My dear friend, Tiffany is the Community Leader for the Too Many Cooks event with Wild Goose Creative and she asked me to be her helper for the next year. I happily obliged. Tonight was our first event and it was all centered around my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. A holiday that has SO much food involved is definitely top priority on my list.
Every month, Tiffany and I will work with local foodies/event planners/grocery stores/restaurants/etc. to put on a shindig with a specific theme at the Wild Goose Creative spot on Summit Street. This month, we enlisted Daniel Ward, the Meat Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Easton to help teach our crowd all about Bird Basics. He went over tips and tricks on how to cook a duck and turkey, complete with delicious snacking of all those proteins. My portion of the event was centered around the side dishes which are my absolute favorite, with the exception of crispy duck or turkey skin. Fun fact. I actually hate green beans. But, this recipe turned me into a believer, so it is pretty darn delicious. I guess when you add butter and almonds to something, it takes it to another level. Be careful when you are toasting up those almonds and be sure to watch them or the could burn. No one wants a charred almond.
I didn’t think mashed sweet potatoes could get any better, but then I whipped them with butter, heavy cream and vanilla bean. Holy goodness. These might just be my Thanksgiving meal this year.
These two recipes are so simple, both with five ingredients or less and only take a few steps in the kitchen. The only thing I would add to the sweet potatoes is a crumbly little topping of brown sugar and butter, then pop the whole thing in the oven for about 5 minutes. That would take those over the edge.
Don’t worry if you missed tonight’s event because we’ll have another next month on December 13th at Wild Goose Creative. That night will be all about the art of perfecting the perfect holiday party, easy as one, two, three!
- 2 lbs string beans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook green beans in boiling water, uncovered, for 3-8 minutes, depending on how tender you like your beans. Drain and immediately let cool in a large bowl of ice water.
- Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until almonds are glistening and golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add chopped shallots and garlic and cook, starring often for about 1 minute.
- Add beans, tossing to coat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- 4 lbs sweet potatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1vanilla bean, slit lengthwise, seeds scraped (or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, then bake for about 35 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly, then peel and transfer them to a food processor. Puree until fairly smooth.
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream with the butter and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a simmer. Remove the vanilla bean. With the food processor on, carefully pour the vanilla cream into the sweet potatoes and process until smooth.
- Season the sweet potato puree with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and serve.