When I’m puffing out my chest, after a glass of riesling, I like to call myself an online pioneer, blogging before it became a verb. My blog was my creative space as I navigated the diaper years. It was an elite, exciting world, with great invites, and intelligent discourse. Today, the online world is filled with lists, cute cat videos, and 3 ingredient recipes with gorgeous light flooded pics. It feels more like my kids’ playground than mine.
So the other night, while getting dinner on the table with hungry kids, one of those 1 minute Facebook cooking videos crossed my feed. You know the ones that speed up the cooking process to make it look super easy and slow down on the final shot of delicious looking food.
It was a recipe for cheddar broccoli tots and I just happened to be making boring steamed broccoli for dinner. So on a whim, I relaxed my face, smoothed out my judgy-frown lines, and embraced spontaneity. I made the broccoli tater tots, all prepared to proclaim that the new internet lies. But much to my surprise, the pancakes (because I couldn’t wait for the mixture to harden in the fridge) were delicious! Homey and ugly looking, but crispy, cheesy, broccoli goodness. Turns out the new internet is not ALL bad.
The 40s take some getting used to. Three years into them, and I’m still adjusting. I remember college – every glorious minute of it – as if it was yesterday. But there is definite, incontrovertible evidence that the world is very different than it was in the 90s. When I comment on a good looking actor, my daughter Bella calls me a pervert. When I give a glorious wedge of oozing brie its proper attention, I need to plan a long run to burn off the calories. Being spontaneous takes work, takes reminding myself to be open to things, and to not frown. It takes planning to become a 60 year old with laugh lines, not mean lady creases on my forehead.
Our family is busy, a joyful blur of hockey practice, pointe shoe fittings, and softball batting cages. Family dinner is my daily race finish line, the measure of a successful day. I’ll take inspiration wherever I can find it, even if its tucked into a sped up buzzfeed teaser video.
Since that first spontaneous broccoli pancake run, I’ve made this recipe three more times and tweaked it a bit. These broccoli cheddar pancakes are now a regular part of our line up, a dish that brings cheers from the family dinner table. Bring it on, new internet. I don’t want to make these sped up videos, but I’m ready to get inspired by them.
- 2 cups of frozen or fresh broccoli florets
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cups of shredded sharp cheddar
- ½ cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper to your liking
- cooking spray or 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Boil the broccoli for 7 minutes if raw, 10 minutes if frozen. Drain and chop as finely as you can. Feel free to use a mini food processor to make your life a little easier!
- Crack and mix the eggs. Add to the broccoli. Toss in the bread crumbs and cheddar. Either mix by hand or in the food processor.
- Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
- Form the broccoli cheddar mixture into patties about 4 inches wide. Push down to ¾ inches thick.
- Cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, until crisp and golden.
- Enjoy warm, or reheated in microwave over next 3-4 days.