I am the 90% (on New Years Eve)

I’m  one of the 90% of Americans who claim they are staying in for New Years.  I think that says more about the people who actually respond to those polls than what people actually do on New Years.  They way I see it, I’m going to get a good night’s sleep tonight, and I’m definitely not going to be disappointed!

I’m also going home tomorrow.

Which I think is what I said when I headed this direction a week and a half ago.  I guess my home is both places.

Since it was my last day in Anderson (and I busted my tail at the gym today), I ordered something at Panera that I’ve been hankering for lately–the grilled cheese.  My mom, brother, and I enjoyed a nice lunch together.

Lunch at Panera

Of course, I thought about ways that I could make a slightly healthier version myself.  It will happen soon.

I finished off my stay in Anderson with a bike ride with my mom and dinner with the family.  I’ve had a wonderfully restful break here.  My other home hosts both new and old exciting things to tackle in 2014.

Happy New Year!

Slow-Cooker Breakfast Casserole Part II

Last night, my mom and I put together the slow-cooker breakfast casserole.  It was filled with cheese, hash browns, and Christmas goodness.  My mom is a bit more of a recipe follower than I am, but I have some ideas for how to spice this thing up a bit.  It was good, but it needed a little something extra.  I hope to make a healthier version soon!  Here is what we used:

  • 1 lb. of ground sausage
  • 16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 26-ish oz. bag of hash browns
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 eggs (If I did this again, I would use half egg whites and half whole eggs.)
  • 2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Here are the things I suggest adding:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1/2 salsa
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups spinach

Literally dump everything in a crock pot and cook for 7 hours on low.

It was a very filling brunch.  Definitely a Christmas treat!

breakfast casserole

Slow-cooker Breakfast Casserole

family eating breakfast casserole

All I wanted was my little fake McMuffin’

This morning, I made arrangements with three great kids in my seventh block class to come in early and type their research papers.  I knew I needed to leave my house at 7:00 a.m.  It takes me exactly fifteen minutes from door to door.  Knowing I would make my little eager beavers wait, at 6:50 a.m., I started cooking my breakfast.

One of my standard grocery list items is Thomas’ Multi-Grain Low-Fat English Muffins.  They work great not only as a go-to breakfast item, but I also use them instead of a bun when I make turkey burgers and veggie burgers.  I always buy them at Sams Club because I can get a nine-pack for the same or less than I can get the six-pack at Target.


To make the open-face egg white muffin that kept my boys from their projects, you will need the following:

  • 3 egg whites (On the weekends, I separate my egg whites into small containers so I don’t have to deal with it during the week.  It takes a while)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of spinach
  • Dash of garlic
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 slice of reduced-fat provolone cheese
  • 1 Thomas’ Multi-Grain English Muffin

Cook the spinach in a greased pan on medium-high heat until the spinach wilts.  Salt the spinach and add as much garlic as you like.  Put the egg whites in a bowl and add the cooked spinach to the bowl when it is cooked.  Use a fork to mix the spinach with the egg whites and pour the mixture back into the pan.  I usually do another quick spray on the pan so it doesn’t stick.

Sometimes, I add other things to the eggs.  Onions, peppers, tomatoes, and ham are nice additions.

While the egg is cooking, put the English Muffin in the toaster.

Use a spatula to lift the edges of the egg after a couple of minutes of cooking.  If it stays together, it’s time to flip.

Homemade Egg McMuffin

Place the slice of cheese on top.  Fold the egg in half.  Let it cook for a minute and flip the folded over.  When you are satisfied with the brownness, use the spatula to cut the egg in half.  Place a half on each side of the English Muffin.  I like to eat the open-faced because it feels like more food.  If you’re in a hurry, make it into a sandwich and GO!


When I finally arrived at my classroom door, my boys were waiting patiently.  I confessed that I was a horrible teacher and that all I wanted was my “little Egg McMuffin.”  They denied my claims of ineptitude and got to work.  I don’t think they were too mad.  These kids are champs for coming in so early.


My butternut squash soup served as an excellent lunch despite my distaste for leftovers–and saved a little room for the Mexican food I ate for dinner.  I’m a sucker for tortilla chips, salsa, and good conversation.

Tonight, I will leave with my favorite moment of the day.  Here is a side-by-side comparison of the 1970’s-ish selfie my mom took despite my grandmother’s claim that she “didn’t understand why anyone would want to do that.”  I’m surely glad she did.


Love you, mom!