Broccoli Salad #CookoutWeek

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Good morning! I have one more #CookoutWeek recipe for you this week, and a reminder to go enter the great grilling giveaway! You can find it on my #CookoutWeek post here.

Broccoli Salad

This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for a simple broccoli salad. I like broccoli salad with dried fruit and sunflower seeds and all that jazz, but I really love this one just for its simplicity. Plus, all the bacon.

I took this to a potluck the other night. I had my salad in a stainless steel bowl, and I put it inside another stainless bowl filled with ice. Worked well at keeping it cool in the heat, so I was less worried about having the mayonnaise sit out.


Broccoli Salad #CookoutWeek

Yield: 6-8 side servings

Broccoli Salad #CookoutWeek


  • 2 small heads broccoli
  • 1/2 a large yellow or Vidalia onion (or 1 small)
  • 8-12 ounces bacon, fried crisp
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, diced
  • dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. white vinegar


Cut broccoli florets into bite-size pieces. You should have at least 2 cups of pieces. Dice onion very finely (I use a food chopper for this, because I don't like big pieces of raw onion). Crumble or chop bacon. In a large bowl, mix together broccoli, onion, bacon, and diced cheese. In another measuring cup or bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before tossing again and serving.

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Recipe Redux: Cheesy Black Beans and Brown Rice

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Black Beans and Brown Rice

Many, many years ago, I shared a favorite recipe from Kelly Minter’s No Other Gods Bible study, which I worked on when I was at LifeWay. It was high time to update this recipe with my own proportions and instructions!

We decided this summer to eat beans and rice once a week. My kids are so spoiled when it comes to food, given that we eat in the dining hall nine months of the year. They can pick and choose whatever they want, and definitely have never considered we or other people might not be able to afford meat or fresh ingredients. So this “beans and rice plan” has been a way to talk to them about people in other countries and how they eat. Not to mention it doesn’t hurt for us to eat meatless and save a few dollars, too. Mr. V and I love beans and rice and hope our kids can learn to love them.

(Verdict from week 1: David ate rice. Joshua ate one bite of avocado. Libbie found she could eat beans with a lot of rice and cheese, although she thought the texture was strange. I am proud of her for trying something new.)

Kelly’s original recipe calls for 4 whole cups of cheese on top of the beans. I used about 2 1/2 cups and our beans were swimming in cheese, so I think that’s plenty!

Black beans with cheese

I realize the cheese increases the price on a beans-and-rice meal, but it’s a good place to start if you have kids who are scared of beans. I like these with avocado and sour cream, too, but they’re just as good as written (or with a runny egg for breakfast).

Cheesy Black Beans and Brown Rice

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 to 4 c. cooked brown rice
  • optional for serving
  • avocado slices
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro


Drain two cans of black beans. Add those beans and one can, undrained, to a large saucepan. Heat beans, uncovered, over medium-high heat.

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a small skillet over medium heat, warm one Tablespoon olive oil. Sauté onion, garlic, and cilantro together until onion is soft. Add this mixture to the beans and stir well.

Spread bean mixture in a 9x13 pan lightly coated with olive oil. Top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Serve beans over rice with any optional toppings.

You can cook the brown rice however you like; I use Alton Brown’s method of oven-baked rice often, but the oven temps on this won’t match up. For this recipe, I used my brand-new Instant Pot to make the rice, and I was really happy with the texture and outcome! For brown rice, you use a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cup water or liquid and cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. It’s like magic!

Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

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Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

Many years ago, I did this thing called Bargain Meals of the Week with 5 Dollar Dinners. I would take the Publix ads and find dirt-cheap deals, and then share recipes that would use the deal items.

I haven’t added most of these meals to my recipe archive, because I didn’t try them out or picture them. I found them at other places. But the Chile Sweet Potato Hash from Rachael Ray was one that I have made, often. Back when Mr. V and I were kidless, we ate this regularly for dinner, because it’s inexpensive and satisfying, and a nice mix-up for breakfast for dinner. I think I saw Rachael make it on “30-Minute Meals” once.

The only issue I have with this dish is the sweet potatoes. It’s difficult to get them to cook through unless you slice them very thin. I suggest slicing as thinly as you can. If they still aren’t cooking through, after your initial 10-15 minute cook time, change the heat to low, put a baking sheet or lid on your skillet, and steam them for a few minutes. Alternately, you could partially cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time in some boiling water. I may try that next time!

If you like heat, use hot breakfast sausage and throw in some cayenne or chipotle chili powder. If you don’t, this isn’t too spicy, but you can cut down on the chili powder if you want.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage
  • 2 large or 3 smaller sweet potatoes - peeled, then cut in half lengthwise, then into half-moon thin slices
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro or coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • for serving
  • salsa
  • eggs, cooked over easy
  • cheese


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When it's hot, add sausage to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage for about 3 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, onions, spices, and some salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring frequently and continuing to break up the sausage, for 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.

Serve with choices of salsa, eggs, and cheese.

What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner?

Bacon & Egg Pie

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Bacon and Cheese Egg Pie

Here is something small children and high-school boys have in common: if you say the word “quiche,” they immediately think “that sounds disgusting.” From experience, I can send the exact same quiche to Mr. V’s small group of advisee boys two Wednesday mornings. If he calls it egg pie, they will eat it. If he slips and calls it quiche, they pass.


So around our house, we call this, which is obviously QUICHE, egg pie. It’s a very basic one, because you know my children could not possibly ingest a vegetable during breakfast. Occasionally I’ll throw a few spinach leaves on top, but they will pick them off.

But for us, it’s a good dish that pleases everyone in the family. I’m happy because they kids are getting protein from the eggs; Libbie is happy because BACON. And everyone else eats it, too. (At 6, Libbie apparently joined in the bacon trend unknowingly. Girl loves bacon more than anyone I’ve ever met.)

First, you fry up a package of bacon and cut it into small pieces. It can still be a little chewy. I like to chop mine with kitchen shears into the pan and cook it like that. It takes a while, but I don’t have to mess with flipping whole pieces or anything. Then move the pieces to a paper towel to drain and cool off a little.

Next, mix your eggs, half-and-half, dried minced onion, and some pepper together. I don’t add salt because I think all the cheese and bacon makes it plenty salty.


Now shred about 6 ounces of block cheese – you want about a cup and a half. Shredding the cheese yourself makes it melt so much better, because it doesn’t have stabilizers and the cornstarchy stuff on it. I used Colby Jack for this pie but any version of cheddar or a nice, sharp cheese will work. Then stir the cheese and the bacon into the egg mixture.

Spray your pie pan with cooking spray or grease it, then fit the pie crust to the plate. I like to pretend like I will make my own, but I almost always buy the boxes of refrigerated crusts.


Crimp the edges of your crust so they’re not hanging down low, and then put the pie plate on a jelly roll pan in case of overflow. Pour the egg mixture into the pie. You may need to move around the bacon and cheese to make sure it’s all over the pie.

Loosely cover the pie with aluminum foil (just lay the sheet on top of it) and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until it’s not very jiggly. Wait a few minutes before slicing and serving.


Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Quiche


This is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 slices

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pie

This is adapted from the Pioneer Woman's Cowboy Quiche. There is no way I could get my people to eat caramelized onions, and I scaled it down for a regular-sized 9-inch pie pan.


  • 1 unbaked pie crust, storebought or homemade
  • 12 to 16 ounces bacon, fried and chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
  • pepper
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)


Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan and roll out the pie crust onto it, crimping edges.

Whisk together eggs, half-and-half, dried minced onion, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in bacon pieces and cheese. Pour into prepared crust, spreading out the bacon and cheese so it is evenly distributed.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until center is no longer jiggly. Cool for a few minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

Green Chile Egg Bake

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For a long time, the only egg casserole I ever made was the very standard one I grew up with: white bread, sausage, cheddar cheese, a dozen eggs.

It’s certainly not that it’s BAD by any means! We love it here and gobble it up often. But sometimes it’s just fun to branch out, isn’t it?

I make something for my husband’s five dorm kids that he meets with every Wednesday morning for their meetings. I try to aim for breakfast food, since they meet at 9:45 a.m. I don’t think they’ve ever REFUSED cupcakes, but if they’re anything like I was in high school, they probably haven’t eaten any breakfast before class.

I’ve made them everything from Jalapeno Popper Quiche to frozen sausage biscuits and it all disappears.

This week, I pulled out this egg bake recipe that I made when we were first married and my mother-in-law bought me a subscription to Simple and Delicious magazine. Back then, I was much more obedient and I am sure I followed the recipe.

Now, I’d rather take a simple recipe and make it a little bit better with my own additions. And this one I think I improved a lot with the easy add-ons of real milk, sour cream, salt, and garlic powder.

It’s another easy breakfast for guests, and we all know they’re going to come streaming in with the holidays coming!

Green Chile Egg Bake

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 9 servings

Green Chile Egg Bake

An overnight egg casserole with a twist: delicious green chiles bring wonderful flavor to basic breakfast eggs and potatoes.

Adapted from Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious


  • 4 c. frozen, shredded hash browns, thawed
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • 6 to 8 oz. ham or Canadian bacon, diced
  • 4 oz. chopped green chiles (canned)
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese You can use pepperjack or a mix of the two for more of a Southwest flair
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


In a greased 8x8 casserole dish, spread hash browns. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and salt.

Layer ham/bacon, green chiles, and cheese on top of hash browns.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sour cream, and pepper. Pour evenly over casserole.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until eggs are set. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

BLC Pasta Salad

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Bacon? Mmmm. Lettuce. Good. Tomatoes? Ick. And that, my friends, is why I’ve never had a BLT.

I’m always terribly embarrassed to admit that I don’t like fresh tomatoes. I’ve even been trying to make myself eat them this summer, in things like our Summer Bow-Ties recipe. Honestly, I hate that I don’t love tomatoes!

A summer food that I do love, however, is cucumbers. I came home with a bunch from the farmer’s market last weekend. And the only other person in my house who will eat them is David. (Raw cuke is a great teething toy!)

I’ve been using the cucumbers frenetically, trying to get in all their goodness before they go bad. I knew I wanted to make some kind of pasta salad with them, but it wasn’t until I looked in the fridge that I got inspired and tossed this Bacon, Lettuce, and Cucumber Pasta Salad together! Who needs BLTs when you can have a BLC? If you like tomatoes, you could of course make it a BLTC Pasta Salad!

BLC Pasta Salad

BLC Pasta Salad

Yield: 2 entree servings or 4-6 side servings


  • 2 c. shaped pasta, cooked and cooled (or rinsed with cool water)
  • 2 oz. cheddar cheese, diced or shredded
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • a handful of lettuce, torn
  • 3 T mayonnaise
  • 2 T ranch dressing
  • 1 T vinegar (I used white vinegar)
  • salt and pepper


Toss together cooled pasta, cheese, cucumber, bacon crumbles, and lettuce. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, ranch dressing, and vinegar. Pour over pasta mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerating for a while before serving will help the flavors to meld, but the lettuce won’t be as crunchy. So it’s up to you and your texture preferences. You could stir lettuce in just before serving.

Linked to:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Cooking Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom