Today starts 5 days off school for all my children.

Who decided this was a good idea?

Someone should’ve consulted me before such an important decision was made.

On the brightside, I don’t have to go anywhere today. I will change into workout clothes and then right back into pajamas after my workout. And a shower, of course.

Tomorrow, however, is parent/teacher conferences. The reason the kids have 5 days off. Uggghhhh. I’m always so nervous going into those things. You guys already know that I’m prone to crying when I’m aggravated and there’s nothing worse than crying in a meeting with your kid’s teacher.

Because then you’re that parent the rest of the year.

Another good thing about today (and Thursdays in general this time of year) is that we get football! And you should probably make some Sloppy Joe Fries to eat while you watch football. Why have a boring dinner when you can have fries covered in sloppy joe meat and cheese?

I had my doubts about sloppy joe meat on fries but you guys, it was so good. Especially with all the melted cheese on top! I put green onions, cherry tomatoes, and jalapeños on mine but you can leave them plain or pile on whatever toppings you like!

Click for the full recipe

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You guys.

I came down with a case of the stupids recently.

So, with my husband deployed and all, I had to suspend his cell phone so that we don’t have to pay for it when he’s not using it and so that he can keep his number. Every 90 days I have to go on the Verizon website and just click a few buttons.

Last week sometime, the 90 days was up and I re-suspended his line.

Or so I thought.

So Monday morning I get in the car to go to a doctor’s appointment and I was already on edge because I was having to take my 3 year old and my 4 year old with me. To the lady doctor.

Yeah.

As soon as we pulled away from our house and WiFi connection, Dierks Bentley stopped singing and maps stopped telling me where to go. I, of course, blamed everything but myself. The weather, Fort Carson being dumb, etc. Because I’d been texting multiple people THAT morning. I mean, surely I couldn’t text people and receive texts if I was dumb enough to suspend my own line.

Wrong. (What is that?! I thought suspended meant nothing worked! Get your act together, Verizon!)

And then I started freaking out as I got further into the city. Because I had no idea where I was going without maps telling me. Yeah, I know where every Ulta, every Whole Foods, and every thrift store is in this city. But a doctor’s office in the middle of downtown? Nope.

I did what everyone would do in that situation. I detoured to Target to use their WiFi. Guess what. Verizon’s mobile site let’s you see which line is suspended but doesn’t have the option to reconnect service. So I got maps going again on Target’s WiFi and decided to hope for the best.

All was going well until maps decided to reroute us. But it couldn’t.

Because we had no data connection.

Omg.

I eventually figured out that if I called enough random numbers, my phone would tell me to dial *something and I could reconnect from there.

I ate my weight in these Potato Skin Poppers after my doctor’s appointment. They were the ultimate “feeling sorry for myself” food but they’d also be perfect for football games or even a weeknight dinner!

Click for the full recipe

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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

9

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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