Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

Holidays are the times that I feel most nostalgic.  At Thanksgiving that means I like to see certain dishes on the table.  Turkey, of course, with dressing and cranberries in some form, sweet potato casserole, and always a broccoli casserole!  Until recently it was about the only time of the year that I made casseroles.

As a young cook I always made a broccoli casserole to take to family dinners.  Broccoli casseroles and Five Cup Salads were my specialities back then.

Many broccoli casseroles call for frozen broccoli.  I prefer fresh broccoli.  Don’t cook the broccoli to mushy, but cook it slightly past tender crisp.  I always tend to be heavy handed on the cheese, and the end result is delicious!

 

Broccoli Casserole
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Chop broccoli into large bite-size pieces. Steam broccoli to just past tender-crisp, set aside.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, onion, mushroom soup, and eggs until blended. Stir in the broccoli and cheese and pour into prepared baking dish.
  4. Mix crushed crackers with melted butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
  5. Bake at 325℉ for 30 minutes or until brown.

 

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Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad

 

Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad

I can remember when I was ten years old, wishing that I was thirteen. I wanted to be a teenager because I thought that was way cooler than being ten. Then like most, the next significant milestone was 16. I think I may have counted down the days until my birthday that year. I wanted a car but I did not get one.  It continued after that;  being impatient for graduation, first real job, wedding date, birth of a baby. Many other important dates that I looked forward to with anticipation that I now look back on with nostalgia.

Now, God willing, Greg and I will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary in November. I look forward to celebrating that date because I am proud that he has been able to put up with me for this long! However, if life has taught me nothing else, it is to enjoy the moment. I’m still a planner, and I look forward to special days, but I am trying to place more emphasis on the here and the now than the tomorrows. After all, I’m not promised tomorrow. My very wise mother always told me, “don’t wish your life away.” Well, Mama, after fifty-three years I’ve started listening to you!

It’s a bit difficult to transition from serious to pasta salad, but here goes.  😂 My family enjoys anything with a little spice. We love anything with buffalo sauce, and we enjoy some Mexican and Southwestern food too! I recently tried this Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad, and my family went nuts. Even if you prefer your pasta salad with little other than pasta, this dressing is amazing! The lime juice and cilantro are the key ingredients in my opinion,  but leave the cilantro out if you don’t care for it.

Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12-oz. rotini pasta
  • 1 can (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt.
  3. Add cooked and drained pasta, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro to the dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

 

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Waldorf Chicken Salad

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Since having a few rooms painted in the house, I have been on a quest to purge. It’s amazing just how long it takes. Getting rid of old, unused “stuff” is something that I have done with each move, but you would be amazed at the “stuff” I have kept. Some things make me just shake my head and wonder exactly what I thought I would do with it.

For the past week, I have been weeding out cookbooks! Oh my, I did not realize I had such a cookbook hoarding problem until all of them were in stacks on the floor surrounding me! Even then, I’m hesitant to get just trash them before I go through them page by page. It’s a sickness! A sickness that I’m trying to overcome because the feeling of freedom feels so much better than clutter!

I ran across this Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe in an old cookbook from New York. I am typically a very plain chicken salad kind of gal but thought I would give this recipe a try. It is a wonderful fresh summer salad that I loved! The combination is perfect with the crunch of the celery, the tartness of the apple, and the vinegar added a delicious depth of flavor.

Wine vinegar tends to be milder and less acidic than cider or white distilled vinegar, so they make a great addition to sauces, salad dressing, and marinades.

 

Waldorf Chicken Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 8 - 10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Honeycrisp apples, diced (or other crisp, tart,and sweet apple)
  • Mayonnaise, to taste
  • White wine vinegar
  • 4 whole chicken breasts, cooked, and picked clean from bones, and chopped
  • 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ to 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • Leaf lettuce
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine enough white wine vinegar with the mayonnaise to create the consistency of salad dressing.
  2. Add the chopped apples, chicken, walnuts, celery and poppy seeds.
  3. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve on leaf lettuce.

 

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Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Shortly after moving to the country I decided to start a blog.  I had never visited many blogs at the time.  However, my friend, Jennifer, had a blog and I needed something to do.  My days of being a room mom and doing carpool were long gone.  It was either find a job outside the home or find something else to do at home other than cut 10-acres of grass, do laundry, and clean the house.  So in January of 2011, with the Super Bowl coming up, I decided it was the perfect time to start Not Just Sunday Dinner.  I had always enjoyed cooking and sharing recipes with my family and friends.  A food blog would be the perfect hobby!
The name came about because Sunday dinners growing up were always special.  By dinner, I mean the meal in the middle of the day, after church.  Daddy was a Baptist preacher, and many Sunday’s were spent having dinner with different families from the churches he pastored.  Other Sundays my grandmother Ma, would cook a big Sunday meal.  So you see, the name is rather special to me too.
On February 1, 2011, I posted my first online recipe.  One of my all-time favorite dip recipes, Hot Crab Dip.  I never imagined in 2011 that I would still be doing NJSD, and so much more, six years later.  NJSD has opened up many doors for me over the years.  Writing for a number of newspapers and doing a local cooking show has enabled me to grow my audience, and so far, this month alone, I have had over 56,000 page views.  I have done several product reviews for various companies, and earlier this year I was contacted by a large publishing company to do a cookbook review.
Today, as I reflect on the past six years, I want to share the very first recipe I shared.  Hot Crab Dip is an amazing dip served with toast points or toasted baguette slices. It is easy to prepare and has always been a hit anytime I have served it.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read NJSD!  You can not imagine how it makes my day to get comments on NJSD or emails from my readers.  Feel free to email at notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com with any questions you may have or if you just want to share a recipe.

NOTE:  Please excuse the quality of my photo.  I am still working on getting a photo program up and running and this is a copy of my picture I used back in 2011.  I think my food photography has improved slightly since then!

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8-oz. container sour cream
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 lb. fresh crabmeat, drained and picked
  • 1½ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 French bread baguette
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice baguette on a diagonal about ½-inch thick. Place on baking sheet and toast on top rack of oven, about 5 - 6 minutes or until golden brown. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to do this in batches. Set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, ground mustard, and garlic salt until combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold in crabmeat.
  4. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon crab mixture into dish. Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately with toasted baguette rounds.

 

 

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Mother’s Day Luncheon

mothers-day-luncheon-2

 

The older I get, the more that I realize that all of those times that Mama said: “don’t spend your money on me,” she meant it. She wanted then what she still wants, time spent together. Time is something we can never get back, and the older my mama gets, time becomes more precious to me.

In comparison to many families today, my mother’s family was a big one. She had six brothers and sisters.  Today, my mother and her sister are the only siblings that remain. I decided that my mama would like nothing better than a little family time for Mother’s Day. So on a recent visit, I invited my aunt and a couple of cousins to a luncheon at mama’s house.  I kept the menu simple with homemade chicken salad, pasta salad made with fresh vegetables and purchased Italian dressing, cucumber sandwiches, purchased cheese straws, and I bought a fruit tray, cut up and ready to eat and made a poppy seed vinaigrette dressing.  The table was elegantly set with mama’s best china and crystal and the memories we made are priceless.

                           mothers-day-luncheon-4                                 mother's-day-luncheon-1

As you struggle to come up with a gift for mom this Sunday, keep in mind that time spent with you is something she will always treasure!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple Pasta Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¾ c. sliced black olives
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • chopped bell pepper
  • 1 to 1½ c. Italian dressing
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Toss pasta, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, feta cheese, and bell pepper with Italian dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Notes
You may need to add a little more Italian dressing to salad just before serving.

 
5.0 from 2 reviews
Fruit Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh fruit
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut up fruit, set aside. In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Pour over fruit an gently toss. Serve immediately.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cucumber Sandwiches
 
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Ingredients
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cucumber, peeled & seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion
  • dash salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • mayonnaise on bread, if desired
Instructions
  1. Grate cucumber and onion and squeeze dry. (I do this using a clean dish towel. Put in the center of a towel then roll towel and twist.) Set aside.
  2. Blend cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. If using mayonnaise, spread on desired bread. Top with cucumber spread and another slice of bread.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Chicken Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 lg. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 to 2 c. mayonnaise, depending on how you like it
  • ½ to ¾ c. chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Mix shredded chicken, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl and refrigerate.

 

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