Category Archives: Healthified

Broccoli Cheese Patties Shared By My Friend

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Broccoli Cheese Patties
Broccoli Cheese Patties

Got broccoli?  I really, really like broccoli.  As a kid, I don’t think I ever tasted broccoli, except maybe in a broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole, and even then that may have been after I grew up and started cooking on my own.

My last blog post was about friendship and this recipe comes from another of my God-given friends.  Sue and I met when I was 21 years old, a young wife and mother of a 2-week old baby.  We moved into the house next door to Sue, her husband Bill and their 3-year-old son, Warren.

Sue and I quickly became friends over the garden fence and migrated to her kitchen where we spent countless hours pouring over recipes, cookbooks and the latest news of the neighborhood. She taught me how to can green beans (and I ruined her canner in the process).  Canning pickles were next and I am sure cooking broccoli was in there somewhere!

Thousands of miles have separated us for many years.  But a phone call, an email, or a recipe, and we are in sync as if we have never been apart!

yum borccoli patties

Last fall she sent me this recipe.  She wrote a quick message saying she thinks they are “super” and even Bill liked them, and broccoli isn’t his favorite.

Well, broccoli is my favorite but this recipe settled near the bottom of a pile on my desk.  Thanksgiving came and went.  December was a blur.  January settled in cold and rainy.  We needed something “special” to perk up a mid-week dinner.  Broccoli cheese patties to the rescue!

broccoli patty upclose

These patties are quick and easy to make.  They are baked in the oven and while the recipe calls for sharp cheddar cheese, a hot pepper jack will take the flavor over the top!

Next time I make them I will include an aioli sauce and I really can’t wait!  These little patties are crisp on the outside and yummy, creamy, warm and tender on the inside.

For 39 years I have called Sue my “walking book of knowledge.” She has a home economics degree, a very quick wit and a heart of gold. She makes me laugh and sometimes we cry.  Who could ask for anything more in a friend?

I love you Sue and keep the recipes coming!

Happy Baking!

Broccoli Cheese Patties
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Let the fun begin with broccoli, cheese and this delicious side dish!
Recipe type: Vegetable Side Dish
Serves: 8-9 patties
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag frozen broccoli -- defrosted
  • ¾ cups breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  1. In a small frying pan melt butter on medium heat. Saute' the onions and garlic in the butter until translucent.
  2. Place defrosted broccoli in a strainer for 30 minutes (longer if still frozen) in the sink. Blot well and chop the broccoli into smaller pieces.
  3. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, cheeses, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add broccoli and onion mixture. Mix well.
  4. On a cookie sheet use the 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and grease the cookie sheet. Form patties, they are about ½ cup each. (A large scoop works well.) Press together well.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes on one side and then turn them over. Bake another 15 minutes or until browned and crispy around the edges.
  6. Serve with a favorite sauce or aioli.



Fresh Kale Salad You Are Gonna Love!

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Kale Salad upclose I have to admit that I see “fresh kale” this and “fresh kale” that all over the food blogs.  I usually just keep on moving past them.  My Chief kale-lover husband would appreciate a kale dish now and then, but my kale-loathing sous-chef dish-washer mom turns her nose up at kale!


Enter Heidy.  Heidy is a lovely woman and talented artist who just happened to fix lunch for us at Hephzibah House on a recent visit to NYC.
But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Almonds, Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut

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20100916almondsFor five years the Chief and I lived in a rural and agricultural area of California.  We lived in a small town of Kerman about 25 miles outside of Fresno.  The town is surrounded by vineyards and almond orchards. Neither the Chief nor I knew much about how almonds were grown until we lived there but we quickly discovered the United States is the largest producer of almonds in the world.  In 2013 the U.S. produced 80% of the world’s almonds!

Almond Orchard
Almond Orchard

California has often been called the breadbasket of the world. In fact, the California Department of Food and Agriculture notes that California is the world’s fifth largest supplier of food and agriculture commodities. Living in central California I can attest to driving miles and miles and the only view was food being grown as far as the eye can see.  It is really quite amazing!

But the almond tree caught me by surprise.  First, the locals say “a-mond” as if the “l” is silent.  In the Midwest we are a little nutty and say “all-mond”.  My speech always gave away I wasn’t a local!  Add in my husband’s slightly southern twang … and you get “aaaa-mond”!

Almond Tree in Bloom by
Almond Tree in Bloom by

“I said to the almond tree,
‘Sister, speak to me about God,’
and the almond tree blossomed.”

Greco, famed Greek-born Spanish painter

The almond tree has lovely blossoms and were a sign to me that spring had sprung.  However, I must say my biggest surprise came in the fall when the trees are harvested.  Let me put it this way – there is a lot of shakin’ going on!sweet-almond-mandaline-300x300Machines move through the rows of almond trees mechanically and fiercely shaking the tree causing the almonds to fall to the ground. The nuts are raked into windrows and allowed to dry naturally.

PikiWiki_Israel_7025_Amond_blossomHarvesting was my least favorite part of the almond growing cycle because the process fills the air with a dull-driving sound of the machinery and dust from the process billows for miles around.  This is the time I had to close up my windows and just wait it out.

But oh the end product … so tasty, healthy, and wonderful to use in baking.  Did you know Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches?

I like almonds for the simple fact they are very good for me.  I’ve inherited high cholesterol and almonds are believed to help lower cholesterol, help reduce heart attack risk, help build strong healthy bones and teeth and a whole lot more!
crushed almondsRecently I tossed a whole big bag of almonds into my food processor and let ‘em go.  I ended up with these tiny chopped nuggets of nutrition.  Here are just a few recipes we sprinkle with almond goodness.

healthified baked oatmealBaked oatmeal is a staple at our house! Sprinkling in some chopped almond really give this already healthy dish an even bigger boost.

granola panfulAdding slivered almonds to my homemade baked granola is a no-brainer.

Granola bowlThe nuts stay crunchy and really enhance the flavor of the granola.

Nuts can be pretty expensive depending where you buy them.  I always buy in bulk and have found to have an excellent selection for good value.  Click HERE to check them out!

Scripture cake panfulAlmonds are a must-have in my Scripture Cake.
The Bible has a lot to say about almonds.  You can find many scripture references to the blossoms and the nuts, including this one.

They are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets—Ecclesiastes 12:5

 Sometimes I feel like a nut … and I always keep almonds, pecans, and walnuts handy for the moment!

Happy Baking!

A few fun facts and health benefits of almonds can be found here:

Blackberry Dumplings Healthified

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3 blkberry dumplings

I don’t remember eating anything “blackberry” when I was a kid.  I asked my sous-chef dish washing mom if my memory serves me right.  She agreed that in western Nebraska we just didn’t have blackberries available to us fresh and she rarely bought them canned.  On-the-other-hand my Chief Culinary Consultant grew up eating blackberries right off the bush.  He remembers picking blackberries by the bucketful for his granny to home can in the summer.  From those blackberries she regularly made blackberry cobbler.  She usually had some flour available to her and the milk came fresh from their cow.  Her cook stove was heated with wood and the Chief says the heat was nearly unbearable in the kitchen in the summertime, but his granny baked and cooked for them everyday!

blackberry dumplings in pot

For this blackberry cobbler my blackberries were fresh store-bought and the heat of the oven felt good on a slightly cool spring day. We did pick blackberries fresh last summer but we gobbled them up almost as fast as we got them picked and washed.  Lee’s Aunt Mattie Lou picks wild blackberries each year and cans them.  Occasionally she will bring us a jar of her canned blackberries which I like to use either in a berry pie, a triple berry galette, or even an apple-blackberry crostata.

blackberry dump single

350px-Appalachian_region_of_United_StatesThe best I can find, blackberry cobbler is reflective of a true Appalachian dish.  That being the area of the country shown in white on this map. It is a Native Appalachian cultural trait to LOVE sweets and the original cobbler recipe is reflective of a true Appalachian dish using twice as much sugar as I use.  Even my Tennessee-born, sugar-loving husband agrees this cobbler doesn’t need to be any sweeter and he loves it just as I make it. 🙂  We like to taste more of the blackberry than an over-powering sweetness.  However, if your sweet tooth demands a sweeter cobbler, feel free to tweak the sugar content to your taste!

blackberry dump 1/2 single
Just know, this is one fast and easy dessert!  The berries are simmered for 5 to 10 minutes, the dumpling dough is mixed up within a minute or two and then added to simmer in a the berry mixture for about 20 minutes.  DONE!  You will want to cool them a bit while eating dinner and for dessert the slightly still-warm cobbler will be a delight, I promise.
Happy Cooking, Catherine


Blackberry Dumplings Healthified
Prep time
Cook time
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Whether you have freshly picked blackberries, frozen blackberries or store-bought fruit, don't miss out on this very easy, healthy, and addictively delicious dessert.
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 quart blackberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar*
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup skim or 2% milk
  1. Mix berries, water, ½ cup sugar, ¼ t salt and vanilla in large, wide saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes
  4. For dumplings: Combine flour, 1 teaspoon sugar, baking powder, ¼ t salt, and milk.
  5. Stir just until mixed. Do not over-stir.
  6. Drop by tablespoon into bubbling berry mixture.
  7. Cover tightly and simmer 20 minutes.
  8. Serve in bowls with a dollop of fat-free Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream.
*Splenda can be substituted for sugar. Lemon or almond extract can be used in place of vanilla.

1 Peter 1:18-21

The Message (MSG)

18-21 Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.


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