It’s all Greek to me!!!

Look at that expression…too cute!

What a stud-muffin!

Green Beans!

OPA!

Happy Tuesday all,
Well, it has been a busy past couple of days for me. You see, this weekend I became a Godmother to the cutest baby in the world, Lucas Wade Ethridge. Now, this is a big responsibility that I have accepted and I have to live up to my full potential and be the best godmother in the world. Thank heavens I have awesome godparents myself that have definitely set the bar high. I seriously don’t know how I will ever live up to their greatness! Haha! Anyway, I didn’t do much cooking this weekend because I was super busy being a super godmother. However, yesterday I really got back into the swing of things and decided to make a scrumptious dinner for my parents. My dad has been back and forth between California and Texas for work, which unfortunately has left him starved of a home cooked meal for a few months. Not to mention, California doesn’t exactly have the essential fast food joints we are used to round’ these here parts in Texas…for example, California is without the king of all fast food burger joints “What-a–burger” (sound it out…and no, it’s not pronounced “Water-burger!”). Other pitfalls include no Tex-Mex (their idea of queso is grated cheddar cheese) and don’t even think about asking for mayo on your burger…the In-And-Out employee will have a staring contest with you for five minutes and then hand you a burger with “special sauce” (I tell you, that sauce sure is “special”, so special that I definitely wanted to get in-and-out of that burger joint a.s.a.p.!). So, beside the fantastic weather that California has, expect to come crawling back to Texas malnourished and starving for some real Texas chili (you know, the kind without beans!). Now, that I am done bashing Cali (don’t get me wrong I would trade in my cowgirl boots for a surfboard for a day…well, maybe half a day), I took it upon myself to make my parents a good home-cooked meal. I wanted to make a meal that tasted like I had been slaving away for hours in the kitchen, but was really super simple. That being said, for the main dish I made a fragrant baked basil pesto chicken. The real goodness comes when I served it with a side of Greek green beans. We also had a bowl of fresh mixed salad greens with sliced tomatoes. Now, let me tell you my story about my first encounter with Greek green beans…or with Greek food in general. Throughout high school my sister and I were always looking for new cuisines and restaurants to try out. So, each weekend we would set out in search of some good ethnic food. Honestly, some of the best food I have ever tried has been with my sister…she introduced me to sushi, and then Greek food. I had always wanted to try Greek food and lucky for me, my sister knew of a great restaurant just around the corner from our house. So, one Saturday night we went to a small Mediterranean restaurant on the outskirts of our neighborhood. We both got the baked lemon chicken, which came with a Greek side salad and two side dishes. Side number one was a gorgeous mound of roasted golden potatoes spiced with a hint of paprika, side number two was customer’s choice. Of course, being a lover of green beans I wasted no time choosing my second side. Now, I wasn’t expecting anything other than a side of ordinary green beans (you know, the kind your momma made you when you were little, with half a slab of bacon in it?). To my surprise, my meal came out with a side of green beans that brought tears to my eyes…these green beans looked and tasted spectacular, slow-simmered in a tomato broth and seasoned to perfection with fresh parsley and a hint of salt and pepper. The dish was utterly simplistic, yet seemed like a culinary masterpiece. From that moment, my entire perspective of green beans has been completely biased. Now, I only eat Italian green beans (it’s a secret family recipe), or these marvelous Greek green beans. Lucky for me, last week I stumbled across a fabulous Greek food blog, Ella says Opa, where they had a recipe for Greek green beans! Score! Opa! I had to make them right away, and let me tell you, one bite of these green beans last night and I was right back at that little Greek restaurant with my sister. My parents didn’t seem to have a problem cleaning their plates. Seriously, these green beans make me want to visit the island of Greece even more…I can already picture myself living off feta cheese and olives, stomping grapes to make wine, and swimming in the crystal blue Mediterranean sea. P.S. This was my first time making a recipe using actual fresh green beans, and after this I will find it difficult to use canned green beans ever again. I hope you all enjoy these Greek green beans as much as I did and make them a.s.a.p.!

Greek Green Beans:

Ingredients:
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 white onion, diced
28 oz. can low-sodium crushed tomatoes (I used Bionaturae Organic Crushed Tomatoes from Italy)
1.5 c. of water
1-1.5 lbs. of fresh trimmed green beans
1/2 c. freshly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
2. Add onion and cook until translucent.
3. Add green beans, tomatoes, water, parsley, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, then reduce the heat a little to allow the sauce to cook and thicken.
5. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
6. Turn the heat off and serve immediately.

Optional: Of course I eat mine with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a side of Tzatziki sauce.

MANGIA!


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