Are you a breakfast for dinner kind of person? I am a huge breakfast for dinner person – eggs, pancakes, even cereal when I’m on my own, I seriously could eat breakfast for any meal of the day. My husband, not so much. It’s probably the only food related discrepancy we have. Since I’m the one cooking dinner, he sometimes just has to suck it up and eat what I fix, but we now have reached a very happy compromise. This casserole is the best breakfast casserole I’ve ever had. Seriously, so ridiculously good. It’s like your average breakfast casserole with the meat, cheese, and eggs, but much more polished and gourmet tasting. Make this for breakfast, brunch, or dinner and your dinning companions are bound to be swooning. The great thing is that you can prep it ahead of time, let it soak up in the fridge, then pop it in the oven when you are ready to go. This one is a keeper!
This past Saturday, I ran the Brooklyn half marathon for the first time. This race has gotten a lot of hype, enough so to have convinced me to venture off Manhattan at the crack of dawn (I hardly leave the UWS, so this was a serious jaunt). My initial plan was to treat this as a hard long run, but not go for a PR. I’m targeting a 10-k in a few weeks and didn’t want to lose training time recovering this week. Well, that went out the window in like the first mile. Here’s how it went down:
Miles 1-3 (5k in 22:54) – The weather was beyond perfect. Slightly cool and overcast. I don’t remember ever being too hot which was a huge blessing because I definitely had been skimping on the pre-race hydration. We jumped in a car around 5:45 to head over to the start and ended up with plenty of time. My friend and I had planned on running together, and I had hung back in her coral with her so that we could. Ultimately, there was no one checking corals and we all ended up pushing our way towards the front anyways, so it wouldn’t have mattered. Did anyone else find it strange that they talked up the security measures so much, but this was the first race where I didn’t even see people manning corrals or hardly anyone at the start? We never felt unsafe, but I was prepared to have more of a hassle getting lined up, when in fact it was the most relaxed of any of the nyrr races I’ve run.
Can I even call this little guy a baby anymore?! I guess at 14 months he is now technically a pre-toddler, but I think we will stick with baby for, oh, the next 17 years or so. We have been pretty busy for the past few months, so it really does seem like he just turned one. And he is just as cute and sweet as ever.
Rylan finally took his first steps a few weeks ago, and we were all excited thinking that he was ready to take off walking. But in typical “I’ll do as I please” child fashion, he is having none of it. Once he realizes that he is actually faster crawling than walking, he immediately drops to his knees. He even gets mad when we try to get him to walk. I guess you can’t blame him since he really just wants to chase his brother around and not have to concentrate so hard. His other gross motor skills have really improved recently though. He loves balls and can throw and catch really well. He’s also gotten more adept at playing with puzzle type toys (the “insert the square into the right hole” kind) and is super proud that he can now tee up the plastic golf ball, which he then attempts to hit with the club. Did I mention he comes from a family full of golfers who are quite possibly more excited about this than his first word?
I have a heck of a recipe to share with you! This hash brown casserole is pure comfort food. I mean seriously, I could not stop eating it. It’s cheesy and smooth, with just the right amount of crunch from the buttery cracker topping. YUM! When I was at the grocery store loading a few bags of these frozen shredded potatoes in my cart, some well meaning woman stopped me and told me that I really should buy something else. She claimed that she had bought them for her kids and they were awful and totally tasteless. I asked what she had added to them and she said “nothing.” I told her not to worry, that I would be adding more than enough goodness to them to make them tasty. I think this woman (who possibly would have blown away with a strong breeze) was more than a little taken aback when I described what I was making. All things in moderation, my friends. These are definitely not diet friendly, but I think they are more than worth the splurge every once in a while. You could serve these up for breakfast (they would be amazing for a brunch) or as a side with dinner. Or you could be like me, and reheat the leftovers for every single meal for the next 2 days. Just don’t tell your trainer.
I think most moms find the process of actually getting themselves and their children out the door a difficult one. It’s no easy feat getting little ones dressed and slathered in sunscreen, making sure you have everything you need, and getting out the door on time. We recently moved, and in our new place I developed a sort of “going-out” station. Right by our door we literally have everything we need to make our daily trips to school, the playground, or work. It’s made our mornings so much easier.
If there is one thing our family eats a lot of, it’s pasta. Almost every Friday night, we serve up a big bowl of pasta with marinara sauce and a crusty, buttery loaf of garlic bread. I love that this meal takes barely any preparation or thought, and it always pleases the little ones. Our toddler gets an extra kick out of grating the Parmesan on top of his plate. Sometimes I will just open a can, but most of the time I grab a tupperware of this sauce out of the freezer. Everyone needs a go-to marinara recipe, and this has been mine for years. It’s all about choosing good quality canned tomatoes, San Marzano with basil being my favorite. I usually will make a huge batch of this on a random weekend, and then I’ll be set for the next month in the sauce department. It’s really as easy as dumping it all into a big pot, stirring every once in a while, and letting it simmer for an hour while it fills your home with the most mouthwatering smell. Trust me, your family will be ready for dinner after smelling this all afternoon! My husband’s favorite pasta dish of all time is this sauce served along with cooked penne, cabbage, and Italian sausage pieces. That’s the beauty of a good, classic marinara, you can add anything you like, or nothing at all and it will still make for a delicious and soul-satisfying meal.
I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut lately. There just seems to be a lot going on, and quite simply, the kitchen has not been on my must visit list. So we’ve been eating breakfast for dinner, lots of pasta, and tons of these easy no-fuss recipes. Just because I haven’t necessarily been in the mood to cook, does not mean I haven’t been in the mood to eat! Come 6 o’clock I still want something tasty to sit down to (and a dessert to follow wouldn’t hurt either). That’s why I love dishes like this that are filled with flavor (you did notice the drunken and fruity part of the title, right?), but take hardly any effort. Feel free to use nearly any stone fruit of your choosing (peaches, plums, apricots, etc). And be sure to serve with a heaping pile of rice to soak up all that yummy sauce.