BROCCOLI CHEDDAR BAKE

2 – 10 ounce packages of frozen broccoli
1 / 2 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces of Velveeta cheese
3 tablespoons of margarine, melted
1/ 2 cup Kellogg Corn Flake Crumbs

1. Oven to 350degrees.
2. Cook broccoli till cooked through and then drain well.
3. Mix Velveeta and soup together in a medium pot and on a
low flame cook until cheese is melted. Stir constantly and
be careful it could burn easily. So watch it.
4. Grease a casserole oven dish with margarine. When the
cheese and soup mixture is done add the drained broccoli
and mix together well. Pour everything into greased
casserole dish.
5. Before putting into the oven, put about 1 / 2 cup of crumbs
into a small bowl and pour in the melted margarine. Mix
together with a fork and then sprinkle over the top of the
casserole.
6. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until a little bubbly around the
sides.
7. ENJOY- Broccoli and cheddar cheese are the perfect mates
in the oven!

Honestly, what goes better together than Broccoli and Cheddar? In my opinion, it’s a winning combination! This recipe is from my friend and neighbor, Rachel. I’ve hosted many, many parties, and the request for this dish is overwhelming. OK, I hear you…. it’s an “it tastes so good that it’s probably bad for you” kind of dish. But, hey, I am a witness to the fact that even the most health conscious of us just can’t pass it up. Rachel uses crushed Ritz crackers for the topping, but I choose to use corn flake crumbs instead as a somewhat lighter alternative. Either way is delicious. This is not a health food column after all!

A few years ago, our neighbors had a block party and Rachel debuted her broccoli/cheddar gem. Yep, it was a hit. Block parties are not as popular in the suburbs as in the city. Growing up in Queens guaranteed me, family, and friends wonderful summers where someone was always having a block party. Basically, two ends of a city block are blocked from traffic by means of a barricade or simply roping off. Nearly everyone puts chairs and tables in front of their homes. Food is placed out on the tables to be shared by all. Somehow Rachel and I were on the block party committee. The head of our block party decided that we should buy the food as a unit and split the cost. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, and it rained the whole weekend. Undaunted by anything less than a monsoon, people will do almost anything for a great meal and our neighbors were no exception. Folks who live on the block and never see each other for years have an entirely different attitude when food is the main attraction. It’s also a great way for older neighbors who live alone to get out and socialize a little bit and younger neighbors to meet the folks who live right next door. Some of the neighbors wanted to go into the houses and scope out their neighbors’ decorating style. It always proves to be an interesting if not enlightening experience for me. Neighbors who I drive by and never talk to come alive as they share personal stories and history about the neighborhood (ok, a little gossip too)!

If you are ever a part of a neighborhood or block that is having a block party, please make an effort to attend. You never know; a new best friend may live right down the street from you.

Like a good neighbor, I’ll be there and I hope you will too.

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