It is the chocolate and kisses of life that make us rich. Enjoy what brings a smile to my face and love to my life.....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

What is more delicious than mashed potatoes? Well that's easy....mashed potatoes with cheese and bacon! You could probably put bacon in almost anything and it would be amazing. Yeah, I'm going to stick to that last comment and say it's a fact, NOT an opinion. I don't even have to mention what cheese does to any dish....if you need convincing, you just aren't right.

5-6 cups of mashed potatoes (about 12 potatoes)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup butter
8 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup milk (approximately)
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil potatoes until tender. Mash potatoes, then add cream cheese, sour cream, butter and enough milk to get the creamy consistency you would like. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Add 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the bacon to mashed potatoes. Place into a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese and bacon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. *You could also broil for a minute or two at the end to brown the cheese more.

These were delicious! What would make them even better you ask? The almighty cholula, green onions and French's fried onions!!! Do not judge, it is so good! 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful Every Day

For the very first time in the eight wonderful years I have been with my love, we have NEVER been able to spend an entire holiday weekend together. I never understood what I had been missing, until this  Thanksgiving. Through the many changes we have made in the past year, we have finally found jobs that allow us to spend time together. Four.whole.fabulous.days. And fabulous they were.

We spent lots of time with family which was great. Spending time with out parents means so much to us and while our family may be small, it is full of love. Here is my beautiful and silly momma, I just love her.
We woke up early on friday morning and were out the door by seven. We had no plans to venture out on the infamous black friday, but why not? It wasn't rushed, it wasn't overly busy, and we did snag a few little things but we weren't planning on spending money. We were just enjoying each other's company.

Later that evening, I was graced with my husband's presence at the awesome movie Twilight and we had a nice date night dinner together afterwards. Let's just say I am no spring chicken anymore and my official bedtime has move up quite a bit since switching jobs!

Although, I was a champ and stayed up until 1 am on Saturday when we had our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner at my moms. The food was delicious and it was a fun, relaxed night.

I've learned a lot in the past year. I've learned what truly matters to me and while it hasn't come without difficulty, I am embracing my new found love for life. Every day is a gift, every day I am thankful, and every day I am blessed with a family that I love more than words.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and continue to embrace this time of year....Tis the season!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pizza Casserole

So it's been a long five days since the last weekend. Every day you do the same thing. You get up too early, get ready for work, leave for work, come home, make dinner and plop yourself back into your bed. This repeats for five whole days. On the fifth day, in this household we enjoy something called PIZZA. It's quick, it's cheap and it is probably one of the best inventions out there to dazzle our taste buds!

A few weeks back I decided to ditch the traditional pizza crust and make a casserole. Did someone say noodles?!? I love noodles!

1 pound of pasta (your preference, it all works!)
1 lb ground pork sausage (you could get sausage links and remove casings)
1 lb cooked ham, diced
1/2 lb pepperoni slices
1 large onion, diced
1 green or red pepper, seeded and diced (if you want a sweeter pepper, choose red)
2 (26 oz) jars of pasta sauce (I used a tomato basil, and garlic and onion)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp minced garlic
6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp italian herb seasoning

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. In a large skillet, brown sausage. Add onion, pepper, minced garlic and dried oregano. Saute until onions are translucent and juices run clear. Mix the sauce with the italian herb seasoning. In a 9"X13" baking dish add a small amount of sauce to coat the bottom. Begin layering the casserole.

1st layer: 1/3 of pasta, 1/3 of sauce, 1 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese and sausage, onions & pepper mixture.

2nd layer: 1/3 of pasta, 1/3 of sauce, 1 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese and diced ham.

3rd layer: You will add the remaining ingredients, pasta, sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and top with pepperoni slices.

Bake for 40 minutes.
You won't be disappointed.
This casserole can feed a family of 1000. Ok, maybe not that many. 
It is definitely worth making once. Then you will want it again. Although I never said it was the healthiest for you! All good things in moderation!


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