Friday, January 31

Turning 30 and Easy Green Bean & Tomato Side Dish

I realized something kind of depressing a while ago but just got reminded of it again today.

I turn 23 this year, my daughter turns one, and next Wednesday, my husband turns 24. 

That means in seven years, I turn 30. SEVEN YEARS. Maybe it's just me, but that is no time at all. And 30 sounds ancient (no offense to my family members and older readers...). So after thinking this, then I start to think, "Gee, I want to have seven am I going to do that in seven years?" I think the answer is clear--I can't. It's not possible. I'd have to have twins to make up some time, but after being pregnant with one regular eight-pound+ baby, I can't even imagine carrying twins (even though we do have the fraternal twin gene in my family, yikes!). So I'm thinking I'm going to have to re-think my Ultimate Life Plan (which is not an official document or anything, but it is an official my head). It looks as though I will have to have a kid or two after 30. Which honestly, is not that big a deal, I just wanted to be done by then. Also I'm scared of turning 30 because then I'm a real adult. Yeah, apparently I'm an adult right now at 22 but it doesn't really feel like it--even married with a baby--because I am still in love with Disney movies and Harry Potter and pretty much love all the same things I did when I was 16.

But let's put that aside for now because I have other important completely random things to discuss.

Two weeks ago (was it that long?!) Dalin, Tenley, and I went to a little get-together with three other married couples and had some delicious pumpkin chili/soup for dinner and then played a fun game and chatted afterward. We were asked to bring a side and so naturally I googled "side dish" and got
89 million results. Literally 89 million. So then I decided to narrow it down a little and typed in "green bean side dish." (Green beans seemed easy-ish to cook and also I wanted them.) That search got me 10 million results and that seemed manageable. I clicked on the first result and this came up. Well, actually a homepage came up, but after browsing just a tiny bit I saw the picture with those juicy cherry tomatoes in it and I was sold (I love cherry tomatoes. And regular tomatoes). So I ran to Macey's and filled a bag with green beans (Dalin was like, "Why can't you just used canned ones?" and I was like "Ha! YEAH RIGHT!" Good one, honey...), grabbed some cherry tomatoes, and a lemon (because I love adding lemon to stuff). I already had basil leftover from making my yummy bruschetta.

When I got home, the gathering was going to start in 25 minutes so I kind of panicked and forgot the original recipe--I just made it my own. I grabbed my biggest frying pan and hurriedly put some water in--about halfway. I turned the stove on and set the pan of water on it. I grabbed a cutting board and as efficiently as I could, chopped the stem ends off and then cut the green beans in half and tossed them in the pan. It took a while to chop them all so I figure the first in and the last ones were cooked quite differently though it did not seem to effect the dish. Once they were all in, I covered them with a lid to let them steam in the pan. I sliced a yellow onion next and chopped up a few garlic cloves and tossed them into a smaller frying pan with a little butter. Then I started slicing cherry tomatoes in half. I also started cutting up basil leaves (which was basically just slicing them into strips and calling it good). I grabbed my garlic salt and sprinkled it over the tomatoes to let it soak in to the juices. The green beans seemed done and I tossed them into a large serving bowl. I only wanted the tomatoes to be lightly cooked, so I saved them for the end. When the onion and garlic were about cooked, I dumped the cherry tomatoes and chopped basil in with them for just a minute and I put a little bit of sugar in with them. I think I read that a tablespoon would be good, but I was in a hurry and just scooped a little into my hand and sprinkled it on top and mixed it in. After a minute, I dumped everything in with the green beans and mixed it around. I peppered everything heavily and mixed it in, then, in last-minute inspiration, squeezed some lemon juice over it all. I had no idea if my dish was going to be a hit or a disaster. So we went to the dinner and all I can say is I got lucky because everyone loved the side dish. Everyone complimented me on it, especially the lemon taste. It was gone before I knew it (and I had filled a pretty large serving bowl). I was very pleased that it had been so well received and that it was so dang easy to make, which is why I decided to share it with everyone.

This does not belong to me but I had no time (or thought) to take a pic of my own until it was too late.

Easy Green Bean & Tomato Side Dish Recipe

fresh green beans (lots! depending on how many people you are feeding)
cherry tomatoes - one container will do
fresh basil leaves
1 yellow onion
a few garlic cloves
tsp. butter
garlic salt
1 Tbsp sugar*
1 lemon

1. Fill a large pan halfway and put on stove (which should be on medium to medium-high heat).
2. Chop stem ends off of green beans and slice in halves.
3. Put green beans in the pan with water on the stove and cover to let simmer (reduce heat).
4. Chop onion and garlic cloves and sauté in butter in a separate pan.
5. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and shred basil leaves.
6. Lightly sprinkle garlic salt over tomatoes.
7. When green beans are done (they should simmer about 10 minutes), scoop into a serving bowl.
8. Add cherry tomatoes and basil leaves to the onion and garlic mixture in the pan.
9. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of sugar and mix pan ingredients.
10. Dump pan ingredients in with green beans and stir.
11. Pepper to taste, then squeeze lemon well over the entire dish.
12. Serve warm preferably.

*I eat pretty healthy (not because I really try, I just happen to like fresh foods more) and don't usually cook with sugar (I bake with sugar of course) but I truly believe this step was crucial to the dish's flavor.
Also not my photo, but still looks good! 
What is your easy go-to side dish for dinners or parties? 
Will you be trying this recipe with dinner or otherwise?
Do you feel like 30 is kind of old?

1 comment:

  1. My mother in law had 6 kids in 5.5 years, and nope, no twins! (Dec 28, then the following Dec 24
    , then the following thanksgiving, then Jan 1 or the NEXT year, Jan 27 of the next year and June 25 of the next year!) So you could still do it! ;)
    PJ just turned 33! That seems SO old to me, I'm only 25, I feel you pain!


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