Writing a blog is kind of like ruling your own little universe, you go away for a week but you can certainly make it seem like you weren’t gone at all through the magic of scheduling. I’m hoping to be caught up before November 1st kicks in, but as I said, I’m focusing on the things that are most important right now and that’s studying and playing and knitting like a crazy woman for my baby new nephew that I can’t wait to meet!
Speaking of babies: this is my go to bring-a-meal-to-a-new-mom casserole. It’s buttery and cheesy and and the best kind of comfort food. And it has broccoli – so it’s totally health food.
-1 lb. fresh broccoli broken in small pieces and steamed for 2 minutes.
-3 cups cooked chicken breasts – Break up in small pieces
-3 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese divided
-2 tubes Ritz Crackers
-1/2 stick melted butter
-1 tablespoon poppy seeds
-1/4 cup Butter- melted
-1/4 cups Cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup COLD Water
-1/3 cup Chicken Broth
-1/4 tsp. Salt
-1/4 tsp Pepper
-2 Cups Milk
-1 1/2 cups of the above Cheddar Cheese
-In greased 13×9 pan, layer the broccoli and chicken, then set aside. In saucepan over medium heat you’ll make your sauce: combine the melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in water, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.
-Melt 1/2 stick of butter, and add the poppy seeds, and stir well. Crush Ritz crackers (not too small!) in a medium sized bowl and pour butter/poppy seed mixture over mixing gently. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.
Recipe modified from Get Off Your Butt and Bake
If you could speak an animal language for one day which animal would you choose?
The Daily Tip
I shocked the Mister last week when he saw the price tag of our organic, pastured chicken and I don’t blame him. It’s not cheap. But a Sunday dinner went into this casserole, chicken noodle soup, and was also used to make chicken stock so I stretched that money and felt good about the sustainable meat we’ve consumed. Also knowing that my kids quite often refuse to eat leftovers but will eat a “re-imagined” dish, cooking one main meat on Sunday and utilizing it throughout the week makes good use of our food dollars and my time in the kitchen.
If you're looking to cut down on costs, and you're willing to do some research, you can find quality meats from farms that use natural, sustainable methods and avoid hormones/antibiotics/chemicals, but don't necessarily meet the criteria (or have the capital for the certification process) to carry the "organic" label. There's quite a bit of regulation and paperwork required for that organic label (part of the reason for the heftier price tag), and sometimes smaller farms who are doing the right thing just can't navigate the organic jungle (I only know this because I have dairy farmers in the family).