Recipe: Green Bean Saute ….

We are going to take a bit of a break from Motivational Mondays as we enter the holiday season.  I figured why serve you up some inspirational sayings about the holidays and keeping calm when I can show you how to do it!

I stress out about many things; work, relationships, global warming, will Olivia on Scandal ever find true love….you know, those important things in life.  However, one thing I don’t stress out about is holiday meals.  Maybe it’s because I spent years planning corporate events or my brief stint in culinary school but I created some “rules” to insure I don’t end up in some corner clutching a turkey crying.  I mentioned last week that I was lucky enough to share those rules with the ladies at in a video segment on how to host the perfect party.

One of the questions during the show was about how to handle ensuring that food comes out at the same time and is still warm.  Unless you have a commercial size kitchen, it can be difficult to time it perfectly to ensure that all your food comes out precisely 5 minutes before dinner begins.  I recommend you invest in a good quality chaffing dish and think about what items can be served at room temperature.  I love making side dishes that can be served hot or at “cold” for a meal.

I recently perfected my recipe for green beans with mushrooms and roasted red peppers and couldn’t be happier with it.  Fancy enough to serve during the holidays yet super quick to put together.  However, the best part is that it tastes even better at room temperature or out of a fridge for a late night ‘nosh fest……

Green Bean Saute #2


  • 1 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Portobello mushroom caps, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 of a cup jarred roasted red pepper slices*


Blanche green beans in salted boiling water for approximately 4 minutes. Drain green beans and place in sauté pan on moderate heat. Add oil and butter to the pan. Add garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes and add green beans back to the pan.

Add sherry and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer green beans to serving bowl and add roasted red pepper slices. Lightly toss and finish with salt and pepper.

*Feel free to substitute home-made roasted red peppers but be sure to add 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil.

[photo credit: photo by adza //recipe & styling: courtney lake]

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Breakfast for Dinner: Bacon & Potato Frittata ….

There is something deliciously naughty about having breakfast for dinner.  It’s like wearing your PJs all day or when you opt for a “liquid lunch”.  Frittatas have long been a staple of my weekend entertaining thanks to their ability to be made in advance, eaten at room temperature and the almost limitless combinations of ingredients.  Plus, it’s a one pot meal if you have an oven-proof skillet and I don’t think there is anything prettier than a cast iron skillet fresh from the broiler with a perfectly golden and puffy frittata placed on a table.

Okay, my mouth is watering ……….

Bacon & Potato Frittata



  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes (Yukon Gold)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stripes of chopped country bacon (ham can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


  • Preheat oven to broil setting.
  • Place bacon on baking sheet and broil until crisp. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.
  • In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Set aside.
  • Heat 12-inch, oven safe sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter & olive oil to pan and melt. Add potatoes and onions to pan and sauté until onions are translucent and potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Cut or crumble bacon and add to pan.
  • Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.
  • Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from heat and let sit for 3-5 minutes to allow eggs to set.
  • Sprinkle with chives and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to wipe the drool from my chin and figure out if I can justify popcorn and ice cream as an adult substitute for dinner.

For other recipes, you can see all my random kitchen musings here……

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.


Recipe: Better Banana Nut Bread ….

I love banana nut bread.  I could literally eat it for breakfast every day which is why I stopped making it…..because while it tastes delicious there is something to be said for fitting into one’s jeans (or through a door).  Now before you think this is some recipe about how I modified the original to make it healthy, it isn’t.  Actually I think I found the least healthy but albeit delicious recipe for Banana Nut Bread thanks to America’s Test Kitchen.

The issue I always had with making the bread was that it was dense… your second cousin who got held back in kindergarten for eating crayons and paste dense.  While yummy, my bread was a dense brick which I couldn’t figure out how to correct.  Fortunately, this recipe creates a beautiful crumb with bread that is solid but flavorful.  It’s what I proudly call ………

Banana Nut Bread

Makes 1 loaf


1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled (see note)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  • Place 5 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup liquid).
  • Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth.
  • Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes.
  • Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


– If you used frozen banana, skip the microwaving section of the recipe.

– I prefer the taste of pecans to walnuts but feel free to use whichever you prefer

– Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top otherwise you will end up with scorch marks

Banana Nut Bread 2

Make it this weekend and serve with an iced latte for the perfect quick breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.  But be sure to do some exercise afterwards because I can’t be responsible for you fitting into your skinny jeans later…….

Have a great weekend!

[recipe courtesy of america’s test kitchen // food styling: courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.