Choppin Broccoli: Easy Broccoli Cheese Pie

Easy Broccoli Cheese Pie

Anytime I make anything with broccoli I secretly sing Choppin Broccoli from the SNL skit by Dana Carvey in my head. It’s just one of those things that got embedded in my brain as a teen and may never leave. I may be singing it more often because this recipe was so easy that I will be making it again and again. You could easily substitute any vegetable or cheese in this simple recipe, I believe that there was something like this called impossible pie on the Bisquick box back in the day, again more childhood memories.

Easy Broccoli Cheese Pie

2 cups fresh Broccoli and/or Broccoli Slaw (this is a great recipe to use up whatever veggies are left in the fridge)

1/2 c chopped onion

1 T minced garlic

1 T oil

1 1/2 c shredded cheese, I used Smoked Gruyere and cheddar

1/2 c Bisquick

1 cup milk

1/2 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400. Add oil to a med/large sauté pan and heat over med high. Add broccoli and onion sauté for 4 minutes or until onion and broccoli are soft but not falling apart, add garlic, stir and heat 1 more minute.

Easy Broccoli Cheese Pie

Add Broccoli mix to a pie pan, and mix with 1 c of the shredded cheese. In a separate bowl mix, Bisquick, Milk and eggs. Pour over Broccoli cheese mix.Easy Broccoli Cheese Pie

Bake for about 35 minute or until golden brown and set. add remaining cheese to the top and return to oven, cook for about 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Let cool 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Easy Broccoli Cheese Pie

And just in case you don’t have the ear worm yet, here is Dana Carvey performing Choppin Broccoli with an orchestra on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Your Welcome.

Thanksgiving Turkey Relish Tray

Thanksgiving Turkey Relish Tray

THANKSGIVING TURKEY RELISH TRAY

 

Here is a fun idea for your Thanksgiving vegetable platter or relish tray,arrange the items in the shape of a turkey. This is the one my son made for our dinner last year. It is a great project for kids, tweens, and teens and let’s them contribute to the big dinner. We used pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and carrots. His head is actually a mini orange bell pepper. Be creative and use what you have hand.

Pool Party: My Nephew’s 1st Birthday

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Under The Sea Cake

I come from a very large family, and my nephew turned one last week and so we celebrated in style.  It was a collaborative effort by friends and family with ideas from everyone and Pinterest. It turned out so cute I thought I would share some of the highlights. The cake above came from the very talented Creative Wine-O, check out her facebook page here. The detail was stunning. The beach ball was the “smash” cake and even the sand dollars were edible.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Watch Me Grow Time Line

To celebrate his first revolution around the sun my sister made a timeline, featuring a picture from each of his 12 months. Use ribbon and clothes pins to hang. Make sure you put it in a place that is easily accessible so all guest can admire it.  We also used this as the back drop when he ate his birthday cake. We placed his high chair in front.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Fish Craft

We hung a fishing net ( available at party stores) over the main food table and attached sand molds to it. We also had a craft table so that some of the older kids could make paper plate fish to hang in the net. We also used sand buckets and shovels to serve some of the food in.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Shark Bite Fruit Salad

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Shark Bite Fruit Salad

One of the highlights of the food table was this awesome watermelon carved into a shark by my brother-in-law. We then filled it with various cut up fruit.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Blow Fish Fruit Platter

He also made a cantaloupe into a blow fish.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Fish Veggie Tray

Vegetables morphed into a tropical fish.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Octopus Spinach Dip

Spinach dip was turned into a jolly octopus using a bread bowl and pretzel sticks.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Hummus Beach

Make your own hummus beach by spreading hummus in a shallow tray ( I used a clear lid to a casserole) and decorate with drink umbrellas and Pretzel Crisp crabs.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Dolphin Finger Sandwiches

I found a dolphin sandwich cutter at Sweetbay, perfect to make mini sandwiches for the kids.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Bait Bucket

Swedish fish and gummy worms turned into an edible bait bucket decoration.

Pool Party 1st Birthday: Party Favors

Each child got to take a bit of the fun home. Our good family friend made party buckets out of plain sand buckets decorated with stickers and ribbon and filled with beach themed goodies from the dollar store.

It was a true success and a joyous celebration of one of our youngest family members birthday.

Parmesan and Cauliflower “Risotto”

Parmesan and Cauliflower "Risotto"

 

My husband is back on the low carb diet so I am back to being creative with cauliflower. This hand mashed cauliflower has the same texture and flavors of a risotto without the rice and carbs. I don’t even think my kids noticed the difference.

Parmesan and Cauliflower “Risotto”

1 head cauliflower cut into florets

1/2 c ricotta cheese

3 T- 1/4 c cream

1/4 cup shredded parmesan

juice of 1/2 lemon ( about 2 T)

salt and pepper

 

Steam or cook cauliflower until fork tender. Drain excess water, Add to a med sized pot and hand mash with a potato masher. Add ricotta, lemon juice, cream (start with 3 T and add more if needed) stir in Parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat over low until heated through.

Parmesan and Cauliflower "Risotto"

 

Here is a close up of the texture. If you prefer a puree of cauliflower instead just add to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

Parmesan and Cauliflower "Risotto"

Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Light and perfect for Spring. Great as lunch with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Pea Soup with Feta and Mint

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 cups frozen peas

1/4 cup cream

1 T chopped shallots

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T chopped mint

1-2 T crumbled Feta cheese

In a sauce pan bring broth to a simmer, add peas and shallot continue to cook for 4–5  minutes or until peas are cooked, add chopped mint, lemon juice and cream, cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and puree in blender. Re heat in pan if necessary.  Ladle into bowls and add crumbled feta. Makes 4 appetizer or 2 main course servings.

IMG_7389

 

St. Patrick’s Day Mashed Potatoes, now with Bailey’s

Best Corned Beef with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze aqnd Bailey's Mashed Potatoes

 

I was busy making our traditional  Corned Beef and Cabbage and I had also make Irish Coffee Cupcakes earlier so the Bailey’s Irish Cream was out in the kitchen.  All day I kept thinking I bet that would be good in mashed potatoes. I know it seems slightly weird but I have put alcohol in potatoes before and cream well that’s a no brainer. Hmmm. I had boiled the potatoes and dribbled a little of the bailey’s on one and tasted it, well it was good, gave it a rich decadent taste almost like a truffle oil. I made my husband try it , he said I think your right, so I went for it. Subtle and creamy, decadent and delicious, these will become tradition for all St. Patrick’s Days to come.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Mashed Potatoes

about 10 med sized yukon gold potatoes

1/2 stick butter

1 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

2 T Bailey’s Irish Cream

1/3-1/2 c milk

Boil potatoes until tender

sprinkle with salt

add butter, Bailey’s, and 1/3 c milk. Mash until smooth adding more milk if needed, add pepper and salt to taste.

Creamy Bailey's Mashed Potatoes

Pork Chops with Orange Butternut Sauce

 

Butternut squash and pork chops are classic fall food, this sauce gets a little zip from oranges which are also coming into season.

Pork Chops with Orange Butternut Sauce

8 boneless pork chops

2 T butter

3 cups butternut squash peeled and cubed

2 garlic cloves

1/2 c chopped onion

3/4 cup orange juice ( used fresh squeezed if possible)

1T balsamic vinegar

1/2  t dried sage

1/2 t ground ginger

1/2 t ground cinnamon

water

salt

chili powder

Melt Butter in a large pan over med high heat. add squash and onions, saute until onions and squash are browned. add garlic and saute until garlic is soft and golden.

add orange juice, vinegar, ginger, sage and cinnamon , bring to a simmer and cover. cook for 15-25 minutes or until squash is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon. Use a hand blender to make into a puree ( you could also hand mash or use a regular blender) remove from pan and set aside.

Sprinkle chops with salt and chili powder, brown on each side in the pan. You may have to do this in small batches depending on chop and pan size.

 

Add puree back to the pan with chops cover and cook over med heat for 20 minutes or until chops are done. add water if necessary ( I used about a 1/4 cup). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

 

 

 

Creamy Tomato Soup with Pesto

I don’t know what it is about Fall, but this time of year makes me go right for the comfort foods and classic combinations I grew up with. As I looked at my menu board for the week I thought this could have been one my mom had when I was a child. Last night’s dinner was grilled cheese and tomato soup. I made the soup in the crock pot so it was done and ready for whenever my family decided to make their appearance for dinner, and the bonus is you get to smell its deliciousness all day.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Pesto

1 28 oz can of peeled whole tomatoes

1 20 oz can of petite diced tomatoes

1 1/2 c vegetable stock (chicken would work too)

1 T italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1 t salt

1/4 c brown sugar

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 c cream

2 T butter

For Pesto

1/2 c  fresh basil

1/4 c parmesan cheese

1/4 c pine nuts

1 large clove of garlic

1/4 c olive oil

Add tomatoes, stock, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, sugar, onion and garlic to a large slow cooker/ crock pot. turn on high and cover. Cook for one hour and then turn to low. Cook for 2-3 more hours or until tomatoes and onions have completely softened. Add cream and butter and use an immersion blender to puree. You could also use a regular blender or use a wooden spoon to mash. Place on warm until ready to serve. Taste for salt and sugar add more if desired.

Meanwhile place basil, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts into a food processor, pulse until smooth and then slowly add olive oil while processor is on until pesto is the desired consistency.

Serve soup with a drizzle of pesto over the top.

Honey Mustard and Pear Slaw

 

My kids love honey mustard on anything, get your kids to eat their fruit and veggies in this simple and refreshing salad.

 

Honey Mustard and Pear Slaw

1 bag shredded cabbage/cole slaw mix

3 T dijon mustard

2 T honey

1/2 c mayo

1 pear (choose a firm variety) julienned (matchstick slices)

salt and pepper

Mix mustard, mayo and honey in a small bowl. Place cabbage mix in a large bowl with pears, add dressing and salt and pepper to taste.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

We all have seen and love  food in miniature, pizzas, sandwiches, sliders, everybody likes a little single serving of their favorite food. I was making chicken pot pie for dinner and decided to try to shrink them, just for the cute factor. I kind of had a plan, use my regular pot pie filling, refrigerated biscuit dough and a muffin tin, but I had never done it before so I made sure I also had a back up plan incase things went wrong, as they do a lot in my house. The incredible thing is that they actually worked, cooked through and were as cute as a button, the bad news is that unless you are carb loading or only want cute the bread to filling ratio is off. Easy enough to fix by spooning extra filling over the top at the end, kind of like a popover. Or skip the cute part and just spoon filling over baked biscuits, country style, which was my back up plan and equally as delicious.

Chicken and Vegetable Filling

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

2 T oil

1 zucchini chopped

2 potatoes chopped

1 c chopped carrots

1 c chopped leeks

1 clove garlic minced

2 tsp seasoning salt

1/8 c sherry

1 3/4 c chicken stock

1/4 c flour

2/3 c milk

In a large pan heat oil and saute chicken and potatoes about 5 minutes, add leeks, garlic and carrots continues to cook over med heat until chicken is cooked through and potatoes have started to soften.sprinkle with flour and cook one minute,

Add sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom. Add chicken stock and zucchini and seasoning salt and stir, bring to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk and stir, heat through, turn heat to low.

To make Mini Pot Pies,pre heat oven to 350. Use a non stick muffin tin and separate your refrigerated biscuit dough in half. I used Grands.

Place on half into each tin and spoon in filling

Place the other half of the biscuit over the top and press to seal (doesn’t have to be perfect, sort of seals itself while cooking).

Use a sharp knife and cut a 1 inch slit into the top of the dough of each pie. Cook according to biscuit directions.

Voila, cute on a plate.

Option 2, cook biscuits according to package direction, split in half and spoon chicken pies filling over top.