The Best Breakfast Casserole (in the World!)- Revisited

As I mentioned last week, Leigh and I had a state of the blog meeting the week before last. We decided that there are some old blog posts of ours individually that needed to be revisited. So, we decided that we would line up a week of nothing but revisions. She kicked us off yesterday revisiting her Scrubbing Doubles post.

Today, I am going back to my mom’s breakfast casserole. I have to tell you the story behind why I decided to revisit it. Anytime I get loose in the kitchen, I have my camera on hand- pretty much always. I just take a slew of pictures in case I decide to blog about it. So, when we went camping back in the Spring, I made this breakfast casserole to eat cold the next morning. Yes, it is good enough to eat cold. It just slipped my mind that I shared this recipe in the early days of FTTDWYW. So, I wrote the post, edited the photos, scheduled it… and then it dawned on me- I have already done this recipe!

So, when Leigh and I decided to revisit some older posts, I knew I had one already ready to go! Now, I am serious. Pay close, careful attention to this one- it is a keeper. This is a sure way to impress any overnight guests or to take to a family that is welcoming a baby (breakfast is often forgotten) or to have on hand for holiday mornings and is def one that will impress any over-night guests. This is a good one. And without further ado,  my first revisit:

Here’s the deal- having an easy, delicious breakfast casserole in your bag of tricks is a good thing. I am here today to ensure you have a breakfast casserole in your arsenal that is a tried and true crowd pleaser. This is one of my moma’s recipes in her cookbook. She’s probably made it about a thousand times and I have made it a time or two myself and it is truly wonderful.

The first thing you do is brown a pound of pork sausage and once that is down drain it on paper towels and set it aside. And while the sausage is browning, cube 8 slices of loaf bread with the crust removed. Spray of 9×13 pyrex with cooking spray and spread your bread cubes on the bottom. Cover the cubes with your browned sausage and cover the sausage with 2 cups of shredded cheese.

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(Baby Bub was around to supervise and ensure quality control.)

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Next, you will need to combine 6 eggs with 2 cups of half and half cream. I suggest beating your eggs first and then stirring in the cream. Pour this over the entire dish. And then put it in the fridge overnight!

headed to the fridgeYes! One of my favorite aspects of this casserole is that you make it the night before! Can we say hello overnight guests? Can we say hello Christmas morning? Can we say hello weekend mornings? I mean, this casserole is an overall 10!

The next morning, set this casserole out on the counter for 30 minutes before you put it in the oven on 350 F for 45-50 minutes. The casserole will puff in the center when it is ready.

hot out of the oven

Serve this baby with some fresh cut fruit or even by itself and you have a real winner!

Breakfast Casserole

The Best Breakfast Casserole (in the World!)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 8 slices of loaf bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of half and half cream
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage and drain on paper towels
  2. Place cubed bread in a greased 9x13 pyrex
  3. Scatter sausage over the bread cubes
  4. Sprinkle cheese over sausage
  5. Beat eggs and combine with half and half
  6. Refrigerate overnight
  7. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking
  8. Bake on 350 F for 45-50 minutes (casserole will puff when ready)

This casserole is not only silly simple to make but also silly delicious to eat! If you missed it the first time, this is now your chance to hit it up. As always, check it out and let us know what you think.

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Making Amends Week- Part 1: Scrubbing Doubles

I’m getting this post in just under the Monday wire. My apologies to anyone who noticed/care. I am currently in Georgia. I tried diligently to pre-emptively get my posts done for this vacation since I know that writing while I am traveling is difficult. I did a pretty good job in getting posts banked in advance… except for today. And while the post is last-minute, the concept is not. In fact, today marks the first day of a week of themed posts. This week, Coralie and I are making amends… not so much in the apologetic way, but in the “we are always striving for excellence and are updating some previous posts” kind of way. There are some posts which, after they have been published, we have honed and figured out a BETTER way to do them. This week is all about that! This week we have picked four previous post topics from our archives and updated/amended them and are sharing our better versions!

Today,  I am picking one of my favorite previous post/things: the up-cycled dish scrubbies made from webbed produce bags. In the original post, I had collected the bags and nested them within each other… and it worked great. Though I noticed, after much use, that the bags would un-nest themselves during dish-washing and I would find rando bags scattered across my sink (or in the dispose-all). And although they were still super-effective, I kept thinking there had to be a better way to keep the scrubbie together. So, today, I want to share with you guys my solution to improve these awesome up-cycled scrubbies!

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After my initial post, Josh and I began saving ALL of our produce bags. After several months, we had accumulated many many  bags- sweet potato, ginger, garlic, shallots, avocados… ALL OF THE MESH BAGS! From using the original nested version, I knew that I didn’t need to use ALL the bags to wash dishes. In fact, two or three bags worked better as they rinsed faster. I also figured out that I really only needed a scrubbie that was roughly the size of my palm. I reasoned that if I somehow fastened a few netted bags together at the corners that it would truly make these scrubbies perfect!

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I started by cutting all the paper tags off the bags (as shown in pictures one and two). On the smaller webbed bags, I kept the bottom seam. On the larger bags, along with any paper labels/packaging, I also cut the bottom seam and made the bags into one big sheet (picture three).  Once all the bags were prepped (removing any produce skins that were left in the bags), I folded the sheets made from the larger bags in half four times. I then cut the sheet in half- creating two scrubbies.

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I then addressed how to keep the scrubbie together without closing the sides- which would prevent food from escaping the net. So, I used some yarn from my yarn stash (y’all know how much I love busting my fabric/yarn/craft stash), a large plastic/child’s needle (though anything large enough to thread yarn would do) and did a simple stitch in each corner of the scrubbie. I thought about doing a more decorative stitch, or using a prettier yarn, but these are dish scrubbies… not art.

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For the smaller bags, I just nested one within the other and stitched the four corners. I trimmed the edges to make them neater, but it wasn’t completely necessary- unless you are slightly OCD, like me.

I think they are super cute. I have them all stored under my sink ready for deployment. SO MUCH EFFECIENCY!

Thanks for reading and get ready for a whole week of amends! What do you think? Did you try out the original idea? Would you try the improvement? As always, let us know!!!

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Kitchen Cotton Strikes Again

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Once again, my dear friend Sheila has deemed our humble site worthy of her awesome yarn knowledge. See her previous stellar contributions here, here, here, here, here, here, and here - or, find them all in the Guest Post section of our …Everything Else page. Today, she shares with us an amazing, yarn-stash-busting pattern for placemats and coasters that is both super stylish and practical! And do not fear any possible errant stains on these beautiful, ivory placemats and coasters… she assures me they are (depending on the yarn used) completely bleachable. I love having clever, crafty friends… ~Leigh

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Summer is a good time for small projects made with cotton; nobody wants to have woolly sweaters and afghans in their laps for hours at a time in July. I wanted to make a set of cotton placemats and coasters in a basketweave pattern, since I’ve always loved the neat and simple optical illusion of a good knit-purl basket stitch. I couldn’t pick just one from all the options in my stitch dictionaries, so I made a set from four different patterns, matched up by their garter stitch borders.

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The placemats are all roughly 10 1/2 to 11” (26-28 cm) by 16 to 16 1/2” (40.5-42 cm) and the coasters are about 4 1/2” to 5” (11.5-12.5 cm) square depending on the stitch pattern used. I have listed the multiple for each stitch pattern; to make your placement or coaster wider or narrower, cast on more or fewer stitches by that multiple.

Make the coaster version of each pattern first as your gauge swatch!

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I used a hardy kitchen cotton in ecru, so that the mats may be bleached and machine washed and dried without damage for many years.

Yarn: Lily Sugar’n’Cream Solids, in Ecru. 161-163 yards/148-150 meters per placemat, 17-24 yards/16-22 meters per coaster.
Needles: Size 6 (4 mm) 32” circular needle (or straights of any length for coasters only), or size needed to make gauge.

Glossary:
Sl1 Slip one stitch purlwise
M1 Make one stitch by backwards loop cast on (the Elizabeth Zimmerman method of M1; see tutorial here
 

Basketweave Stitch 1

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This is the “Basketweave” stitch from the venerable A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker.

Gauge: 19 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 8 sts + 5
Row 1 & 5 (RS): Knit
Row 2 & 4: K5 * P3, K5 *, rep to end
Row 3: P5 * K3, P5 *, rep to end
Row 6 & 8: K1 * P3, K5 * rep to last 4 sts, P3, K1
Row 7: P1 * K3, P5 * rep to last 4 sts, K3, P1

Cast on 25 stitches for the coaster, and 71 stitches for the placemat. End on Row 1 or 5 of the pattern.

 

Basketweave Stitch 2

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This is pattern no. 16 from The New Knitting Stitch Library by Lesley Stanfield.

Gauge: 18 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 8 sts + 2
Row 1 (RS): * K2, P6 *, rep to last 2 sts, K2.
Row 2: P2, * K6, P2 *, rep to end
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: K2 * K2, P2, K4 * rep to end
Row 5: * P4, K2, P2 * rep to last 2 sts, P2
Row 6: Purl

Cast on 22 sts for the coaster, and 70 sts for the placemat. End on Row 3

 

Basketweave Stitch 3

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This is the “Basket Stitch” from 1500 Patterns (No. OJ 84, Mon Tricot Collection).

Gauge: 20 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 6
Rows 1 and 7. Knit
Rows 2 and 8. Purl
Rows 3 and 5: * K1, P4, K1 * rep to end
Rows 4 and 6: * P1, K4, P1* rep to end
Rows 9 and 11: * P2, K2, P2 * rep to end
Rows 10 and 12: * K2, P2, K2 * rep to end

Cast on 22 sts for coaster, and 68 sts for the placemat.

End on row 1 or 7 of the pattern.

 

Basketweave Stitch 4

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This is the “Garter Basketweave” stitch from Charted Knitting Designs by Barbara Walker

Gauge: 20 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 6 sts + 1
Row 1 (RS) and all other RS rows: Knit
Row 2 & 4: * K5, P2 * rep to end, K1
Row 6 & 8: K1 * P2, K5 * rep to last 6 st, P2, K4

Cast on 23 sts for the coaster, and 69 sts for the placemat.

 

To Make Coaster:

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Cast on the number of stitches indicated for each pattern stitch.

Rows 1-3: Sl1, Knit.

Begin working pattern stitch plus selvedge stitches, beginning each row Sl1, K1, and ending each row K2.

Work to desired length, ending on row indicated for each stitch pattern.

Work Rows 1-3 again.

Bind off in knit.

 

To Make Placemat:

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Cast on the number of stitches indicated for each pattern stitch.

Begin working pattern stitch plus selvedge stitches, beginning each row Sl1, and ending each row K1.

Work to desired length, ending on row indicated for each stitch pattern.

Do not bind off. Instead, place marker, M1 stitch, and turn work clockwise with right side facing. Pick up 1 stitch in each chain stitch of the selvedge. At the end of the edge, place marker and M1. Turn and pick up one stitch in each cast-on stitch across the bottom of the mat. Place marker, M1, and turn again. Pick up one stitch in each chain of selvedge along right edge of mat. Place marker, M1, and turn again.

Join work and purl one round, slipping markers as you encounter them.

Next round, * slip marker, M1, K1, M1, knit to marker *, repeat to end of round.
Next round: Purl

Repeat these last two rounds one more time. Bind off in knit.

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#likeagirl

As I have mentioned before, I do not have cable television anymore, not like I watched anything that was not DVRed- so, I do not know how I came across the following commercial ad. But, take a minute and watch it.

Okay, did you really watch it? Did it make you think? Have those words, you _____(blank)____ like a girl, ever dinged around your mind or left your mouth? They have certainly run laps around my head and come flying out of my mouth. And get this- they are usually directed at myself! Like I am not allowed to act like a girl! princess grace

So, since seeing this ad, I have been thinking about what it means to act like a girl- and one step further, what it means to act like a lady. Any mention of lady-like-ness, leads my thoughts to my grandmother but they also meander through my own filters of what a lady is or more specifically, how a lady carries herself. Maybe I should back up. I think it is perfectly okay to do anything ‘like a girl’, whatever your definition. I believe this because I wholeheartedly believe it is okay to do life like yourself- man, woman or child. Being a female is not a bad thing. Being yourself is not a bad thing.

Here’s the catch: Being yourself and accepting yourself are two totally different things. After almost 35 years on this planet, I am the closest I have ever been to fully accepting all of me but, there are still a few corners I need to round out. One of which is being completely okay acting like a girl. No, I did not say acting like a brat, a diva, a bitch or a helpless imbecile. But, acting like a girl is perfectly acceptable.

My friend, neighbor and mother of five, Alece, and I took the little boys and her 15 year old daughter to the pool to meet some friends of ours who were on vacation. After it was all said and done and we were leaving, the husband, Jason, carried my bag out to the car. I want to be very clear- I am perfectly capable of carrying my child, my beach chair, my beach bag and a cooler all at one time and I can probably do all that for 50-75ish yards… in the sand. Yes, that is my life. However, I had no problem letting Jason carry my bag to the car- he was being nice and courteous.

rock like a girlJason carrying out the bag sparked a conversation about Southern chivalry with Alece’s  daughter. She said that her class had talked about whether it was alright for guys to open doors for girls. She said she was one of only 2 girls in her class who did not think boys should open doors for girls because girls can open their own doors. Of course girls can open their own doors- duh. But, it is the polite thing to do to hold doors, carry bags, etc. And I do not think it is just boys that can do these  things- girls can open doors for boys too- in that way, it is demonstrating your manners (or lack thereof).

Because I am a polite and courteous person, I hold doors all the time. I offer to lend a hand every chance I get. I sincerely hope I do it with the grace and confidence of a lady. And it is also my hope that I rear a young man that will also hold doors and often lend a hand with the grace and confidence of a gentleman.

Now, tell the truth- did you watch that ad? If you didn’t, go back and watch it. I will wait right here… I hope it serves as a gentle reminder that we all need to be kinder- to ourselves and to others.

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Sweet Summertime Music: Mayer Hawthorne

Behold! The world’s greatest incentive to drink Hennessey!

As music is so much a part of our lives, we strive to also reflect that on the blog. Technology, unfortunately and so frequently, trumps good intentions. Our frequent readers will know that we’ve been using the music streaming service Spotify from the get-go of the blog. Coralie and I each have separate problems with the service and have decided to explore other options in order to better integrate music into our blog. So, bare with us as we work out the kinks. This month we are trying out the youtube platform. Since we’re deviating from form, as Coralie also mentioned yesterday, instead of doing a Summertime mixed playlist we should recommend a good album or artist for our readers. Lord knows we love mixed playlists Mayer_Hawthorne(especially after our friend Becki shared the science and artistry of assembling a perfect mix)  but no one can deny the awesome power of a fully-formed album. Some classic albums have dense orchestrations and take much concentration, but for an album to qualify as a Summertime Album, it has to be, the unquantifiable “fun.” This album/artist, to me is fun (and pretty dreamy, too). If you haven’t heard of him, Mayer Hawthorne is singer/songwriter with a deep appreciation for a myriad of awesome song styles- particularly the Motown/soul sound of Detroit/Michigan roots. I am really enjoying his latest album, which I’ll talk about below, but I wanted to recommend his second album (“How Do You Do”) as a summertime staple. Below is the complete album compiled into a handy youtube playlist:

“How Do You Do” is a largely a throwback to the 60′s/70′s sound. His latest album, “Where Does This Door Go” goes one step further: from soul to a song that sounds like a missing Michael McDonald track- in the best way possible. There are two tracks on the album not represented on the playlist. They haven’t been uploaded to youtube yet… But, if you like the sound of this album then you should definitely check it out. Both albums are available at FTTDWYW the STORE! Since two tracks were missing from this album playlist, I’ve included two other Mayer Hawthorne songs in this post not on either of the included albums.

He is currently touring, so if you dig him, you can totally go see him! He’s playing Atlanta’s Music Midtown in September, be-tee-dubs. Both my awesome brother (who introduced me to Mayer- I wish in person) and my pal Chiarita have seen him live and say he puts on a good show!


So, next time you are in need of a good album this summer, look no further!

Have you heard of Mayer Hawthorne? Are you a fan? As always, let us know!

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Just Like Sweet Tea in the Summertime- a Little Music for Your Soul

Leigh and I just recently sat down and had a state of the blog conversation. We try to get around to those more often than not but in all honesty- it has been a while since we talked blog business and upkeep. We talked about the usual stuff- numbers, post ideas, working smarter not harder, guest posts, joint posts and then we talked about the summer playlist.

In life, I try to be as transparent as possible- to be who I say I am- so, why would I be any different here? So, here I am telling you that these playlists can get very heavy for me. It is not that I don’t want to share music with you… I just get bogged down in my head doing the playlist. And honestly, Spotifly is not my favorite music platform so once I do the work for the playlist- I never come back to it. It would be better if I actually listened to the playlist after it was all said and done, but- I don’t. (There’s an 80% chance that If I made you a CD in the last 5-10 years, I have a copy myself or that I listened to it about 50 times before I gave it to you. In the very least- the playlist went on my phone for a while.)

Are you wondering where I am going with this? This is it- Leigh and I decided that instead of a summer playlist, we would recommend a summer album! And, instead of using Spotify as our chosen platform, we use decided to use You Tube. So. I am super excited to get down to business!

Bub, Baby Bub and I went to Destin, Florida about a month ago to see some dear friends, Claire and Kenny. We were catching up on all things and Claire asked me what I was listening to and I honestly told her I had not sunk my teeth into anything outstanding in a while…  she looked at me and said “You’re not listening to Sturgill Simpson?!?!!” She pulled out her phone and played a song- and I was hooked.

Sturgill Simpson plays the guitar like Hank Jr. and sounds like Waylon. He just drips old country but is undoubtedly the breath of fresh air that modern country so desperately needs.

I found a Relevant article from 10 years ago proclaiming modern country to be a joke. Ten years later, some of Simpson’s contemporaries certainly blur the lines of country music and that’s okay but I must quote Simpson in saying “I’m tired of y’all playing dress up trying to sing them old country songs.” That pretty much sums of the state of modern country music in my eyes. But, Simpson is not stepping forward as Country Music’s Savior- nor is he remotely interested in talking any harsh words about modern country artists. This just makes me like him more.

The continuation of the story is that Simpson has a new album out that has turned the page for modern country. Metamodern Sounds in Country Music does not disappoint. How often do you hear a singer, particular to any genre, make reference to the “unmoved mover paradox”?  Stephen Hawkings explored the idea in his A Brief History of Time.

So, I am cheating a little. I am not recommending just one album, I am recommending an artist. Just head on over to You Tube and check out Sturgill Simpson. And here’s a little playlist that I threw together to get you started. Happy Summer Listening!

 

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