Cheesy Chicken, Bacon, and Broccoli Rice Casserole

   I love casseroles. They're easy to throw together and most of them have all the elements of a complete meal. This one caught my eye when I read there was Dijon mustard in it. I knew it would give it awesome flavor. Plus with the words 'cheesy chicken and bacon' in the title, that's a winning combo for me! It turned out really good, even the kiddos loved it. I made mine with brown rice to try and give it more of a healthier vibe. (I try to be healthy people, I really do)
This dish will be in my monthly dinner rotation. Fo sho!

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Rice Casserole
adapted from: Eat Cake for Dinner

2 small chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
3 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup onion, finely diced (optional)
3 Tablespoons flour
1 (14 ounce) can Low-Sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1-2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Set bacon aside. Remove all grease from pan except 2 tablespoons. Add onion (if using) and saute for a few minutes. Whisk in flour until a thick paste forms. Stir in chicken broth, half and half and dijon mustard. Stir until mixture slightly thickens, then add in parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

Spray a 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer rice, chicken and then broccoli in the dish. Pour cheese sauce evenly over the broccoli. Crumble bacon evenly on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve!

(chicken and flour not pictured)

Spread the cooked brown rice in an even layer

Then spread out the cooked chicken over the rice

Next up, the steamed broccoli

Pour the cheese sauce over the top, and then sprinkle with bacon.
Pop that bad boy in the oven and let it bake until it's hot!

Serve and devour! Mmmmm


Menu Plan Monday #12

   My hubby and I went on a little 'getaway' Saturday night for some R&R. I always feel so 're-charged' after having some alone time with him. It's so nice to have that time to just focus on eachother. I think it's a must when your married and have kids. That being said, we sure did miss our little kidlets! We always do when we leave them. When we got home yesterday we decided to take them on a little adventure and went hiking. We also went on a drive, and explored an old cemetery that is in another town close to ours. We all had a great time!


Grilled veggie packets*


~Kitchen's Closed~

cilantro-lime rice*

~Kitchen's Closed~

sliced and put in a big garden salad

Chocolate Cherry cake*


White Chocolate Marshmallow Cake Bars

   My hubby loves white chocolate. One of his favorite candy bars is the white chocolate Kit Kat. When we were dating he used to get them all the time. I'm a big fan of white chocolate too. I think most people either love it or hate it. Some people even think it's not real chocolate. It probably isnt, but who cares. It tastes good!
   The other day I was looking for a good treat to make and came across these bars. I knew Kale would love them. They have a yellow cake base, an ooey gooey marshmallow filling with white chocolate chips through out. They're then topped off with a white chocolate frosting! Mmmm They are very rich, but still amazing.Yummo!

White Chocolate Marshmallow Cake Bars
Recipe adapted from: Love, Veggies and Yoga

Cake Layer (1st layer)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 box (18 oz) Yellow Cake mix
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Marshmallow Layer (2nd layer)
3/4 cup marshmallow creme
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

White Chocolate Chips (3rd layer)
1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips

White Chocolate Vanilla Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup white chocolate (2 baker squares or white chocolate chips)
2 cups Powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk, or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan w/ foil and coat well with cooking spray. Set aside.

FOR 1ST LAYER:  In a large bowl add cake mix, softened butter, egg and vanilla. Mix well with hands or spoon until well combined. (you may need to use a tablespoon of water to help combine)
Press dough into prepared pan.

FOR 2ND LAYER:  Mix all 2nd layer ingredients together in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then pour over dough.

FOR 3RD LAYER:  Sprinkle the white chocolate chips evenly over 2nd layer.

Bake for 20-23 minutes. Center may seem jiggly but will set while it cools. DONT OVERBAKE!

While bars are baking, make frosting. Add butter and white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments until slightly melted. Stir together until melted. Add powdered sugar, cream and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Remove bars from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes and then drizzle with frosting. Let bars cool completely before serving. (I refrigerated mine to have them cool faster) Cut into squares and serve!


Mini Garlic Monkey Breads

   These Mini Garlic Monkey Breads are fun little pull-apart rolls everyone will love! They were a huge hit at my house! It's not very often when my little family fights over the last piece of something I make. Yep, that was the case when I made these. They were a perfect side to go along with a batch of Tomato soup I made for dinner the other night. I only made 6 of them because I was a little skeptical on how they would turn out. Well, that was a big mistake. They were garlicy, buttery mini bites of heaven! I'm putting them on the menu next week because we can't wait to eat them again!

Mini Garlic Monkey Breads
Recipe from: Real Mom Kitchen
Makes 12 rolls

18 frozen Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed. OR use 2 (7.5 ounce) cans Buttermilk Biscuits
6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons dried Parsley flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:  Thaw frozen Rhodes dinner rolls according to package directions. (Rhodes rolls are what I used. I love them. If you dont have access to Rhodes rolls than just use the canned Buttermilk Biscuits)

Cut each roll into 4 pieces. Set aside. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Place 6 to 7 roll pieces into the garlic mixture and coat with mix. Place 6 to 7 coated roll pieces into one muffin tin. Repeat the process until all 12 muffin tins are full. Sprinkle all the rolls with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Serve warm.

Linked up at:


Menu Plan Monday #11

    Last week was really special for my family. My Mom found her sister she's been searching for her whole life! Well, it was actually my brother Doug that found her. He was able to find her through Ancestry.com. It's a long story and I wont bore you with the details, but it has truly been a blessing to find her and we're all still in shock! We're going to fly to Chicago next month to meet her. I am really looking forward to it!
   Okay, so enough about that. Let's talk about food! Here's our menu plan for the week....

green salad

Grilled Shrimp and Pasta Salad*


green salad

Southwest Chicken Wraps*
Chips n' Salsa

~Kitchen's Closed~
Going on a little 'Getaway'
for the weekend
with my Hubby! :)

~Kitchen's Closed~

P.S.  I have some awesome recipes
I'll be posting this week, so stay tuned......


Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

   I love breakfast foods, especially pancakes. They remind me of my Momma. She used to make us pancakes all the time when we were little. Mom always used Bisquick pancake mix, and it is what I now use too. I love it. They have great flavor and they're a cinch to make.

   When I saw these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes on Pinterest (of course) I thought they looked amazing and had to make them asap. I used our trusty box of Bisquick for the pancake batter instead of using the homemade one on the recipe. Let me just tell you... These pancakes are FABULOSITY! I've now made them 3 weekends in a row because they're SO good!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Recipe adapted from: Recipe Girl

For Pancakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

(OR use a boxed pancake batter)

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare Cinnamon Filling first: In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside. (You want this to rest and 'set up' while your preparing the other ingredients. Its best if it gets a little thicker, you dont want it liquidy)

Prepare Pancake batter:  In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in milk, oil and egg just until batter is moistened.  (a few small lumps are fine)
OR If using a boxed mix, prepare according to package directions.

Prepare Cream Cheese glaze: In a medium glass or microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth, then whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop about 1/2 cup of pancake batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your cinnamon filling baggie and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a spatula and cook until lightly browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer pancake to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest of the pancakes.

When ready to serve, spoon warmed cream cheese glaze on top of each pancake. Enjoy!


Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops

   Dearest Crock Pot, 

     Oh how I love thee. When I am not in the mood to dirty 5 pans or even be in my kitchen for more than 5 minutes, you really come in handy. Thank you for making my life a little bit easier at times. How can I ever repay you?

                                                                   Yours Truly,

   Now to the rest of you... This is a delicious and easy meal to make your fam! Sometimes my little family gets bored of eating chicken all the time, so this dish is a great alternative. This pork has tons of flavor, and as it slowly cooks it turns the soup and ranch seasoning into an amazing gravy for the pork chops. This is a new family favorite for sure! 

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops
Recipe from: Picky Palate

4-6 boneless Pork Chops, 1/2 inch thick
2 (10 ounce) cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 packet Ranch seasoning mix
Dried Parsley for sprinkling (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Place pork chops in the bottom of crock pot. Pour the soups over the chops and then sprinkle with ranch seasoning packet. Close the lid and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Serve each pork chop with the gravy from the crock pot, a sprinkle of dried parsely and some mashed potatoes! 

*(I served ours with 'Loaded Mashed Potatoes' from the pre-made tub by Country Crock. When I dont feel like making homemade mashed potatoes I love using theirs. They're delicious and all you do is heat them in the microwave. You can find them near the meat section in most grocery stores.)


Valentine Marshmallow Pops

   I decided to not share Menu Plan Monday today because there is a very special holiday tomorrow. Valentines Day! ♥ Awww... A day to celebrate love and romance. What a great holiday! I bought these cute heart shaped marshmallows at the store and decided it would be fun to let my girls help me decorate them. 

   I purchased some different colors of candy melts and some Valentine sprinkles. We dipped... and sprinkled away. It was a lot of yummy fun!

Valentine Marshmallow Pops

Heart shaped or regular shaped Large Marshmallows
Assorted colors of Candy Melts (I did pink, white and chocolate)
Candy sticks

DIRECTIONS:  Insert a candy stick in the bottom of each marshmallow. Melt candy melts in different bowls. Dip each marshmallow into desired color of candy melts, then decorate with sprinkles. Place each pop on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry.