Monday, December 10, 2012

Finally a recipe from me.....Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Casserole. 2jpg

It's been hard to get back in the kitchen.

The kitchen was my happy place. Cooking and baking for the people I love. Moose was always with me, laying on his bed, watching my every move, following behind me every step of the way. There have been a flood of tears. These days without him have been hard, so much harder than I ever imagined. I see him everywhere. I think I hear him, I think I catch glimpses of him. There is such a void in this house. It's so very hard.

I'm trying to get back into my routine. It's the holiday season but I can't really feel it. It's such a strange thing to go through. I love Christmas. I love making gifts and planning out menus and baking cookies. It always made my heart happy, but my heart just isn't into it this year. For the first time in 25 years I didn't send out Christmas cards. I had no desire. So if you are normally on my list, I apologize, but I just can't do it this year.

The morning after Moose died there was a mourning dove on my deck railing. I have this connection with birds. I don't know why but birds are like signs to me. They come to me when I'm troubled. I can't explain it, it's just always birds. So there sits this mourning dove, quiet and still, not frightened by me opening the door. It just sat and looked at me, and even as I inched forward it didn't move, we looked at each other. I mean I made eye contact with this bird. Finally when I got about 2 feet from it, it flew away. I can't help to think that dove was a sign from Moose saying "I'm ok Mama, I'm free".

That same night John and I headed out to the store and we got behind a bus and scrawled on the bus was the words "On the wings of a dove".

I know it sounds crazy, but these little signs help me cope a bit. Dealing with his loss has thrown me for a loop. I cannot thank you all enough for your e-mails and your words of love and encouragement. They really did help me get through those first few days when I felt like my heart was breaking in two. Thank you all. I know my heart will heal in time, it's just so darn hard right now.

So now it's time for me to get back into the kitchen and get back into a routine and cook something up for my men. You know they really did get spoiled getting fed all the time, lol.

I confess I made this a few weeks ago but never sat and wrote a post for it. It's a quick casserole to throw together. You can use fresh or frozen broccoli.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Chicken Broccoli Casserole
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
1 pound of fresh broccoli, broken into pieces and steamed until just tender - Don't overcook! (you could use frozen if you like)
4 cups cooked chicken breasts (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup cheddar cheese

For the topping:
1 tube Ritz crackers crushed
1 stick melted butter

For the sauce:
1  stick butter
1/2 cup cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash or seasoning of your choice
Dash salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 cups milk
1 cup cheddar cheese

In a greased 9x13 inch pan, layer the broccoli and the chicken, set aside.

In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add in the cornstarch, chicken broth, seasonings and milk. Stir sauce until thickened. Once thickened turn the heat to low and add 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli.

For the buttery topping: Melt the stick of butter and stir in the crushed Ritz crackers. Scatter the crumbs all over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes of until hot and bubbly.


Jennifer Marcotte said...

This morning, I cried for you. I cried tears for someone I don't know, yet connect with daily. My heart breaks for you, and with you. I cried a tear for your pain, and for your loss, I cried a tear for your hope that there is, indeed, a better place. Your posts are beautiful and inspiring, and you have touched someone thousands and thousands of miles away, simply by sharing your heart. Love and light.

Bev said...

I still miss and cry for our Wheaten Terrier, Duncan. He's been gone for nearly nine years and for most of those years our lives have been filled with the joy of the two Wheaties, Dora & Bella, we adopted within weeks of losing him. Still, I will always feel the pain of missing him and know I'll experience that when they are no longer with us. Truly, I can feel your pain and know that there will be the love of another in your life when you and your family feel ready.

Amy said...

Our dogs...our family. They take hold of our hearts. My sister lost her mini Schanuzer several years ago. He was 14. It was tough. TOUGH. She still misses him, but time does heal. It will for you, too. I wish sooner than later :(

Tina said...

I understand. I have been there, too and it is truly heartbreaking and terribly sad. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you peace.

Anonymous said...

The dove incident is more amazing than you realize. It's name is Mourning Dove (Turtle Dove also) because the call it makes sounds like someone sobbing. See, somebody really was speaking to you.

Brush Prairie, Wa

KrisH1967 said...

So very sorry for your loss. I am new to this blog, but have fur-kids of my own and your words and feelings break my heart as I know someday I will have to face your heartbreak. Know that though I don't know you, God does and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Brent, thank you for that. Means even more to me now. I even changed the spelling on mourning. Thanks again.

jabreb said...

I have been through the loss of multiple "companions" and it's never easy. I have gotten some comfort from this poem; hope you do too.

In Loving Memory of Moose

I'll Wait

I explained to St. Peter,
I'd raather stay here,
Outside the Pearly Gate.

I won't be a nuisance,
I won't even bark,
I'll be very patient and wait.

I'll be here chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be,
I'd miss you so much, if I went in alone,
It wouldn't be Heaven for me.

Blessings and comfort to you and your famil. Judy/Texas

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Thank you all. Your words are healing. Judy thank you for that poem. You are all helping to ease my pain.