1/29/10

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Water Chestnuts

This morning as I sip my coffee I am trying to plan dinner for this evening. Since I've been working full time hours and juggling two positions instead of one, my time to truly update my websites is fleeting.

This afternoon, even before I arrive home from the office, my parents are going to be in town to stay with us this weekend. I'm trying to juggle schedules to make sure someone is here at the house as my husband and I will both be at work so I'm verifying schedules with my 17 and 14 year old's to be sure someone will be here to meet them. We are also currently hosting two 'extra' teenagers (last night and this morning before school) and I'm giving permission for tonight's plans of movies and sleepovers before getting each of them out the door to school at the appropriate time.

In the meantime... let's plan tonight's dinner! Not only will it be our family and my parents, but my oldest daughter and her roommate are returning home from college this weekend.

Without a menu in place yet, I did make homemade bread dough last night. I intended on baking two loaves but admittedly, I was so exhausted and worn out from the day that by the time it finished its first rising I was too tired to stay awake and finish them. I formed them into two loaves and put them into the deep freeze. This morning I've grabbed them out and placed them in the (turned off) oven. Hopefully this morning they will thaw, this afternoon they will raise and by the time I arrive home at 5:00 they will be ready to bake!

I'm considering a roast for dinner as I could conceivably put it into a slow cooker this morning before I leave for work and then just fix a side dish when I arrive home tonight. With 2 of my guests already at my home when I arrive and the other two arriving within an hour of myself, having the bread and roast ready to go will be a blessing.

A side dish I spied this morning in my files that I've not yet made is this dish for green beans. Simple but sounds delicious!

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Water Chestnuts

3 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine beans and 4 cups water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender (I like them more on the tender side - your choice!). Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. (You can chill beans up to 8 hours, if you want to make this later.)

Sauté mushrooms and next 7 ingredients in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes. Add beans, stirring until thoroughly heated; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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