Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Yummy Side....Broccoli Gratin

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I love to cook and bake. Each night, I have to come up with a meal that is both healthy and that my two little ones will actually eat!

I thought I would start to share some of my recipe triumphs here on my blog as I know how difficult it is to cook for small children!

My kids love broccoli. They don't like it raw but steamed with a little margarine is always popular with them. I don't remember eating broccoli much as a child...I think I didn't like it at all!

Costco sells this large bag (and Costco size is huge), I think it was $4.99 for 1.36 kg or 48 oz for my American friends. They are cut into florets and what I usually do is wash them, trim and steam. Easy peasy!!

The other night, I was growing tired of steaming broccoli so started my internet search for a good broccoli sidedish.

I found this recipe for Broccoli Gratin on the Food Network website.

Here is the recipe:

Broccoli Gratin
1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds broccoli (about 4 heads), cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish or an 8-cup gratin dish.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the white sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, bring about 1-inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan and set up a collapsible steamer on top. Put the broccoli in the steamer and season with salt. Cover, and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Put the broccoli in the prepared dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese and pour on the sauce. Cover with the remaining cheese.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Cover the gratin with the bread crumbs. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

I omitted the salt as I read a few reviews saying it was too salty and I thought the cheese would add saltiness to the dish.

I made it in a pyrex baking dish and baked as per the instructions. It smelled delish!

Of course, I forgot to snap a photo of it before my husband and kids devoured it! I wasn't sure what they would think about it but they really liked it! Definately a keeper in my kitchen!!

Do you have a favorite broccoli recipe? I would love to add more broccoli recipes to my collection! Please feel free to comment!!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring inspired birdie!

Spring is on its way...hopefully sooner than later!

I have been inspired to list my Birdie in an open window necklace in my Etsy shop today.

I can't wait for the songbirds to come back and listen to them with the windows open!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A little over a year ago....daydreaming

This winter here in Saskatchewan has definately been cold and miserable. The weather forecasters are now predicting a cold late spring.

I was sitting here daydreaming about my vacation to Las Vegas last year and thought I would share this photo I took while in the Bellagio Hotel.

How I wish I could go back there! Maybe next year!!