Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beachin' It

We are at the beach and relaxing. It's my vacation. The one I long for all year long.

Some of you may remember the stories from last year's beach trip. Lots of drama and silliness. I think this year is a little different, much quieter so far. That's a good thing.

Our internet access is very, very spotty so I may or may not be able to update during this week. But if I cannot, there will be lots of stories and photos for next week.

Have a wonderful week. I will be thinking about all of you as I enjoy the waves.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

If You Can't Be Good, Be Good At It

This is a favorite dish in my family. I have been making it for years and it has evolved and changed over time. Now my son likes to make it as he did this morning. It's not really healthy but it sure is good. So I am giving you the recipe. Be reminded - I am a "southern cook" meaning I rarely measure and I add or take away things all the time. So this recipe is just like I make it - estimated. If you need structure, I apologize in advance.

Hashbrown Casserole

1 Bag of frozen hashbrowns, either shredded or chunky southern style - we like the southern style

Ground sausage or diced ham - we like Jimmy Dean Lite Sausage which is a mix of regular and turkey sausage. We created the recipe with diced ham which is always good too. How much is up to you. If we use sausage, we use 1 roll. If you use ham, it is about 1 1/2 to 2 cups diced.

1 1/2 to 2 cups Grated Cheese - A mix of colby and cheddar is best but any kind you like is good.


Salt and Pepper - to taste

Onion Powder - about 1 tsp

Seasoned Salt - about 1/2 tsp

Garlic - about 1/2 tsp

Start by scrambling the sausage or ham in a large skillet until cooked through. Don''t drain. Add oil into the skillet - how much is up to you. Just add enough so that the hashbrowns can cook. Let the oil heat up and then add the whole bag of hashbrowns. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic, and seasoned salt. I just sprinkle them on until it looks right. Stir well and frequently and cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes or until the hashbrowns are soft. I usually put a lid on the skillet after about 15 minutes and let it steam a little as it cooks but still stir it about every 5 minutes. Once the hashbrowns are browned and soft, turn the heat off and sprinkle on the cheese. Put the lid back on and let it sit for about 5 minutes to let the cheese melt.

You can add green pepper, diced onions, red peppers, or other seasonings. My husband used to add hot sauce. I have a friend that makes it and adds scrambled eggs at the end before she adds the cheese. It is a very flexible recipe.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Knew It Was Coming

I was traveling most of this week. It was busy, busy, busy. I was in St. Louis for meetings and I was busy from morning into late evening. But I knew the day was coming.

My late husband passed away on June 3rd back in 2001. I have written before on this blog about Gary. You can read those posts here and here. His birthday was on June 11th and our anniversary was on June 20th. I pretty much dread the month of June.

But I was going to be busy on June 3rd. I would have my mind on other things. I would be distracted from the significance of the day. I would be around friends and we would be working. That was my plan.

And it worked. I made it through the day without really thinking about what the day represented. I flew home and got in around midnight. My kids were up and we chatted. I had to get up early for a doctor's appointment so I went to bed.

The next morning I was sitting in the waiting room at my appointment. It was taking longer than normal so I got out my blackberry to catch up on Facebook and emails I had missed over the last few days. I went to Facebook and my daughter had updated her status the night before. It said "Can't believe it's really been 8 years. I love you Daddy".

Tears rolled, right there in the waiting room. People stared. I wiped them away. More tears came. Damn tears.

I knew it was coming.