Cheddar Broccoli Rice Casserole

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I know it’s been a be quiet round these parts recently.  I have been trying to get back into cooking more, and I have actually been cooking dinner much more often.  But sometimes the recipes are only okay, sometimes the photos are not my favorite, and sometimes I just forget. It’s not you, it’s me.  I am hoping to get back into the swing of things more.  Lots has been going on around here though- I have officially gotten my Masters degree (and thus will now only respond to “Master Karen”), went on a vacation to San Antonio with my boyfriend, and am gearing up.  So lots of school but no cooking- something which I hope to fix very soon.

One way I have tried to inspire myself more is by meal planning (also helps me not waste food).  So one week I was planning out my meals and had a huge craving for some kind of warm casserole.  Knowing that I still had my month’s Secret Recipe Club meal to make, I went searching through   Turnips 2 Tangerines, and I found this lovely casserole.  Creamy, warm, and cheesy- just want the doctor ordered. Warm, comforting, and completely inappropriate for this flipping hot summer.  Perfect.

CHEDDAR BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE
Adapted from Turnips 2 Tangerines

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dried jasmati rice
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
Celery salt
3-4 heads broccoli, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cheddar cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS

Cook rice according to instructions. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place broccoli on baking sheets in a single layer. Sprinkle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-14 minutes, until broccoli is tender and beginning to brown. Set aside

In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour. Whisk in milk and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and reduce heat to simmer. Continue to stir until sauce is thickened. Combine rice, broccoli, and sauce. Prepare a pie pan for baking and spread mixture inside. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake until cheese is bubbly and melted, 5-10 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

Make sure to check out what everyone else made this month!

Sausage & Apple Tater Tot Bake

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Cliche time: I can’t believe it is already November.  Last week I remember looking at my calendar and when I saw November was days away, I was certain that I was missing a page in my planner.  This semester has gone by so. fast.

But since it’s November, it means that Thanksgiving is that much closer! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (only topped by the month long celebration of Christmas that follows).  It seems like a holiday made for food blogging: the entire day when you only think about food. If you are in the midst of planning your turkey day menu, keep an eye out this upcoming month while I share some favorites I tried for Thanksgiving last year and have been testing this past month.

While I count down the days until Thanksgiving break (21 days), I need good meals to help me through my work.  And sometimes you just need some tater tots in your life. So today let’s tot it up!

So everyone needs a good tater tot every now and then.  Even better for these cooler months is a tater tot bake that is a warm and filling dinner.  And this dinner is easy to boot (we got to start saving our energy for the big T-day this month).

And did I mention there is cheese involved here? Tater tots and cheese.  Now that I have you hooked in- let’s even add in some fall apples on top of that.  And sausage.  And green onion.  It’s warm, cheesey, and wonderful.

SAUSAGE & APPLE TATER TOT BAKE
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest via Baked by Rachel

INGREDIENTS

2 large Gala apples, sliced
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
5-6 cups frozen tater tots
~1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine apples, sugar, nutmeg, lemon juice, flour, and butter.

In a large skillet, brown sausage in pan. Combine with apple filling and set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, place tater tots in an even layer on the bottom. Top with apple sausage mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes in oven. Top with cheddar cheese and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5-9 minutes. Serve immediately

Serves 3-4.