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Thursday, October 20, 2011

anti-recipe #40 cheesy chicken broccoli casserole

So, Monday, was feeling hopeful, yada yada yada. Was going to pre-bake this casserole (plus an extra one to freeze! Genius!) so when we got back from a doctors appointment at five I could finish it off in the oven for a few minutes and voila! Dinner!

Here is how it actually went down.

Baby crying, insists on being held, put her in the sling. Dump my chicken pieces (from a giant roasted chicken that I had deboned) into two 9x9 pans. Hmmm. Doesn't really look like enough for two casseroles. Oh well. Pre-cook two cups of frozen broccoli (and cauliflower). Get out milk and mayo to make white sauce. Measure out one cup milk and scrape out remainder of mayo. Totally not enough left. Dammit. Turn on heat (on low), mix in handful of flour. Turn off heat when children start fighting in the other room as baby simultaneously starts crying. Thirty minutes later come back in, bouncing baby in sling while barking at kids to get their shoes on to leave for appointment. Strain and dump veggies into casserole dishes. Dump veggies in casserole dishes. Layer in some American cheese. (don't be snobby! It melts the best!) Think hmmm, maybe rice would be good. Dump in some rice. (half a cup in each? Maybe less.) Think hmmm, should've precooked the rice. Dammit. Oh well. Whisk up sauce (slowly, on low, adding a pinch of flour at a time until its thick, like your mom taught you to do) Throw in a little salt and pepper. Scrape into casserole dishes. Realize the dishes are both half full. Bark at kids to get shoes on for Pete's sake! Dump contents of one pan into the other. Cover in tinfoil and throw in the fridge.

We totally ate McDonalds that night.

The NEXT night however we finished off the casserole. We added some more water, due to the lack of precooking the rice, maybe a cup. And then here is where you have to give in and be totally Midwestern with this casserole (AKA hotdish) because you top it with crumbled up crackers (Ritz!) or, er potato chips, which is totally what we did, plus some grated cheddar and a sprinkle of seasoned salt. Oh yea. All ready for the church potluck. HA.

Cover with tinfoil and bake for an hour at 350 or until rice is done (if you havent precooked the rice). (We forgot to cover it - and by we I mean dada - and it took an hour and a half until we - and by we I mean me - discovered this and covered it.)

Be prepared for delicious, creamy, Midwestern yummy-ness.

Reheat and eat leftovers for lunch the next day. YUM. EASY. (We fought over who got the last serving. I pulled the nursing mom card and won. Go me.)

And there you have it. Cooking with a newborn. It is possible. Kinda.


  1. Sara, my mom is here visiting and we were having a long conversation about babies and multiple kids and how to survive and I had just read your post so I pulled it up and read it to her and how we laughed, because it's exactly what we're talking about! And your casserole turned out amazing! You are a very funny writer, and you are awesome--three kids! no matter how long it takes or how many interruptions, there is a casserole!

  2. love this story. nothing is ever as easy as it should be, right?


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