Bites of My Life

I had (still have) a kleenex to my nose all weekend, and got prettttty bored doing nothing, but it was nice to use my cold as an excuse to do absolutely nothing this weekend. I”m sure it helped, but I’m still trying to ward off a cold. However, lot’s of hot tea, Christmas movies and time on the couch doesn’t leave me much to complain about!

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-I just love the way my house glows this time of year.
-Merriest and brightest place in the city!
-My newest MBM’s that I can’t get enough of!
-Last day with our beloved intern at work, so tacos and a few tears were put on the agenda.
-Did I mention I love the way my house glows this time of year?
-Friday night in with a head cold, so I opted to clear out my sinuses with this easy at home curry. Just frozen stir fry veggies with coconut milk, spices and a little cornstarch to thicken.
-We were supposed to get snowed in this weekend but not even a flake of snow showed up. I was set on some snow day baking, so gingerbread men were still made with White Christmas on in the background.
-Had a visitor show up during my baking, but she had no interest in being my sous chef.
-We gifted my mom a cooking class at the new Sur La Table for her birthday back in October. We finally had our class last night and loved it! Loved the food we made even more - pork chops with verde sauce over polenta with mushroom ragu.

Annie

Bites of My Life

Point blank last week was an unexpected whirlwind of sadness, busyness, then heading straight to the airport to hop on a plane for an equally busy (but extremely fun) wedding weekend.

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-Really savoring my new morning routine. It goes something like this: a super early workout, hot tea, breakfast, time with the big man and taking at least 30 minutes to get my mind right before the madness of the day. Sometimes I only get 5 minutes, but I’m trying to make this routine a habit.
-My beautiful, always polished, and put together Gaga. I don’t even know who these two babies are, but I love this photo of her!
-Christmas time at my favorite place!
-Going going gone for #GoingGoingVaughan.
-Loving on my London gal this weekend!
-Another addition to my friends and I’s collection of matching pajamas from all these weddings!
-My first college friend is now a married woman!
-Fun fact: one of my mom’s besties, introduced me to my bestie, Margaret, before we even got to college. 7 years later and here we are at her wedding!
-Sunday night weekend detox = bone broth with leftover shredded chicken, clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon, turmeric, black pepper, red pepper flakes and pinch of salt. Read more about bone broth and it’s benefits here.

Annie

Cookie bite: In honor of #NationalCookieDay today, I’m dreaming of these Christmas Cookies from last year!

Bites of My Life

Full in more ways than one. Thankful for so much delicious food over the past few days, thankful for a few days off, thankful for the joy this time of year brings, and thankful for QT with my family and good friends.

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-Work Thanksgiving was a success! Fun afternoon getting our employees out of the restaurants and having our managers cook lunch for them. My sweet potatoes were on point, but apparently no one likes sweet potatoes but me…
-New traditions getting instilled and I love it. Sis and sister’s soon to be sis-in-law/our good friend Chloe and I all got together Wednesday to have a pie baking party.
-The Best Breakfast Casserole and our Tucker Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition of OJ with raspberries is how we started our turkey day. Not pictured: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
-Our family does Thanksgiving as a late lunch around 2pm, so appetizers are v important.
-Chloe, our stand-in brunette sister, missed you Claire!
-The fruits of our pie baking labor. There may still be leftovers in the fridge, but 5 pies seemed necessary at the time. Chocolate, cherry, pecan, pumpkin and apple!
-L E F T O V E R S (with some celery on the side to try to be healthy. Don’t be fooled though, this was only 1 of 3 servings of leftovers).
-Take a bite of my 1am nachos. I did a poor job documenting my Friday and Saturday nights, but they involved some really good friends and really good times. Hence the late night nachos ;)
-My beautiful Gaga went to heaven Sunday morning. She instilled my love for dressing up and costumes and helped my sisters and I develop the best imagination. I hope I have half her beauty at her age, and her fashion sense!

Annie

Bite of encouragement: There has been an influx of bad news being spread in my little community. Deaths, illness, cancer, you name it. However, there is something about this time of year that puts it all in perspective. This time of year also lends to extra time with family and friends when you need them most.

Bites of My Life

“Now it’s your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.”

“Happy, Thanksgiving, back.”

anyone?

Thanksgiving week is here and I’m giddy. After a weekend of no plans (hallelujah), I’m feeling recharged and ready for the holiday week. We are having a big all-restaurant group Thanksgiving lunch tomorrow and made 3 lbs. of sweet potatoes yesterday to contribute. Hoping the first half of the week goes by quick, so we can skip to the big day!

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-Almond Nog > Regular Nog, especially this brand. Packaging on point too.
-Trying to step away from gray and black everyday this time of year, this hot pink sweater is helping!
-Tuesday started off stressful and uneasy. Did my best to take initiative of the day and opted out of going int the office (thankful I have this luxury, I know it’s rare) and working from a cute coffee shop instead. My stress levels have been a bit all over the place lately, but I’m working on managing them. I knew going into my office wouldn’t help, so I chose to work in a peaceful surrounding and with my favorite drink.
-Pie and dressing transporting to Friendsgiving in style. This piece from Scout is one of my favorites. I use mine all the time and I’ve gifted it 3 times!
-I used this recipe for the pie and this one for the dressing, would recommend both.
-Friendsgiving was a raging success. Bonus points to all my friends after tasting their cooking abilities.
-Oklahoma City people, OSO on Paseo is o so delicious! Order the taco salad.
-Welcome Sur la Table, welcome. Kathleen and I, bought our mom a cooking class for her birthday and I literally can’t wait.
-If you like peppermint bark you MUST go but this peppermint bark popcorn from Trader Joe’s ASAP.

Annie

Breakfast bite: Did you miss last week’s recipe post? It’s the perfect thing to make for your family to eat on for breakfast over the holiday. I am!

Best Breakfast Casserole

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With her permission, I’m so glad to be sharing the recipe for one of my best friend's family’s breakfast casserole. Madeline first introduced our group of friends to this casserole at our other great friend’s bachelorette trip in Austin back in May. It feeds a bunch (especially if you double it!!) and it is simply a crowd pleaser. I quickly asked for the recipe and have made it 4 times since.

We then made it for our big friend Memorial Day Lake trip, I made it again for a family trip to the lake, and then again for an early morning breakfast tailgate. And yet again this past weekend, for another early morning breakfast tailgate. It’s clearly great for all occasions. I must add that on the image of the recipe Madeline sent me, written above the recipe, the word Christmas is added to the title. “Christmas Breakfast Casserole.” Without a doubt this would make for the best holiday breakfast. Before the big meal on Thanksgiving or before the presents are opened on Christmas!

I’ve made just a few adaptations since making it multiple times now. I increased the egg count from 6 to 8 eggs. I feel like this fills the pan better. And I’ve taken the mushrooms down from 4 oz to 2 oz. I love mushrooms, but not everyone does, so just a few here and there are perfect. Do not omit the mustard powder, I swear it’s the secret ingredient. And add a pinch of pepper, because I never make eggs without pepper!

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Breakfast Casserole adapted from The O’Connors
serves 8

Ingredients:
1 lb. mild sausage
8 eggs*
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
pinch of pepper
6 sliced bread, cut into cubes (white or wheat sandwich bread)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (Colby Jack, Mexican Blend or Cheddar will work, Pepper Jack would be great too!)
2 oz mushrooms, stalks removed and thinly sliced.

Directions:
In a pan over medium, cook the sausage until brown. Drain and set aside. Beat eggs and milk together. Add salt and mustard powder and beat again. Add bread into the wet ingredients and stir until bread is coated. Stir int cheese, mushrooms and sausage.

Pour into a greased 9x13 glass baking dish. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Perfect with a cup of coffee and as the original recipe states, “good with hot biscuits and fresh fruit!”

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Annie