Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

"Your holiday table will benefit from the addition of this dish with a super-easy cheese sauce. To save time, you can cook the green beans up to one day ahead."
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  • Over high heat, bring pot of salted water to boil. Add beans. Cover; cook 4-5 minutes. Coat 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Drain beans; reserve. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In large skillet, melt 1 T. butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until softened, 1-2 minutes. Add wine; cook 2 minutes. Stir in Boursin cheese; cook until melted. Toss with beans; transfer to baking dish.
  • Melt remaining 2 T. butter. Stir in breadcrumbs and Parmesan; sprinkle over green beans. Cover lightly with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until golden, 10 minutes.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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