Breakfast casserole recipe

Despite the intermittent fasting trend, our busy lives, keto, carnivore, vegan, etc. I still believe in the importance of breakfast. Not smoothies. Smoothies are not real food. No one ever needs to eat a vegetable and smoothies are just the worst. The only thing worse than vegetable sis liquified vegetables. I’m not an invalid… yet, I will take my food straight up and with butter & meat thank you very much.

politics bill gates Memes & GIFs - Imgflip
Bill Gates is just a bored, rich man. Why should he be allowed to control our food supply? Answer: he should not have that much power just because he has money. This is not democracy.

I will continue to eat real meat for as long as it is available. To that end, here is a tasty breakfast casserole that is easy enough to cook that pretty much anyone should be able to make it.

Ingredients:

1 – 12 oz tube of Farmer John pork sausage (cooked- fry it up in a skillet, drain and set aside)

1 bag of Simply potato hashbrowns any flavor (divide bag in half and use the reduced amount unless cooking for a crowd) I precooked mine a bit in the microwave oven before putting them in the casserole dish. Five to six minutes if frozen 3-5 if not frozen.

5-6 mushrooms cleaned and sliced (I cooked these in the Instant pot on the ‘saute” setting after I cooked the sausage the same way.

4 eggs

a splash of 1/2 & 1/2

1/2 a block of gouda cheese shredded (or some bagged shredded cheese it doesn’t matter what you use).

Seasonings; a tsp of dried rubbed sage, about 1-2 tsp of dried onions (you can use chopped fresh onion but then you have the tears and another ingredient to cook.

Fry up the sausage in whatever way suits you best. I used my Instant pot on saute’. Set it aside to drain in a separate dish. use your fry method to cook up the mushrooms. You can either use the mushrooms as a layer or cook them into the sausage. It does not matter. At this point I add in my spices; garlic powder, dried onions, sage, etc.

While all of this is going on, I heated up the hashbrowns in the microwave and prepared the other ingredients.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and add a splash of 1/2 and 1/2. About 1-2 table spoons. Mix it all together with a fork and set aside while you grate your cheese if needed. Once everything is cooked that needs to be cooked it is time to assemble your casserole.

I sprayed my casserole dish with non-stick spray. You can butter yours with real butter if you wish. Just do something to the dish so that the food will not stick.

First in is the layer of hashbrowns. Spread them out on the bottom of the pan and flatten them with the back of the spoon or use a spatula. You’re not trying to mash them, just make them flat and even in height.

Next layer is the sausage and mushrooms. layer those out like the hashbrowns. Nice and flat and even. Top it all off with the cheese and then pour the egg and milk mixture over the whole lot allowing a bit of time for the mixture to seep down into the other ingredients. I maneuvered a fork in between it all there and there to give extra room for the mixture to seep down then I covered the holes back up and smoothed it all out.

Back in the preheated oven at 375 until done. About 25-35 minutes but keep an eye on it so that it does not burn.

When the edges of the casserole have pulled away from the sides of the pan a bit and it is golden brown on the edges and no longer runny in the center, it is ready to be removed from the oven.

Set the casserole dish on either your stove top or a heat proof trivet or tray. I use cookie cooling racks. Let it cool a bit to finish cooking and solidifying. You don’t want to cut into it and have it run everywhere.

Finish up whatever needs finishing. You can cut some fruit to serve with this or make some toast. We just ate the casserole with fresh, hot coffee to drink.

Now comes the important part: sit down and eat this with your husband and/or family. Even if it is just you, sit down and eat this wonderful food you made. Put it on a pretty plate and use real silverware, a cloth napkin, etc. Do it up right. Treat yourself well. You work hard. It’s ok to enjoy the fruits (or breakfast casserole as it were) of your labor.

Top tip: clean up as you go. After you have cracked your eggs and used the cheese and 1/2 and 1/2, put it back into the fridge. Wipe up spills. Toss trash into the trash bin. Put composting items in that bin. When you are finished eating put the left overs into a proper container or baggie and put those into the fridge to be eaten later. You do not need to make a fresh meal for every meal. Left overs are perfectly ok to eat.


A bit of everyday glamour

I am sure you have seen those ladies who always look put together. They are ready for anything at anytime.

I see them when I am out running errands. Older women in particular who never leave the house without a face full of make up or at least their, ‘lips on’, meaning they are wearing lipstick always.

I on the other hand have been known to shovel snow off of the driveway in my pj’s and house slippers. I’m not going anywhere so why bother? What does it matter? Why put in the effort?

If you are a Downton Abby fan, you know that these ‘rich people’ dressed for everything. Just as there is an appropriate piece of cutlery for every dish, there is an equally appropriate outfit for every occasion.

Going riding, there’s an outfit for that. Fishing? Hunting? Going for a picnic? You know there is something cute to wear for all of that, for every activity. But what about the stay-at-home woman?

I follow The Darling Academy blog run by Alena Pettigrew, the British housewife making waves with her positivity and enjoyment, yes actual enjoyment at being a housewife. Not a working mom, a housewife. She stays home and takes care of everything else while her husband brings home the bacon.

How to be a perfect '50s housewife: In the kitchen - Click Americana
Image NOT from Alena’s post. Image from, Click Americana

The other day, she wrote about women wearing dresses. It has inspired me to wear dresses more. After all, housewives from the past did everything, if not more due to a lack of modern conveniences, that we do today but they did it in a dress and with their hair and make up done to some extent everyday.

Putting oneself together for the day is an effort. It is an effort I don’t usually do unless I am visiting a client. The other day I was getting ready to go out and I was amazed at the effort required just to look as if I had not fallen out of bed and crawled to my car!

If Your Illness Means You Basically Live in Pajamas, These 13 Memes Are for  You
work from home meme - Exellys Stories

To that end, making the effort daily to do hair and make up and dress like a woman everyday, or as many days in a row as possible, I went shopping online yesterday and purchased 2 skirts, 2 dresses, an assortment of small scarves for hair or neck, a couple of purses and 2 tops. I shop cheap y’all. I can’t afford to pay top dollar for anything so I went to Shein and picked up all of that for the price some people would pay for one shirt on sale at Nordstroms or wherever they sell expensive shirts. There will be a fashion show of the items I bought.

How about you? Are you interested in getting back to your beautiful self… whatever that looks like? Are you interested in wearing skirts/dresses more, or exclusively? I almost have myself convinced but that really depends on if we can get the swamp cooler working this summer or not. I know, I’m wimpy, but comfort matters. For now, I think I will get going on the ‘dress challenge’. I own dresses and skirts already, I just wanted some new pink things for spring. I wanted to update the wardrobe. Its been while since I bought any new clothes.

I think these days we have all become so casual that dressing the way people did in the past seems like too much. It seems special and well… it IS special. Are you not worth that specialness? Dressing like a grown up is a gift you give to yourself. No hoodies, no sweats, no leggins or yoga pants. A skirt. A nice blouse. Perhaps a dress. Some accessories. Hair curled, combed, whatever, and make up on with earrings and any other jewelry you wish to add. Your home and family are your community. You have/had standards at work. You dressed for those people you worked with, why not for your family? Why not put the same effort in for yourself?

Anyone else want to join me for the adventure? A dress a day in 2021?


Orthorexia and homemaking

The Taste of Home Cookbook: Cook.  Share.  Celebrate.

Post is NOT sponsored by Taste of Home… I WISH!

I had no idea there was a name for what I had been going through for most of my life until I read this POST by my friend, Sally.

I will not bore you with the details, especially since talking about such things can be triggers for those persons struggling with the same, or similar issue. Suffice it to say I have had a life long, skewed relationship with food.

I am not sure if becoming Orthodox has made this better, or worse. At first, I struggled with the fast requirements of Orthodoxy. I think they are ridiculously arbitrary and, well… stupid. Veganism is one of the most unhealthy things you can do to your body. We all need healthy animal fats in order for our bodies to function properly, especially our brains. Children especially need these fats for good development. There is no food that has been excluded for Christians by God… none.  These are man made restrictions.

I struggled for a long time trying to do the fasts. The heart burn and constipation were agony. Fiber helping you to poop is a marketing breakthrough and not at all based in science. If you’re into scientific accuracy you will be hard pressed to find any in what is reported about nutrition.

So what to do when one is, Orthorexia but trying to just live life the best they can? Let go. Modify. Do your best. I had begun to alter my way of thinking about food for the last couple of months. When I read Sally’s article it helped the last few pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Also, I had watched the movie, Haute Cuisine.

Haute Cuisine (Saveurs du Palais) Movie Guide: Preview, Questions ...

I recommend it whether or not you have food issues. The main character is a skilled chef. The movie flips back and forth from her life in the Presidential Palace in Paris, France to her time in the Antarctic as chef to the scientific and research teams.

I love this movie. It is based on a true story. The main character loves to cook. She has a passion for creating good food for people.

Between this movie, and watching copious amounts of travel/cooking shows during lockdown I have learned that there is no mystery or magic to French food, or Italian, or Any other food we think is just so tasty. The real secret, which is not a secret but is a difficult concept for many Americans to grasp is; the ingredients or good. These fabulous cooks do not use processed foods. They use the freshest ingredients they can find even if that means they grow them at home OR have their mothers grow them for their restaurants.

Have you watched the Pixar film, Ratatouille? The female chef explains the importance of fresh ingredients to the novice chef.

Americans are caught up in the mill of; over-eating processed foods, dieting, illness, and yet… within it all- some end up developing Orthorexia.

What if instead of obsessing about how to eat; vegan, carnivore, keto, paleo, etc. we cooked for love? We cooked for the love of creating something wonderful out of the freshest ingredients we could find? What if we cooked for the love a creating? What if we cooked out of love for our spouses and children?

Is that not what is at the heart of homemaking? Making a home that is comfortable, warm, loving, and inviting for those we love?

All too often we homemakers have a tendency to focus on de-cluttering, cleaning, organizing, maintenance, etc. Yes we cook but what is supposed to be an act of love is often categorized as a meaningless chore. Yes, cooking AND eating can become tedious at times. Trying to come up with yet another recipe to make chicken (served for the 3rd time in a week) seem interesting can be a bit daunting.

Have you put away your cookbooks and recipe boxes in an attempt to eat ‘healthy’? Perhaps all that is needed to improve our health is a daily walk? It may seem overly simplistic but let’s look at these other, healthier cultures. Less motorized transit. The communities are small enough to walk just about everywhere you wish to go. Instead of driving to the market, buying a week’s worth (or two) of food and cramming it all in the back of the sub or minivan- food is bought as needed, and carried home in reusable shopping bags.

It is three miles to the nearest grocery store from my home… one way. There is a convenience store closer but as we discussed the emphasis for such places are foods that last. It’s not a cute, French or Greek market with fresh produce and meat readily available. Oh how I wish!

Therefore, I drive to the grocery store. I’m not quite up for making a 6 mile journey round trip on foot to buy my groceries.

Instead, I am considering reaching out to neighbors to see who has what and if we can do a neighborhood ‘farmer’s’ market. I would love to be able to walk to a neighbor’s house and buy fresh eggs from her chickens.

I have herbs to sell and can see myself contributing in that way every spring/summer.

For now, I’m taking out my cookbooks and my recipe boxes. I’m cooking for variety, for love, for creativity.

If you are inspired to cook this week, let me know in comments what you came up with.