2 Beautiful Daughters and Onion Shallot Bacon Green Bean Recipe
This Onion Shallot Bacon Green Bean Recipe is a simple side dish to serve at any dinner party!
My husband and I were chatting over espresso, and reminiscing about the very special time we’d had the night before, with our 17 dinner party guests gathered in our home. We were talking about the courage. Entertaining may look easy for some on the outside, but truly, on the inside you’re dealing with “what ifs,” expectations you have of yourself, fears of rejection, fear of failures, and the risk involved in opening up to others. Then Paul reminded me of this quote:
“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” ― Augustine of Hippo
After days of planning for a group this size, and after the last guest walks out through the front door, it’s sort of a “let-down” feeling. Rinsing the dishes, folding tables, putting away the chairs, food, blowing out the last of the candles, turning off the music, and then literally falling into bed–I’m saying entertaining is not for the faint of heart.
It’s actually hard, draining, exhausting, at times, but the rewards–I can’t even explain.
Let’s start with hope.
Hope is on the forefront of my mind when I’m putting effort, time, money, thought, and love into planning and hosting a dinner party. Hope that sees further into our guests’ conversations with one another, a supernatural experience, one I’ll never fully know the ramifications of. But I have hope that God weaves in and out of our lives in our conversations, He uses us to help bind the wounds, and delights in the way that we love. I have hope that I will be loved, my family will be loved for who we are, that we can be used to bring people together, and then we leave it on the table.
We leave it on the table.
It’s not our job to figure out and control the “table” connections. But I do believe that when we live fearlessly, push ourselves—sometimes out of our control–to bring people together, that good things will happen.
Hope is important to me. As I prepare for a party, I have hope that it will be successful, fun for all, things will go “right,” people will be blessed, lives will be enriched.
I’m not saying that entertaining or hosting is easy, but consider the alternative.
AND, hope has 2 beautiful daughters.
My husband, being an introvert, was sharing with me that if people only knew the blessings of friendships and sharing a meal for hours together (yes, it’s hard for him, but he’s learned to extend himself, when in reality after about 2 hours of mingling with people, he’s ready to retreat)–the alternative to this kind of living is lonely, predictable, safe, sometimes very painful.
It takes a person who’s not happy with their life, their relationships, their loneliness, to step outside their comfort zone and get angry over where they are. It’s okay to get angry with yourself, that you’re not happy with “settling” for less. Anger at the way things are, as Augustine says, is one of the sisters of hope.
You’re mad enough to do something about it.
Maybe you’re realizing you want more, and you are not going to settle for the ordinary. You’re going to step outside of your comfort zone and actually make the invite, pursue healthier relationships, make a change in your life. It could be you decide to skip the vacation this year and buy a new dining room table, or you set aside an extra $50-100 per month for “entertaining” purposes. You make a goal of hosting some kind of party (inviting 2 is a party!) each month.
You’re angry enough with the status quo, that you’re just going to do something about it.
This is where courage steps in. Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.
We’ve decided to not be people-pleasing, dull, fearful and joyless any longer. Things are not going to remain the same any longer.
Our pain of regrets will outweigh our pains of rejection.
Almost 25 years ago, my husband and I decided we would work very hard at relationships, not accept status quo—just because it’s easier–but we’d make our lives richer by pursuing deeper connections. This takes risk!
This past weekend, as we celebrated our friend’s 50th birthday, I knew it would be a lot of work. It takes courage to pull off a big dinner party. It doesn’t just happen overnight. With all the planning, details, cleaning, cooking, putting it together … timing. Entertaining is like a muscle. The more you use it, the easier it becomes. But it can also be very scary. (Costco’s cake (easy!) plus Gerbera Daisies on top!)
Life just seems better the more we open ourselves up to new people. Was I a bit nervous about new guests coming to our home, a few we’ve never ever met? Yes.
Was I nervous about the timing in getting the food on the table at the right time, hot, plated nicely, and that it would actually turn out and be good? Yes.
Was I nervous about the conversation? Yes. I mean, how do you honor a person turning 50, who’s touched so many lives, and know what kind of questions to ask, to stimulate positive conversation?
I never want to take pride in the outcome of our dinner parties. I realize that so many things can go wrong, and when it goes right, I think about my courage edge.
I want to live fearlessly, not fearfully, and never not do the things that take work. (Photo: Birthday ladies with 3 girls who love her dearly!)
Just do it.
You have to put one foot forward, even though it’s scary to make the invite. Just do it.
After putting thought in to who you’d like to invite, start inviting! Rejections happen, so trust that the dinner party list will transpire on its own, and the people meant to be at the party will be there! This actually gives me hope!
When it’s all said and done, the guests are gathered around the table, I’ve put in lots of energy, prayer, and I never lose hope that the night is going to be about Him and Them (and not about me). I have peace!
Courage happens when I don’t want things to remain the same.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
Onion Shallot Bacon Green Bean Recipe.
My recipe today is so easy. I grew up with delicious green beans at so many dinner parties my mother hosted. Always with bacon and onions. This time I made her recipe but also added shallots.
Always start with blanching the green beans. This way they’ll be crunchy, but not undercooked.
Caramelized the bacon, onions, and shallots to a golden perfection.
Right before it’s time to serve the main meal, add the chilled, blanched green beans to the bacon mixture. Add 1/2 cup of water and steam for about 3-5 minutes.
So very caramel-y, flavorful, crunchy, and the perfect side dish.
What’s your favorite way to cook green beans for a dinner party?
Onion Shallot Bacon Green Bean Recipe
- 2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 8 bacon slices, thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup finely chopped shallots (about 4 large)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- In a large boiling pot of water, cook the beans until crisp-tender and bright green for 3-4 minutes.
- To blanch the beans, drain and rinse under cold water, pouring immediately into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- Drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. You can prepare ahead of time by wrapping the beans in paper towels; enclosed in Ziploc bag and refrigerate.
- Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain.
- Discard all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat in skillet and add butter, melting over medium heat. Add the shallots and onion and sauté until caramelized and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat off and place a lid on top.
- Right before serving, add the beans and bacon with 1/2 cup of water, placing the lid back on. Sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve!
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