Archive for April, 2012


Fast broccoli rice and chicken casserole using uncooked rice

Categories: recipes

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In my hurry before I left town the other day, I got it in my head that I should fix dinner to leave for my family. You know how that goes: you’re convinced that, even though they often fix dinner on their own (I have older kids), that no one will eat anything at all unless you leave a complete dinner.

But, I really did have to get on the road, and there wasn’t a whole lot to eat in the house. However, I did have some chicken tenders, and broccoli-chicken and rice something another sounded good.

I was in a hurry, and I hate to cook rice and I didn’t really have time to do much with the chicken, so I decided to try my luck at throwing some things together that included uncooked rice.

1 med. onion, chopped
1/2 stick butter
6-7 chicken tenders
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped broccoli
1 c. quick cooking rice, uncooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can chicken broth
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. water
Crushed crackers

Place chicken tenders in lightly greased casserole dish (I put them in whole, I just didn’t have time to slice and saute them or anything)
Saute onion in butter
Add broccoli, rice, soup, chicken broth and cheese. Mix well.
Pour over chicken and top with crackers.
Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Even though I put it in the oven and ran, it turned out quite well. It was more like a sauce over the chicken rather than a casserole, but it was a hit.

While making a broccoli, chicken and rice casserole isn’t exactly revolutionary, I’m not always good at just putting things together (I’m learning, though) rather than following a specific recipe and I was glad to find something that only took me a few minutes assemble and didn’t involve cooking the rice.

Just for fun: deep frying stuff

Categories: Cooking, Uncategorized

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This fall, my oldest child and only daughter will be heading to college. It will be a huge transition, fraught with excitement and emotion as you might imagine. Therefore, I’ve had a lot of things on my mind lately.

One of my biggest worries is that when she leaves no one will know where I am. With only guys left in the house with me, I could be missing for a few days, and eventually, someone would say, “Hey, I haven’t seen Mom in a while…”, and someone else would likely reply, “I dunno, she’s probably upstairs or something.”

Another fear I have is that I will find myself living in a frat house when she’s gone. However? I think that part may have already begun.

My middle child is a boy and I’m always working on cooking skills with him so that when he leaves for college in a couple of years, he’ll be able to, you know, eat. But, now it appears I should have been more specific about what to cook, since he’s 15.

The evidence: Deep Fried Swiss Cakes.

A box of whatever looks like it needs deep frying (Swiss Cakes and Oreos preferred, so I’m told)
Some Crisco
A box of pancake mix
Powdered sugar


Chill whatever you’re going to fry in the fridge for a bit.

Mix the pancake mix as directed “until you have enough”, it should be pretty thick.

Melt the Crisco in a pan.
Using tongs, dip whatever you’re trying to fry in the pancake mix.

Then dip it in the hot Crisco (In all seriousness, this is only done with an adult around since it is hot grease).

Wait for it to turn golden brown.

Remove from oil to a paper towel-lined plate.

Sprinkle it with powdered sugar.

Eat it.

While I hope it’s obvious we don’t actually eat like that, it was pretty funny to watch him do it, and it actually tasted pretty good.

However, I think I’ll make sure he chooses a healthier alternative and bakes them next time.

In search of meatloaf hints

Categories: Cooking, Entertaining, Organization, recipes


I unabashedly admit I’m a huge fan of the much-maligned meatloaf. Actually, I’m a fan of the much-maligned singer, Meatloaf, too, but that’s a different post for a different time.

If meatloaf (the food, not the singer) is very traditional, and made “right”, I can’t get enough. I like it made with ground beef and a simple tomato sauce topping. The problem is I’m not all that good at making it. My actual meatloaf never quite matches the vision in my head. A “meatloaf letdown”, if you will.

I know it’s not that hard to make, but I just can’t seem to get it to come out the same way twice. Sometimes, it comes out in a loaf fashion you can actually slice, sometimes it comes out in “meatloaf crumbles”. I’ve tried it in a loaf pan, out of a loaf pan, in muffin tins and once in the crockpot (Do note the “once” part.).

I usually use the meatloaf recipe on the Quaker Oats package:


1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
3/4 cup Quaker® Oats(quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup catsup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape meatloaf mixture into 10×6-inch loaf on rack of broiler pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until meatloaf is to medium doneness (160°F for beef, 170°F for turkey), until not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Cover and refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 2 days, or wrap airtight and freeze up to 3 months.

I’m sure this is the way my mother and grandmother made it, too, but perhaps meatloaf skips a generation or something? All I want is to make a simple meatloaf that tastes good and that can be sliced so it looks like meatloaf, is that so much to ask?

Do you have any helpful meatloaf hints or recipes? Please share them!

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