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My cousins and I have been exchanging e-mails, figuring out when and where to hold the family holidays this year. I got an e-vite a few days ago from my cousin on the other side of the family: Thanksgiving is officially on the calendar now. My mom told me tonight that she and my dad have been planning menus for all the upcoming holidays.

And so it begins.

Of course, the reason for Thanksgiving and Christmas is not food. But come on, it is a big part of our celebrations. Am I right?

In the past decade, I have hosted a few Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, even doing the whole turkey thing. And then there was the year we went to Mark’s extended family, where they deep fried a turkey. In the front yard.

But I digress.

Aside from the turkey years, I’ve mostly stuck with side dishes. Mmmm . . . I love side dishes. Mostly the ones that focus on carbs and/or cheese. My “usuals” are green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, broccoli and rice casserole and baked beans. Well, you know, the baked beans are Mark’s usual.

Kelly is asking for holiday recipes today, so here’s mine for the broccoli casserole.

Broccoli & Rice Casserole

½ stick butter
1 small chopped onion
10 oz. package frozen broccoli
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small jar Cheez Whiz
2 cups cooked rice

Saute onion in butter. Add broccoli, soup and cheese. (And yes, it’s got to be Cheez Whiz. Don’t hate me. Just do it.) Stir in (cooked) rice and pour into 9×13 pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

What are your holiday “usuals”? Will you try anything new this year?

This post will also be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. It will also be linked to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home.

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