Creamy Broccoli Bake

This creamy broccoli bake is one of my family’s favorites. I’ve never yet met a child who did not like this vegetable in this casserole. Oh, that’s right; I have one kid who never cared for it (the picky one, but that’s because he doesn’t like mushrooms and not because he doesn’t like the green stuff.) [Sorry, kid.  I’ve tried for a quarter of a century to get you to like mushrooms.] This recipe is a sure-fire way to get any child to eat those green trees.  You know something else I like about it?  I can get it ready the day before and pop it in the oven when it’s time to bake.

But first, a confession: I have made this so often that I hardly use a recipe.  I usually just dump and sprinkle and it comes out okay. This time, when I decided on a Saturday to serve it for Sunday lunch, I added the cheese before the sauce –  and it turned out fine.  I didn’t even think about it until I went to type up this recipe. So there you have it: you get to choose whether you add the cheese before or after the sauce!

This recipe says you should cook the frozen broccoli first – but I never do.  If you’re using fresh vegetables, you can blanch it if you’d like, but I don’t.

Put the broccoli in the bottom of an ungreased casserole dish or pan.

Sprinkle the cheese on top.  You can add as much or as little as you’d like. (This is where I got the cheese before the sauce.)

Mix your sauce, which is cream of mushroom soup with milk.

It will seem thick, but as it bakes, the sauce thins. You can always add more milk if you like your sauce runny.

Spread the sauce on top.

Mix your crumb topping, which is just Bisquick and butter (or you can use margarine).

Make the crumbs as clumpy or as fine as you’d like,

Then spread the crumbs on top of the casserole.

Cover the dish, put it in the refrigerator, and forget about it until it’s time to bake.  This dish bakes at 400 for 20 minutes or until done.

A few broccoli pointers to help you:

  • if you’re using frozen broccoli, give it time to thaw before you put it in the oven, or it will take longer to bake.
  • you can double or triple this recipe (which I do all the time), but I recommend using a flat pan, because the broccoli won’t bake as well in a deep dish, and the topping will be spread pretty thin until it gets to the bottom of the dish.
  • remember that the broccoli (whether fresh  or frozen) will be in the oven, so it doesn’t need a lot of cooking ahead of time – unless you don’t mind mushy broccoli.

Enjoy!

 

Creamy Broccoli Bake
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
An easy - and delightful - way to serve broccoli and have everybody asking for more!
Ingredients
  • 1½ lb. fresh broccoli OR 2 cups frozen broccoli
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 oz.)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • ¼ cup butter (or margarine)
Instructions
  1. Blanche fresh broccoli if you are using fresh
  2. Put broccoli in ungreased casserole
  3. Beat soup and milk until smooth and pour over broccoli
  4. Sprinkle with cheese
  5. Mix Bisquick and butter until crumbly; spread over casserole
  6. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes

I really like this wire whisk.  I use it all the time!

Creamed Lima Beans

 

This is one of those I-can-stretch-this-meal-a-little-further recipes.  I’ll concur that serving creamed vegetables adds more calories and carbohydrates.  I’ll also admit that it sure adds a comfort-food measure to the meal. This is also one of those there really isn’t a measurement recipe for this  You just eye-ball your amounts and go for it – and test it along the way.

Cook your lima beans (or peas, if you’d rather) until they are tender.  Be sure to add the seasonings you like, including salt and pepper.  Do not drain the water off the vegetables.  Your measurements depend on how many people you are feeding.  This recipe is good to serve four people. Once the vegetables are tender, mix about 1-2 tablespoons of flour with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.  The sugar helps the flour mix in better without becoming lumpy. (Some people add equal parts sugar and flour; some add more sugar than flour.  It’s your choice, but in this recipe I’m trying to keep it lower on the calories.)

Add your flour mixture to the vegetables/water and stir until blended well.

Like this . . .

Pour milk into your pan and stir gently until everything is mixed well.

Allow it to simmer, which thickens the sauce.  Stir occasionally.

You can add a dab of butter if you’d like, and be sure to test-taste to see if you need to add more seasoning.

After that?  It’s ready to serve!

Creamed Lima Beans
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
An easy go-to addition for vegetables. This recipe adds some starch to your meal; it also adds some comfort and speaks of home.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups lima beans (baby or regular)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Milk - enough to thicken, about ½ cup or more
  • dab of butter
Instructions
  1. Cook vegetables in water until tender
  2. Season as desired
  3. Mix flour and sugar together
  4. Add flour/sugar mixture to the simmering vegetables
  5. Stir until well-mixed
  6. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly
  7. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir as it simmers until the mixture thickens
  8. Add a dab of butter if desired



Corn Chip Salad

Easter Sunday is always special.  It’s especially special when it’s spent with family and friends.  This Easter we were invited to Irene’s house for Sunday lunch.  As always, she had quite the spread.

“I’m not having ham,” she told  me when I got the invitation.

Who cares, I thought, it’ll be good no matter what she serves.  

I was right.  It was good.  So, so good.

The only thing I had to bring was rolls.  I used the recipe for refrigerator dinner rolls.  It was an easy recipe to make because I could mix up the dough the evening before and then roll the dough into balls between the sunrise service and church.  By the time church was over, they were ready to go into the oven.

We had roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots roasted in the oven with the beef, corn pudding and a delicious Corn Chip Salad.  (I failed to take a photo of the delicious homemade gravy on top of those whipped potatoes.)

I helped Renie put the finishing touches on the salad and she allowed me to share the recipe here.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little more substantial than a regular tossed salad; if you want something that’s a little festive and different; if you’re interested in a salad with a unique crunch and flavor, then you’ll want to try this one.

Use lettuce (you choose which type), fried and crumbled bacon, Colby or cheddar cheese, hardboiled eggs, some corn chips, and a homemade dressing.  You can adjust the ingredients for the dressing if you’d like.

the dressing for the salad

For the dressing, you’ll need salad dressing, milk, white and brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.

You don’t need to stir the salad; it will stir as people serve themselves.

Wait to add the corn chips until you have added the dressing, and do this just before it is served.

Corn Chip Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
 
A festive and easy to fix salad that hits the spot for a hearty salad.
Ingredients
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 6-8 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • ½ lb. shredded Colby or cheddar cheese
  • 2½ cups corn chips - broken or slightly crushed
  • 1 cup miracle whip
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
Instructions
  1. For salad, mix lettuce, eggs, bacon, and cheese.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients together
  3. Add dressing to salad
  4. Add corn chips on top
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Homemade Scalloped Potatoes

 

When I make this recipe, I am back in my mother’s kitchen on a winter evening.  I remember the day I wanted to learn how she made her scalloped potatoes.  There really wasn’t anything to it, she said.  All I needed, she assured me, was potatoes, milk, salt and pepper, and a few dabs of butter.

Baking potatoes work best.  Wash the potatoes, then peel them.  Slice into thin slices and put them into a casserole dish.

I like to use my electric slicer (part of my Bosch mixer) to slice the potatoes.  You can use any slicer, or slice them by hand if you’d like.

SPOT in bowl

I use a vegetable spray to grease the pan just a little.  Pour enough milk over the potatoes to cover about three-fourths of the layers.  I use a wooden spoon to press the potatoes down so the milk slides over the potatoes that are on the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put a few dabs of butter on the top.  You do not want to cover the potatoes completely with milk.  Just put enough in the pan so that the milk comes nearly to the top.

Bake at 350-400 for 45-60 minutes.  The potatoes are done when you can poke a fork through them.

I’ve made scalloped potatoes using flour, sour cream and chives. While that recipe gives you a thicker sauce, it also adds calories.

This recipe uses simple, basic  ingredients that you’re sure to have on hand in your kitchen.

sc pot 2
Try this recipe for a down-home comfort flavor.   

Homemade Scalloped Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
A simple, down-home potato dish that spells and brings comfort.
Ingredients
  • 4 large potatoes
  • Approximately 1 cup milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Minced Onion (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. butter, cut into dabs
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel potatoes
  2. Slice potatoes and put into greased 9 x 9 inch dish
  3. Optional: sprinkle minced onion across potatoes
  4. Pour enough milk over potatoes to cover about ¾ of the potatoes
  5. Season with Salt and Pepper
  6. Put dabs of butter across the top
  7. Bake at 350-400 for 45-60 minutes

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