I thought I'd take a moment to share my Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole Recipe. I legit have been asked how I make it probably well over 100 times. At thanksgiving, it's usually one of my most requested recipes.
Let me start out by saying... I'm the type of cook that takes someone else's recipe and tweaks it. I'm also not the greatest at giving measurements because I eyeball a lot of things, but I'll do my best to paint the picture...
3 Cups of Jasmine Rice
7 1/2 Cups of Water
16-20oz Frozen Broccoli Florets
1 Celery Bunch
1 Large White or Yellow Onion
1 Can or Box of Cream of Mushroom
1 Can or Box of Cream of Chicken
Large Box Velveta block cheese (I buy the 32oz size but only use about 3/4ths of it)
1 1/4 Cups of Water
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Step 1 - Cook the rice
In a large stock pot add the 3 cups of Jasmine rice with the 7 1/2 cups of water and set to medium heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of salted butter and add some chicken bouillon for flavoring. If I had to guess I'm adding a little over 1 tablespoon of seasoning. I cook it uncovered slowly until the water fully evaporates and you can hear the rice getting a little louder. Whatever you do - don't stir the rice because you'll wind up with mush. You want to randomly push a spoon through and move it a little to check that the rice isn't sticking.
Step 2 - Cook the broccoli
In a sauce pot or stock pot add the frozen broccoli and cover with water... add over a little over a table spoon of chicken bouillon for flavoring and boil only enough for the broccoli to cook but still remain firm. (If you over do it, the broccoli becomes mush). Make sure to drain the water once the broccoli is cooked through.
Step 3 - Cook the onions and celery
Dice 1 large onion and several stocks of celery. I usually use about 3/4s of the entire bunch of celery but you can use the entire thing if you want to. The finer the dicing, the better... you definitely don't want to leave them in big chunks. Next you're going to pan sear the onions and celery with about 2-3 tablespoons of butter until the onions are fully softened.
Step 4 - Mix rice, broccoli, onions, and celery
One you've completed steps 1-3 then you want to get a large mixing bowl and mix together the rice, drained broccoli, onions, and celery. Add salt and pepper to season the rice.
Step 5 - Turn on oven to preheat at 350 degrees.
Step 6 - Make the cheese sauce
Dice the velveta cheese into small cubes. I usually only use about 3/4ths of the big block of cheese. The next size down of velveta is 16 ounces and I've found my broccoli cheese rice casserole to be dry if I only put 16 ounces. The sweet spot is about 24 ounces.
Next you want to grab a sauce pot and add the cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, 1 1/4 cups of water, and the cheese cubes and cook on a low setting until the cheese has fully melted. Make sure to frequently stir so that it doesn't burn.
Step 7 - Mix in the cheese sauce
Pour the cheese sauce over the rice and thoroughly mix it in. At this point you are going to want to taste it to see if it needs more salt and pepper. (Everything is cooked already so don't panic) Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Step 8 - Bake rice
Add the rice into a baking dish or disposable pans, whichever you prefer. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes to get a nice sear on the outside and blend the flavors.
Step 9 - Enjoy!!!
Let me know how it comes out!
So my niece Mirabel is 10 years old and she loves crafts and DIY stuff. She's actually really good at making a lot of things and i'm really not just saying that because she's my niece, but this girl has some real talent!
My brother and sister-in-law helped her make her own etsy shop where she could start selling some of her custom creations. My favorite things by far are her slimes. I've bought 3 for myself and several for Christmas gifts to give away to other family members. You can find her etsy shop at Mirabel's Makings Etsy Shop.
It amazes me how sophisticated she is for a 10 year old. She designed her logos and ordered custom ones for her packaging. She takes tons of care in everything she sends and even provides extra borax with instructions for the slime purchases.
Slime isn't all she sells, she loves to make tie dye stuff and shrinkydinks. Apparently shrinkydinks are these things that you draw on and color, then cut them out and bake them and they shrink down into small cute jewelry. It's a longggggg far cry from the creepy crawlers I was making when I was her age (ha!)
Today Mirabel called me super excited that she had her 2nd youtuber do a video review about her slime. I'm amazed at her little entrepreneur spirit at such a young age!
Here are a few pictures of items she has for sale on her shop:
Have you ever heard of Bae? It's a super small *TINY* ice cream shop in the China Town area near Bellaire and Beltway 8.
The best part about this place is that they don't serve your typical flavors and it's soft serve! Their options are: Now & Later (Strawberry + Banana), Pegasus (Fruity Pebbles + Cinnamon Toast Crunch), Mixed Feelings ***My Fav!*** (Charcoal Pineapple + Vanilla), Koo Koo For Earl (Cocoa Puffs + Earl Grey), and Matchaholic (Chocolate + Matcha). They also have a ton of topping options that you can add on like: (24K Gold Leaf, Edible Gold Hearts, Pocky and Hello Panda, Cookies, Cereal, Sprinkles, and Drizzles)
My fav. thing to order is the Mixed Feelings in a waffle bowl topped with coconut and then I wash it down with some refreshing Charcoal Lemonade. I literally will drive all the way from Spring to China Town only to stop at Bae!
9798 Bellaire Blvd Ste A Houston TX 77036
I wanted to take a second to explain the "Houston Referral Support Network" link you see at the top right side of my website. So last year was a biggggg struggle for a lot of people. As a Realtor® I personally found it hard to network during the pandemic. Eventually I started searching out facebook groups in order to advertise, and continue to network and meet new people.
I quickly found out that a lot of groups charge people to advertise and others that don't charge have tons of rules limiting when and how you are allowed to advertise.
I remember being in a group and seeing someone ask for a recommendation for an A/C guy and I tagged a friend that I know does great work, and all of the sudden my message was deleted and I found myself blocked on a several week "time out" for violating a group rule. Apparently as a business person, I wasn't allowed to make any referrals for other businesses because they felt like my referral wouldn't be genuine.
I get that a lot of people may receive some type of kickback for referring people, but I'm not one of them. I was simply answering someone's question with a genuine referral for someone I knew does excellent work, that I personally know and have worked with before. And you know what?... during the pandemic a lot of small businesses were struggling so I'm pretty sure that my friend could've used the extra business.
My frustration lit a fire in my belly to start my own group without so many rules. I wanted to create a place where people could come together to ask for referrals when they needed something, and could freely advertise their products and services.
The group at first was a lot of work to get people to engage, but slowly it caught like wild fire and people started to refer more and more of their friends and family. When I finally realized I was making a difference was when random people would message me saying thank you and how much my little group impacted their business.
This past December I had a guy reach out to me and he said he heard about my group from a guy that lived a few houses down from him. He said that both him and his wife lost their jobs during the pandemic and they were getting by with the items they were able to sell online. He said that my little group made an impact in his life by helping him and his wife stay afloat. You guys have no idea how much that touched my heart. It means so much to me to be able to help others and have a positive impact on people's lives.
You'll see me advertise in the group, but by no means is the group all about me or Real Estate. If you have a small business, know someone that has a small business, or you simply love to support local - feel free to join! Houston Referral Support Network - Facebook Group