French Fry Casserole

I was asked this weekend to bring a casserole for a funeral that was taking place at our church. I was in need of some comfort food. The air is getting chilly and the leaves are starting to turn those fabulous fall colors. So my go to comfort casserole is one that I made all the time when I was a single mom and needed to make something that was cheap and would stretch a few days. My mom found this recipe a long time ago and it became a favorite of mine. Hope you enjoy it. You will notice that I made Jon and I one on the side so we could enjoy one too. That is why you will see two different pans and sizes in the pictures.

French Fry Casserole

Two bags of Shoestring French Fries

Pound of ground beef

1 cup of chopped onion

1 cup of chopped cremini mushrooms

Can of cream of mushroom soup

Can of cream of Celery soup

1 soup can of milk

Salt and pepper

All Season Salt

1 12 ounce pkg of Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees. Then put a layer of French Fries in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole pan. IMG_20130921_171127_725

Then I saute the ground beef along with the onion and mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and 2 tsps of all season salt.



In a sauce pan empty the two cans of soup. Then in the empty cans I fill each one half way full of milk and stir until it cleans the can and then I pour the cans of milk into the soup mixture. Heat until smooth.




After ground beef is cooked and the soups are smooth. Add a the ground beef mixture to french fries.



Then add another light layer of french fries to the casserole.



Then pour the mixture all over the casserole. Sorry I missed taking a picuture of that step. Then place in the oven for 45 minutes. Should come out of oven bubbling.



When you take it out of the oven pour the entire pkg of cheddar cheese over the top and place back in the oven until cheese melts.

IMG_20130921_184512_269Then when it comes out let it set for a few minutes.



Then serve.

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So good and delicious. Comfort food at it’s best. Of course I doctored up my mom’s version by adding the all season salt and the chopped mushrooms but I think it is so good.



Herb Marinated Steaks

I love steaks on the grill but what I love even better is herb marinated steaks on the grill. My herbs from my garden was just begging to be picked. So I came up with this marinated steak recipe. I started out with the herbs which was rosemary, basil, thai basil and sage and chives.



I chop the herbs and put them into a large plastic ziploc bag.



Add to the herbs two cloves of garlic minced, juice from one lemon, 1/4 cup of Worcestershire Sauce, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, package of onion soup mix, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Seal the bag and shake it up.





I used Flank Steak for mine but you can put any steak that you prefer in and seal it and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer you can let it marinate the more flavor you will have.

So after an hour or longer heat your grill up. Then put the steaks on the grill and cook to your liking.



I like my steaks well done but Jon prefers his medium rare. Can you tell which one is mine? Sorry but I love the marinated crunch of the edges.


Serve with a garden salad and you have dinner. So simple and delish. Enjoy!



Young and Beautiful

Today my mom will celebrate her 80th birthday. 80 years of birthdays and I know this one will be the hardest for her. Last month my mother lost her oldest daughter Lillian to breast cancer. I know what it is like for me to lose my sister but as a mother myself my heart breaks even more for my mother as she has lost a child and a friend. As our family goes through this year of firsts without Lillian I am reminded how fragile life is and that we should appreciate every birthday not just the milestone ones. We should love our family members and hold them close. You just never know when you might lose them.

Here is a picture of my mom. I believe this is her senior picture.

mom's grad pic

Young and beautiful. Did this young girl know what an inspiration she would become to so many? Did she know that she would have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren? Did she know that she would be a great mother, grandmother, great grandmother? Did she know she would touch so many lives? Did she know that she would be a strong role model not just for her children but for so many others that have walked into her life? Did she know that she would be the heart of huge family?

Well if she didn’t she really should know now. All those things sum up my mother.

Here is my mom yesterday as we celebrated her 80th birthday still young and beautiful. Here is to many more Mom. Love you.

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Celebrating her birthday my sister-in-law had made a Shrimp Boil. It was fun and delicious.


It had shrimp, red potatoes, onions, sausage, and corn on the cob with cajon seasoning, cayenne pepper, and old bay seasoning. It was not too spicy but just enough to leave you wanting more.


I want to leave you with a few quotes about aging and beauty. My mother will always be Young and Beautiful in my eyes.

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”
― Audrey Hepburn

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

“But if we are truly happy inside, then age brings with it a maturity, a depth, and a power that only magnifies our radiance.”
― David DeidaIntimate Communion

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.”

–Robert Browning (1812-1889)