Happiness Project#82: Mama’s Breakfast Casserole!

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I’m struggling. In every way imaginable. Emotionally, physically, psychologically. And am screaming inside a body that I hate and despise. Like my own version of Humpty Dumpty who fell from the wall, with pieces so scattered and broken, that no one is able to fit them back together again.

I have an army, a true army, of my “Butterfly” warriors cheering me on and holding me up, yet I’m so engulfed in this evil darkness of despair and fear and loneliness that I can’t see anything beyond the entrapment of my own body.

And the only other time I’ve felt this lost was was I was suicidal shortly after the birth of my daughter, over 3 years ago. But there’s no time to find solace or rest. To find some way, any way to see any glimmer of that faraway light. Because in 2 days, I start my 1st round of chemotherapy. And there’s no extension to this process. There’s no more waiting. No matter this darkness that has become me, and wrapped itself so tightly around my heart, I must press onward. I must begin this battle. This fight. I must begin now.

So I’ll keep trying to do the things that I most love, the things that, I pray, will show me that glimmer of who I once was, before this tumor, and this cancer, and this last surgery broke me. I will bake, and blog, and read, and write. Even when my heart is bleeding.

Though right now, and expectedly with the start & duration of my chemotherapy, I’ve lost most of my ability to taste foods, such as chocolate, and cheese, and coffee, I’m still attempting to create dishes (very easy ones at that) that I can taste in a pleasant way. And fortunately, one of those dishes is one of my favorite breakfast casseroles. With the texture of egg bits, the sharpness of cheese, and the fragrance of glorious potatoes. Nothing healthy, I assure you. But right now, all about the feelings of home & comfort.

May you also find a little bit of comfort, and I pray, a whole lot of love, within this Mama’s Casserole.

3-4 large red potatoes, washed first, then diced before cooking

Half cup cold butter (for frying)

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded

6-8 large, organic eggs

3/4 cup uncooked, shredded broccoli florets

*1/2 cup fresh cut, yellow corn, optional

Firstly, prepare your ingredients correctly.

Dice up your uncooked red potatoes, into approximately 1-1/2 cups, before letting the diced pieces gently cook within a pot of salted (just a pinch) hot water, for about 12-15 minutes. Strain out the water from the mostly cooked potatoes and set aside to cool.

Cut up (or shred) a block of sharp cheddar cheese, into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.

Once the potatoes are cooled, spoon out 2 tablespoons of salted butter onto a frying pan, set at medium heat. Add in the potatoes, and let fry, while being stirred every couple minutes, until the potatoes are slightly fried and browning on their sides & edges. If you want a crispier fry to the potatoes, add in another 2 tablespoons of butter periodically to the pan.

Once you’re happy with the potatoes fried texture, add in the 3/4 cup of uncooked shredded broccoli. Stir together for a few minutes to combine. Remove your potato & broccoli mixture from the stovetop and set aside.

Now, the easy part. Take those 6-8 fresh eggs and generously scramble them up in a slightly buttered frying pan. Scramble, scramble away!

Spoon everything into a serving dish, throw on that cubed or shredded cheddar cheese, and serve! With the addition of some fresh, cut yellow corn, if desired! Just to appease that slightly healthier side of breakfast. Ha.

This recipe will feed anywhere from 4 to 6 breakfasters.

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Brave! A lesson in eggs!

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Beautiful, farm fresh eggs. With lovely speckled shells and thick (perfect) yolks. A dream for hard core bakers and pastry chefs like me. Every (rather infrequent) time I get my hands on fresh organic eggs like these, my heart sings a little (okay, a lot) like it’s Christmas Eve. In July. Since it IS July. Because not only do I love working with what I call “real” eggs within my recipes, but eggs have become incredibly symbolic in my 38 years thus far. For more reasons than I can relate in one small blog post.

Eggs, to me, to all humans, and most other mammals as well, mean one very important thing. Truly the most important thing. They mean life created. They, very technically, mean the realization of children, following in very expectant footprints. Love reincarnated. As I know, with every beat of my heart, because of my own own daughter, now 3-1/2 years old. She, who my husband & I fought for, for nearly 2 years, through more physical pain than most can imagine. Because we knew that we were meant to be parents. A miracle that the Universe, that God, bestowed upon us, in the form of this warm, affectionate, loving, spirited, fiery, mischievous soul who is our beautiful daughter, Arianna. The greatest gift we have ever received. Because of the beauty of one little egg, that despite all odds and every battle that I faced, became our Miracle.

So in light of my reminiscing, of the odds that were spoken (& assumed) against us, of the physical, exhausting pain that I endured while we struggled to create our Miracle Baby, of the many, many years that we could have “tried” yet didn’t, of the cancer specialist who urged us 11 years ago, after my 1st multiple tumor removal surgery, to begin our family THEN instead of risking my (then borderline) cancer from becoming malignant, today, after so many years of battle, this is what I’ve learned.

Don’t wait. If there’s something in your heart, beating up against your soul, screaming quietly to break out, to break free, to experience, let it. Let it break free. Let whatever passion that is, whatever dream of yours that may be, break free from whatever restraints have been holding it back, for whatever reasons. Let it happen. Take that dream, that passion, that lifelong goal, and just…do it. Now. Because there’s a reason why you’ve kept that passion, or dream of yours tightly bound, and confined within you, for so long. It’s something that your soul WANTS, NEEDS, something that’s been burning, and burning, brighter & brighter within you, something that’s made to be taken up within your hands, and molded, and shaped into being. Something that is meant to happen. Because the sad truth? Life is too short to not BE or DO the things that you truly WANT to do. Life is complicated, and messy, and very uncertain. But that’s NOT the point of life. The point of life is this: do what makes you happy. Do what your heart wants. Your dreams CAN come true, little by little, if you choose to let them. So don’t wait. Don’t wait any longer because of what this world has tricked you into believing. Let it just..happen. You might be surprised by what awaits when you do.

Today is the most important gift that we have been given. Use it. Before it’s gone.

All my love, xoxo

 

 

 

Happiness Project#81: Broccoli Salad with a side of Chemo!

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3 weeks ago I went in for my 7th surgery. To remove another tumor. But things didn’t quite go as planned or expected. Instead of leaving the operating room with one less adrenal gland, I ended up leaving without a full kidney as well. Though I wasn’t told WHY I had unexpectedly lost a kidney […]

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Happiness Project: 3 Days

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I’m just 3 days shy of going in for my 7th major surgery in 11 years. To remove my 6th tumor. This one being a 7cm tumor engulfing my adrenal gland. And no matter that I’ve undergone so many major surgeries, it never gets easier. I always go through short bouts of nerves and anxiety […]

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Happiness Project#80: Summer Peach Smoothie!

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Summer is officially upon us. Can you tell how excited I am? Yeah, not so much. Menopause, my friends. Menopause is just not fun in 90 degree heat. However, you know what I do LOVE about the summer? Playdates for my Daughter. Because not only are other preschool children out of school, but my Daughter’s […]

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Happiness Project#79: Lemon Ice Cream Cake!

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Adult friendships are, well, difficult. To put it lightly. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have three very close adult friends in the last 20 years, two of which live out of state from me. And because of my naturally reclusive nature, made even more so since becoming bi-polar, with an anxiety disorder, it’s not easy […]

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Happiness Project#78: Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread!

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In light of the recent tragedy at the Cincinnati Zoo last weekend, this chocolate chip monkey bread recipe apparently was calling my name. Or my heart perhaps. And I couldn’t resist it’s pull. The frenzy (& madness) that flooded social media after the tragic killing of the zoo’s incredibly popular silverback gorilla, Harambe, has drawn […]

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Happiness Project#77: Cookie Dough Milkshake!

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It’s time, my friends. Time to take a piece of my heart and run with it. I’m a strong advocate of helping those less fortunate than I. Particularly those who face circumstances that no one should ever have to face. Circumstances that become a battle for ones own life. Neuroblastoma. DIPG. Leukemia. Three pediatric cancers […]

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Happiness Project#76: Ross Family Butter Noodles!

Who’s doing a little happy dance, right now? This Mama! I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase an indoor, tabletop lightbox studio, with two adjustable studio lights, and I totally love it! Up until now, I’ve been using the natural lighting that my “studio” porch bench outside provided, but would always need to […]

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Happiness Project#75: Funfetti Cookie Cheesecake!

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Holy Sweetness! This cheesecake. This funfetti cookie cheesecake is quite possibly one of the yummiest things that I have ever wrapped my taste buds around. After toying with it’s balance through a couple of failed baking sessions. But at last, THIS. Which I am quite proud of, I must admit. Because unless you’ve been hiding […]

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