Monday, February 19, 2018

Sweet Potato Chorizo Breakfast Casserole

See? Not at all like a strata!
I am a plain old Cheerios and milk in the morning sort of breakfast eater. It is my go to quick fix. Unfortunately, Cheerios and milk is not really a lot of protein and generally if I eat right when I get up at 4:30 then I'm hungry again before I get to my desk at school. And I'm ready to chew my arm off by the time I get to lunch. So I've been trying to get some more protein in my breakfast. I made some yogurt to eat with granola. But it actually got moldy before I had the chance to eat it all.Then I decided to make a crustless quiche recipe as I've had success with eating those in the past. But I only ate half of it in a week. I was eating my Cheerios instead. As I'm trying to eat better food for me in this whole new era of recovery, I was getting frustrated. I mentioned this to my super cool science teacher friend while we were eating lunch with her three daughters after church. She told me that she had this really great breakfast casserole recipe. It had tater tots and eggs and cheese and she uses some ground sausage and vegetables. I thanked her and decided to give it a try. Except that I totally changed it. 
That whole top is melted cheesy goodness!

This is an amazing casserole! I had it for both lunch and dinner yesterday. And I sent pictures and texts to Super G to tell her how amazing it is. And she now wants the recipe. I can't say that I blame her. I was a little worried it would taste like a strata. I hate strata. But it didn't! It tastes sweet and savory and cheesy and delicious!

I almost sprang out of bed this morning with excitement that I get to eat the breakfast casserole for breakfast! And then I remembered that it's President's Day and I didn't have to spring out of bed. 

Sweet Potato Chorizo Breakfast Casserole
Changed so much from the original it might as well be an original Shazamer recipe
Serves 8

1 bag sweet potato tater tots
1/4 cup salted butter (1/2 stick)
1 lb chorizo
1 green bell pepper (chopped small)
1/2 white onion (chopped small)
5 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Arrange the sweet potato tater tots so that they all fit in the bottom of an 11 x 7" glass baking dish. Melt the butter in the microwave and pour evenly over the tater tots. Then cook the tots as otherwise directed on the package. Mine needed to be cooked at 425℉ for almost a half hour. 

While the tots are cooking, brown the chorizo in a skillet with the finely chopped onion and green pepper.until cooked through. Also in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk.

When the tater tots are done cooking turn the oven down to 350℉ and remove from the oven. Pour the chorizo mixture onto the tots and using a spoon, spread the meat and vegetables evenly over the tots. Then pour the egg mixture over the meat and potatoes. Finally sprinkle the cheese on top. Put the casserole in the oven and cook for 30 minutes more. 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping, into the future...

My Darling Love and I as Lady and the Tramp
I know. I've been gone awhile. 
See, it's kind of been a hell couple of years for me. Or two and a half years anyway. 

But let's start with the loveliness of the past several years. My darling princess. The true love of my life grows more beautiful and more interesting and more hilarious every day. I am forever the luckiest woman on the planet that she is my daughter. I frequently thank God that I get to be her mommy. She rolls her eyes when she hears me say that prayer. I simply cannot express the joy she brings to me. She's an amazing kid and the older she gets the more I enjoy her. We have started an adventure that we are going to travel to every state in the country together. Since deciding this we had an amazing summer vacation through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. I think that might be a separate post though. 
Diggerland New Jersey!

This summer we will head to Washington and Oregon. She wanted to go to Alaska or Hawaii and I told her we had to do those last...

About two and a half years ago, my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore. I was kind of sideswiped hard by the semi truck of devastation. Although our marriage was hard work, I didn't realize exactly how badly it wasn't working. As my cousin, who is also now divorced, says, growing up we were told that marriage was work and how were we to know that it wasn't supposed to be THAT much work. With that said, I have no intention of speaking poorly about him. It's in the decree that I can't and there's really no point in it anyway. So in the summer of 2015 he was done. And after an eternity of fighting we were officially done in October of 2017. So remember my darling little love? I only get her 50% of the time. And although my mom would roll her eyes and tell me I'm melodramatic, It breaks my heart every. single. time. I have to give her to him. But in the interest of personal growth and being a whole person, we shall not mention him for the rest of this blog because he is no longer important. We are pleasant to each other because it is best for our daughter, but he is not an important piece of my life anymore. And really I am much happier now.

So what else have I been doing? Well, there was the whole cancer episode. 
Getting some chemo!
Which we shall refer to as when I was sick. I found the lump myself. And although WebMD said it could be cancer, it wasn't a surprise. WebMD says EVERYTHING could be cancer. and besides that I was dealing with a difficult home situation and it was December. I have a $2600 deductible and I hadn't touched it. There was NO WAY I was going to the doctor before the new year started and I forgot about it. I forgot about it? I FORGOT ABOUT IT! It seems like such a weird thing to do. To forget about a lump in my breast. Although it was really kind of over by my armpit. More on my side boob. And seriously who has breast cancer in their side boob at 44? And did you read the last paragraph? I had kind of big things going on at the time. SO, after he had moved out and I could breathe again because the tension dropped. I maybe was laying on the couch drinking a bottle of wine and watching Downton Abbey (Such a great show!) and feeling sorry for myself because it was the first weekend that my precious darling wasn't in my house. And there was this episode where Mrs. Hughes finds a lump and her and Mrs. Patmore go to get it checked out. In my wine drenched stupor, I remembered. With trepidation I felt around. Yep. It was still there. The next workday I made an appointment with my gynecologist and he assured me that he didn't think it was anything, but suggested we check it out to be sure. So there it was. Stage 2B breast cancer. Ugh. It was awful. Chemo, Baldness. Radiation. Exhaustion. Surgery. Surgically induced menopause. Hormones can kill me. Hot Flashes. The whole shebang. It's not quite like in the movies, but I only realized how terrible it was in retrospect. My family may have PTSD from watching me projectile vomit or not being able to walk because of weakness or balance issues or passing out from dehydration. But I had a laser like focus on surviving for my precious daughter. So while I was focusing on that, I wasn't focusing on just how awful the whole thing was. So in March of last year I finished the treatments of Herceptin. My survival chances go up significantly if I can make it through the first year without it recurring. After 5 years I will be considered "cured". 

My unbelievably supportive family!

Moral of the story? Feel your boobs. Really really get to know them. If you find a bump get it checked out. Had I waited until I was due for my next mammogram, I probably would be dead. 

So what does that mean for this blog? Where is it going? 

Well, I still cook. Although chemo messed up my intestines and gluten isn't really agreeing with me anymore. But now my home situation is changed and I can broaden my horizons. I LOVE to travel, both with my precious girl and without. While she was with her dad doing her obligatory "family vacation" where his family all packs in the same house and up each others rear ends and all through each other's business, I got to skip off to Iceland. It was amazing. That might be another post too...
Me at ├×ingvellir

And I have developed a sort of habit of reading as many books as I can. Lately, I've been reading a ton of self help books, but I also like to read fiction, like this great Icelandic Murder/ Detective series. I also really love funny books and inspirational books. Maybe I'll blog about some here. 

And I've been sewing some. I've been poking around on some sewing blogs and those can be really interesting. I have a ton of fabrics and a ton of patterns and maybe if I were to blog about them I would get some of those projects done. 

The beginning of a Split Rail Fence Quilt
I'd also like to knit more and show off what I've done if I ever complete anything.

And I've really really been bullet journaling. Oh my golly I love bullet journaling. So I may share some of my spreads and collections. I'm on my second Leuchtturn 1917 journal and I just got a TON of Tombow dual brush markers for Christmas.

Workout Log
Planning last year's vacation
Habit Tracker and Gratitude Log

Oh and I got a sweet sweet puppy.
My other little girl!
So I'm thinking rather than limiting this blog to simply being a food blog as it has been in the past, I will posting much more varied and interesting things.