Last Minute Green Beans – and Pretending to Let Go


In the continual search for something green to add to our meals, this is a great quick and easy recipe that makes canned green beans delicious. I say this with


surprise because, until I made them this way, there was nothing more un-delicious to me than canned green beans. I usually only served green beans when I had time to fry up bacon and make them sweet and sour style. I was skeptical when my friend, Heather, told me this recipe was her son’s absolute favorite side dish, but I tried it. I have to say, it has become one of our favorite side dishes, too. This is handy because you can keep the ingredients on hand easily enough and whip it up at the last minute with very little thought. In fact, this recipe has shown up as a side dish in photographs on my Sticky Chicken Post and my Maple Glazed Pork Chops post. So if you were wondering what those green beans were, here ya go!

P.S. I really don’t fret over whether or not I have something green on every supper table. One of my favorite meal combinations includes sides of creamed corn, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and rolls! But we try to toss some green in there for good measure to keep all of our home economics teachers from rolling over in their graves. I have a home economics degree, so it’s my duty :)


But now onto a glimpse into my life today…

~Takes a deep breath and exhales~

Life is so incredibly full when you have a family. Full and busy. I enjoy it, though. Of course, we get pulled this way and that, which gets tiring at times, but it’s a fun little race we run to make it all work and we’re grateful for the two kids we have that give us a reason to run it.

Brady and Katy Rose back in the day

My kids are a pretty good bit apart in age, five and a half years, so we’re often going through very different phases with each of them. Having a teenager has been quite an adjustment (and I know the adjusting is going to last for at least a decade or so!). While he is gaining his independence, forming his work ethic, and categorizing the world into how he wants to interact with it as an adult, our youngest is enjoying the ability to read, playing dolls, and happy to be nestled in our laps every chance she gets.

It’s quite a contrast, but they’re quite the children :)

Katy Rose came home from school earlier this week all excited. “Mama! We’ve got big news. There is a chicken decorating contest at school..”

A chicken decorating contest? Umm, okay. I had never heard of such a thing but then I don’t reside in the ever progressing land of education so I just roll with these things.

“Really Katy Rose? A chicken decorating contest? Well that sounds like fun.”

She went on, her face aglow with excitement “Yes, my teacher gave us each a paper chicken and we have to decorate it with feathers and things. She said we can add anything we want, but we’re not supposed to just color it, we’re supposed to get creative and have lots of fun with it!”

“Well that sounds like a lot of fun, when is it due?”

She went on to tell me that it was due this Thursday before going into more detail about how she wants her chicken to look. I was still curious as to why they were decoarting a chicken and then she mentioned them being up to see everyone’s chicken by Thanksgiving. Aha!

“Katy Rose, do you think it might be a turkey that you’re decoarting instead of a chicken?”

She thought about it a moment and then nodded, “Well … that would make sense why everyone was making gobbling noises.”

Katy Rose

Oh how I love my girl.

This exchange took place at the end of a long day for me, when my heart really needed that little smile Katy delivered. You see, around 4:30 that morning, I’d said goodbye to my oldest as Brady set off to go on a class field trip for four days. It was a tough thing to do for me, but Brady was looking forward to it. At thirteen, he’d gone on field trips before, even extended ones, but one of us had always gone as a chaperone. This year, though, we just couldn’t make it work.

Weeks before, when I’d broken it to Brady that Daddy and I weren’t going on this trip, he’d not missed a beat as he responded “Well that’s cool. Don’t worry, we’ll have fun.”  Clearly, this wasn’t as difficult for him as it was me, so I did what any good parent would do and pretended that I was cool with it.

I was assured when one of my friends let me know she was going as chaperone on the trip and then to discover that Brady was going to get to room with one of his dear friends that we think the world of. So all was well. Everything was in place and all that was left was for him to get packed up and sent off.

That was the hard part. Releasing your child, at any stage in their life, is never easy. We have to raise them to be able to take care of themselves, to have the neccesary wisdom to make decisions, and to have guidelines for the kind of person they want to be in this world along with the knowledge of how to live that way. Even when we feel we’ve managed to do all of that, when we know in our heart of hearts that they’re good kids and that they’re going to go do good things in the world, part of us will always want to cling to them and make them stay in our little nest at the same time we’re watching the world open up for them.

“Hey Ma, I love ya and all that…”

But he’s thirteen.

I know he’ll be eighteen and thirty before I know it, believe me. I know this because he was two just yesterday, honest.

So I kinda let him go. I mean, for all intents and purposes, if you’da seen me, you would have thought that I did let him go, even Brady probably does.

I gave him one of those quick tight hugs you give thirteen year olds, kissed his cheek and let him go. I didn’t even drive him to school. I let his Daddy do that after Brady asked because “Ma, no offense, but you’ll wanna kiss on me and hug me and stuff in front of people. That’s okay to do at home and everything sometimes,but not at school.” So Ricky drove him, and I pretended to let him go.

He doesn’t know that I know the fastest route to get to where he is, have a full tank of gas, and a friend who can get Katy at a momen’s notice if the need arises for me to get to my baby. No one needs to know that. I mean, it’s just me being prepared :) And I’m always prepared.

I let him go, as far as anyone knows. I wonder about Mama birds that kick their babies out of he nest so they will learn to fly. I can’t imagine there isn’t really a daddy or MamaBird’s best friend somewhere on the ground, just out of sight, with a net or catcher’s mitt just in case. I think we all pretend a bit when it comes to our kids. We let them stretch their wings and learn to fly and pretend we’re not gnashing our teeth at the thought of them falling. Soemtimes we even let them fall because wisdom tells us that without falling down a time or two, they’ll never learn the value of getting up again.

So Brady isn’t here and that doesn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right the moment he walked out the front door and I sat down and held my breath. Five minutes later I was still sitting there, thinking about him when I got a phone call. My son’s ever deepening voice was on the other end.  “Hey Ma, just wanted you to know that I love ya and all that.” I breathed again at that point. “I love you too, baby. Have a good time.”

He’s been gone two days now and i’m getting the hang of this to an extent. At least until he comes home Thursday night, I’m pretending to let go. I know it will be good practice for me as I foresee a lot of pretending to let go in my future with these two.

Fortunately for me there is a distraction to help me this time, because it’s getting close to Thanksgiving and I’ve got a chicken to help decorate.

Now, time make some green beans.

You’ll need: diced tomatoes, french style green beans (regular green beans work just fine), salt, pepper, and an onion.

You can also use fresh tomato if you have it, Just dice it up an go for it.

Drain your green beans and dump them into a pot.

Say hello to your green beans because they’re being all sweet and posing for you. They look like they are seeking approval…

HELLO GREEN BEANS! You look mighty pretty today!

Add chopped onion, diced tomatoes (with juice), salt, and pepper.

Stirry stirry.

Cook over medium high heat until it just comes to a light boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Then, eat it.

You saw that coming, didn’t ya? :)


Last Minute Green Beans

Last Minute Green Beans


  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undraied
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans green beans, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place drained green beans in medium sauce pot. Add in chopped onion, tomatoes with juice, salt, and pepper. Stir.
  2. Place over medium high heat and bring just to a light boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve.
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If you pray for God to move a mountain, be prepared to wake up next to a shovel.

~Unknown. Submitted by Rick (thanks, Rick!)

“Chicken” Update!

We finished Katy Rose’s “chicken” last night in plenty of time for Thanksgiving. Here are some photos. As you can see, this turkey has some serious bedazzling going on! :)









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  1. bonita mabus says

    I love this story. It made me laugh and cry both as it brought back memories for me of the same situations with my three children. It is truly hard letting our children go and at the same time, as years go by, we are so proud of our grown up children. Mine are in their 40′s now and still make me proud. We look forward to our family reunions and the many phone calls we share and our Facebook chats. Enjoy your family to the fullest, as I know you already do, and just keep on pretending to let go. They will love you for it.

  2. Teresa says

    Oh Christy! I know how you feel! My baby girl is 13, and I just found out today her youth group will be going to Colorado for youth camp this coming summer, and we live in Texas! I just don’t know if I can let my baby leave the state without me : ( It’s so hard!

    Hang in there! Your sweet boy will be home soon!

  3. Debbie Strum says

    Thanks for the quick green bean side dish, Christy! Looks tasty, too! Also love your pink sturry-sturry thingy. So glad you are getting through a rough time. At least in this tech world, you can be in touch with Brady from time to time while he’s gone. My Mom, well…your Mama, too…didn’t have a way to do that! When I was Brady’s age, the grownups in charge would have to find a phone in an emergency, but I realize that as a Mama now yourself, you are gonna worry about your ‘baby’. Just shows how much you love your children and enjoy being their Mama. So glad you have Karo around to keep you busy. Please show us her ‘chicken’ when she gets it decorated! Gobble, gobble!

  4. says

    I know that feeling all too well Christy, my son is now almost 17 and stays gone with his girlfrield pretty regularly so I am having those moments myself. It is so hard to let go..I am not ready to do that just yet. I keep pretty busy with my daughter who is 6 but he is my baby too! Hugs to you and how precious he called you..gotta love those Moma’s boys even if they don’t want to admit it! This recipe looks really good..I need to change up our sides a little and this just may be the ticket. :)

  5. Magen says

    My kids are also 5.5 years apart (12 and 6). Tears came to my eyes as I read the story because this whole entering teenage years and all that comes with it scares me to death. I’m with you!

  6. Raquel says

    Of Christy…I feel for you I really do. My babies (at the time were 13 and 11)a couple of years ago when on a week trip with the girl scout troop to Walt Disney down in Florida. It had to be the longest week on my life without my little chicks under my feet. The worst thing that happen was the the airliners lost their luggage and the girl scout leaders had to scrounge up some clothes for them to wear. They ended up getting their luggage the day before they were leaving. My oldest called me the day before the flight back and asked if we could drive the hour and half to Indianapolis to pick them up (if she had ask for us to drive to Flordia I would have told her we be there in 16 hours or less) because they wanted us to take them home. The best feeling I had was seeing my girls smile and wave at us when they got off the plane.

    On a another note both my hubby would love this so I definately will try it. I have another quick fix that I use for green beans. Take to cans, drain and rinse and add a cup of water to beans and to chicken boubillon cubes. works really well in getting rid to the metal taste of the can.

  7. Kris says

    Love, this story. Mine is 15 and now spends more time away than at home. I just have to remember that’s the way it’s suppose to be. If you raise them right they go off into the world

  8. Dawn says

    Thanks for the heartwarming and tearjerking story. My kids are grown and it truly does seem like just yesterday they were toddlers. We can only hand them over to God and have faith that he will guide them in all ways.
    Thank you for all your wonderful stories and recipes. You are truly a blessing.

  9. Kim says

    I have found the green beans (won’t give name brand) that are in the white lined cans are soooooo much better than beans packed in plain tin cans. Have been making the family eat them for years just draining, rinsing, adding water, salt, pepper, and onion. Imagine my surprise when I bought these beans on sale and they WERE GOOD STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CAN.

  10. Amy says

    My kids are only 3 and 6 and I just cried! Cause like ya said, they were just born yesterday….. Right?! And I know mine will be leaving soon also. I cried my eyes out the first day I dropped my son off at kindergarten and he decided to walk in alone;)

  11. Joan says

    Christy, it won’t get any easier when Katy Rose gets up there either. My babies [they hate that] are 46 and 50. But, they are still my babies. Never you mind that one of them has 4 babies of his own and the other has 1. Still my babies.

    About those green beans. It also works when you use the regular beans, but the french-style beans are a whole lot prettier. Another quickie I like is to simply add some Dijon or Creole mustard to be beans just before serving. Gives them a nice tangy taste.

  12. kate b. says

    I am laughing at your Katy Rose story while crying over your Brady story! My son is 24 now and it can still be hard! Just wait until you are dropping him off at his dorm his freshman year of college! It’s all good, though! (Just remember that!)

  13. Julianne says

    Oh Christy, I can so relate about letting go of kids.
    Time flies and right now I am looking in the rear view mirror…
    When our son was 13 (he’s our younger child) I watched him diggin’ fence post holes with his dad, working on fencing in a 15 acre pasture on our farm…
    And part of me just said “wait! that’s my baby! That’s too hard for a kid…”
    But then I realized that we are raising him to be a grown man one day.
    Together they worked and finished that pasture- digging a hundred holes 30 inches deep, even into the clay sub-soil.
    It gave him confidence [and muscles- and girls like muscles ;) ].
    (And all that hole diggin’ was a good thing- he helped us plant 55 pecan trees last January and we have 50 more to do this year. He’ll reap great benefits from that years after we are gone.)
    He went away to 4-H camp every summer, state 4-H Congress from the age of 13, Boys State, and took on more and more challenges along the way.
    He grew into a man before my eyes and at the same time I am so proud but can hardly believe it.
    He’s in college now- three semesters until graduation- when did that happen?
    You are right to hold on inside- treasure up these things in your heart.
    I miss the boy who would climb trees to read to his Winnie-the-Pooh bear, but I am proud of the man he is becoming.

    Oh, and I love your recipes! Thanks for inviting us into your kitchen- I feel right at home :)
    Be blessed!

  14. Jennifer says

    This made me tear up! My two year old seems to be growing by leaps and bounds and I know I will turn around one day and he will be 13 but for now, I am glad he is two. You can do it. Have fun decorating the chicken!

  15. Tania Lynn Petry says

    The hardest letting go was when my 2 oldest girls left home to go to basic training for the Army. The next hardest letting go was when they left to go to AIT (specialized army training) and the next hardest letting go (even though they were already physically gone) was knowing they were being deployed to Iraq. The BESTEST thing was when they came home! :)

    By the time my youngest left for college, it was a little easier to let go (college is a lot less scary for Mama than the army is). :)

  16. says

    Hi Christy,

    My baby girl is 30 yrs old and my son is 33 yrs old. He is the father of my now 4 yr old grandson. How fast they grow.

    When they were younger, I would count how many years I had left with them at home. I can’t believe it went so fast. Having an empty nest sucks. People joke about their kids leaving home and then coming back-well our two children left and did not need to move back home.

    We have each other (married 34 yrs) and our 5 doggies (all rescues) but it is empty of children. I miss them so much even though I see them every week and talk and text with them daily, it’s not the same as them being here. I was a stay at home mom and home for my children after school. We were a Marine Corps family, 9 years stationed in Japan and we only had each other-with no extended family near.

    Hug your children and realize they will be grown and gone. I finished my bachelor’s degree in social work after they graduated and went to college. I got my master’s of science in gerontology and am now an MBA candidate. Have a plan for when they are gone. It is very lonely in the beginning.

  17. says

    Oh wow! I baked the Peachy Oatmeal Pudding and husband went WILD over it.
    Not being an oatmeal lover myself, even I had it for breakfast it is so good. Ladies if you haven’t tried it, you are mising a great food plate. It is well worth it. :))) Three smiles~three more :)))

  18. Denise says

    Christy, I must say that you are one good mama. If your son called you from school (or wherever) and said what he said to you…you should be beaming from here to the moon. Not all good parents are blessed with kids that are that thoughtful–loving maybe, but not so thoughtful. It touched my heart.

    I will have to try your bean recipe as I, like you, tend to favor my ‘normal’ way…which is: can of beans, garlic minced, onion minced, cooked and topped with almond slivers. Bacon is a plus when I have it !

  19. Cheryl Bone says

    Christy, will give you the speech I gave to parents of seniors in high school as they were trying to let go. I called it the Apron method of raising kids. In the old farm days when women would chop cotton and work in the fields, they would have their babies, tie them up in their aprons and go to work. As the baby starting walking, they would tie the apron string around their wrists but keep them close. As they got older, they would let out the string until finally, they would take it off but keep a close eye on that child until they felt they could be trusted to take their own hoe and work beside mom. Finally the child would go with the older children and tend to the fields without mother, taking their place in the order of things. You just untied the string but don’t worry… he is still in your sight! God is watching him with your prayers.

    • Betty819 says

      Cheryl, what a beautiful story! It made me think of that movie where Sally Fields had to take over their farm after her husband’s death.. Remember her picking cotton?

      Christy, your story was beautiful and heartfelt too and I could relate to that, as I’m sure most of us could. The fact that your son called you after he got to school told me that he loved and respected you and your feelings. The peer pressure on kids today is unreal..he was right, he would have been embarrassed and teased mercifully if his school friends had seen you hugging and kissing him like your family does naturally at home. There used to be a neighborhood boy that always kissed his Mother and hugged her and hugged his Father as he left them, even when a teenagers and he continues to this day do the same to his Dad who is up in his late 80′s. Mother is now deceased.. I’ll guarantee you he probably has taught his own kids to do the same to him and his wife. That’s just B!

      There’s nothing wrong with the way you are raising your children; continue that way and hopefully they’ll never go astray. It’s like being involved in their sports activities. Kids keep these precious moments in their hearts forever and probably try to copy you when they have their own children. You’ll know when to back off as the kids get older.

      Now is that the chidken/turkey that Katy Rose is holding that she was supposed to decorate for school? Did she do the decorating or did Mommy? That chicken/turkey looks like it’s going to a fancy party or Marti Grai! LOL! Cute!

  20. Crystal says

    My baby is 21…I had to let him go a year ago. He moved far, far away….40 miles away! I still cry! But my only girl is 23 and still home…and I cannot imagine what life will be like when she leaves. Hugs for you Christy (hugs and tears)

  21. Sara Jarnigan says

    I can relate as well. My oldest went to college 12 hours away, then grad school on the other side of the country. After 8 years away, he got his first job back in home town – what a blessing! Never thought he’d be back so close. This happened right when the youngest was leaving the nest for college. God’s timing is perfect! Don’t know how parents did it years ago without the technology we have today – what faith they must have had. I’m so thankful to be able to hear from my boys even when far away. Empty nests are filled with wonderful memories and hope for the future.

  22. Tarainnc says

    I love the ” chicken” ! She is very creative. My older two kids are 19 and 20 and my youngest is 5. I completely understand the letting go and holding on. My son is in the Navy and my 19 year old has finsihed massage therapy school and moved several states away. On one hand I miss them like crazy and on the other I am proud that they are confident enough to take chances and see the world.

  23. Trice Kastein says

    Katy Rose – That is the best dressed Chicken/Turkey ever. Here in New Braunfels, TX right now the Wurstfest is going on and every night in the Wurst Halle there is lots of eating of sausages, potatoe pancakes, fried pickles, etc and lots dancing of polkas and waltzes, and of course, The Chicken Dance! This girl would be the hit of the party! Good Job!

  24. Lane Peters says

    Your story brought back alot of memories as both of my children are grown with children of their own. Can’t wait to try the green beans, in the summer, we put diced onion and fresh tomatoes(cold) on top of the hot green beans….good stuff!!

  25. says

    I feel for you Christy – my son will be 27(omgosh) at Christmas …. it is NEVER easy to let go. But you will get through it and Brady will do just great – you raised him well.
    Those green beans look great – will have to try them once we get consistent power to be cooking “real” meals again.

    Please pray that this nor’easter will brush by without much more damage.

  26. Cindy Gatlin says

    Christy, I saw you Monday evening at Hobby Lobby in the fabric dept. I was so excited to see you… I wanted to come over and say hello, but I didn’t – because I could tell you were “deep in thought” about something… (not knowing Brady had left that morning). You were missing your baby. It made my heart ache for you when I read this post. It’s so hard to let our babies grow up, it happens so fast!!! Hang in there, he’ll be home soon and you can hug him as long as you want to. Maybe helping Katy Rose bedazzle her turkey kept your heart smiling. Tell her I have never seen a turkey look so beautiful!!! You have an AMAZING family. I love love love your recipes and the stories about your family. =)

  27. Laura Anderson says

    Okay, I just boo hoo cried reading this story, my BABY is 15 and she just got her driving permit and Im in denial(only driving with Daddy so far).
    LOVE your angels “chicken” HOPE she wins a prize!

  28. says

    Thank you so much for the story of Brady. It really is hard to let go of all our “babies” but I have one now that I am really having to stay calm about letting her go. She is a beautiful 8 yr old granddaughter which we are raising,have had her for over 5 years and will soon finalize her adoption. The fact that she has ADHD and sometimes does not seem to think as an 8 yr old, in spite of being very smart and creative, really concerns me when I have to consider the fact that one day I will have to let her go. I know that God is watching over her and all the other babies that we all have already, or soon will be, having to let go. God Bless You, Christy and your beautiful family.

  29. Mary Jo F says

    That is the wildest chicken I have ever seen!!! Awesome! Gooble-Gobble
    Christy, what makes this website so fun is your sharing of yourself and your family. You are one special lady!

  30. Stephanie Taylor says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story of letting go. My oldest is heading to New York with the middle school jazz band at the end of May and I am already worrying.

    Katy Rose, that is one beautiful chicken!

  31. Sue Ceasar says

    I like my green beans from a can fixed with sauteed onions and mushrooms then add the drained beans. and heat through, next cover with cheese ( I have used mozzerella,or cheddar, or american whatever is on hand ) heat until cheese melts through. I like this better than the traditional bean casserole. A friend of ours made this for Thanksgiving one year (in the 80′s) when we were stationed in Montana.

  32. Sandy says

    I had a great friend who wintered in Texas with many post heart surgery patients who loved Southern cooking and they came up with this recipe which is a staple in our house (before this, none of us would touch commercial canned beans either!). Try it! Pour 2 cans of cut green beans and1 can of pinto beans, both not drained, into a medium pot. Add one package (less salty) Herb Ox chicken seasoning and 1 tsp oil and cook down! Yummy!!

  33. Charlotte Patterson says

    I love your site–recipes and stories (I’m a school librarian) and sometimes I let you read to my kindergarten or 4 year olds when my voice isn’t good or for a little variety.
    Have you ever had green bean bundles? They are very good! Below is a link to a recipe.
    BUT. We eat at school once a month and last month, someone had green beans in a crockpot. I could have just feasted on a bowl of them–a big bowl. She had used the ingredients of the Bundles, but made it easier–French style Green beans, Bacon, and brown sugar. Oh, my goodness!!!

  34. Angel says

    I made these green beans tonight! Oh my goodness! If I had my way, I would never make them any other way again! Alas, I have a picky eater and he doesn’t like tomotoes. Ghastly I know! I have been raving about you on facebook. Never tried anything on here that I didn’t like! Thanks so much!!!

  35. Margaret says

    I love the chicken…never ever seen a purtier one.
    The green beans…no can do, hubby hates cooked tomatoes.
    The letting go….my daughters are 37 and 33, have not lived with me for more than 10 years and I don`t think I have let go yet!

  36. Susan N says

    Does anyone remember the restaurants Kenny Rogers used to have? One of the vegs he had was similar. So good. I like a “Tri Veg” it makes meals so easy to have a three veg in one pan.
    ^5! Thanks for another yummy one C.

  37. Sheryle says

    Made these the other night with the “Deep Dish Sloppy Joes”. Tasty. However, they still need that bacon flavor! I bake a pound of bacon every two weeks or so. I strain and save the grease, crumble and freeze the bacon. Comes in very handy for bean recipes! So next time I will add some bacon and a tad bit of grease. After mixing the drained beans and undrained diced tomatoes, I will also stir in some Wylers Chicken bouillon granules for flavor into the tomato liquid. Taste for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed. This is an excellent base recipe for designing for your own family tastes!


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