Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Chicken and Rice

It started with a request. A small one that somehow blew out of proportion and turned into a slow cooker casserole bake thing.

What do you want for dinner? I swear that question is always the culprit in these situations.

Broccoli Cheese soup was the answer.

By the time I left for work it had escalated quite quickly. We had gone from broccoli cheese soup to broccoli cheese soup with rice stirred in to a broccoli cheese soup with rice and chicken.

Essentially a slow cooker version of cheesy broccoli chicken and rice bake.

But its better than that. Why? Real, homemade broccoli cheese soup instead of dumping a cream of chicken soup over layers of chicken, broccoli, and rice with cheese sprinkled on top.

Way better. And creamier. Bryan loves that creamy richness in his food. Its comfort food for him and that makes him happy.


Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Chicken Rice

1 pound cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups cooked rice
Broccoli Cheese Soup


Cook rice in rice cooker.

Place ingredients for broccoli cheese soup in slow cooker. Cook on HIGH.

While soup is cooking, cook the chicken via oven or frying on the stove. I ended up buying rotisserie chicken because Bryan unhooked to stove to tile.

At the hour mark add chicken and rice to the soup and stir.

30 minutes later, the casserole should be done.

Makes 10.

OMG, so creamy. I feel like it was a little too mushy. I don’t like mushy.

But other than that, it tasted pretty good. Bryan said it was phenomenal.

And it’s such a quick put together, so will be done before you know it.


Sausage Pepper and Rice Soup

When I took a sample of this soup at HEB, I immediately knew this was going to be my after the family Thankgiving meal. The I cooked way to much a few days ago and is completely drained and have no time to think sort of meal. And of course, the quickest and easiest thing to make tends to be soup. Unless you’re making chowder or something.

Besides, it tasted really good. Only problem is that I ruined it. Like literally ruined it. Bryan liked it, I hated it. What did I do? I added roasted onion and garlic beef broth thinking it could add another dimension of flavor. It quickly turned inedible for me as the garlic undertones permeated the broth with this odd imitation onion thing. It was bad. Really bad. So added flavor broth – JUST DON’T DO IT!!!! Lesson learned. What was I thinking?!?!?!

I hate ruining things.

Sausage, Pepper, and Rice Soup

1 package of polish sausage, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
48 oz beef broth
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups of cooked rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped


Cook rice in a rice cooker.

In a skillet, cook sausage with garlic.

Dump into huge pot.

Cook peppers and onions in the skillet until tender.

Dump into huge pot.

Add rice and beef broth. Stir.

Turn heat on and cover until simmering.

Garnish with shaved parmesan if you like.

Makes 6.

Like I said I screwed it up. But the original version tasted amazing. The rice, the veggies and the sausage mixed together perfectly. Add some parmesan cheese to the top of the bowls and it’s heavenly.

The Christmas Menu

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and I have a little more time on my hands, I’ve been pondering the Christmas Menu.

Last year Bryan had been talking about cooking a brisket in the weeks leading up to Christmas. But then his sister decided to do the same thing and happened to invite us to her dinner. I’ll be honest, I was a little frustrated and felt it took the wind out of Bryan’s sails. However, it did save him from cooking all night and he had started complaining about the prices of the brisket he found. So maybe it was a good thing.

This year is different.

This year, he will be cooking a brisket. And it will be yummy.

I was also thinking about doing chicken BBQ kabobs. It just sounds amazing.

So, I’ve figured out the protein, which is the easy part. Now I had to come up with the sides. Bryan’s sister made her Christmas spread Texas BBQ themed with the potato salad, the cornbread, peach cobbler (I think) and broccoli with this rancid cheese sauce. This really irked me because it’s Christmas, you can do Texas BBQ any time of the year. I would have thought she would have done a few Christmas inspired sides or something. Which is why this menu is so hard. What goes well with brisket that doesn’t involve mayonnaise, chilled sides, or steamed greens?

The Christmas Menu

Honey Porter Glazed Chicken Skewers
Asparagus Bacon Bundles
Cheesy red potatoes
Garden Spinach Souffle
Texas Roadhouse Rolls

Chocolate Mousse Cake


Oh it sounds so yummy, I can’t wait for Christmas now.

And the family Christmas is on the 27th, so there will be three days of insane yumminess. I better start thinking of ways to repurpose the meat….brisket tacos? pork buns? hmmmm…..





Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Diabetic Kitchen.

I hope your holiday was filled with yummy food and amazing company.

As you know, the family decided to celebrate this occasion 5 days early and I decided not to make another thanksgiving dinner today. Originally I was thinking jambalaya, however, Bryan is tiling (supposedly) most of the kitchen floor and has already unhooked the stove from the propane. Which means, I really can’t do anything with the slow cooker when it requires searing meat and stuff.

So I’m making strawberry and banana waffles instead. Maybe add some chocolate chips. Maybe.

And when everything is all back to normal, then I will make jambalaya.

See….priorities. Sort of.



Caramel Apple Cider

It’s been 3 years since my last hospitalization. Three! I think I might celebrate year 5 with cookie cake or something that says “5 Years Death-Free. Yay!” Because you really should celebrate these milestones. Give you goals and reasons to live and what have you.

I always tend to get pretty contemplative in the shower near this anniversary. So many things could have gone wrong from the start. And yet, here I am. I could be on dialysis permanently. I could be wheelchair bound. I could have had brain damage that reduced my quality of life as well as loss of facilities. I could have a speech impediment. I could be in a daycare for adults which in reality is rehab. I could be mute. Bryan would probably have to bathe and feed me and become a caretaker. My recovery could have been a lot slower. I could have reduced function in my extremities. I could be homebound due to consistent fatigue. There’s a lot of things that could have gone wrong.

But, for the most part, it didn’t. Although there are spelling mistakes and some sentences that don’t make any sense because my thought process is faster than my typing skills. But, I can always go back and edit that shit.

I remember when Bryan brought me home the second time, every time I wanted a shower, he had to stand in the shower with me to hold me up. I would get through half of the bathing process before exhaustion took over and he would finish where I left off while I hugged him. Hell, I didn’t shower for about 5 days in the hospital because of the catheter in my thigh. It was too much energy to get a nurse to get a plastic glove and duct tape to wrap the catheter to make sure no water got into it. This also made it heavier and it’s dangling from my inner thigh which was quite painful so I said fuck it, I’ll have a shower when we take this thing out of me. Too much hassle and I was exhausted just getting up and going to the bathroom. I ended up using baby wipes all over my body after my morning potty session. Also, dialysis does a number on you.

I think of those time. The times in the hospital, the waking up in the morning screaming and crying in pain, how a burning sensation like someone had lit me on fire coursed through my body the minute I set a foot on the floor in the morning, the terrible back spasms I had where the tranquilizers turned me into goo. Recovery hurts. Coming back from the brink of death hurts. And you have to have patience knowing that although you might never reach 100%, there will be a day where you may feel normal.

You can through me into a deep hole, cover me in shit, and I will still manage to get myself out of that hole squeaky clean. That and dictionaries are a lifesaver. I just tried to spell squeaky sweakie.

Not quite 100%, but this will do.

How do I know I’m recovering? I’m in graduate school getting A’s and understanding psychological theories, approaches, and concepts. I can see how these theories evolved, how they can come together, how to integrate them. After the first hospitalization, I was still in grad school working on my first masters and went back to class where for a week I could have sworn everything was spoken in pig latin. Theories flew out the window and I had to dedicate hours of studying to attempt to relearn what I already knew. You would think I would have scrambled my brain the second time, but I think it ended up righting itself. So here I am, back in school, making a dream come true.

From the fiery ashes, I am made anew.

But enough about that.


Caramel Apple Cider

2 teaspoons caramel
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 oz Apple Cider
Whipped Cream and more caramel as garnish


Place caramel at bottom of coffee mug.

Pour in Apple Cider.

Stir in cinnamon.

Heat for 2 minutes. Be sure to stir at the 1 minute mark.

Drink as is, or top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Makes 1.

You could also heat the apple cider on the stove and stir in the caramel with the cinnamon. It’s up to you.

Even though this is not steamed, it still tastes like a Starbucks caramel apple spice. I would always drink those when fall and winter hit. ALWAYS.

But $3 is too much and I know they use cinnamon syrup along with the caramel sauce and that tends to be a wee bit too high in the sugar department. A grande is 74 grams of sugar.

This version, albeit not that diabetic friendly, does not use simple syrup and you can water it down to make a pint. And you don’t have to add the garnishes, although they are so tasty. But if you have to, and you know what I mean, I would totally put a tiny spray of whipped cream in it. You don’t have to go all out like the baristas do. Just enough to make it creamy.


Sparkling Cider Punch

I was originally supposed to make this for the family, but my migraine took over and 16 people in one not so big house leads to feeling suffocated. Especially when you have to make sure you look down a the kitchen floor for toys just itching to trip you or make you fall.

Half of us ended up eating standing up in the kitchen, getting into people’s way. Then Bryan was like, “Come sit with me in the living room.”

I really wish it hadn’t rained all day and it was bright and sunny. We could have eaten outside and had a buffet table and it would have been cute.

So I made this drink, albeit a half recipe, the next day. Man, I wish I had made this for the family. We ended up drinking either, water, milk, sweet tea, or Kool-Aid.

Want to knock the socks off your little ones and literally taste fall? Make this.


Sparkling Cider Punch

5 cups apple cider
3 cups orange juice
2 cups ginger ale


In a large pitcher or beverage server thing, pour in a bunch of ice.

Add cider, orange juice, and ginger ale.


Keep chilled.

Makes 10.

OMG. This tastes like fall. I love how the bubbles of the ginger ale tickles your taste buds as the ginger itself cuts through the acidity of the orange juice leaving a crisp playful flavor.

This is that punchy like drink you serve throughout the fall months – from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Maybe Christmas, but I always felt those needed to be more cranberry related.

Maybe add some bourbon if the festivities is more adultish in nature. Either way, it’s great for everyone and brings a whole new dimension of the holidays to the table.

Absolutely loved it.

Only problem is there’s a high sugar count, and you can’t water it down. Your blood sugar will spike due to the orange juice alone. So DIABETICS, half a cup and your done. Or go low and drink as much as you want.


Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Sauce

Remember that sister in law with the dietary restrictions?

Yeah, I should have seen this one coming.

As she looks at the green bean casserole, “It looks like you used cream of mushroom soup, so I can’t eat it.”

“I didn’t use cream of mushroom soup.” Really? Why would I use soup from a bloody can? Why?

“What did you make it out of?”

This is why I try really hard not to be a food Nazi. When people ask me what’s in my food and then claim I used some processed can product when I spent 3 hours slaving over a stove, staring at two completely different recipes trying to figure how well I can get close to the recipe while substituting the item you can’t have, it really pisses me off. Like REALLY PISSES me off.

“Mushrooms, almond milk….”

“Well it looks like it has cream….”

This is where my mother in law comes in, “C, Michelle has you covered. She made it from scratch.”


Why would I use this? Half a cup has 4 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of sugar. Thankfully sugar is not a listed ingredient, but monosodium glutamate is. Which is essentially MSG. Why would I put MSG in my body? WHY? And you question how I made a casserole?

You know, I didn’t have to rig everything up so you could eat it. I could have been a bitch and be all like, too bad, make your own bloody sides if you are so fearful of what’s in it. But I didn’t. I choose to honor your dietary restrictions and make that my main focus. Why? Because everyday I have to worry about what I put in my mouth. Every time I am at a function, or at someone’s house, I have to figure out if this potentially yummy piece of food is going to be my demise. I DKAed and NEARLY DIED FROM FUCKING FOOD POISONING! Do you know what it’s like to be at a baby shower or a bridal shower and know just by looking at the spread that you are going to have to go hungry because there is literally nothing you can eat? DO YOU? Because that’s my life. I get scared at weddings because I don’t know if there’s going to be a carb overload because I know, I just know, that the last thing on the BRIDE’S MIND is little ole me. At my own wedding I made sure everyone could eat because I know what it’s like to starve and get pissed watching everyone else eat yummy food and have a good time while you’re stuck eating cheese and vegetable sticks. My best friend scouted a baby shower spread for me once, came back and whispered, “You can’t eat anything. We’ll go get something later.” This same best friend was worried about my ability to eat when she saw what the menu consisted of at our other friends wedding. Hell, this same best friend made damn sure I could eat at her wedding by picking a caterer from a list of caterers I had deem good (I was helping her plan her wedding and we are both major foodies). This is my life. This is what my life consists of.

So no, I didn’t use cream of mushroom soup in my bloody green bean casserole. I intend to be able to eat what took me hours to make.

Maybe before you start accusing people of putting certain products in their food, you should actually look at who you are talking to. Maybe you should think about their dietary restrictions and how that influences how they cook food.

I HAVE to COOK HEALTHY. I WILL DIE IF I DON’T. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE TYPE 1 DIABETES!!!!!!!!!! I am not normal, I will never be normal. And all day, every second of every bloody day, all I think about is food. I am OBSESSED with FOOD. Do you know what they did prior to 1903, prior to the discovery of insulin?!?!?!? They starved type 1 diabetics. We STARVED TO DEATH. You ONLY LASTED 9 MONTHS AFTER DIAGNOSIS. NINE FUCKING MONTHS OF PAINFUL EXCRUCIATING HUNGER where DEATH WAS YOUR ONLY SALVATION.

But no, human nature takes over and people are inherently egocentric. I think people genuinely enjoy newly diagnosed problems that allows them to flaunt it and say, “Oh sorry, I can’t have that.” when in reality they are not sorry and quite happy being able to say no. How do I know? Because there are times where some person tries to put slop in front of me claiming it’s the most amazing thing ever created. But it’s not. It doesn’t even look appetizing and as always, it smells weird. And you start trying to figure out how to get out of eating this obviously not fit for human or any animal consumption crap and then you remember, I have an illness. Let’s hope there will be some ingredient that I absolutely cannot have. Oh, it has agave nectar, sorry, my kidneys can’t filter it and I don’t feel like having to skip a meal due to high blood sugar. Yes, I know it’s natural, but so is stevia and truvia and both of those mess with my numbers. It’s all about the numbers. It’s the second thing I as well as my husband, my mother, and a few of my friends obsess about.

So yeah, never doing this again. EVER.

Now that my rather long rant is over, here’s what you need to know: I cheated and used fried onions instead of making me own. I didn’t have time to chop like 5 onions up, cry my eyes out, and fry them. I also used almond milk. So you can use half and half and chicken broth quite happily where it almond milk is written. The recipe is in it’s original form and not tripled. And 3 pounds of green beans takes forever to snap off the ends. Also, I decided to use salted butter in this recipe because it was easier. When taking shortcuts, make sure they are feasible ones that do not sacrifice the dish.

Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Mushroom Sauce

2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups almond milk (use 1 cup half and half and 1 cup chicken broth)
1 can of fried onions


Blanch green beans in boiling water with 2 tablespoons of salt. Should take about 5 minutes.

Drain green beans into colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.

Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid..

Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to coat. Cook for about 1 minute.

Add almond milk and bring to a simmer, constantly stirring, before decreasing the heat to medium-low. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Pour into baking dish.

Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Makes 8.

This actually came out pretty amazing. The almond milk sort of brought the flavors together and highlighted the mushrooms.

I’m happy that I decided to go with the original recipe and substituting the broth and half and half with almond milk. I was staring at a mushroom sauce recipe for about 30 minutes when the oh your such an idiot bulb went off in my head.

Bryan tends to like his green beans with a crunch, so you can blanch longer or hell, even cook the green beans in the boiling water if mushiness is your happy place.

Either way, you and your family will not be disappointed with this recipe. And you will never use canned soup ever again. Sometimes, made from scratch is the only way to go. And I know what your thinking, “This will take me forever!” But it won’t. It actually is quite simple to make and the whole process goes by quickly.

One of my brother in laws loved this green bean casserole

Pecan Pie Bark

Much to my surprise, no one brought a dessert with them. Someone always brings a dessert. Good think I had dessert covered.

I actually did a test batch at my house before making it at my mother in laws. I wanted to see if I could reduce the amount of sugar and butter without ruining the consistency of it. That and I wanted to know if I could use parchment paper. I ended up ruining the batch and having to take all the pecans and stirring it into extra butter so that it would adhere to the graham crackers. Even with the extra butter, the sugar didn’t melt down and cause the pecans to solidify. I was absolutely livid. And it only made half a batch.

So I figured I would do everything based on the directions. The full cup of sugar, the two sticks of butter. And guess what?!?!?! Still didn’t work. There is something inherently wrong with this recipe that has not been brought up in the dozens of recipe sites I found this on. Also, there isn’t enough pecans to cover the 12 sheets of graham cracker. I ended up using 2 cups of pecans. Maybe I used too many pecans the second time, who knows? I would have done a third batch but pecans are too expensive to be used on a fucked up recipe.

You have been warned.


Pecan Pie Bark

2 cups pecans
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
12 sheets of graham crackers


Place graham crackers on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.

Melt butter slightly in a saucepan.

Add sugar and pecans, stirring as the sugar and butter melt.

Keep stirring until the mixture starts boiling.

Pour pecan mixture slowly onto the graham crackers.

Spread the sugar and pecans evenly on the graham crackers.

Pop the bark in the oven at 325 for 8 minutes.

Let bark cool down before breaking it apart.

Makes 24 squares. Per square.

Even though I cheated on the pecan pie bark, it actually tasted like pecan pie.

I figured this would be les carbs than an actual pecan pie with the same taste. Maybe next time I’ll make pecan pie bars since this really didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.

But if your in a pinch and happen to have pecans, butter, sugar, and graham crackers on you, at least you know something yummy and tasty that can be whipped up in under 10 minutes.

Also, the first batch I made, I did it based on the instructions and felt that tossing the butter, sugar, and pecans together and melting everything at the same time could have also ruined the consistency I was supposed to have. When I made the second batch, I melted the butter slightly so that the sugar would not burn before the butter had melted. I had gotten lumps of sugar on the pecans the first time, and despite me redoing it by adding extra butter, there were still clumps of sugar. I don’t know if that has something to do with the molecular structure of sugar. But I didn’t have this issue in the second batch.

on the bright side, there was no use of corn syrup/

The Family Thanx

Today, Bryan’s family came together and celebrated Thanksgiving.

Why is it happening roughly 5 days before actual Thanksgiving? I have no clue. But it did.

It started with Bryan’s sister coming into town and wanting to do a nice dinner or thanksgiving like dinner. When Bryan’s mom told me, I decided we could do my thanksgiving menu because Bryan had decided that we were not going to do it. So I offered my menu and told my mother in law that if they bought the ingredients, I would cook the meal, or at least the sides.

Needless to say, a day later it became Thanksgiving dinner and I was cooking for like 15 people. I have never cooked for soo many people. When putting the list together, I had to remember I was cooking for normal people and not diabetics so the proportions were going to be bigger. I ended up tripling the recipes because too much food is better than not enough.

To be honest, I was a little angry about this. I’m in graduate school, I have 4 treatment plans, a youtube video, and two 15 paged papers by December 5th. I don’t really have time to cook dinner for 15 people, and yet I accept the responsibility that I volunteered and this is what happens. It also doesn’t help that I had to scrap a paper and start from scratch.

I think the thing that gets to me the most is that it takes Bryan’s family weeks to figure out the date for their family Christmas but within a day, everyone is able to make it to this dinner.

So yesterday, I cooked for three hours. I even changed the recipes to make sure one of my sister in laws could eat everything. She’s breastfeeding and her son is allergic to dairy and eggs.

And then today, I get a migraine.

To make matters worse, Bryan was dragging his feet and his parents called twice wondering when I was going to come over and finishing cooking. I knew what the first time meant, it meant hey the turkey and ham is done, we’re ready. The second time was hey we’re hungry and tired of waiting.

Then when I go to pop the sides in the oven, there’s rolls baking in there.

Time for Michelle to take something for the migraine because I’m definitely in a bad mood.

But everything came together, people ate, enjoyed their food, and all was well.

I don’t think I’m ever going to volunteer for this again.
I really need to stop being so kind.


Sweet Potato Mashed Potatoes using Almond Milk

My sister in law is breastfeeding her son who happens to have a dairy and egg allergy. So after talking to her about what non-dairy products she knows she can get away with, I decided almond milk was the best way to go to substitute milk. I still used butter because honestly, there is no substitute for butter.

Because the family decided to do Thanksgiving on Saturday, I used today to start making my sides – the corn, the potatoes, and the green bean casserole. And I also made the pecan pie bark

It took me three hours to make everything….for 15 people.

As I was working on the sweet potato, a recipe I had used before because Bryan went through a stupid lets be healthy with our milk phase and hated everything, my mother in law tells me how my sister in law told her that she hoped I didn’t use sugar in my sweet potatoes.

You have to be bloody kidding me. You are scared that I am going to used sugar in my sweet potato mash?!?!?!? Do you not know who you are talking about?!?!?!? What do I have? I have diabetes! DIABETES!!!!!!! Do you know what that means? It means why the fuck am I going to add bloody extra sugar in a meal when if I do that I can’t fucking eat it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What. THE. FUCK!

I get it, I don’t see you that much, you don’t see me that much. Here I am cooking these amazing sides, replacing milk with a non dairy substitute to make sure you can eat within your dietary restrictions. Why would you even care about my dietary restrictions when you don’t have one person to worry about, but two people. You and your son. So of course when you think only about yourself and your needs, you fail to realize who is cooking this meal and why this meal is going to have everything made from scratch.

Why is it made from scratch, because your SISTER IN LAW HAS FUCKING TYPE 1 DIABETES that’s why. And because my life is nothing but a dietary restriction, I’m going to make bloody sure I can eat my awesomeness.

I ended up making a joke that I would add honey roasted pecans on top. When Bryan saw it, he’s all, “What no marshmallows?” And even though I glared because he knew better, I also smiled because I knew it was a joke. He also didn’t know the comment his sister had said to his mother. Then when my joke was brought to light by his mother, Bryan even looked at his sister weird and questioned her remark.

So what you need to know is that I used almond milk. Also, I’m posting the original not for 15 people recipe. If you triple it, there will probably be more than enough because not everyone will eat it. Unless you come from a sweet potato loving family.


Sweet Potato Mashed Potatoes using Almond Milk

2 pounds, peeled and cut into huge chunks
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt


Boil water seasoned with salt.

Place sweet potatoes in boiled water and cook into fork tender.

Drain in a colander and return to pot.

Mash sweet potatoes until they are mashed where you want them to be. I like a little bit of lumps, but that’s just me.

Add milk, salt, and butter.

Stir or mash until well combined and butter has melted.

Transfer to glass dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Makes 6.

I really love this healthy recipe. The sweet potato mash comes out so well that no one notices the almond milk at all. They just assume you used regular milk or cream or something. No extra sugar, no brown sugar, or marshmallows or whatever. Just plain simple ingredients making yummy food.

So if you want a more healthy version, use this. It doesn’t get any healthier than this recipe. And everyone will love it. The almond milk really brings out the sweet potato.

(Edit: One of my brother in laws was amazed over the incorporation of the almond milk)