Delightful Broccoli Salad. Emphasis on the light.

It is Saturday of Holy week. As we prepare for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we spend today in silence and contemplation. As busy as Easter can be for us, it’s good to take some time and reflect on what this holiday means. I did some Easter lunch prep today and spent some much needed time in silence. It is hard to get a moment of quiet around my house, but my kids were playing outside for a while and my husband was resting on the couch. It was nice!

I made this broccoli salad with a few changes. I wanted to lighten it up a bit. The original recipe I have is made with full-fat mayo, sour cream, and sugar. While the original recipe is delicious, I wanted to be more conscious of what I was adding to this beautiful vegetable without compromising the taste. I love broccoli salad, so I feel that this lightened up version does it justice. I hope you love this recipe.

Broccoli Salad

You will need:DSC_0817

  • 2 large heads of broccoli (about 5-6 cups), cut into florets, blanched & shocked
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 c light mayo (I use light olive-oil based mayo)
  • 1/4 c non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c  red onion, or shallot, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

To start: if you don’t know what blanching and shocking is- here’s a quick tidbit. After you’ve cut your broccoli into florets, boil them for 1 minute (blanch). After 1 minute, immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water (shock). The blanching helps the broccoli cook a little while turning it into a vibrant green (see the difference between photo 1 and 4 below?). Shocking it keeps it from cooking further so it will maintain its color and crunch. Drain the broccoli after it has completely cooled in the ice water. Lay it to dry on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.


Now- for the dressing!

Grab a large bowl. This will be the bowl everything goes in, so make sure it is big. Add the light mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Give this a whisk. On top of that, add in the dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, diced red onion or shallot, and cheddar cheese. Add the broccoli on top. With a large spoon, gently mix the dressing in with the broccoli until everything is well combined.


Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1-2 hours (or overnight). This is a great dish to make the night before. It sits will in the refrigerator, and I personally like for it to have time to hang out before serving. The flavor gets better! However, if you are in a rush and need something that day- a couple hours in the fridge will yield a delicious broccoli salad.


I hope you and your family have a Happy Easter. We will be attending Mass, hunting eggs, and enjoying a big lunch together with friends. My menu includes a glazed ham, potatoes au gratin, roasted squash and zucchini, and this broccoli salad. There will be dessert too (our friends are bringing lemon bars and we made some homemade ice cream).

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already, give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,


When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.'”

Mk 16: 1-7

Brussels Sprouts: The underdog of vegetables.

My kids must be made of some fairy dust because their favorite vegetable is roasted Brussels sprouts. Seriously. It’s funny because my own dad can’t stand them and won’t touch them. If you’re like my dad, but you’re willing to give them a second chance, follow this recipe exactly and you will not be disappointed!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

You will need: DSC_0736

  • 12-15  Brussels sprouts, cut in half (I try and aim for 7-8 halves per adult, and 4-5 halves for kiddos. 15 will give you 30 halves, so just add more or take away some according to your family size)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 400*F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper, either will work. Cut the fibrous stem off of each Brussels sprout and discard. Then, cut each sprout  in half. Some of their leaves will fall away, and that’s fine. They end up roasting into super crunchy bits anyway, so throw them in to cook as well. Toss all of the sprouts onto the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix around with your hands until everything is coated evenly. Roast for 25 minutes at 400*F.


After the time is up, they should be golden to dark brown. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top as soon as they come out. Serve alongside whatever you wish! We had them with steak and roasted red potatoes. I am guilty of eating all of the excess crunchy leaves that fell away during the preparation process. I wish they came in a bag like chips…


These are simple to make and always a hit with us. I have turned a few of my friends onto Brussels sprouts after making them this way. A little side note- any green veggie does great with just olive oil, salt, and pepper with a 25-30 minute roast at 400*F. If you want to dress them up- add the Parmesan! If you try this out, please let me know. Don’t be afraid to try them… they are delicious (and pretty darn good for you too!)


As we go deeper into Holy Week, I can’t help but reflect on what a crazy Lenten season this has been for our family. Lent always seems to throw us into a storm, but we end up coming out of it renewed. As with all struggles, we are to give them to God and pray for patience, understanding, and most of all-trust.

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already, give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our faults.


Salmon Patties

I grew up eating salmon patties quite often. My dad would make them and they were always a hit. They are not only delicious, but they go with just about every side you can think of. We live in fish taco country here in the San Diego area, so by the time Lent rolls around- we are looking for something new to satisfy our Fish Friday needs. I hope you love this easy, fast, and delicious recipe as much as we do! Enjoy.

Salmon Patties

You will need:DSC_0656

  • 20 oz of canned boneless and skinless salmon (Chicken of the Sea is the brand I prefer. I buy 4 of their 5oz cans. Pouches work great too!)
  • 1 cup of Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • fresh lemon for serving
  • 10 inch cast iron or non-stick skillet (if you have a bigger skillet, you will need a bit more oil. The oil should cover the entire bottom of the skillet)

To start, drain almost all of the liquid from the canned salmon. Reserve 2 tbsp of the liquid in the bowl you will use to mix everything. Empty each can of salmon into the bowl. Pour the 1 cup of bread crumbs in over the salmon. Crack two whole eggs in, and finish with the salt and pepper. Use a spoon, or your hands (my preferred method), to mix everything around.


Preheat your cast iron or non-stick skillet with the 1/4 cup of canola oil over med-high heat. Once all of the ingredients are mixed, go ahead and form it into patties. The mixture will be sort of wet and crumbly, but use your hands and gentle pressure to form them into circular patties. Once formed, place them onto a flat surface and let them rest while the oil heats. You should get 8 medium sized patties out of this mixture.


Once the oil is heated through, gently lay four patties down to cook. The oil should sizzle enough to cook them, but not be so hot that it sputters and smokes. The patties will cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. When you are ready to flip them, make sure you have a firm spatula and are careful not to break the patty. Once golden on each side, set on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. These are cooked quickly and at a shallow depth, so they are never greasy or heavy.


Once all the patties are cooked, serve them on a plate alongside a slice of lemon. We like to eat ours with a side of roasted or steamed veggies. We typically have 2 patties per adult, and 1 per child. I grew up eating mine with ketchup, so that is how I like to eat mine, but I have also had them with tartar sauce, creamy dill sauce, and even A1 sauce! Whatever works for you.


Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week. This Friday is Good Friday and a fasting day. This recipe is one you should consider for your primary meal. It is filling, nutritious, and also meatless! If you do make this, please let me know what you think. It is budget friendly and really is a huge hit among kids and adults.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to my husband and I via text, Facebook, and Instagram with your prayers, well-wishes, and kind thoughts regarding our son’s diagnosis. It means the world to us to have such an amazing support system. We really do appreciate the time you took to share kindness with us.

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already- give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,


When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out:
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel.”

John 12: 12-13

A Hug & Banana Bread

This week, my husband and I were delivered some news that rearranged our lives quite a bit. Our son was diagnosed with Down syndrome. I am twenty weeks along as of today, and this was not how I expected this healthy pregnancy to go. If you want to read more, you can look at the post I wrote on my IG page @thecatholickitchen.

After the initial shock of the diagnosis, I calmed down, hugged my family, prayed for resilience, and sought comfort. As I have mentioned over and over again- cooking makes me happy and it eases my mind. I had a lot of extra bananas hanging out that were nearing their end, so I decided to whip up some of the best banana bread ever. I hope you love it!

Banana Bread

You will need:DSC_0594

  • 4-5 over-ripened bananas
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c brown sugar (I use 3/4 c white sugar + 1 tbsp molasses. I never keep brown sugar, but I always have those two ingredients)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, mash bananas until they are soft and lumpy. Add in the melted butter, 2 beaten eggs, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Combine until well incorporated. It should look like a thin and lumpy brown batter at this point. Add in the 2 cups of flour all at once. Mix until just incorporated. It will be like a lumpy cake mix at this point. Do not over mix or the banana bread will come out very dense.


Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350*F. Once it is done, turn out onto a dish towel or clean surface to cool. The top will be nice and crusty, and the inside will be just delicious. This is a very easy banana bread recipe, and it does not require anything fancy to taste good. I do not add cinnamon, nuts, or vanilla. Trust me on this- this recipe does not need any of the above.


You can serve this right away, or store it wrapped in a dish towel or in a bag or container. This won’t last long, so I don’t estimate it needing to be stored for longer than a day or two (just from personal experience).

For my family, we love to cut off a slice eat it as is, or pop it in the toaster for some extra toasty goodness. Other days when we are feeling decadent, we will make banana bread french toast topped with a little maple syrup. Warning: there is no going back if you try this. It will become a staple breakfast in your house! If you do venture into the banana bread french toast world, I will include the recipe below.

I hope this recipe makes you and your family happy. It definitely cheered me up after a morning of tears and angst. Please pray for our family as we go on this journey together.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17



Banana Bread French Toast

Heat a non-stick or cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Combine 6 eggs, 3 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla in a bowl. Beat well until everything is combined.  Slice off 1 inch thick slices of banana bread (We do 2 per adult, and 1 per little kid). Dip into the batter until both sides are covered. Melt 1 tbsp of butter into the skillet and cook each slice of banana bread until both sides are golden brown. Top with a light drizzle of maple syrup and serve alongside scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, and fresh fruit. Enjoy 🙂

Comfort Classic: Chicken & Dumplings

Today is the feast day of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. If you haven’t read their story, I urge you to do so. You can find it here. As a mother, it is a tough story to read. They were both incredibly brave and held strong in their faith to the very end. Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us!

As we move along to the topic of this post, I should mention I am from Texas. Specifically, I am from East Texas, which may as well be an entirely independent state of its own. We eat a lot of comfort food predominately found in the south. I enjoy cooking this way on cold and rainy days, or when we are feeding a crowd. This dish reminds me of my family there. My Nana & Pawpaw love it, and my sister Morgan and I cooked it together several years ago. Chicken & Dumplings holds a special place in my heart, as you can tell.

Chicken & Dumplings

You will need:DSC_0441

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, pulled apart with the skin discarded
  • 2 cups of milk (we drink skim, so that is what I used. Any fat % will work)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
    • For the dumplings:
      • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
      • 1 cup of lukewarm water
      • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
      • 1 tbsp baking powder
      • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Set a large pot or dutch oven over med heat. Melt 2 tbsp of butter. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp of flour and whisk until it is combined. This is a roux, and this will thicken the liquid. Cook this over med heat for 3-5 minutes while stirring frequently.

Once the roux has cooked for 3-5 minutes, warm the 2 cups of milk in the microwave or over the stove top until it is just warmed through. Pour over the roux slowly while whisking. Whisk this until the roux and milk have totally combined. Let this mixture cook over med heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5-7 minutes). Make sure to stir it frequently.

Once the liquid has thickened, add in the 4 cups of chicken broth, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Give it a good stir. Add in the chicken and put the lid on. Crank the heat to med-high. Let this hang out while you prepare the dumplings.

To prepare the dumplings, make a mental note that your hands are about to get quite sticky. Homemade dumplings are the way to go, so if you have a thing about dirty hands- go ahead and grab some gloves 🙂

In a bowl, add the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a good stir. Next, add in the 1 cup of lukewarm water and 2 tbsp of vegetable or canola oil. Combine with your hands until it is all mixed together. Pinch a small piece of dough from the mixture and drop it directly into the pot. It will float, and this is okay. Repeat this process until all of the dough is in the pot. I make my dumplings between the size of a quarter and silver dollar. Not too big, not too small. Once all of the dough is in the pot, give it a gentle stir and put the lid on. Lower the heat back to medium. Set a timer for 20 minutes and walk away!


Once the 20 minutes are up, uncover the pot and give everything a good stir. The dumplings will look smooth and soft on the outside. The inside will be cooked through and ready to eat.


Ladle the chicken & dumplings into a bowl, and eat! My kids LOVE this dish. I call it biscuit soup because they don’t fully grasp what a dumpling is, so I compare it to a biscuit and they are instantly excited. Kids are easy to please….most days.


I really hope you enjoy this recipe. I love cooking it for family and friends. Even if you don’t think you like chicken and dumplings, give my recipe a try. I have encountered several people who grew up with a not-so-good recipe they were forced to eat… and once they tried this one, they were hooked! It is light, comforting, and filling all at the same time.

As always, thank you for your support! If you try any of my recipes, I would love some feedback.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Perpetua’s answer was simple and clear. Pointing to a water jug, she asked her father, “See that pot lying there? Can you call it by any other name than what it is?”

Her father answered, “Of course not.” Perpetua responded, “Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am — a Christian.”


Effortless Boiled Eggs

Have you ever boiled an egg and the yolk turned dry and green? Or you tried to peel it and the whole egg white came off with the shell? Cooking eggs is something that is supposed to be so easy, when in fact, it is actually quite difficult. I got pretty tired of ripping my eggs apart during the peeling process, or having a severely overcooked yolk, so I fixed the issue. I am happy to say- I have discovered the perfect way to boil eggs with a shell that’s easy to peel. I hope this works for you as well as it does for me! Enjoy.

Effortless Boiled Eggs

You will need:DSC_0348

  • 1 dozen raw eggs
  • 1 medium pot
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 1 tray of ice cubes (or 1-2 cups of ice from a dispenser)

Line the bottom of your pot with the eggs. Each egg should have its own place and not be stacked on top of another egg. Fill the pot with water until the water line is just covering each egg. The less they bounce around, the better. DSC_0352DSC_0356Put the pot with the eggs and water onto a burner. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit there as is for 20 minutes. Do not move the pot or touch the eggs. Just let them sit peacefully. Walk away. Set a timer. Ignore them. Once the timer goes off, fill a bowl with cool water and dump the ice in. Place each egg in the ice bath with a large spoon, or you can *carefully* pour off the water from the pot into the sink and put the ice water in there on top of the eggs. Up to you. Let the eggs hang out in the cold water for 3-5 minutes. DSC_0362DSC_0366Once the 3-5 minutes are up, you can begin to peel them. The best way I have found is to gently tap each end of the egg until it cracks, and then make smaller taps around the egg. I give it a gentle hug with my hand until the whole shell has kind of loosened itself from the egg. Peel the shell off slowly. It should start to come off in large chunks, or even in ribbons. DSC_0368DSC_0371Make your way through the eggs and give them all a peel. I usually end up eating one or two as I go. I love boiled eggs, and so do my kids (and dogs). They should all come out looking pretty round and smooth, and the yolk should be a nice yellow color and soft to the touch. You can store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days.


I hope you enjoy this helpful recipe. I know it may not seem like much of a big deal, but if you have struggled with cooking and peeling boiled eggs before- you are not alone, and I’ve got you covered.

It is the 3rd Friday during Lent. I pray you are holding strong to your Lenten commitments. I can honestly say I have not eaten any fast food since before Ash Wednesday. I am super proud of myself, and I feel a renewed sense of self-control. Take care of your spiritual life, and seek others who are like-minded to help you along the journey. There is nothing better than a community of people who live for God by your side.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.

Hosea 14:10

Our Daily Bread

I love bread. It is not only delicious, but it really connects with me spiritually. There is something about making bread from scratch that warms my heart. I think about it as an ancient food that has been eaten since the discovery of grain. It is a staple food, and one that brings families together. It is filling, it goes well with everything, and it makes just about everyone happy. I have a two part recipe for you today- one is for a simple fluffy loaf of delicious white bread, and another is cinnamon raisin bread. Both loaves come from the same dough recipe, so if you choose to forego the cinnamon raisin part- you will still end up with two loaves of delicious bread. Enjoy!DSC_0282

You will need:

  • 6 cups of bread flour
  • 2 cups of water (100-110*F)
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of sugar *honey works great too!
  • 2 loaf pans
  • non-stick spray or extra canola oil
    • For the cinnamon raisin part:
    • 1/3 cup of sugar
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup of raisins
    • 4 tbsp softened butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp milk or water

To start, empty the packet of yeast into a mixing bowl. Dissolve the 1/4 cup of sugar into the warm water (really try and get it between 100-110*F-otherwise the yeast will not activate properly). Pour the water over the yeast and give it about 5 minutes to sit. It should activate and look like a little fireworks show in the water. If you walk up and it just looks like the bottom right photo I have right here- you missed the show, but don’t worry, it activated while you weren’t looking! If the yeast does not activate, the water was either not warm enough, or it was too hot.


Once the yeast has activated, go ahead and add in the 1/4 cup of canola oil, 5 1/2 cups of flour, and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. If you’re using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on low until it all comes together on the hook. If it is too sticky, add in 1 tbsp of flour at a time until it is just right. If you are using a bowl and spoon (or your hands), mix it together until it starts to form a ball. Same rule applies if it is too sticky.


Go ahead and flour a flat surface with a sprinkle of the remaining bread flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and give it a sprinkle of flour on top. Knead with your hands for 3-4 minutes and shape into a ball. Put the ball of dough into a well-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, or a towel, and let it rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.


Once the dough has doubled in size, go ahead and prep for the next few steps. Lightly spray your loaf pans with non-stick spray (or manually oil them with canola oil). Re-flour your kneading surface. Mix together the butter, sugar, and cinnamon for the cinnamon raisin bread until it looks like a creamy spread. If you don’t want to make the cinnamon raisin bread, just move along to the loaf making process.


Punch the dough down and begin folding it in on itself. You will notice that it is a bit oily and has a lot of air in it. This is a good thing! Once you have it in a ball, turn it out onto the floured surface and give it a good knead. You might need to sprinkle a bit more flour on it to keep it from sticking to the surface. Go ahead and split the dough in half. Knead one ball of dough for another 1-2 minutes, and then shape it into a loaf by forming it into a log. Place this into a loaf pan.


For the cinnamon raisin bread, roll out the other ball of dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Spread the cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture all over. Top with raisins. Roll into a loaf shape and tuck into the loaf pan. Cover the loaf pans and let rise for 1 hour until almost doubled in size.


Preheat the oven to 350*F when you’ve got about 20 minutes left on the second rise. For the loaf of white bread, I take a serrated knife and score it into a criss-cross pattern. For the cinnamon raisin bread, I brush it with an egg wash on top. Beat an egg with 1 tsp of milk until scrambled. Brush it on the top of the loaf. This is what gives bread and pastries that nice shiny color. You can do this to the other loaf as well. Up to you!


Put the loaves into the oven and bake for 30 minutes exactly. When the time is up, remove them from the oven and turn them out of their pans onto a surface to cool. Make sure they are mostly cooled before you cut into them. A lot of breads will collapse if you don’t let them cool properly. Serve them up with butter, jelly, preserves, etc. Both of these breads are delicious by themselves, too.DSC_0266

Once they are cut, store them at room temp in a sealed bag or wrapped in a small towel. These breads will stale easily if left exposed to air. If you want to freeze a loaf or two for later, pop each one in a gallon freezer bag and freeze it for up to six months. Thaw on the counter for a couple hours before using.


This bread is easy to make, and I thoroughly enjoy the process. I make it quite often and typically keep a loaf in the freezer until its time for me to make more. I am a huge fan of cinnamon raisin bread, and what’s great about this dough is that you can cut it into cinnamon rolls! You can also make your own variations with different dried fruits, spreads, nuts, etc. This dough is quite versatile.

I hope you love this recipe. If you make it, please leave me some feedback. I love hearing how my recipes have worked for you! I also hope that your Lenten season is bringing you closer to God. I just finished reading Scott Hahn’s book The Fourth Cup yesterday. It was amazing, and I highly recommend it!

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already, give me a follow over at @thecatholickitchen on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.