Broccoli bites

My little Peanut, as you may have heard, is NUTS for broccoli. Like, a crazy woman. I actually thought I didn’t like broccoli for years and years — it was roasted broccoli that won me over, and now I just love it in general. Since Peanut loves broccoli all the time any time, I was looking for some new ways to prepare it to give her a little variety. These turned out to be so good that we both ate them! I dipped mine in a little ranch dressing; quite tasty!

Broccoli bites

Yield: about a dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces chopped broccoli, drained well
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then scoop out with a cookie scoop, gently shaping into patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
  3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes; flip them over and bake for another 10

Since Peanut is ALL ABOUT THE BROCCOLI I would love to hear more broccoli ideas! How do y’all use it?

Wheaties granola

I should tell you how carefully I planned this recipe.

I should tell you how I planned for substituting Wheaties for half the oats in an effort to enhance the texture, flavor, and nutrition of the recipe.

I should also tell you that the truth is I ran out of oats.

Ahem.

Regardless of how I arrived at this version, I do make it this way on purpose now and I eat it with my lazy yogurt every single morning. And even the Kiddo loves it. That’s kind of a miracle, folks. It’s based on the recipe from Creative Kitchen because she didn’t use seeds in her recipe; she’s speaking my language.

Wheaties granola

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (the real stuff, not “pancake syrup”)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups Wheaties cereal
  • 1 cup Craisins or raisins (optional, obviously)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Melt butter and honey or maple syrup in a saucepan, then stir in remaining ingredients, making sure everything is well coated with the butter mixture
  3. Spread on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the oats are golden brown
  4. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then scrape in long strokes with a spatula to aid clumping. Store in a jar or zip top bag in the fridge

Cranberry orange muffins

This is based on a muffin recipe by Mark Bittman; I tweaked it to use some orange juice and — shocker — some Crasins. These are so good for breakfast, brunch, or even a snack! The Mickey Mouse muffin pan is not required, but certainly adds some cuteness. It does not, however, convince the Kiddo to eat any; your mileage may vary. Recipe made one dozen Mickey muffins.

Cranberry orange muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus a little more if needed
  • 1 cup Crasins, fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries (no need to defrost first)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix dry ingredients together, then either mix egg through milk separately or in a well in the middle of the dry ingredients (my preferred method). Add in berries and gently fold everything together till it’s just barely incorporated; lumps are your friends
  3. Bake in a well greased or paper lined muffin pan for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Cool in a metal or glass pan pan for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack, longer for a silicone pan (wait for silicone to be cool to the touch for best results)

Parmesan crisps

These were so much fun! Now, they’re complicated so take a minute to prepare yourself for the giant shopping list. I kid! Obviously. My awesome sister rocks a lower carb diet, but we felt the need to have a chips and salsa night so I made these as a chip alternative. As with most things I make, they’re ridiculously easy.

Parmesan crisps

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat
  2. Put 1 Tbsp. cheese on the mat and tap a little with the back of the spoon to flatten it out a bit; repeat, leaving a couple inches between your little piles of cheese
  3. Bake at 350F for 4 to 5 minutes, watching for the edges to start browning; this will happen quickly so don’t go anywhere. Either pull them when the edges are brown, or let them go a little bit longer for even crispier, um, crisps
  4. At this point you can either leave them to cool on the tray or you can drape them over an overturned glass or a rolling pin (as above) to give them a little shape (the better to hold your salsa with, obviously). If you go the draping route, let them cool on the tray for a minute or two till they start to harden up a bit; when you can get a spatula cleanly under them then you can move them without turning them into a ball of cheese

Enjoy!

Buffalo chicken bites

I always command beg ask my sister to make buffalo chicken dip for football parties, and she does — what a good kid. I wanted to make it for Vanessa’s birthday but I wanted a way to make it a little more portable, so I came up with this!

Buffalo chicken bites

 Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Redhot sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese, plus a little extra shredded mozzarella
  • one chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 2-3 packages mini phyllo shells

Instructions

  1. Put cream cheese in a bowl and stir it up with a wooden spoon or something up to the task, then add dressing, hot sauce, cheese and shredded chicken and stir well
  2. Just before you’re ready to serve preheat oven to 350F and put shells on a cookie sheet. Scoop chicken dip into shells (I used a small cookie dough scoop) and top with shredded cheese
  3. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until shells are just barely browning at the edges and chicken mixture is hot

Hello? How easy is this? Go! Go make it now! They’re so warm and yummy when one is snowed in…. which, like me, you probably are.