Family * Travel * Food

Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole Recipe

If you are stuck on what to make for dinner, I have a great idea for you. I make a chicken broccoli casserole that is not only delicious, but it is super easy. My daughters love having leftovers to take to lunch the next day. This is one dish that never gets wasted, and is a great option to make for a friend or family member who could use a home-cooked meal that will last a few days.

Before I share the recipe, I wanted to mention that you can substitute some ingredients for fat-free or low-fat if you are cutting calories. It will still be just as delicious.

Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole


3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
16 ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets
3-4 cups of cooked rice
2-3 thinly sliced green onions
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and paprika
cooking spray or butter for baking dish


  1. Place chicken breasts in pot of water with desired seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook about 25 minutes. Drain water and chop chicken in small pieces (or shred). Set aside in fridge to cool.
  2. Mix soup, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, half the green onions, and half the shredded cheese. Add in chopped chicken and season to taste. Garlic powder and red pepper flakes add a nice kick. 
  3. Quickly boil broccoli in salted water for 1-2 minutes and drain. 
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or coat casserole dish with butter. Layer rice on bottom of pan evenly, then layer broccoli on top of rice. Next, layer with the creamy chicken mixture on top of broccoli layer. Top with remaining cheese, green onions, and a sprinkling of paprika. 
  5. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! 


  • You can substitute chicken breast with chicken tenders. I find that tenders are less "stringy" and are well, more tender. 
  • You can omit the green onion if you are not a fan of onions, but I like the flavor and color that it adds to the dish. 
  • You do not have to use frozen broccoli. It just makes it so much easier, and is a time saver.
  • The paprika is optional, but it really adds nice color and minimal flavor.
  • If you want to make a casserole to share, just separate into two smaller baking dishes.  

I hope you make this recipe for your family. Let me know if you do. Thanks for stopping by.
 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

For A Limited Time, Kids Eat FREE At IHOP

With soccer games and dance practices, it’s seldom that families have time to eat a meal together anymore. Moms and dads can save time cooking in the kitchen and let IHOP handle the cooking… and doing the dishes!, From April 11 through May 6, with every adult entrée ordered, kids can eat free daily from 4pm to 8pm at participating IHOPs. That’s right… EVERYDAY!  Kids can choose from a myriad of fun and delicious plates, including: kids’ size chicken and waffles, grilled cheese sandwich, or they can make their own “funny face” chocolate chip pancakes sprinkled with powdered sugar, and a whipped cream smile…because at IHOP, breakfast for dinner is not only just accepted, it’s encouraged.

Silver 5
The perfect portion for little ones, these five silver dollar-sized buttermilk pancakes come with a scrambled egg and crispy New hickory-smoked bacon.
Jr. Chicken & Waffles
Two all-white meat chicken strips, battered and fried to a golden crisp paired with two Belgian waffle quarters. Served with whipped butter and your choice of dipping sauce.

Funny Face® Pancake
Kids give two thumbs up to this big chocolate chocolate chip pancake, sprinkled with powdered sugar and a whipped topping smile.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled just right, this IHOP pick will have even picky eaters digging in! Served with Mott's Applesauce.
Run over to your local participating IHOP and get this deal before it's gone! Be sure to connect with all things IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.


Holiday menu items at @IHOP now through January 1st

The holiday season has begun, and what better way to start it than by enjoying a terrific meal at your local IHOP restaurant, which has once again introduced special holiday signature pancakes and heart-warming traditional favorites along with a sweet new desert!

Beginning November 3 and extending all the way through January 1, 2015, IHOP restaurants will be the perfect place to get together with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, take a well-deserved and delicious break from holiday shopping and preparations, or just spend time together making new holiday memories.

To capture the magic of the season in a delicious way, IHOP restaurants will be offering guests their version of a season’s greeting with 3 delicious holiday hotcakes:

· New Caramel Bon Bon Pancakes: A sweet treat of buttermilk pancakes layered with dulce de leche cream then topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce and whipped topping.

· New Pumpkin Cheesecake Pancakes: Our most popular seasonal pumpkin pancakes filled with luscious cheesecake bites and topped with creamy whipped topping.

· Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Pancakes - The return of last year’s favorite holiday signature pancake: Buttermilk pancakes filled with sweet white chocolate chips then crowned with raspberry topping, cream cheese icing and whipped topping.

And once again, IHOP restaurants will feature Traditional and Craveable Holiday Dinners & Dessert:

· Classic Ham Dinner: A seasonal favorite made with hickory smoked ham, glazed with sweet caramel sauce and topped with cinnamon apples. Served with sweet potato fries and broccoli.

· Classic Roasted Turkey Dinner: Sliced roasted turkey breast, layered on a bed of stuffing and topped with warm turkey gravy. Served with mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and a side of lingonberry jam

· Belgian Chocolate Mousse Crepe: Light and fluffy Belgian Chocolate mousse folded into a cool crepe and topped with raspberries, whipped topping and powdered sugar.

“At IHOP, we truly love the holiday season, and what better way to share that love than by creating meals that are sure to make new holiday memories for our guests,” said Marie Grimm, Vice President of Menu Development and Innovation at International House of Pancakes, LLC. “This year, we’re celebrating the season by capturing both the sweet and hearty tastes that make this time of year so special.”

In addition, once again this year, every IHOP restaurant will be decorated with uniquely IHOP branded decorations, including IHOP ornaments and wrapping paper.

For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

IHOP's New World Scrambles (Review)

Last week I visited my local IHOP to check out the latest World Scrambles menu offerings with my younger daughter. I think everyone else had the same idea to visit IHOP at the exact same time so the restaurant was slammed! I decided to go with the Californian Scramble and my daughter went with the All-American Bacon Scramble.
Each World Scramble is made to order and perfectly paired with golden hash browns and your choice of a warm flour tortilla, toast, or two of IHOP restaurant’s classic buttermilk pancakes. You can also add bacon or sausage for an additional cost. We both when with the famous IHOP pancakes. 

When my entree came, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of salsa that was on top of my eggs. You can't really tell from the photo, but there was fresh avocado slices underneath the salsa that made it look like it was way more. The whole combination of the eggs, cheese, salsa and avocado screamed California! My mouth was happy. I did not leave a single bite on my plate. I was very satisfied and really enjoyed the Californian Scramble. 
My daughter kept things simple with the All-American Bacon Scramble. She was pleased with how much bacon was incorporated in the eggs and liked the fresh bite of tomatoes as well. I think she said she would be full for the next three days after she finished her meal! 
Overall, we were very pleased with our meals and recommend you try them, but hurry, they are only available until September 7. For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit  Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.

I received a gift card from IHOP to try out the latest menu offerings. All opinions expressed are my own as always. 

New from IHOP: Scrambles Inspired by Tastes from Around the Globe

The Restaurant Famous for Making Eggs Any Way You Want Them Has Three New Scrambles Inspired by Tastes from Around the Globe

Do you have a taste for adventure, but can’t get away? For a limited time, you need only go as far as your local IHOP® restaurant:  they are bringing exactly that—a taste of adventure— straight to your table with the introduction of their new World Scrambles, which capture the best flavors from destinations both near and far!

Guests at IHOP restaurants have always been able to enjoy a multitude of egg dishes, prepared any way they want them, and now three new savory egg scramble sensations, available now through September 7, give them even more “egg-citing” choices to enjoy:
All-American Bacon Scramble: Fluffy scrambled eggs topped with diced fresh tomatoes, crispy hickory-smoked bacon and shaved white cheddar cheese.
Tuscan Scramble: Eggs scrambled with sweet basil, roasted red peppers, finished with shaved Parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes, and topped with delicious fresh spinach
Californian Scramble: Jack & cheddar cheeses melted into fluffy scrambled eggs topped with our salsa & fresh avocado.

Each World Scramble, a satisfying choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is made to order and perfectly paired with golden hash browns and your choice of a warm flour tortilla, toast, or two of IHOP restaurant’s classic buttermilk pancakes.

Guests can also beat the summer heat with refreshing new lemonades, also available until September 7. In addition to a traditional lemonade, IHOP restaurants are now offering a cherry lemonade and a mango lemonade, each garnished with a slice of lemon, and available with free refills. Each ice-cold lemonade pairs well with IHOP’s new dinner salads, sandwiches and other entrees. For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit  Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.

Kicked-up Baked Beans (Easy Weeknight Recipe)

Need a quick meal idea for the work week? Try my easy Kicked-up Baked Beans and have a hearty meal on the table with minimal effort. 

2 Cans of Bush's Grillin' Beans (I use 1 Bourbon & Brown Sugar and 1 Steakhouse Recipe)
Andouille Sausage (or your favorite sausage) cut in small chunks
2 tbsp very finely diced onion
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic powder
cracker pepper to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar
a few dashes of Cajun seasoning  (I like Tony Chachere's)

Heat oven to 375 degree. Place beans in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add sausage and remaining ingredients. Lightly stir to combine everything. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Enjoy over your favorite rice.

You can easily adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. Andouille is spicy so you have to go easy on which seasonings you add. Let me know if you try this recipe.

"All You Can Eat Pancakes" is back for a limited time at IHOP® restaurants

It’s a brand new year, and what better way to celebrate it than to treat yourself to classic Buttermilk pancakes — as many of them as you can eat! Starting January 2, 2014, you’ll want to head to your local IHOP® restaurant because “All You Can Eat Pancakes,” a perennial favorite among guests, is back for a limited time. One of IHOP restaurant’s most popular promotions, this “keep them coming ‘til you say when” stack of our famous Buttermilk Pancakes is available as a main dish or alongside one of our delicious combo orders.

From January 2 through February 9, 2014, guests can order one of IHOP restaurant’s delicious combos featuring eggs any style, crispy hash browns, and a choice of pork sausage links, crisp bacon or ham — all with a plate of two delicious signature Buttermilk Pancakes, or they can order a stack of five Buttermilk pancakes as a main course. Either way, when those pancakes are gone, guests can get an additional serving of two pancakes. And when those are gone…they’ll keep on coming as long as the guest can keep eating them!

 “There are so many ways to enjoy our classic Buttermilk pancakes,” said Natalia Franco, senior vice-president, marketing, International House of Pancakes, LLC. “Now you can have your pancakes the way you always do…and still be able to try a new way of adding butter or discovering a different syrup. Or you can experiment with any combination of our famous syrups to create your own flavor. We know people love our pancakes, and as long as you can keep eating them, we’ll keep serving them!”

As always, guests can also enjoy their favorite items on the regular IHOP menu, featuring a variety of SIMPLE & FIT items, each under 600 calories.

For over 55 years, International House of Pancakes, LLC has been a leader and expert in all things breakfast and a leader in family dining. The chain is highly competitive in its menu offering, serving 65 different signature, made-to-order breakfast options as well as a range of meals under 600 calories.  Beyond offering “everything you love about breakfast”® IHOP® restaurants have a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, as well. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of September, 2013, there were 1,602 IHOP restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, the Philippines and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the licensed name IHOP at HOME® consumers can also enjoy a line of premium breakfast products available at leading retailers. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).  For more information or to find an IHOP restaurant near you, please visit  Follow IHOP on Facebook and Twitter.


Easy Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Cabbage with Pork

I was chatting with my friend Krystel from Army Wife 101 yesterday and was looking for some dinner suggestions. She talked about a cabbage and ground pork dish she made before and I came up with my version of it. I posted a photo of it on Instagram and received several messages and texts to share the recipe. Here it is:

1 pound of ground pork (you can also use ground chicken, turkey or beef)
1 head of cabbage chopped
1 small chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger
2 scallions sliced thinly
your favorite dry seasonings. Here are my favorites.
about 1 teaspoon of 5 spice powder (optional)
1/3 cup of Frank's® RedHot® Sweet Chili sauce

What to do:
Add your ground meat in a hot pan and season to your liking. I use a potato masher to help separate the meat and make it in more uniform crumbles. Cook until brown and add your onion, garlic and ginger. Saute for a few minutes and drain any fat from pan. Now you add your cabbage and cook it down until it gets a bit tender. From there I add any additional seasonings and my Frank's sweet chili sauce. Toss in your scallions, simmer for a few minutes and you are done! Serve with Jasmine or brown rice.

This is a crowd pleaser for sure. I think I will try it next time with kale. This meal takes 30 minutes or less to make, perfect for busy weeknights.  If you try this dish, please let me know how it turned out. Enjoy :)


From the Marriage Files: Dating your spouse

Life gets hectic almost all of the time. We have to juggle children, work, activities, bills and other life obligations. It can weigh heavily on a marriage. Although I don't make any resolutions for the new year, I did make a vow to have more dates with my husband in 2013. We both realize how important it is for us to have time together, away from the kids. Ever since January, we have taken time to go out alone whether it is for lunch, browsing the stores or just for cocktails. Having that alone time has brought us closer together and it is nice to engage in intimate conversation and a little laughter. So far we have managed to stick with our dating arrangements. The key to making it happen is to not plan it. We just randomly decide, "hey, do you want to go have dinner or catch a movie?"

Of course there are those times that my hubby looks up Columbia SC Flowers and surprises me with a gorgeous arrangement. After 19 years of marriage, he still buys me flowers. Having them delivered is a romantic touch as well. Just this past weekend, Dwayne asked me out on a date in a formal way. It was so sweet! It's also fun to get all dolled up and even wear heels to have some fun time away from the kids. Even if you don't have a lot of extra money, it is so worth squeezing out a few dollars to go out on a date with your honey.

Do you date your spouse? What do you usually do?


Unexpected ways to use syrup with Mrs. Butterworth's and Log Cabin (Review & Giveaway)

I received some coupons for complimentary items in exchange for my post about unexpected ways to use syrup. All opinions are 100% mine as always. 
One of our favorite meals in our home is breakfast. Besides eating it at actual breakfast time, we enjoy it for lunch and dinner too. My family can't get enough of my homemade pancakes, French toast or waffles with lots of yummy syrup. Syrup is a staple item in my pantry and one of those things that I even buy in bulk. 
I love syrup for dipping thick-cut bacon! It's a drool worthy moment :) 

Since I am very creative in the kitchen, I sometimes experiment with syrup in savory dishes. My family enjoys the combination of salty and sweet. One of my absolute favorite things to make with syrup is smashed sweet potatoes as a side dish. All you do is peel and boil some sweet potatoes until tender and them smash them with a pinch of salt, a few pats of butter, a sprinkling of cinnamon, a little bit of brown sugar and a few generous squeezes of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. I spread it into a microwave safe baking dish and heat it for several minutes to let all the flavors blend. I like to serve it with fish, chops or meatloaf. My family loves it! I have also made the same dish in the form of glazed sweet potatoes. 
Another delicious way that I like to use syrup is on salmon. I very light drizzle at the end of cooking adds a subtle sweetness and transforms the salmon into something special. I also like to jazz up barbecue sauce with a little bit of syrup as well.

I plan to cook up a batch of waffles tonight and look forward to trying the Log Cabin All Natural Table Syrup. I have been a long-time lover of Mrs. Butterworth's but I am excited to try the Log Cabin syrup. I just thought of something that would be amazing... imagine a nice yellow cupcake topped with homemade butter cream or cream cheese icing that had a few drizzles of syrup mixed in and them topped with some crumbled candied bacon! I think my heart just skipped a beat!
For recipe ideas, check out the Mrs. Butterworth's and Log Cabin sites. Also, be sure to "like" Mrs. Butterworth's on Facebook for special offers.  I would love to hear your ideas on ways to use syrup in recipes.

I have 2 extra coupons (one for any Mrs. Butterworth's product and one for any Log Cabin product) I would love to give away to one lucky reader. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on August 15, 2013. One winner will be selected at random and contacted by email to claim prize. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!


My favorite new kitchen appliance, the Belgian waffle maker

This past Mother's Day, I received a wonderful present from my family. I had hinted around for some time that I wanted a Belgian waffle maker and finally got one. I have had the same traditional, round waffle maker for about 15 years now. It works just fine, but I prefer the taste and texture of a Belgian waffle. They bought me the Food Network brand from Kohl's. The name brand alone made me giddy! 
I couldn't wait to use it! I have quite a few recipes for Belgian waffles, but honestly I don't always want to dedicate the time to measuring a dozen or so ingredients. I use the Krusteaz Belgian waffle mix in the box (gasp!). I have mixed up this same waffle batter and cooked it in my traditional waffle maker, but they always come out too dense.
In my fancy new waffle maker, the waffles come out so good! They have the perfect texture inside while being a bit crisp on the outside. I have used my machine about 20 times since I got it and I have learned what to do and what NOT to do. If you look at the picture above, you will notice that my waffles don't all fill out to the edges. Welllll, after overfilling the cooking surfaces a few times too many, you will learn what happens! My waffle maker had a locking feature to ensure that the cooking plates come together properly to cook your waffle evenly and maintain the shape. I learned the hard way that by overfilling to get the edges filled all the way in results in the top popping. The noise it makes is SO scary! It sounds like a mini explosion!! 

I was watching an episode of Bobby Flay's show on Cooking Channel called "Brunch with Bobby" and he was making some coconut waffles. I noticed his were not perfect and the edges were not even. If Bobby Flay can have uneven, imperfect waffles, then it is okay for me too! 
My family enjoys their waffles with butter and syrup. My husband loves having chicken with his. For me, I like mine with butter and some fancy strawberry preserves. If you live near a Kroger store you must try out their high-end line of preserves called Private Selection. It is amazing! I make a hefty batch of waffles and put the leftovers in the refrigerator. They toast up perfectly the next day. 

I love my Belgian waffle maker so much and wanted to share my thoughts for those of you considering buying one. You won't be disappointed! 

Homemaking tip | Cook dinner early

I have been a homemaker for over 19 years now and I LOVE my job! I have met a lot of new wives and even new homemakers over the years and they ask me for advice on how I keep everything together. Aside from having my planning book, I do a lot of things at unusual times. I cook dinner (yes dinner) before 11:00 AM during the week. I know you are wondering why I do that. I find that when my husband is at work and the kids are at school, I get so much more done. By the time school lets out and my husband gets home, I am not trying to rush and exhaust myself by having to figure what to make for dinner at 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening.
By cooking my meal in the morning, I save myself the drama and can enjoy my family at dinnertime, stress-free. What I do is cook my meal and pack everything up in containers. I let it cool down for about 20 minutes and I place it all in the refrigerator until later. This also allows all of those good flavors to set in and the food tastes even better than it would if it came straight off the stove. I also don't have to worry about washing dishes, pots and pans at night. It really helps out a lot and I pack any leftovers up for my husband to take for lunch the next day.

Homemaking really comes down to time management. I like to get most of my "work" out of the way before my crew gets home. It gives me more time to focus on things they may need me to help with or just to have a more relaxed evening. A more relaxed mother and wife makes for a happier household!

If you have any homemaking tips you would like to share, I would love to hear them!
Shelly, Mom Files

Easy mid-week meal | Sausage Gumbo Recipe

As a busy mom, I do what I can to take the occasional shortcut at mealtime to help give myself a break. I cook dinner 5-6 times a week and sometimes I want to go with something quick. One of my go-to meals is a simple Sausage Gumbo. I have made traditional gumbo before and it took 2 hours! With this recipe, you don't need a lot of ingredients and the entire meal takes under 30 minutes to cook from start to finish.
All you need is:
1 package sausage of your choice
1& 1/2 cans of stewed tomatoes
1/2 bag of frozen sweet corn
1 bag of frozen cut okra
1/2 bag of frozen onion and pepper blend or you can use fresh if you want (frozen cuts out chopping time)
Sugar (optional)
Sriracha (optional)
Dried seasonings of your choice. I use my usual ones.
Rice of your choice (I use Jasmine)

I start off by putting my rice on to cook. Usually by the time it is done, the rest of the meal will be close to being finished. Next, I slice the sausage in circles and toss them in a heated pan with just a touch of oil. Brown the sausage to your liking and add in stewed tomatoes, okra, corn, onion and pepper mix and about 1/4 cup of ketchup. I add some dried seasonings at this point but avoid too much salt. I add a pinch or two of sugar and a few squirts of sriracha to balance it out. Now add some water. The amount will depend on how soupy you want your sauce. Usually around 3/4 cup works. Now you just simmer on medium heat until the okra gets tender. Taste for any additional seasonings and you are done! You can even add shrimp or chicken if you want to.

I like to bake some corn muffins sometimes and eat the gumbo as a soup without the rice. It's light yet filling and the family loves it.
Shelly, Mom Files
Blogger Template Created For Mom Files All Rights Reserved