Broccoli & Brown Rice Casserole & A Fun New Years Eve Cocktail and Playlist!!!

In honor of New Years Eve coming up … wanted to share this cute cocktail idea … I made it for our Christmas Eve party and plan to make it for New Years Eve again … OK maybe not so HEALTHY but hey it’s the holidays ;-)

To make the ice block around a vodka bottle, just cut the top off a square milk or OJ carton.  Put your vodka bottle inside and stick cranberries in between the carton and vodka bottle.  Fill with water to desired level.  Put in freezer and once it’s frozen, you can just peel the carton off.  Makes for a cute presentation and keeps your vodka chilled too :)

To make the martini : Mix 1 part vanilla vodka, 1 part pomegranate liquer, 1-2 parts cranberry juice (depending on how strong you like it).

Pour into a martini glass rimmed with red sugar and garnish with a few cranberries :)


Cranberry Martini


And onto something more healthy…and I’m sad to say I forgot to take a picture but it turned out SOOOOO good ! I served this with our Christmas dinner…I will definitely be making this again soon…I could eat it as a meal with a salad on the side :)

Broccoli Rice Casserole

I found it on … and modified it a little.

2 large heads broccoli florets, chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 T butter

1 T olive oil

1 cup mushrooms, minced

1 T flour

12-ounce can 2% evaporated milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 cups low-fat cheddar cheese

2 cups cooked brown rice

Steam broccoli until tender but still bright green.  Squeeze lemon over broccoli.

Melt butter and olive oil in skillet.  Add onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms and saute until softened.  Stir in flour and cook about one minute.  Whisk in milk and continue whisking until slightly thickened.  Season with S&P.  Add 1.5 cups cheese and stir to melt.

  1. Steam or microwave (about 3 minutes on HIGH) chopped broccoli and stems until tender but still bright green. Squeeze lemon over broccoli.
  2. Melt butter in skillet. Add onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms and saute until softened. Stir in flour and cook about one minute to take away the raw flour taste. Whisk in milk and continue whisking until slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 cup cheese and stir to melt.
  3. Combine broccoli, rice and cheese sauce and pour into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Bake at 350 until bubbly…about 20 minutes.

Last but not least I am working on some playlists for New Years Eve…starting out with the below songs … let me know what your current favorites are !!!

  • Avicii- Levels
  • 5 o’clock – T-Pain feat Lily Allen
  • I Like How it Feels – Enrique Iglesias feat Pitbull
  • They Don’t Want Music – Black Eyed Peas
  • Without You – David Guetta feat Usher
  • E.T. – Katy Perry feat Kanye West
  • Marry the Night – Lady GaGa
  • Valerie – Amy Winehouse
  • I Like it – Enrique Iglesias feat Pitbull
  • Raise your Glass – Pink (Kimmy this is in your honor LOL)
  • Pause – Pitbull
  • Can’t Believe It – T-Pain feat Lil Wayne
  • Swell Window – Zee Avi
  • Imma Star – Jeremih
  • We Found Love – Rihanna
  • That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings

Hope everyone has a Safe & Happy New Year’s !!!! – Jenn

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About Jennifer

I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, Presley-7 and Cash-5 and married to an amazing husband and father, Todd. I have always thought of myself as a healthy person...I've always loved sports, working out and eating healthy. However, looking back, I've actually had a lot of unhealthy habits. I've tried every diet out there : Low fat (How did I think eating a box of fat free snackwells cookies was healthy?), Low carb (can you say fried pork skins GROSS)... as well as a long stint with disordered eating which started in college as a way to avoid those "freshman 15".
Well it wasn't until my 30s that I realized those kind of diets are just a quick fix, not a lifestyle. I think all foods can fit into a healthy diet as long as you practice moderation. I have found that I feel and look my best when I am eating mostly plant-based foods. Not to say I won't indulge in a filet every now and again... but I find that I crave meat less and less ! I have recently been fascinated with trying new vegetarian recipes...I NEVER thought I could give up chicken...used it eat it everyday, but I actually don't miss it at all.
I am trying to pass these healthy eating habits onto my children so they can avoid some of the diseases related to unhealthy diets.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a healthy day !!!!


  1. Kim says:

    Yummy and fun!!! Are you having a NYE party? You forgot to invite me. ;-)
    PS: Raise your Glass – LOLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! :-)

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