Y’all. I think something’s wrong with my brain.

I’ve had this cold literally since the day after my kids went back to school. It’s one of those that gets better but not all the way better and then it gets worse, then better, then worse. So after 3 weeks of this, I think it’s really messing with my brain.

I cannot do anything.

Yesterday I went out to the car and found a grocery bag from Monday.

It had bacon in it. And avocados.

Yummy.

I showed up to the wrong field last night for the kid’s football game.

I couldn’t remember how to open the car’s hood when I got searched at the gate a few days ago.

I just feel like I am so out of it.

Just thought I better warn you guys in case I start posting strange recipes or something. Stranger than Totchos, of course.

So Totchos are tater tots dressed up like nachos. These have cheese and bacon and avocado and other fun things that I had to pick off for my kids. I’m obsessed. They’re like loaded fries but better because duh, tater tots are better than fries.

Definite football food! The best way to serve them is in a bowl with ranch dressing drizzled over everything. And then you use a fork to eat them so you can make sure you get a jalapeño in every bite. I mean a little of everything in every bite. #jalapeñoobsessed

Click for the full recipe

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As much as I resisted back-to-school, after over a week of it, I have to say that I’m pretty happy.

I get into bad habits every summer of staying up well past when everyone else on Twitter goes to bed, then sleeping late, then sitting on the couch drinking 3 or 4 cups of coffee. And then next thing I know, it’s 11 am and I haven’t worked out, cooked anything, or even gotten dressed.

So it’s nice to have a routine again. I know I need to be out of the house at a certain time to get both kids to school on time and then I know that from there, I have less than 3 hours until I have to pick up the preschooler.

You guys, it’s amazing what you can get done when you only have a couple hours. The other day, the fat baby (he’s actually 3) and I hit Walmart, Target, and 3 thrift stores before we had to pick the kid up!

The problem I’m having is breakfast. Because I am cheap thrifty. I only buy 2 boxes of cereal a week and if you have boys you know that a box of cereal = a meal. And I am not a morning cook, especially when it has to be done in less than an hour. So I made this Amish Breakfast Casserole for this week and I’ll just heat some up in the mornings for the boys!

I’m not real sure how or why this is Amish but it’s shredded hashbrowns mixed with bacon, onions, cottage cheese, cheddar, and Swiss. I always say that Swiss is my least favorite kind of cheese (I think it’s stinky – which is interesting because I can eat my weight in blue and goat cheese) but I seriously loved it in this. It really stood out and made the whole dish.

My kids gobbled it up, which is always important.

Click for the full recipe

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I know. It’s way too early on a Monday morning to be talking about things like tater tot casseroles.

I’m sorry.

I was sick all weekend – all weekend! – and didn’t have time to get a bunch of yummy things baked and photographed. I made this and it’s delicious and amazing but I couldn’t stop coughing long enough to take pictures. Being sick is the worst.

I threw this together for my kids yesterday and there wasn’t a tater tot left by the end of dinner. They loved it! I won’t lie, I didn’t think it sounded very good but I stole a couple bites and didn’t hate it. I like sloppy joes, I love tater tots – so yeah, I think I’m just embarrassed to say that I liked it.

One year ago: Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Two years ago: Caesar-Stuffed Eggs
Three years ago: Toffee Bar Brownie Torte
Four years ago: Coconut Cupcakes
Five years ago: Chicken Shawarma

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

adapted from All The Cooks

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper
1 (15.5 ounce) can sloppy joe sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
16 ounce bag tater tots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Brown ground beef, breaking it up, until no pink remains. Drain, return to pan, and season with salt and pepper. Add sloppy joe sauce and cream of mushroom sauce. Stir until everything is combined.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch pan. Top with sharp cheddar cheese. Arrange tater tots on top.
  4. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or until tater tots are cooked and golden brown.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/31/sloppy-joe-tater-tot-casserole/

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Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope you’re enjoying a well-deserved day off.

I wanted to talk to y’all about something today.

I think I’m going to skip posting Thanksgiving recipes on the blog this year. I’ve done them in years past and cooking them and then eating them for days afterwards… it really takes away the magic of Thanksgiving. You know, the one day of the year that you can eat whatever you want without guilt. The special, once a year casseroles. Stuff like that just loses it’s specialness (not even a word, I know) once you’ve already done it, photographed it, and yapped about it on your blog.

But depending on how many glasses of wine I’ve had by the time Thanksgiving dinner is ready, I plan on photographing and blogging. No promises, but… maybe.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a recipe that is definitely Thanksgiving-appropriate.

I’ve been hearing about these potatoes for years but since I’m not really a potato person unless they’re deep-fried and served with chicken nuggets, I’ve kind of just ignored them. But I’ve been obsessed with The Shaytards lately and they mentioned them in a vlog recently and all of the sudden, the potatoes seemed really appealing.

They are SO good. I had three bowls of them. I skipped everything else I cooked and just ate potatoes. And now I may end up making them on Thanksgiving because they are just that good.

One year ago: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
Two years ago: Monster Cookies
Three years ago: Jalapeno Popper Dip
Four years ago: Sweet Cream Biscuits
Five years ago: Enchiladas in Pumpkin Sauce

Funeral Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup dried onion
32 ounce package cubed hash browns
3 cups coarsely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, melted butter and onions. Fold in the hash browns. Spread in the prepared pan.
  3. Sprinkle the crushed corn flakes on top of the mixture. Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of butter over the corn flakes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven. If using shredded hash browns, cook for 30 minutes. If using cubed hash browns, cook for 55-60 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/11/11/funeral-potatoes/

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Can I rant about something stupid? Because it’s Monday? And because my husband went back to work today after 3 weeks off? And because the dog has been sneezing every 30 seconds for the past 3 days?

Ugh.

We live on an Army post so in order to get home, I have to go through a gate where a military policeman scans my ID. And they randomly choose to search people. When this happens, you have to open all the doors, hood, and trunk of your car. Then stand in this red square off to the side while they dig through your stuff and/or take a mirror under your car.

And while this is going on you’re going “Omggg, I’m wearing the jeans that make my butt look big and I have 7 boxes of Fruit Loops in my trunk and ALL THESE PEOPLE DRIVING BY ARE LAUGHING AT ME!”

It’s awful.

And guess who’s been searched 4 time in the past week. FOUR TIMES. Yesterday I not only had the Fruit Loops in my trunk but I also had Taco Bell in my front seat and then the MP in the next lane yelled at me for having my phone and it was just horrible.

I told my husband I’m not leaving the house for at least a week.

Anyway. The highlight of my weekend was definitely these kebabs. They are delicious and a super easy meal since you have your meat, potato, and veggie all on the kebab! The best part was definitely the mushrooms – they become extra delicious after marinating in balsamic vinegar.

One year ago: Chocolate Oatmeal Pecan Cookies
Two years ago: Baked Potato Salad
Three years ago: S’mores Granola Bars
Five years ago: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

Steak, Potato, and Mushroom Kebabs

adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

Ingredients

2 pounds small potatoes (such as red or gold)
1 pound small portobello mushrooms
2 pound rib-eye steak
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced garlic
skewers (soaked if bamboo)

Instructions

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot; add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until barely fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and allow to cool. Cut the potatoes in half; set aside.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, remove the stems from the mushrooms and place the caps in a large bowl.
  3. Cut the steak into smallish pieces, and season them with salt and pepper. Place the meat in the bowl with the mushrooms. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and garlic, and stir to coat mushrooms and steak well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  4. Heat a grill to medium-high, and lightly oil the grate.
  5. Put the meat, potatoes, and mushrooms on the skewers in whatever order you prefer. Reserve the remaining marinade for basting while grilling.
  6. Grill the kebabs for about 3 minutes, basting them once. Turn and cook for another 3 minutes, basting, before turning them over to cook on the first side again. Continue to cook on the first side for 2 to 3 minutes before turning them over and cooking a final 2 to 3 minutes.
http://fakeginger.com/2013/07/22/steak-potato-and-mushroom-kebabs/

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