The Canadian Butter Crisis, Explained

So, so much has changed over the past year. Apparently, the texture of butter in Canada is one of those things. There’s a storm brewing online over what some outlets are calling “Buttergate.”
It all started on Twitter (where else?) when Canadian food …

So, so much has changed over the past year. Apparently, the texture of butter in Canada is one of those things. There’s a storm brewing online over what some outlets are calling “Buttergate.”

It all started on Twitter (where else?) when Canadian food writer, Julie Van Rosendaal, stared into the digital abyss and pondered a seemingly innocuous query: Was the butter in Canada different? Had the texture changed? More specifically, was it less soft at room temperature?

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Oatmeal and Pecan Brittle Cookies

This year was a good year for baking books. I didn’t get to see them all, or bake from them, but one that I got a preview of before it was released was Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz. She may be familiar to you because of her tenure in the test kitchen at Bon Appétit and more recently, her very popular online videos, but reading…

This year was a good year for baking books. I didn’t get to see them all, or bake from them, but one that I got a preview of before it was released was Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz. She may be familiar to you because of her tenure in the test kitchen at Bon Appétit and more recently, her very popular online videos, but reading through the book, I learned that she just happened to have gone to Harvard, was a graduate student in French food history in Montreal, studied pastry at Ecole Ferrandi in Paris, and worked at the now-closed Spring restaurant, which jolted me back that era in Paris when a younger generation of chefs was opening restaurants and changing the game in France (sometimes, controversially), focusing on fresh ingredients and putting their own mark on French cuisine.

That’s how I feel about her book. Claire pretty much changes the pastry game. Preserved lemons are added to a glorious-looking Lemon Meringue Cake, chocolate and hazelnuts enrich a Galette des Rois, and coffee finds its way into a Coffee-flavored Coffee Cake. (How come no one’s thought of that before?) But these Oatmeal and Pecan Praline Brittle Cookies sounded so good to me that I decided to start off with them.

Continue Reading Oatmeal and Pecan Brittle Cookies...

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic and one of my favorites. This creamy, rich, cheesy soup with tender broccoli is made in ONE pot and so comforting. It is made with simple ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes to make. It is better than any brocc…

Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic and one of my favorites. This creamy, rich, cheesy soup with tender broccoli is made in ONE pot and so comforting. It is made with simple ingredients and only takes about 30 minutes to make. It is better than any broccoli cheese soup you can buy at the store…

The post Broccoli Cheese Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

It’s no secret that I love cookies. I have posted over 200 cookie recipes on our blog, some may say that I am cookie crazy and I would say that they are 100% correct because I am CRAZY about cookies:)  I have too many favorite cookies to lis…

It’s no secret that I love cookies. I have posted over 200 cookie recipes on our blog, some may say that I am cookie crazy and I would say that they are 100% correct because I am CRAZY about cookies:)  I have too many favorite cookies to list, but when I am in the mood…

The post Ultimate Chocolate Cookies appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This is one of those recipes that just makes you feel better! It is the ultimate comfort food.  Our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is VERY popular, but some of you requested a classi…

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of classic Chicken Noodle Soup. This is one of those recipes that just makes you feel better! It is the ultimate comfort food.  Our Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is VERY popular, but some of you requested a classic chicken noodle soup recipe and this is the best one…

The post Classic Chicken Noodle Soup appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Affiliate links are included below Are you guys ready for this Flourless Chocolate Cake? It is 100% decadent and worth every single bite. If you are a chocolate lover, you are going to fall in love with this rich chocolate cake after one bite. It is so…

Affiliate links are included below Are you guys ready for this Flourless Chocolate Cake? It is 100% decadent and worth every single bite. If you are a chocolate lover, you are going to fall in love with this rich chocolate cake after one bite. It is so rich you probably only need a bite or…

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Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Who doesn’t love Broccoli Cheddar Casserole?? This cozy homemade version doesn’t contain any canned “cream of” soup and comes together quickly. This comforting classic is great as a Thanksgiving side, or just a tasty addition to dinner any night of the week. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice from the night […]

The post Broccoli Cheddar Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Who doesn’t love Broccoli Cheddar Casserole?? This cozy homemade version doesn’t contain any canned “cream of” soup and comes together quickly. This comforting classic is great as a Thanksgiving side, or just a tasty addition to dinner any night of the week. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice from the night before!

Originally posted 3-7-2015, updated 1-30-2021

Overhead view of a large spoon scooping some broccoli cheddar casserole from the dish

Don’t Have Pre-Cooked Rice?

This recipe is written using rice that is already cooked. Much like fried rice, this recipe benefits from rice that has already been cooked and cooled so the grains are no longer sticky and are slightly more absorbent. If you don’t have rice on hand that is already cooked, allow time to cook some rice and allow it to cool before making this recipe. To cool your cooked rice faster, spread it out onto a baking sheet and place it in the refrigerator. The large surface area will help it cool quickly.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Yes! I’ve made this recipe using both brown and white rice and it’s delightful either way. Since you’re measuring the rice after it has been cooked, no adjustments need to be made to the recipe below if you plan to use brown rice. Brown rice gives this broccoli casserole a slightly nutty flavor and a little bit more texture.

Can the Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Be Assembled Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can assemble this broccoli cheddar casserole up to one day ahead of time, keeping it refrigerated until you’re ready to cook. Because the casserole will be chilled when going into the oven, you may need to add an extra 20-30 minutes to the cooking time to make sure the casserole is heated through. 

Side view of broccoli cheddar casserole being lifted out of the dish with a spoon

Broccoli cheddar casserole being scooped out of the dish

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

A creamy broccoli cheddar casserole from scratch, using no "cream of" soups. Rich, cheesy comfort food at its best!
Total Cost $6.09 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 437.58kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets $1.99
  • 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown) $0.67
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese $1.69
  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 3 Tbsp butter $0.42
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 2 cups milk (2% milk fat or higher) $0.75
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.01
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper $0.01

Instructions

  • Thaw the frozen broccoli, then chop it into smaller pieces. Add the chopped broccoli to a large bowl along with the cooked rice and about 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese (save the last ½ cup for topping the casserole).
  • Begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Add the butter, onion, and garlic to a small saucepot and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (2-3 minutes). Add the flour and stir until a paste forms. Continue to stir and cook the paste for about two minutes, or just until it turns a light golden brown.
  • Whisk the milk into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk the mixture as it heats, allowing it to reach a simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  • Season the sauce with the salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, and pepper. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if desired. The sauce should be heavily seasoned because it will be spread out over the broccoli and rice, which contain no seasoning of their own.
  • Pour the sauce over the rice, broccoli, and cheese, and stir until everything is evenly coated in sauce. Spread the casserole mixture evenly into a 9x9 inch casserole dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
  • Bake the casserole for about 35 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and is slightly browned around the edges. Divide into six portions and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 437.58kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.1g | Protein: 17.25g | Fat: 21.82g | Sodium: 569.2mg | Fiber: 3.28g

Looking for a low-carb alternative? Check out my Cheesy Loaded Cauliflower Casserole.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Casserole – Step by Step Photos

Chopped frozen broccoli florets on a cutting board

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Thaw one pound of frozen broccoli florets, then chop them into smaller pieces.

Chopped broccoli, rice, and shredded cheddar in a bowl

Add the chopped broccoli to a large bowl along with four cups cooked and cooled rice, and 6 oz. (1.5 cups) shredded cheddar cheese. Save the remaining ½ cup cheddar to top the casserole.

Stirred together broccoli, rice, and cheddar in the bowl

Stir the broccoli, rice, and cheese together until evenly combined, then set them aside.

Onion, garlic, and butter in a sauce pot

Next, begin the white sauce. Finely dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a saucepot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.

Flour added to the sauce pot

Add 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour to the cooked onions and garlic. Continue to stir and cook for about a minute more. The flour will form a paste with the butter.

Milk being poured into the onion and flour mixture.

Pour two cups whole milk into the saucepot and whisk until all the flour is dissolved into the milk. Continue to stir and cook until the milk begins to gently simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream.

Seasoning added to the white sauce

Season the white sauce with ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp black pepper. Give the sauce a taste and adjust the seasoning if you prefer (it should be heavily seasoned).

White sauce mixed in with broccoli, rice, and cheddar

Pour the white sauce into the bowl with the broccoli, rice, and cheddar, then stir to combine.

Broccoli rice mixture in a casserole dish being covered with shredded cheddar

Transfer the broccoli rice mixture to a casserole dish (about 9×9 inches) and then add the remaining shredded cheddar on top.

Baked broccoli cheddar casserole

Bake the casserole for 35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted on top and it’s browned around the edges.

Broccoli cheddar casserole being scooped out of the dish

Serve hot and enjoy that cozy comfort!

The post Broccoli Cheddar Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Spinach Rice with Feta

I like to add vegetables into whatever I’m eating, whenever I can, and this Spinach Rice with Feta is such a great way to do that. The spinach adds just a little bit of flavor and color, leaving the rice just about as versatile as plain rice, all while giving you an extra little dose of vegetables with very little effort.

The post Spinach Rice with Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I like to add vegetables into whatever I’m eating, whenever I can, and this Spinach Rice with Feta is such a great way to do that. The spinach adds just a little bit of flavor and color, leaving the rice just about as versatile as plain rice, all while giving you an extra little dose of vegetables with very little effort. It’s a great way to add just a little bit more interest to your plate without making your meal prep a lot more difficult.

Overhead view of Spinach Rice with Feta in an oval serving dish with a serving spoon

This simple side dish is inspired by Spanikorizo, a Greek rice dish with spinach and tomatoes (see an authentic spanikorizo recipe here). I pared it down and decided to make it more like a pilaf instead of a saucy tomato dish, and kept the flavors super simple and light, so it would go with just about anything. I also took a major shortcut and used frozen spinach, just to make it as fast and easy as possible (and also because I always have spinach in my freezer). The result is something I know I’m going to be making very often.

What Kind of Rice to Use

The recipe below is written for any type of long grain white rice (regular, jasmine, or basmati all work). Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer cooking time, which may leave the spinach overcooked. Short grain rice varieties, like arborio, will create a sticker end product.

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, I used frozen spinach just to make my life easier, but you can certainly do this with fresh spinach, especially if you have some on hand that you’re looking to use up! I suggest chopping the spinach and sautéing it in the pot until wilted, just after sautéing the garlic.

What to Serve with Spinach Rice

This week I served this Spinach Rice as the base for a bowl meal, along with Yogurt Marinated Chicken and some grape tomatoes. This rice would also go great with my Beef Kofta Meatballs and Roasted Vegetables, Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Vegetables, or Chicken Piccata.

Close up side view of spinach rice with feta on a serving dish
Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

Spinach Rice with Feta

This veggie filled Spinach Rice makes a great bed for grilled meats or vegetables, and adds an extra pop of flavor thanks to feta cheese.
Total Cost $3.06 recipe / $0.51 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 240.97kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.65
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.14
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.93
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 2.5 cups water $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.05
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled $1.10

Instructions

  • Thaw the spinach by either letting it sit out at room temperature for an hour, or by microwaving for 1-2 minutes. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach (it doesn't have to be extremely dry for this recipe, just make sure it's not pooling water).
  • Add the minced garlic and butter to a medium sauce pot. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, rice, salt, lemon juice, and 2.5 cups water to the sauce pot. Stir briefly to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the water to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the pot rest, without removing the lid, for an additional five minutes.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, gently folding the spinach back into the rice (it tends to float to the top during cooking). Finall, sprinkle the feta over top and fold to combine again. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 240.97kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.48g | Protein: 6.13g | Fat: 6.4g | Sodium: 464.14mg | Fiber: 1.73g
Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

How to Make Spinach Rice with Feta – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in a sauce pot

First, thaw ½ lb. frozen chopped spinach (either at room temperature or in the microwave) and then squeeze out the excess water. Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a medium saucepot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Thawed spinach added to the saucepot

Add the thawed and squeezed spinach to the sauce pot.

water being poured into the sauce pot with the rice and spinach

Also add 1.5 cups long grain white rice, ¾ tsp salt, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2.5 cups water.

Stirred rice spinach and water in the saucepot

Give the pot a brief stir to make sure everything is combined (the spinach will float to the top). Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a full boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest for five minutes, without removing the lid.

Cooked rice being fluffed

After resting for five minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork, gently folding the spinach back into the rice as you fluff.

crumbled feta added to rice

Add the crumbled feta to the rice and fold it in to combine (you can save a little to garnish when serving, if you’d like).

Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

The post Spinach Rice with Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Apple Crunch Tart

One of the things I keep vowing to do is to read more books. It’s hard when I’m at home, where there are many other things beckoning for my attention. But when I go on vacation, I bring a few books along and find a good chair to park myself in as much as possible. It helps that internet is either non-existent, or the connection…

One of the things I keep vowing to do is to read more books. It’s hard when I’m at home, where there are many other things beckoning for my attention. But when I go on vacation, I bring a few books along and find a good chair to park myself in as much as possible. It helps that internet is either non-existent, or the connection to it is poor, out in the countryside, where some of my friends don’t even have WiFi at home. It drives me nuts for the first few hours, then I ease into it and relax knowing that the rest of the world can wait, while I envelope myself in a good read.

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Yellow Sheet Cake with Strawberry Rose Buttercream

A classic yellow sheet cake, moist and tender with a hint of vanilla and lemon zest, topped with a fluffy strawberry rose buttercream and decorated with Valentine’s-themed sprinkles. Sheet cakes are satisfyingly simple, with no fussy layers or crumb coats, just the perfect ratio of buttery yellow cake to creamy strawberry rose frosting. This post […]

The post Yellow Sheet Cake with Strawberry Rose Buttercream first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

A classic yellow sheet cake, moist and tender with a hint of vanilla and lemon zest, topped with a fluffy strawberry rose buttercream and decorated with Valentine’s-themed sprinkles.

Sheet cakes are satisfyingly simple, with no fussy layers or crumb coats, just the perfect ratio of buttery yellow cake to creamy strawberry rose frosting.

Overhead, Square cake with pink frosting and sprinkles, letters that read All You Need is Love & Sprinkles

Let’s start the New Year off right.

With cake.

(Duh.)

I mean, I’d really be fine if we skipped the entire month of January altogether (although we can keep the 22nd because that’s Taylor’s birthday and he wouldn’t be pleased if we skipped that). How nice would it be to jump straight from the pleasant fog of the holidays to February, and, in particular, Valentine’s day (because that’s when we, as food bloggers, are officially ‘allowed’ to post sweet things again, which I think is complete nonsense.)

So, resolutions be damned, here’s a delightful little sheet cake, full of love and sprinkles and, oh yes, butter.

But seriously, how adorable are these sprinkles? They’re from Sweetapolita’s Valentine’s day collection, and served as the inspiration for this quippy cake. They’re called Catch Feelings and, well, I’ve certainly caught some feelings for this gorgeous sprinkle medley!

Yellow sheet cake with pink strawberry buttercream, with lots of pink and navy sprinkles

The cake itself is a classic yellow cake, rich with egg yolks (vs white cake which is made with just egg whites) and tangy buttermilk, plus vanilla and the barest hint of lemon zest (the cake does not noticeably taste like lemon, however adding just a little zest to the batter adds a depth and roundness of flavor that makes this cake taste like pure nostalgia).

While I certainly think it’d be fabulous with a chocolate fudge frosting, in following with the Valentine’s day theme I opted for something a bit more… romantic. In this case, a strawberry rose buttercream.

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