Happy Thanksgiving! (and Broccoli Casserole)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Lots to be thankful for this year, as always. As is the tradition for me, I an vacationing at a beach house with family for the holiday. As is the case every year, I have to get used to a different kitchen every Thanksgiving.  Some years are more of a challenge than others. This one is a pretty good one! I always bring some of my own knives and small conveniences from home to make it easier. This year, I even brought my first home brew beer!

Cheers! My home brewed English Nut Brown Ale.

Cheers! My home brewed English Nut Brown Ale.

I’ve been keeping a blog/journal to document my brewing experiences and my crabapple cider fermenting adventures. I’ll be making those publice in the near future. Anyway, I made an English Nut Brown Ale and it went very well with roasted turkey and home canned cranberry sauce! (See my previous cranberry sauce blog entries.)  Another one of my yearly Thanksgiving favorites is Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Water Chestnuts. That is our recipe for today! My mother started making this dish many years ago and I have adopted and adapted it. Thanks, Mom! I hope the rest of you will try it for a family gathering and enjoy!

Broccoli Casserole, ready for the oven.

Broccoli Casserole, ready for the oven.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Water Chestnuts Ingredients 2 heads Fresh Broccoli, florets separated and stalks peeled and chopped 2 cans Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 1 large jar Cheez Whiz, carefully microwaved until pourable 1 large bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese, about 12 oz 1 can Water Chestnuts, drained, diced (sliced is okay or chop whole ones) Note: you can use a large, round casserole dish and do three or four layers, or use a rectangular baking dish and do just a couple of layers. Directions Preheat the oven to 350F. Cook broccoli in a saucepan with a 1/2″ water, covered, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and preserve bright green color. Do not overcook!In the bottom of your casserole or baking dish, spread a layer of mushroom soup. It doesn’t have to be perfectly even or cover every part of the surface. Drizzle melted Cheez Whiz over the soup. Scatter  cooked broccoli to cover the bottom of the dish. Scatter water chestnuts over the broccoli. Repeat steps until ingredients  are all used. Cover the top of the casserole with shredded cheddar and bake for about 45 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce in the casserole is bubbling. Remove from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Serve hot and enjoy! (I would have taken a picture when it came out of the oven, but it’s Thanksgiving. We ate and there wasn’t any left, if that tells you anything about how delicious it is!!!)


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