Sunday, May 8, 2011

Surprise Visit

Heeey everyone! Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there :)

For my Mother's Day gift to my mom, I decided to surprise her with a trip home to Traverse City yesterday! Her jaw dropped when I walked in the door, she had no idea I was coming!

After catching up a little, we sat down for an awesome dinner: homemade pizza! Boy did I pick a good day to come home ;)

The dough is homemade and the pizza toppings included ham along with sauteed spinach, mushrooms and sweet onion. Amazing.

This morning my sister and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a bike ride down by the bay.

It was gorgeous outside!

We covered 15.3 miles at a nice, leisurely pace. I used it as an opportunity to work on my no-hands riding :)

After our bike ride, I came home and threw a casserole in the oven that I prepped last night. Since money's kind of tight right now and my mom could definately use a break from the kitchen, I figured that cooking a meal for the family would be a nice Mother's Day present. I made a chicken, broccoli and mushroom casserole and I based it off Caitlin's recipe with a just a few small changes, including the addition of chicken, olives, and more cheese :D I love this recipe because it's so easy that I even can make it! Last night I cooked the rice and mixed all of the ingredients in a huge bowl, dumped them in a casserole dish, poured half of a can of cream of mushroom soup on top (I use Amy's organic brand) and set it in the fridge overnight:

Then I baked it today when we were ready to eat and topped it with the remaining amount of (heated) mushroom soup:

Here's the final recipe that I used:

Chicken, Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole
Based off of Caitlin's broccoli and mushroom casserole


  • 1 & 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1-2 cups cooked shreded chicken
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped brocolli (this is approximate, use however much broccoli you prefer)
  • 1 - 15 oz can pinto beans
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • large pinch of pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cream of mushroom soup (I use one can of Amy's Organic brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, chicken, onion, broccoli, pinto beans, black olives, milk, egg, salt and pepper and mix together well. Pour into a casserole dish (I use a 9" x 13" one) and then pour half (3/4 cup) of the mushroom soup over it. Use a spoon to evenly spread the soup over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until center is firm. Heat the remainder of the mushroom soup and then pour over cooked casserole. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then eat up!

Besides being so easy, the other thing I love about this recipe is the fact that you can prepare it ahead of time and then just set it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. It's also so easy to customize and change up; next time I'm going to add some mushrooms and maybe some more veggies. I think I've also added garlic to the recipe before.

Well, we're making a run to Dairy Lodge now and then it's time to hit the road and get back to Grand Rapids. Tonight's to-do list includes:

  • Make a new workout routine for the next month
  • Clean my room
  • Laundry
  • Go through my school stuff and throw out old notes that I will never look at again
  • Watch Celebrity Apprentice

I predict that the first and last items on that list will be crossed off by the end of the night, but there's always tomorrow for that other stuff :)

Have a great night!

Did you do anything special for Mother's Day today?


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