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

Bites of My Life

Snow, snow, snow, snowwwwww! I won’t put up the Christmas decorations yet, but after waking up to an unexpected snow this Monday morning, I want all the Christmas music, movies and a fire in the fireplace. The most wonderful time of the year is here, but already flying by.

Most all is good in my hood, but my heart is going out to two friends who had extreme loss in their families last week. Squeeze your loved ones tight and actually tell your friends and family you love them. Don’t just think it.

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-A delicious recipe from the “Fall Reset” program I did a month ago. I didn’t get to making the Maple Glazed Chicken during the reset, but I held on to it to make down the road.
-A simple breakfast I can’t quit. Cinnamon Spice Tazo tea and Better Oats 100 cal instant oats, amped up with cinnamon, chia seeds and almond butter!
-I think I’ve had soup for lunch the past three weeks. Kept the train going with The Jones seasonal soup, Kabocha Squash + Apple Soup.
-I haven’t had a protein shake in a hot minute. I still love the Arbonne nutrition and beauty products, but I have toned down my selling a bit to focus on other areas of my life. However, I woke up last week craving this seasonal shake. I have now had it 3 times since. Catch the recipe for this Peppermint Mocha Protein shake here.
-A Friday night at home with nothing to do in what seemed like f o r e v e r. My end of the week dinner was a clean out the fridge meal, made with leftover vegetable soup (from a box), amped up with Banza chickpea pasta to make it a riff on my childhood favorite - minestrone!
-My reading took a bit of a curve after getting stumped by two books I was recently reading, but couldn’t power through to finish. I deterred and decided to reread my favorite book of all time.
-With permission, the best breakfast casserole is coming to the blog this week. Recipe kudos of the O’Connors!
-I’ve mentioned Stephanie May Wilson’s podcast before, but I just purchased her 90 Day Devotional and Prayer Journal. SMW has been so relatable to my life recently, and I think could be for many of you too.
-Woke up this morning to the first snow of the season. Not.Mad.About.It!

Annie

Snow Day Bite: In honor of the snow day we are having in OKC today, this Snow Day Soup (aka White Chicken Chili) from my 2014 archives is getting brought back into circulation.

Bites of My Life

Downhill to the holidays, who’s ready?

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-Friends who fall.
-Cauliflower Soup that is Whole 30 and tastes like potato soup!
-Frenchie lunch with maman at the delightful Cafe Cuvee located inside the Ambassador Hotel in Midtown, Oklahoma City.
-Birthday brandy ices for Lele!
-Celery juice on brand for Halloween. My friend Chloe and I have been consistently juicing every weekday morning for the past few weeks. My skin has been so clear and soft with this new routine.
-Because every sugar filled Halloween needs a little salt! Morton Salt Girl stole the show!
-Will we get the final rose? I’ve been saving this costume idea for awhile and I think we pulled off our Bachelor contestant costumes off quite well.
-Fun fact: I have never used Postmates or any delivery service, except maybe pizza back in 2007. But I was feeling tired and lazy to another level on Saturday and had a completely empty fridge. Panera delivery to the rescue (and it won’t be the last time)
-Cauliflower Soup still going strong.

Annie

Extra bite: If you need a little positivity in your feed, give this account a follow.

Cauliflower Soup (Whole 30)

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Hello soup season! This time of year, if it’s served in a bowl, I’m game. Some of my favorite soups include this one, this one and this one. This cauliflower soup is simple, but real good. It resembles potato soup, but a little healthier for you. Not to mention whole 30 compliant and vegan depending what type of broth you use!

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
32 oz cups of chicken, veggie or brone broth (TJ’s is now selling this and I love it)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
*½ cup coconut cream from coconut milk (the thick stuff from the top of the coconut milk can - do not shake!)
chopped green onions, cayenne and olive oil for garnish

Directions:
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté until the onions are cooked down and translucent. 

Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and pour in the broth. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s done when the cauliflower is fork tender. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until very smooth. An immersion blender is ideal, but if you are using a food processor, puree in 2 to 3 batches to avoid an extreme mess. (I know this because I do not have an immersion blender, and while the processor worked, it was messy).

After pureed, pour back into your soup pot unless you used an immersion blender. Whisk in the coconut cream. Add a pinch more of salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick you can add a bit more broth. 

Serve with a garnish of chopped green onions, a pinch of cayenne and a fancy drizzle of olive oil. A little cheddar cheese or crispy bacon bits would be great too to resemble potato soup! Great by itself but would also be great with a piece of crusty bread or a kale salad on the side. 

*Grocery stores sell "coconut cream," DON'T buy that. Buy regular coconut milk in a can. Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open with a can opener and scoop out the thick cream from the top. Discard the rest. 

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Annie

OKC Staycation with Avid Hotels

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Have you ever taken a staycation? A one-night stay in the city you live in. A night away from your normal routine. I have never officially stay-cayed before, so I was very excited when Avid asked me to come for a night and check out their new hotel.

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Since my 2018 resolution was to travel more, this seemed like a the perfect trip to add into my mix. I was only traveling about 15 minutes away, but a trip none the less. I grabbed my bff and best travel buddy, Taylor, and we were off! You may remember Taylor and my’s spontaneous trip to Hawaii back in April.

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Avid is a new kind of hotel. They made it their goal to listen to avid travelers, and give them what they need, not what they don’t. The rooms are simple but inviting. Have ample storage and not cluttered. As a pro traveler these days (ha!), I can appreciate this. I just need a comfy bed and a place to store my bag. Bonus points for the great bath products too. Avid got a check mark in this area.

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We checked-in and immediately checked out the grab-and-go snack selection. Kudos for the chocolate bar in our room upon arrival too! Snacks, TV, a few jumps on the bed (seen here) and a glass of wine was the perfect way to wind down from the week. (We brought the wine, but each room does have a mini fridge for guests to stock with their choosing. WIN! I hate when hotels have a mini bar full of $15 Redbull and mini bottles of champagne. You aren’t tricking me with that).

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After relaxing in the room, we headed down the road a bit to meet friends for dinner. Avid is located near Quail Springs area and the new Chisholm Creek district. We did sushi at Yokozuna, drinks at Sidecar, then back to Avid to pass out. Cue the black out shades and pajamas. Pillows could be a little firmer IMO, but really those black out shades were everything.

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Despite the killer black out shades I woke up promptly Saturday morning at 6:00 am. I don’t sleep in. It’s not an admirable trait, but something I’ve done my whole life. I took this time to check out the rest of the hotel and the fitness center (Annie approved!). Nothing like a little cardio and Kardashians first thing in the morning - ha!

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After the elliptical, I grabbed some hot tea and waited for Taylor to wake up. This allowed plenty of time to scope out Avid’s complimentary breakfast. They serve breakfast every morning 7:00 — 10:00 am. Oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit. Annie approved x2.

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Thank you Avid for the opportunity to come stay at the your first Avid on earth! Yes that’s right. Avid chose Oklahoma as their first of many locations. Go go OKC! But be on the look out for more Avid’s popping up soon.

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If you are avid about traveling, the Avid is for you. Sorry I had to ;) More info or to book your next stay at AVID, click here.

Annie

Thank you Avid for letting me work with you. While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and words are 100% my own.