Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

3 words for you: Broccoli.....Bacon....Cheddar! You already know this is going to be a great recipe, dont'cha? Well, your right! I have been stumbling over a Pin on Pinterest for several weeks now. Everywhere I go, there it is being pinned by others, begging ME to be pinned again. It's like, these little nuggets of goodness have been following (stalking) me. So, I gave in! I had no choice. The Pin led me straight to Stacey Snacks page.  With her picky-eating niece in mind, they whooped these up. Niece approved! After I made these, it became very clear why her little cooking buddy liked them so much, you get to play with your food! So, pull up those sleeves and dive in! Warning: this is so simple and sooo messy when making. That's the fun part!

Here's Stacy's recipe before I tweaked it for my adult version. Hers is very kid friendly, so If you haven't been to visit, head that way.

My tweaked version:

16 oz. package of frozen chopped broccoli (use only half the bag, or,  If using the whole bag, double the rest of the ingredients that follow)
2 small finely diced shallots
1/2 cup of grated smoked cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Velveeta
1/2 of handful of real bacon pieces (Hormel now makes bacon "pieces" as well as "bits")
1 1/2 eggs (I used 1 egg and 1 egg white)
1/2 cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
a few dashes of cayenne pepper or a dash of Tabasco, opt.

My kiddo's are grown and left home, so, the original recipe made a lot more than I needed to make, or eat (and trust me, I would). So I cut the original recipe in 1/2. I still ended up with about a dozen half dollar sized bites.

Preheat your oven to 375.

Start off by draining your broccoli. Stacy used fresh steamed.  Then, mix everything all together and form into little patties (I formed about a 1 1/2 to 2 inch balls.)  Spray your cookie sheet good with non stick spray, or, you can take a few paper towels and douse with some cooking oil and coat your cookie sheet that way. Either or..

Set your oven timer for 7-8 minutes. When time is up, flip your patties over and use the back of your spatula to smoosh 'em down a bit, this forms the patties shape.  Reset timer for 7-8 more minutes and put back in the oven. Your done. that's it. Easy enough?

Things I will do different next go around:

1.) Take iron skillet OUT of oven before I preheat oven. My bad!

2.) Try out using fresh steamed broccoli, just cuz'.

3.) Give a rough chop-chop or light pulse to the broccoli stems and pieces before hand. I did cut my pieces up initially, but they were still a little to chunky and cantankerous when trying to form the patties.  So, they're gonna "get it" next go round.

4.) Make dang sure I have some ranch dressing made up, that would have been a wonderful compliment to these little gems. (&*%#*!)

I wonder how cauliflower would taste in place of the broccoli??? (I just got a warm fuzzy feeling)
 notes to self: give it a whirl!

Thanks for the inspiration "Aunt" Stacy.

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