening and creamy and delicious.

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Then there are my sausage balls:

Sausage Balls (I know that at least down South everyone makes sausage balls and though I love them, most people's I've had are too hard and dry and the pieces of sausage are too big. I found this recipe a few years ago and it's much better than the standard one I used to use. I think it's the added water and that the sausage is broken up really small. Oh, and I don't overcook them.)

1 lb. sausage (I prefer mild, but you could use hot if you're a freak like my SIL. Hee hee)

3 cups Bisquick

4 cups shredded cheese

3/4 cup water

Brown sausage; drain and cool. Combine all ingredients. Roll into small balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 11 minutes. Reheat at 350 for 20 minutes.

The key to getting these perfect is three things:

1. Break the sausage up super tiny after you cook it. We're talking itty bitty pieces here. I actually cook it normally and then after I drain it I put it in a big bowl and add my Bisquick. Then I spend forever with my hands in the sausage and Bisquick, breaking up the sausage into miniscule little pieces before adding the cheese and then the water.

2. Add all the ingredients and then the water. It should roll together well. If it's too sticky, add a little more Bisquick. If it won't roll, add some more water. The consistency has to be right.

3. Don't cook them too long!!! Things tend to harden when they're on the cooling rack. The sausage is already cooked, so you're not going to get sick if you take them out when they're not quite done and then they finish cooking on the rack.

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The last recipe is for Cake Cookies. These are SOOO good. Just don't expect them to last very long!

Cake Cookies

(Yields 40-45 cookies)

1 (18.25 oz) Duncan Hines cake mix (I prefer a yellow cake mix.)

2 eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup old-fashioned oats

1 (3.4 oz) package of cheesecake instant pudding

¾ cup M&Ms

¼ cup water (slightly more for a chocolate cake mix for some reason)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients together. Stir well. (I find it better to mix all the ingredients together well and then add the M&Ms. Otherwise, the colors in the M&Ms smear into the batter.)

3. Refrigerate dough for at least 10 minutes. I actually prefer to make it a few hours earlier. Then it's so much easier to mold.

4. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Mold the dough into small balls on the cookie sheet (about 1 Tbsp each).

6. Bake for ten minutes. Cookies will be soft but will harden as they cool. (I find that the first cookie sheet takes about 10 ½ minutes, yet all the ones after it take right at 10 minutes.)

7. Wait about two minutes before transferring cookies onto cooling rack.

8. Repeat with remainder of dough, refrigerating the dough when not using it. Be sure to cool the cookie sheet before using again or alternate between two cookie sheets.

You can really do this however you want. You can use any variety of cake mix, any variety of instant pudding, omit the oats, substitute the M&Ms for Reese's Pieces, or whatever. I have also made these with a chocolate cake mix, but for some reason, the yellow cake cookies just taste better! Also, I know that after 10 minutes, the cookies still seem very soft. They are. They’re supposed to be. They’re cake. And they will harden as they cool. Trust me. They stay soft for days and days. If they last that long. Which they won’t.

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Okay, now that you're really hungry, get thee to the store!

7 comments:

Adrienne said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing these! Definitely going to try the green bean casserole for Thanksgiving next week!

Mandi said...

Thanks--I am going to a sorority Thanksgiving dinner and the green bean casserole sounds like a must!

And I agree with you about sausage balls! No one makes them correctly...for mine, I don't precook the sausage or use water, but the cheese HAS to be soft so it will all combine...then roll them small so they can cook correctly.

I am getting hungry!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks!!
-JILL

Allison said...

Ok I am going to make 2 of the 3 for Thanksgiving. Seeing as though I DO NOT cook they will be very surprised. These seem simple enough. Thanks for sharing.

Christia said...

Dear Angela,

My life has forever, FOREVER, been changed by you and your green bean casserole.

Love,
Anyone related to me

count it all joy said...

Sob, sob, sob...Angela..you're killing me here! These recipes sound absolutely AMAZING..but I live in Australia where half of these ingredients don't exist. French Fried onions? Bisquick? Instant cheesecake pudding? Duncan Hines? Just don't post any photos or I'll be done for. Meredith xo.
p.s. hope your beautiful boys are on the mend. (and you too)

S said...

Yum! Think I will try the green beans this Thanksgiving!