Ooooooh, cold weather is upon us…

When your kids are complaining how rough they have it, do you ever say “Well, when I was a kid…” and you go on to tell them some story of your youth? That was me the other day… As I was listening to my little kids stating how cold it was getting into the car (ummmm…into a van in the warm garage) I told them a story about when I was young and single and parking my car in a warm garage wasn’t an option. My kids got such a laugh out of this story, I thought I’d share it with you all too…

When it was -29 degrees below zero one morning, I set out from my apartment building to walk to my car in the parking lot.  As I was walking, I was lamenting that I had misplaced my earmuffs.  Now this was in the 1980’s when “big” was in, big hair and big earmuffs! I had huge orange fuzzy earmuffs that looked like orange soft balls on either side of my head…and they were so warm…

When I reached my frigid cold car and opened my car door, I saw two orange “fuzzy softballs” laying on my carseat! My ear muffs! I stretched open the  earmuffs, as they were attached with a plastic band, and put them on my head. I started my car and drove off to work like usual…

I was stopped at a red light listening to the radio when  there was a loud – BANG!!  As I jumped a foot off my carseat,  I saw two  orange balls fly out. One hit my windshield and the other hit the driver’s side window! It took me a second to collect my thoughts! …What had just happened here?!… I wondered was it gunfire? did someone just have an accident? did my tire just blow? And what?! were those orange balls flying around inside my car??  Then it dawned on me…

I reached up to feel my ears and my ear muffs were gone! That’s what those orange balls were flying around the car… My earmuffs had exploded! I laughed at that thought and then thought –  wow! thank goodness the windows were rolled up or my earmuffs would’ve blown out the side windows and hit the cars next to me!

Aaahhh, the life of a Minnesotan in winter…so let that be a lesson for all of you who live in cold weather! 🙂 Never keep your plastic-banded earmuffs in a frigid cold car!  ( I still chuckle at the thought of how that whole scenario must’ve looked from the viewpoint of the driver behind me that morning…)

Well, I hope we are finished with our extremely cold weather up here in Minnesota…but  I kind of doubt it.   🙁  So on a warmer note, here is quick and simple casserole I like to throw together to warm tummies and satisfy the hungriest of appetites…

Chili and veggie casserole

Into a large stock pot put:

      2- 15 oz. cans chili soup

      32 oz. bag of frozen mixed veggies

      1 t chili powder

      1 t garlic salt

      1  t onion salt   

Stir and heat until hot then pour into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish (**see note at bottom) and bake uncovered  in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Meanwhile, open:

     1 can (10 ct.) refrigerated biscuits

Cut the biscuits in half with a clean scissors. Arrange the halved biscuits around the sides and top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle:

      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

over the center of the casserole, between the circle of biscuits. Bake for about 10 minutes more or until the biscuits are light golden brown.

** Somtimes this likes to bubble over… I place it on a cookie sheet to save cleaning up in the oven…

Breakfast time…or anytime

You know, the english muffin is one of those foods that just seems to taste good no matter when you eat it…morning , noon or midnight. 

Here is a recipe that is good morning, noon or nighttime also. It could easily be called a “breakfast eggdish” but I am going to call it a casserole instead. It’s filled with all kinds of  “breakfast” ingredients like hash browns (tater tots), sausage and eggs but my family often eats it for dinner and not breakfast. Oh, and it is good served with our anytime friend, the english muffin!

Sausage and Mushroom Casserole

Into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish place:

      frozen tater tots (about 20 0z. or enough to cover the bottom)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and crisp. (Stirring them halfway through the baking time will help them become more evenly crisp) Meanwhile, into a skillet place:

      1 lb. bulk pork sausage

      1 medium onion, finely chopped

Fry until completely cooked and then place on a couple layers of paper towels to drain off the grease. After it has cooled down somewhat, wrap the paper towels around the sausage and give it a squeeze to remove more of the fat. Into the same skillet put:

      12 beaten eggs (* see note at bottom)

Fry the eggs over medium heat until firm. Into a medium-sized bowl place:

      2 – 10.5 oz. cans cream of mushroom condensed soup

      2 T  milk

Stir together and set aside.  When tater tots have baked until they are golden brown, remove pan from the oven and turn down the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the cooked sausage over the tater tots and then spoon the scrambled eggs over that layer. Sprinkle over the top:

      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Then carefully pour and then spread the mushroom soup mixture over it all. Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbling. Then sprinkle:

     3 oz. container fried onions

over the top and return to the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

* When cracking this many eggs, it is a good idea to crack open each egg into a small bowl, one at a time. Then empty the small bowl into a larger mixing bowl. Doing it this way will prevent you from having to throw out the whole batch of eggs if you happen to crack a bad egg into the other eggs…

It’s the most wonderful time of year…

Are you familiar with the Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? I think Andy Williams made it popular years back… I love Christmas, but I think I would consider this time of year, the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the season ” to be thankful for what we have“…before the next season begins and the feeling focuses on “what we think we need to have” begins… 

Beings as it is Thanksgiving this week, I’d like to share one of my favorite ways to use up some of those leftovers! You know those little dabs that never seem to get used up…

This breakfast dish calls for turkey, stuffing, craisins (dried cranberries) and gravy. If I don’t have any leftover stuffing or gravy, I just substitute a boxed stuffing or gravy mix (prepared according to the directions on the packaging). I wrote “cold stuffing” in the directions because if you are making fresh stuffing and it is still hot when you mix it in with the eggs, you will be left with a gooey mess. Please use cooled stuffing for best results.

I call this a breakfast dish because it contains eggs, but I often serve it for dinner as well…Oh, and I apologize for the name! It’s was my attempt at humor trying to incorporate chicken (the eggs) and turkey!!…haha…


Into a large mixing bowl put:

      10 eggs

      1 t  thyme

      1/2 t  dried rubbed sage

      1/8 t  salt

      1/2 T Dijon mustard

Beat well and then add:

      3 c  cold crumbled stuffing

      2 c diced turkey

      1/3 c craisins (dried cranberries)

      1 medium onion (finely chopped)

Gently toss and pour into a greased 13×9 inch casserole dish. Sprinkle over the top:

      1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare or heat until hot:

      1 cup of turkey gravy

After the dish has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and pour the hot gravy over the top and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the top:

      approximately 1/2 can of french fried onions

Return to oven and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

I am thankful for all of you that have taken the time to look at my blog these past months. It has been fun sharing my favorite recipe creations with you and my hope is that they will become your favorites too.

May you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!