Broccoli & Rice Bake …

So tonight I knew I had to cook these pork steaks I had already thawed out, right?  I also had a fresh head of broccoli but virtually no cheese.  I know, you’re shocked.  THIS house is RARELY without cheese!  I had a little Swiss cheese but that’s it.  So what do I do with the broccoli?  I found this DELICIOUS recipe!  I had all the ingredients so why not give it a try?  I can tell you that it’s going to be a regular here 🙂

Broccoli and Rice Bake

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli, chopped (you can use frozen)

1 10.75 can cream of mushroom soup

1 1/4 cups milk

1 8 oz container sour cream

1 tsp dried crushed basil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 cups white rice (long grain)

1 cup Swiss cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F

1.  Cook rice according to package directions.

2.  While rice is cooking, cook fresh broccoli in salted water.  Cook until still bright green.  Drain.

3.  In a large bowl, combine soup, milk, sour cream, salt pepper and basil.  Stir in cooked broccoli and cooked rice.  Spoon mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.

4.  Cover and bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.  Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top of rice dish.  Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

There it is!  Simple as that and everyone LOVED it!  The pork steaks were SO good too and fell apart in my mouth 😉  They’re so easy that I’m almost ashamed to tell you how I do them… but I WILL.  All I do is season them any way I want to and throw them in the oven, covered at 350F.  I cook them until they’re for tender (about 2-3 hours), uncover, drain grease and smother with bar-b-q sauce.  Throw them back into the oven for another half hour until the sauce kind of cooks in 🙂  It’s better than the grill!

Oven Baked Parmesan Meatballs with ALL the Fixen’s! (plus a little brag thrown in for good measure)

Today marks the end of my lil teenaged Munchkin’s self imposed “fast”!  I can’t TELL you how excited she’s been to eat real people food!  lol  For those of you who don’t know, she made a commitment to sacrifice or “fast” for 2 weeks.  It was something she felt she needed to do to show Jesus how much she appreciates his dying on the cross so that we can go to heaven.  She’s also been praying for His grace and guidance.  Fasting for Julia means that she eats only healthy food and mostly just raw vegetables, boiled eggs and lot’s of fish.  The best thing she’s had in the past few weeks was on Sunday, when I made chicken and rice soup!  Poor baby.

So today, she wants meat!  Lots and lots of meat!  hahaha  I let her choose what she wanted me to make. She chose meatballs and french fries.  NOT the most gourmet of meals but something I can do quickly, before she and her friend Hannah go to church tonight.  I need to stop here and tell you how EXTREMELY proud that she still looks at church as a fun, social activity.  ESPECIALLY when I’m just learning that another one of her bff’s (also 14) might be PREGNANT!  Once again, reminding me that it can ALWAYS be worse!  Wow.

Oven Baked Parmesan and Herb Meatballs

(revised by me from Pinterest)

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk or half and half

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (fresh is ALWAYS better)

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or regular but Panko is better)

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together using your hands.  Form into golf ball sized meatballs .  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.  Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

*  I’m eating these right now and they’re SO freaking tasty!  I wish you could smell my house 🙂  Smells like home!  lol

Okay, next I made my easy oven baked asparagus.  This is pretty much the ONLY way we ever cook asparagus anymore.

Oven Baked Parmesan Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch of medium to small stemmed asparagus (with woody ends cut on the diagonal)

About 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

About 1/4 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (eyeball it)

2 tsp salt

About 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Toss asparagus with all other ingredients.  Make sure each piece of asparagus is covered with oil and seasoning.  Place asparagus onto a foil lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until bright green and cheese is melted.

Easy as THAT and I have 2 very happy munchkins and a husband that can’t wait to get home and eat it all up!  I’d tell you about the Ore Ida frozen french fries…. but I’m pretty sure you won’t be impressed with how I threw those babies in the oven for 30 minutes with season salt!  lmbo

Happy Eating to you 🙂

Sunday Dinner… Norman Rockwell, roast turkey with all the trimmings AND, featuring, Maque Choux

When I think of Sunday dinner, I think of a Norman Rockwell painting, where a large, extended family is seated around a large table laughing, sharing a story and passing the bowl of mashed potatoes.  Everyone’s happy and there’s NO family drama.  The biggest problem discussed would probably be the price of dairy going up.  lol

Okay, so this ISN’T my family but I still wanted to make Sunday dinner today 🙂  My daughter was coming home from spending the night with my brother and his family and I just wanted to do something nice for her, my husband and my friend (who’s staying with us) and her son.  I got up early and put the turkey in the oven.  It turned out SO tender, it fell off the bone!  Yum.  I made mashed potatoes, turkey gravy and Maque Choux (a corn dish).  So okay, there was NO sitting around the table.  lol  That’s almost funny to think about at my house.  I took SO much time preparing this meal and when it was done, everyone grabbed a paper plate and filled up.  It was downed in 2.2 minutes and now everyone is about to fall asleep in front of the TV.  Classic American family, right?  Oh and NOBODY is jumping up volunteering to do the dishes or clean the mess I left behind, as usual.  Another success and probably no memories made here but hey!  The food was good!  lol

So back to the Maque Choux (pronounced mock shoe).  It’s something I’ve not made before but it sounded good and healthy.  You need SOMETHING healthy when you have food like roast turkey, drenched in herb butter with mashed potatoes and gravy, right? Anyway, Maque Choux is another dish that originated in Louisiana.  Oh and it will be my new “go to” side dish recipe.  It’s PACKED with flavor and so easy to make!  Give it a try 🙂

Maque Choux   

3 TBSP butter

1 med to large Vidalia onion, chopped

1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups corn (either off the cob or canned)

3 scallions (green peppers), chopped, dark green tops saved fro garnish

1 large tomato

1 TBSP dried thyme leaves

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

1.  In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add theonion, bell pepper and celery.  Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in corn and chopped scallions.  Reduce heat and cover.  Cook for 5 minutes.

2.  Uncover the skillet and stir in tomato, thyme and cayenne pepper.  Cook until the tomato is soft about 3 minutes.  Stir in the cream and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with reserved green scallions.

*This is a really good summer time dish and you can make it a meal by adding shrimp or chicken.