Broccoli Bites

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I recently got a job as a nanny to two ADORABLE two-year-olds.  They are just about the cutest twins you’ll ever see and sometimes I can’t believe I get to play with them all day.  It’s pretty much the best job ever. But every job has its challenges.  Mine is vegetables.  Getting toddlers to eat good stuff isn’t easy.

I’ve noticed that when I give them options, they eat all of the things they like, then leave the other stuff on the plate.  To fix this, I decided to start making food that is all mixed together so they can’t separate it.

I was telling my sister, Beth, about my dilemma over the phone and she mentioned broccoli bites!  I looked them up on Pinterest and google but didn’t find a recipe I liked.  So I came up with my own.  The concept is simple.  Take all the things you want a kid to eat, bind it together with eggs, make it taste yummy with cheese, then bake it like cookies!

I decided to use chicken, broccoli, carrots, and rice.  Next time I might try something like corn, chicken, mushrooms, and peppers.  Whatever direction you decide to go, your kids (and YOU) will love these easy-to-eat, hand-held, no-mess bites!

The process goes like this:  First, cook everything to mush.  Mash it up with an egg or two.  Then add breadcrumbs and cheese till it’s the right consistency.  Scoop.  Bake at 400.  EAT!

Enjoy!

Abby Hughes

Broccoli Bites
 
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These fun-to-eat bites will be sure to dazzle your kids while giving them the nutrition they need!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Head Broccoli (cooked soft, drained)
  • 2 Medium Carrots (cooked soft)
  • 1 Large Chicken Breast (cooked and shredded)
  • ½ Medium Onion, chopped (can be cooked with carrots or broccoli)
  • 1½ C. Cooked Rice
  • 1½ C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Smash with a fork to mix, then add salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder and herbs may be added as well).
  4. Stir in the eggs.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or bakers parchment.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, spoon the mixture onto the tray, being sure they don't touch. (they can be placed closely because they don't spread).
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the tops are golden brown.
Notes
Depending on the size of your eggs, chicken breast, head of broccoli, etc. You may find that the "dough" is too wet or too dry. If it's too wet and doesn't hold together, add a little whole wheat flour or bread crumbs to the mixture. If too dry, and an extra egg. 🙂

 

 

 

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

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Am I the only cook on the planet who hasn’t heard of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole?  Apparently, when it comes to church food Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole has been a hit for a long, long time!  My friend, Lila, made this casserole for a Community Bible Study fellowship lunch this spring.  At first, I thought I must have just been really, really, hungry because I couldn’t get enough of this creamy, crunchy, tasty casserole.  Other members of our class seemed equally hungry, because I noticed most of us had second helpings!

I couldn’t figure out all the ingredients my first time around, but by the second helping, I discovered a layer of Rice A Roni that seemed a lot more flavorful than I ever remembered for Rice A Roni.

If you are not familiar with Rice A Roni it is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until the water is absorbed.

“I’ve had this recipe for years,” Lila told our group as we ooh’d and aah’d quite appropriately!

Although lately, she has had trouble finding the exact rice called for in the recipe which is Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice with Almonds.  I couldn’t find that exact flavor and so I used a mixture of one box chicken and garlic and one box chicken and broccoli. Whew!  I highly recommend the chicken and garlic. The garlic creates a flavor layer that really adds to the overall taste of the casserole. The broccoli gave me that false sense that I was eating healthy! 😜

The Rice A Roni is made according to box directions and then becomes the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ baking dish.

I always start any chicken casserole with gently boiled chicken breast, trimmed to remove any fat or stringy pieces.  Then I shred it and the resulting chicken is so white, fresh, and ready for my casserole. (For speed and ease, canned chicken breast will work well in this recipe also.)

Mix the cooked chicken with soup and sour cream for the next layer.  Crushed Ritz crackers and poppy seeds top the chicken layer.  Lila’s recipe calls for a cup of melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers.  I omitted the butter and sprinkled the top with slivered almonds.  Oh my goodness!  Can you just taste it now?  

I know our vegetable should be about twice the amount of the main dish, but I promise, you can start with a smaller amount of casserole but you will be back for more before the broccoli cools off!

Thank you, Lila, for the outstanding recipe!  Keep ’em coming!

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

P.S.  Can you taste poppy seeds? My Chief Casserole Eater husband says he couldn’t taste the poppy seeds.  I don’t think they are meant to be tasted as much as they add texture and color.  What do you think?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
 
Prep time
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Love it! Packed with flavor, very versatile and especially easy to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish, Casserole
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked, chopped or shredded
  • 16 oz. light sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup butter, melted *Optional
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 boxes Rice-A-Roni (Fried Rice with Almonds or any favorite flavor)
  • Slivered Almonds *Optional
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350⁰. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Spread rice in bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.
  4. Combine chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread on top of rice mixture.
  5. Mix melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Layer over chicken.
  6. Top with poppy seeds and slivered almonds.
  7. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, uncovered.
Notes
1 lb. of chicken works fine, originally recipe calls for 2 lbs.
Any flavor of Rice A Roni will work well.
May use canned or fresh chicken breast.
Poppy seeds and almonds optional.
Melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers optional.

 

 

 

Guest Post For Christian Camp Pro!

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Hi!  I am just stopping by for a quick second to share this guest post I did for
Christian Camp Pro!

 

 

Link: What’s For Dinner??

This is a blog post about food planning for a reunion, retreat, or even a party in your home.  Just some practical tips and some of my favorite recipes we have served at our family reunion!

What a blessing it was to join Old Hickory Lake Community Bible Study Leadership in January to stay at Oasis Christian Center and Retreat in Franklin, Kentucky.  I wrote about it here.

Andy McClung is one of the family members who own and run this Christian retreat center.  He is also the author of the website Christian Camp Pro. He created Christian Camp Pro in January 2013 after noticing that there wasn’t a centralized place for event coordinators to find Christian based themes, games, and ideas for their specific types of events.

While I was there Andy and I talked about our websites, food and the wonderful world of blogging! He invited me to write a guest post and with over a million visitors a year on Christian Camp Pro I couldn’t resist sharing a bit of My Daily Bread Body and Soul.

I hope you will check out my blog post and leave a comment when you do!

What’s For Dinner? 3 Steps When Planning Food For A Large Group

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

Fun Colors of Spring and Oven-Roasted Carrots

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It’s been a fun few days since I blogged about my blue nails.  If you missed it, check it out here! 

Thursday morning, after the blog post, my friend Bonnie arrived at Community Bible Study sporting fabulous blue nails in honor of my blog post and our friendship!  So fun!  Thank you, sweet Bonnie!

It wasn’t long after we finished Bible study on Thursday that I received a “challenge” from my cousin Jill.  She posted, “The blue is gorgeous!!! I wear blue on my toes often. I dare you to try purple sometime!”  Then Jill sent me this photo.

Jill adores spending time at the beach and so, of course, she has to keep those tippy-toes looking pretty!

The next picture came from my friend Darcia.  We were talking on the phone when she said, “I LOVE your blue nails!”  We laughed and she said, “I have my toes painted WHITE and I absolutely love them.”

In this age of instant photo-sharing, Darcia zipped off this photo to me. I hope she heard me say, “It might show up on my blog!” 😜

Saturday I spent lunchtime with dear girlfriends and my sous-chef dish-washing mom.  Before we said goodbye that afternoon, the conversation turned to my “blue nails”.  Our friend Joan said, “Here, everyone put your hands together.”

Red, blue, peach, and natural, a rainbow of color!  This is a fantastic picture of our friendship.  Diversity reigns and each one of us brings something special to our friendship. The love of Jesus is what truly binds us together. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Speaking of color, our lunch hostess Joyce, served the most incredible roasted carrots with our Hot Chicken Salad.  Did you know that before Dutch farmers bred orange carrots to honor the House of Orange in the 17th century, these root vegetables were white, yellow, green, red, and even black?  Recently, carrots of many colors have come back into flavor.  While traveling in England a few years ago we saw white, yellow and black carrots at the Borough Market in London.

After feasting on these incredibly tasty roasted carrots at Joyce’s, I couldn’t wait to check out my fridge to see if I had any carrots at home. Yep, five. Only five carrots in the crisper drawer, but that was enough to roast for our dinner!

True to Joyce’s description, these take just minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to roast.  Peel carrot, slice into chunks of similar size, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast!

I used a blood orange infused olive oil, cracked pepper, sea salt and a sprinkle of parsley.  Seriously, I can’t wait to make these again.  They are so good that we had to count them out into thirds so that my carrot-loving husband, sous-chef dish-washing mom and me could each have exactly the same number — they are just that good.  And sometimes we are just that silly at dinner!

You can use your imagination and drizzle with just about any flavored or plain olive oil you may have on hand.  I’ve cooked carrots in an orange juice and butter mixture so I thought the blood orange infused oil would be a perfect combination.  It is!  Try it, you’ll like it!

May your spring be bursting with color!

Happy Roasting!
~Catherine

Roasting Carrots and Other Fun Colors!
 
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After roasting carrots, you won't want to serve them any other way.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • Fresh carrots
  • Olive oil*
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Pepper
  • Chopped parsley* Optional
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and slice fresh carrots into equal sized pieces.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.
  5. Spread on baking sheet.
  6. Roast for 20 minutes or until carrots are slightly browned and tender. Do not over-cook.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Notes
*Flavored olive oil works well.
I've used blood orange infused olive oil that is fantastic.

 

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