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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


My feet and Egg Asparagus Casserole, do they go together?

100_8239I was in such a rush to get the van loaded with all the food and not spill the blackberry vinaigrette on the floor.  My mind was straining, trying not to forget anything.  Okay, I’ve got the egg casserole, the potatoes, the salad, the dressing, the muffins, the wine tasting platters, the hot plates…. what else?  What am I forgetting?

My daughter, Ellen, came along as my assistant.  It was nice having her there.  She turned on the radio and before I knew it we were singing and laughing and have a good time, which took my mind off the stress I was causing myself over if I made enough food?   Did I charge too much?  I’m not a caterer.  What am I doing?   Did I add too much mustard?  Do the chocolate Cookie muffins look like they’re sprouting fur?

I looked over at Ellen, she was wearing a cute cotton shirt and new shorts and a pair of brown flip flops, “You look cute, Hon.”  She grinned and said, “I know.  I always look cute.”  Which is the best answer she could give because I usually give her such a hard time about what she’s wearing.  I mean the stained t-shirts and the jeans that are too short and wearing my old tennis shoes that barely resemble shoes at all.  Why?  Why doesn’t she think about what she’s wearing before she walks out of the house?  In public.  Where people can be harsh and judgmental of your appearance!  It’s not that hard to give yourself a quick look up and down to make sure you look presentable.

100_8244That’s when I saw my feet.  Oh, lord!  I forgot to change my shoes!  I even forgot to unroll my jeans!  I was wearing my nasty pair of old flip flops that I use to run out to the barn when I don’t feel like getting any shoes muddy.  I had put them on to load the van and placed my cute new white shoes by the door.

100_8242Look at my feet!  The skin hanging off my toe.  The dry scales.  The chipped polish.  The dust or mold or whatever the heck that is nestled around the cuticle.  My feet make the shoes look like a million dollars!

I looked at my daughter’s feet again to see if her shoes would make my feet look better, but then I didn’t have the heart to take her shoes when she looked so cute and put together.  She was having a very good time laughing at my predicament and then I told her to pass me the camera.  Because things like this need to be shared….with the whole world.  Welcome to my dry, gnarly, ugly shod feet, World.  You wouldn’t happen to have some lotion?  Or some dark red nail polish?  Or a cute pair of shoes in size 10?

Do you think it’s right for me to transition from feet to asparagus egg casserole?  Probably not.  But, here goes.

The Brunch for Fox Eye Ranch Ladies Horse Clinic

100_8252Asparagus/Egg/Cheese Casserole

Ingredients for a 9×13 pan

French bread buttered, sprinkled with garlic, toasted in the oven til brown.  Cool and cut into crouton size cubes.

Fry one pound of bacon, cut into large bite size pieces.

Mix 12 eggs with 2 cups cream or milk, 2 cups sharp white cheddar , 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, salt and pepper.  Add the bacon.

Spray the 9×13 pan.  Cover bottom of pan completely with toasted bread.  Pour egg mixture over bread.  Top with more cheese.   Cut asparagus stems into 2 inch pieces, generously cover the top.  Cover with foil and put in refrigerator overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees covered for 50 minutes, check to see if middle is done.  It should be springy but not gooey.

100_8248Crowd Pleasin’ Potatoes or Heart Attack in a Pan (depending on your cholesterol levels)

For a 9×13 pan

Heat oven to 350, grease your pan.

In a large bowl mix one 5 ounce carton sour cream, one can cream of mushroom soup, five tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup shredded cheese (I like to use sharp cheddar or Gouda, something strong), 1/2 cup chopped green onions.  Pour one bag of frozen hash browns into the cheese mixture and mix well.  Pour into greased pan, top with more shredded cheese and chives.  Bake for 1 hour until edges are golden and the mixture is bubbling.

100_8254Blackberry  Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

This is a simple salad that you can adapt to your taste.  To save on my cost I only used three ingredients in the salad, but if I were making it at home I would add some feta cheese, chives and a bit of chopped mint.

Spring greens, chopped cucumber, blackberries

The dressing, this is my own and I never measure, so you might need to play with the amounts here.

1/4 cup blackberry jam something like Polaner All Fruit works, I use anything I have in the fridge.

Dash of cinnamon, pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tsp spicy mustard, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil.

Mix it well in a bowl.  Taste.  Adjust according to your liking.  Dress the salad just before serving.

100_8256Pumpkin, Chocolate Cookie and Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins- this made 2 dozen muffins and one loaf of bread

Grease and flour pans or use muffin cups, heat oven to 325

1 large can pumpkin, 4 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, 1 tsp salt, 4 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg, 5 cups flour.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix oil and pumpkin add to dry ingredients, mix until combined.  Place 1/4 cup in muffin cups bake for 35 minutes, check that a toothpick comes out clean.  When cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Bake loaf pans for 1 hour.

If you would like the other two recipes please email me and I will send them to you.

Whew!  And just so you know….this is not a cooking blog!!!  Or is it?  And I am not a caterer!  Or am I?

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