Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole is a wonderful vegetable dish hidden in melted cheese, buttered crackers and lots of love!

My holidays are filled with vegetable side dishes that any of the day of the year would be considered unhealthy. Around the holidays with cookies, cakes and pies, Broccoli Cheddar Casserole is always an appropriate vegetable side.

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole is the perfect dish to bring to a family function because you can make it the day before and just pop it in the over right before you have to go. The four ingredient recipe is perfect for someone who wants to make a delicious dish without much work.

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Ingredients

  • Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Ingredients

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Recipe

  1. Go to the store and get your ingredients listed above.
  2. Pour yourself a glass of wine and hunt in your kitchen for a 9×13 glass pan, two pots and tenderizer. If you don’t have a tenderizer, a hammer works well. 🙂
  3. Start cooking the broccoli for the Broccoli Cheddar Casserole. I normally microwave the broccoli with steamable packs as it makes for less dishes. This part does take some time as you are steaming 4 packets separately. Don’t worry though, you can do everything else as the broccoli is cooking.
  4. Cut the melting cheese into smaller squares and toss into a pot over medium heat.
  5. Stir the cheese until gooey and ready to pour. You should be stirring on and off until step 11.
  6. As you are stirring the cheese, make sure to keep an eye out on the broccoli packets. As they come out, place the cook broccoli in your glass dish. Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Naked

7. Take a moment and have a drink as you grab the butter, hammer and crackers.

8. Unwrap the butter and toss it into you second pot on medium heat.

9. Grab those crackers and give them a few gentle hits until the contents are smashed. Take the smashed crackers and stir them into the melted butter. 

10. Now that all your broccoli is cooked, it is time construct your Broccoli Cheddar Casserole. Take one more drink for good measure. 

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole CrackersBroccoli Cheddar Casserole Cheese








11. Pour that gooey cheese over the healthy broccoli.

12. Top the Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with extra buttered crackers.

When it is time to visit family, turn your oven on and pop your Broccoli Cheddar Casserole into the oven for about 30 minutes on 350.

Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad

Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad

On hot summer days like today, I am craving a lighter savory option for dinner. Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad is a fulfilling lighter option that the entire family will eat!

I started the dish with one of the Wester household classics, Whole 30 Balsamic Steak and Mushroom Skewers . I ditched the mushrooms, but kept the marinated steak as the base for last night’s creation. Like normal, it was a toss together meal. I had left over steak and all the fixings to make a marinated steak for dinner. From there, I started Googling in the hopes of finding something to accompany it. You would not believe how often I Google ingredients with recipe behind it to see what turns up.

Well, I hit the jackpot not by Google, but from my Mom’s recommendation. She had found Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad recipe a few days earlier and raved at how delightful it was. A quick jaunt to the store, slice up a red onion, peaches and off the the patio I went with a glass of rose. A few minutes on the grill and dinner was served!

Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 beef Strip Steaks Boneless, cut 1 inch thick (about 8 to 10 ounces each)
  • 2 peaches, cubed
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 12 wedges
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens or arugula
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, chopped pecans or sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt

Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad Dressing:

  • 1 cup reduced-fat or regular balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

Maple Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad Instructions:

  1. Combine dressing ingredients in small bowl.
  2. Soak two 10-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread onion wedges onto skewers. Brush onions and peaches with the salad dressing.
  3. Place steaks on grid over medium; arrange onions and peaches around steaks. Grill steaks, covered, 11 to 14 minutes, turning occasionally. Grill onions 12 to 15 minutes and peaches 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally and brushing steak, onions and peaches with salad dressing.
  4. Remove onions and peaches from skewers. Chop onions and peaches into bite-size pieces if needed.
  5. Carve steak into slices.
  6. Combine greens, peaaches, onions, cheese, nuts and reserved 1/2 cup marinade; toss gently to combine.

Consistency Not Perfection

As we change seasons, I am trying to challenge my notion of a healthy and happy life.

Most people start this on January 1st, but I am a procrastinator. Well, that is not a fair statement. I took the Brad approach to life and actually thought through my desired outcome and how to get there. This attempt is different than most, I am not trying to lose the last 10 pounds or get Bikini season ready. Rather, I am trying to foster a new appreciation for my body, my relationship with food and living my best life. The ideas are simple thoughts, but I know that they will be hard to implement because I have years of trying the crash diet and negative self talk. Read more

Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli

Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli

Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli is a healthy substitute for the chips and dip that you really crave on day one of a lifestyle change.

Today is reboot day one of eating healthy, and it is hard. Thankfully, my delightful side of Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli made me excited about all the full flavor Whole30 and Paleo recipes that I will rediscover.

10 pounds snuck back on in the past few months, and it is starting to show. Between the constant chicken with my head cut off running, stress eating and endless steak-n-shake, I have consumed a few too many comfort calories.

While I would love to think of calories as those tiny creatures out to get me, I know like everything else, you have to own it.

Calories (noun) – Tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night.

Well, today I am owing it and starting on the right path with Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli.

Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli Ingredients

Whole30 roasted Brussels Sprouts

• 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
• 2 Tbsp. Whole30 approved oil – Primal Kitchen Avocado oil, coconut oil
• Sea salt and cracked black pepper

For the Whole30 Garlic Bacon Aioli

• ⅓ cup Primal Kitchen mayo
• 2 tsp. lemon juice
• 2 garlic cloves, minced finely
• 2 strips of cooked bacon, finely chopped + additional for topping
• 1 tsp. fresh thyme, (1/2 tsp. dried) + extra for topping

Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli Instructions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash and trim ends of Brussels sprouts.
3. Slice each Brussels sprout in half (if Brussels are large, slice into fourths)
4. Place Brussels on a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil, dash with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
5. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until slightly browned, tossing about every 10 minutes.
6. While the Brussels are cooking, combine the aioli ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.
7. When Brussels are roasted to perfection, remove from oven and transfer to serving dish. Serve with Garlic Bacon Aioli topped with a few bacon crumbles, fresh thyme and cracked black pepper.
Dip your Brussels sprouts and enjoy your Whole30 Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Bacon Aioli.


My inspiration for today’s post goes to the Real Food Dietitians.

Brunch at Tiffany’s

Brunch at Tiffany's

So what is a girl to do when her husband is out of pocket for the weekend, call up her Mom and take a Brunch at Tiffany’s cooking class! While there are a variety of cooking classes in St. Louis, The St. Louis Community College’s Continuing Education is my favorite. This past weekend, my Mom and I took Brunch at Tiffany’s which was hosted by you guessed it, Tiffany! The class description alone inspired me to learn some new dishes, and the class didn’t disappoint. Read more

BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs

This past weekend, I cooked BBQ Ribs for the first time and I really surprised myself. The BBQ Ribs turned out delicious. The only change that I will make next time is adding more sauce right as the BBQ Ribs are coming off of the grill.


My BBQ Ribs Ingredient List

How to make BBQ Ribs

  1. Cover ribs with BBQ spice with smoke seasoning – to taste.
  2. Smoke for 2 hours at 225 degrees (apple wood chips)
  3. Brush ribs with Freddie Lee’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce
  4. Set ribs on tinfoil large enough to wrap ribs.
  5. Add a small amount of Apple juice and then wrap the ribs.
  6. Place ribs in the oven for 2 hours at 180 degrees.
  7. Unwrap ribs and put on grill with medium heat for a few minutes on each side.
  8. Top with Freddie Lee’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce and grill for a few additional minutes.



Dirt Candy Supper Club

Dirt Candy Supper Club

Dirt Candy Supper Club hosted by The Foodie Nurse was the perfect way to start a relaxing weekend after an extra long week. It set the tone just right!

Today has been a much needed lazy morning with kitten snuggles and procrastinating getting out of bed. After many failed attempts, I threw on a cards shirt and yoga pants to do what I love most Saturday blogging.

I even feel like a real hip blogger because of the past 24 hours. Not only am I blogging on Brad’s new Mac at our favorite coffee shop, but last night, my mind was opened to a whole new type of dining experience, and I have to share it with you! Have you every heard of a pop-up dinner? Neither had I, but after last night, it will be a staple in our social calendar.

The concept of a pop-up dinner is really simple while being a unique experience every time.  Pop-up dinners like Dirt Candy Supper Club are a one night only event that brings like-minded individuals to a unique venue or at the host’s home to enjoy brilliant conversation and even better food. Read more

Blue Apron

I awoke yesterday shocked that it was basically August. Last time I noticed, it was April and Brad was calling me saying he had been laid off. The rest of the Spring was spent with job searching and trying to keep life as normal as possible.

As much as we tried, it did not work. I was busy trying to keep a steady income and the house clean so the job hunt could happen without distractions. Brad was busy trying to network and find the next door God was going to open. Needless to say, our gym membership and kitchen did not get much use.

Well, my brilliant husband had a great idea to join Blue Apron after too many nights of takeout, and consequently me complaining about the scale jumping up. If you remember, I had tried so hard to lose 20 pounds before life being turned upside down. Read more

Blue Apron Recipe | Peruvian Roast Chicken & Potatoes

The Blue Apron Recipe, Peruvian Roast Chicken & Potatoes was another hit in my house. I won’t lie; I am not a big chicken fan. Brad says it is because when I lived with my parents, chicken breast and vegetables was the go-to staple for dinner. This could explain the slimmer waistline and dislike of chicken breast. Now, if it is fried, and accompanied with hot sauce, then it can be eaten from morning to night.

Blue Apron’s Recipe, Peruvian Roast Chicken & Potatoes, changes my opinion on chicken breast. The Peruvian Roast Chicken & Potatoes found a perfect partner with the delicious creamy, spicy and tangy sauce.

Blue Apron makes cooking fun and easy. They will provide you with all the ingredients that you need to make a delicious meal in exactly the right proportions. Start your Blue Apron experience today with two free meals! Read more

Blue Apron Recipe | Beef Tartines

Blue Apron Recipe|Beef Tartines

Blue Apron’s Recipe for Beef Tartines with Zucchini au Pistou was the first meal that started my love affair with Blue Apron. Beef Tartines are a french inspired open-faced sandwich that includes all of my favorites – melted cheese, toasted bread and red meat! I was confident that this would be delicious, but I was shocked at the level of yum!

Adding capers to the Beef Tartines adds a tangy aspect that surprises your tongue and bringings a complexity to the dish. The Beef Tartines are paired with a side of sauteed zucchini that is topped pistou to perfectly accompany the main entree. It gives you veggies without steaming a bag of frozen broccoli. 🙂

Blue Apron makes cooking fun and easy. They will provide you with all the ingredients that you need to make a delicious meal in exactly the right proportions. Start your Blue Apron experience today! Click here to receive two free meals on your first order. Read more