After taking a year off from the blogging world, I have not only decided to to start her up again but I've also worked relentlessly over the past few weeks to bring you a new and improved food blog. I switched from Blogger to Squarespace, and so far I'm loving my new digs. The pictures are beautiful. The platform is super easy to a non-coding being like myself. The clean presentation is exactly what I was looking for. I really hope you like the new layout as well. The best part for the frequent visitor is the awesome "search" engine on the blog. Take a peak by searching or by category. I still have some tweaks to do and things to add, but I can't wait any longer to post some recipes!
Where have I been? I could go into my reasons for not blogging for oh so long, but I'm afraid it's too much of a saga and doesn't quite fit into the subject of food, recipes, and fun. Honestly, it needs to be a blog unto itself. Let's just say that my attention was greatly needed elsewhere, and my blog had to go on hold. Sometimes, as I say, you are called on to stop what you think is important to focus on what really is important and those who need you more than ever.
One of the things that came as a surprise to me during my hiatus was being asked by many of my friends when I was going to put a new recipe up on my blog. I was touched to be missed. This question started increasing in frequency along with messages that my blog's recipes were being pinned, the site still being visited, and something out there in the cooking world continued to call my name.
I can't wait to get started sharing some of my new recipes. I've added an instant pot to my repertoire and I'm so excited to share with you some of my favorite recipes. So, please stay tuned for lots of inspiration and fun stories to follow.
So...chicken divan. Oh...chicken divan, how I love thee. What's not to love? First of all the curry. I'd eat anything with curry in it. I swear I would. When added to a creamy sauce, poured over broccoli and chicken, again, what's not to love? Add cheese and a crunchy Ritz topping, again, what's not to love?
When I was a young girl, my mother made the best chicken divan recipe but it was typically reserved for company. She made homemade crepes and used them to wrap up the divan. She then served the whole enchilada over a plate of white rice. For some reason, we were never treated to the crepes with the divan. Maybe she thought it was too "grown up" for our palettes? Yet, we knew the next morning we'd get whatever leftover crepes there were, stuffed with fried apples and topped with vanilla ice cream. Breakfast of champions!! Maybe that's where my love affair with chicken divan began...not with the actual divan but with the association of ice cream for breakfast.
When I was a teenager, the recipe was handed over to me since dinner was typically my domain during the summer. I began making the divan casserole by itself and it quickly became one of my all-time favorite casseroles. Fast forward many years later and I began to crave that casserole I had forgotten so much about. I needed to make this and make it now. I crossed my fingers that the rest of the house would enjoy it as much as I did. And, they did. They love, love, love it. It's become a regular on our menu rotation.
A few weeks ago, I decided it would be a good idea to give Logan and Madison one night a week to be in charge of dinner. They loved the idea. They'd pick something out. I'd get the ingredients. And, they'd choose a night to make the meal. Well, the first thing they picked was Beef Wellington. Geez! First rule of cooking when you're novices, DON'T GET MESMERIZED BY THE PICTURES. Please read the directions and don't shoot for the stars. I thought about how easy chicken divan was to make. I knew it was well-loved. And, heck, it was one of the first casseroles I learned to make. They were up to the challenge, not the beef wellington challenge but the chicken divan one. The results were terrific, and you'd never know I hadn't made it myself.
I am so happy to be back, my friends. I'm hoping my enthusiasm carries over to my followers and new followers to come. I'm not sure how frequent the recipes will be, but I'll be doing my best to keep posting and clicking away with my camera at meal time, much to the chagrin of those I know and love well. Bon Appetit!
1 20 ounce bag of chopped frozen broccoli
1 rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 - 2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 sleeve of ritz crackers, crumbed
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 In a colander, thaw the broccoli pieces. Prepare an 11x7 casserole dish with a coating of cooking spray.
3 In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayo, sour cream, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, lemon juice, curry powder, wine or broth. Whisk together to make a sauce.
4 In a large bowl, place the thawed broccoli, chopped chicken, and sauce. Stir gently to combine all of the ingredients. Pour mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
5 Pat down evenly. Sprinkle first with grated parmesan. Then sprinkle remaining one cup of cheddar cheese. Top with crumbled Ritz crackers.
6 Bake in oven for 35-45 until the casserole is bubbling and the crackers have browned.