I mentioned a lot of my favorite things about Christmas and Thanksgiving in an earlier post. Two of my favorite things are Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole and Sweet Potato Casserole. I’m partial to the recipes my mom uses and was really excited to make them last year when I was away from my mom.

A few of you asked for the recipes and I apologize for just now getting around to posting them. They’re not secret recipes, but my only request is that you don’t fix these recipes for me if we ever dine together. Isn’t that the rule of the Southern lady?

Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole

1/2 c. chopped onions
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 lg. package of frozen broccoli
1 package of Velveeta cheese
4 cups of cooked white rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package of sliced almonds

Precook broccoli and rice separately. In microwave, melt butter and saute onions and celery (about 2 minutes) in 2 qt measuring cup. Add cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup and cheese; stir until melted. Make sure broccoli is finely chopped. Fold in broccoli. Layer rice in large, ungreased casserole dish, top with broccoli mixture, and sprinkle almonds on top. Heat for 30 minutes or until bubbly on 350 degrees. Serves 8-10.

*This recipe has been typed, emailed, and handwritten to me over the years. I apologize if the directions may not be totally accurate, but this version worked really well for me last year.

Sweet Potato Casserole

3-4 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup half and half
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
(may add dash of bourbon if the Baptists aren’t coming for dinner)

1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Mash potatoes. Mix in sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and half and half. Put in 9×13 baking dish.

Topping: Melt butter and mix in remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on top of potato mixture. It’s okay to make more if you need more to cover the potato mixture. The topping makes this recipe– it’s better than dessert.

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 8-10.


say it isn't so!

Two days after she and Cody were eliminated, Julianne Hough is leaving Dancing With the Stars to focus on her singing! I just love her and will miss seeing her dance every week. I think, though, that she has become more of a celebrity than her future partners may be. Fans keep Julianne around because they love her and not necessarily because they are voting for her partner. This is, of course, just my opinion.

Maybe she’ll come back to perform on results shows. But I hope she dances.

hello, world! it's mr. bean!

I am so sorry that I’m just posting these. I’m also so sorry that I’ve neglected the blog all week. Things are really crazy at work as we’re in the midst of huge budget cuts and I’m still experiencing spontaneous gagging all day long. I have lots of thoughts about things I’d like to write about, but lately there hasn’t been much time to write and when I have time to myself at home I take a nap or do some more gagging. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

I’ll hit the 11 week mark tomorrow! One week and one day until I’m out of the first trimester. Hopefully only one week and one day until the spontaneous gagging goes away. I have a pulled muscle around one of my ribs. This is getting painful in lots of ways.

I promise to post a picture of my belly soon, but there aren’t any signs that I’m showing yet. My pants are a little tighter in the tummy, but they’ve been that way since we returned from our honeymoon! Remember, I was fighting the newlywed happy fat just a few weeks ago? I think that happy fat is stopping me from seeing a bump. But I’ll definitely show all of you how it’s progressing until I think that I’ve gotten too big and my pride is gone.

I want to introduce all of you to Mr. Bean! These were taken on November 11 when we had just started the ninth week. It was my third ultrasound. I had the first ultrasound right after the miscarriage scare, another a week later, then this one. They were able to do the November 11 ultrasound on top of the belly, which was much more fun. If you didn’t know there was another way, it’s okay. Neither did I until it happened.
We go back to the doctor on December 2 and will likely get to see the baby again. They’re not labeling me “high risk” even though I experienced so much bleeding a few weeks ago. They do want to keep an eye on things, though. On November 11, they could still see where I’m bleeding internally even though I haven’t seen any physically signs that I’m bleeding in about three weeks. I know that too many ultrasounds aren’t a great idea, but I’m anxious to watch this internal bleeding that’s healing just fade away. We’re on the right track. So, again, here s/he is! Look closely to see him/her. The pictures were scanned in from the copies they gave me at the doctor’s office.

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