Mom’s Overnight Casserole

This is what you do if you have leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

I went straight to Mom’s for this super secret, super yummy recipe.

What? You have no left-over turkey? That’s okay. Just copy or bookmark this post for next year, or for Christmas.

I’m easy. Whatever you’d like to try it with, just try it, it is delicious.

Not only have I copied the recipe for you, but I have provided the step-by-step instructions (with pictures – of course!).

This is my mom-in-law’s favorite dish to make for her boys after Thanksgiving..

It’s so easy….

Layer bottom of casserole dish with two cups of uncooked macaroni.

Add a cup of milk.

Two cans of Cream of Mushroom soup.

One cup of chicken broth.

8 oz. of cubed Velveeta Cheese.

{not pictured} 1 small onion chopped and 4oz can (or fresh) drained chopped mushrooms.

Mix well.

Add 2 1/2 cups of chopped(ish) pieces of turkey (or chicken).

Mix well.

Make breadcrumbs and have to the side. Wrap casserole and refrigerate overnight.

The next day leave out one hour, add bread crumbs to the top, and put in the oven at 350 for one hour.

After an hour….


I don’t think pictures do it justice.

The taste is divine.

If you make it, please let me know what you think.

We had a great time cooking with mom and maybe that is what the best part is.

New family = new love = new recipes learned.

And we can pass those down to the next generation of children.

I love that.

Thanks Mom!

He makes me want to cook

If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is. Honestly? I am not a cook. I have never been, nor will I ever be. It’s not something I have ever enjoyed. It’s not even something I’m very good at. But, HE makes me want to cook.

And just like that, I CAN. It’s actually edible. I actually navigate the timing without burning it to a crisp. I don’t over spice, salt, or pepper. I haven’t ruined a pan or a stove burner. Nobody even got hurt. Seriously!

Not that great cooking hasn’t been in my life.  My mom is an amazing cook. She can cook anything. My step-dad even cooked. He made delicious homemade egg rolls. My second husband was Italian and would make melt-in-your mouth pasta dishes. Jason even loves cooking and grilling. I have been surrounded, my whole life, with cooks and maybe that is why I never had to, so, it never came up.  *until I wanted to*

I still don’t have to. The one time I had to was when I was seperated from Sydney’s dad. Sydney was four years old and I had to fix her something to eat. Typically, I made a kids cuisine TV dinner but sometimes I would splurge and brown some ground beef. I thought nothing about giving her a spoon and a bowl of it. Heck, she loved it!  Ha!

Cooking for me consisted of making it out of the box, or nuking it in the microwave, or even opening up a lunch size bag of Doritos. Regardless, If I cooked it, I always burnt it or ruined it in some way (yes, even in the microwave). I have personally burnt water. But since Jason came into my life, things in the kitchen have changed…. for the better.

I love making a meal for him. I love the thought process of what he might like and how to serve it. I love cleaning the kitchen and setting the table. I love that he can sit down and enjoy it, without having to lift a finger.

Jason is getting his masters. He is in class two nights a week from 6p-10p. He works all week 8a-5p. He has the kids every other weekend, plus Monday, and Wednesday nights from 5-7p (for now). He spends a lot of time commuting back and forth to my duplex, on the other side of Arlington. Not to mention, he has laundry and bills and errands and ALL of the things busy working people have to do on a daily basis. Believe me, if I can spare him a few quiet easy moments, I will. It’s worth it. It makes me want to.

I’ll not go as far as saying I’m a COOK. I am (still) not. But I can tell you I am happy to cook now. I find honor and dignity in it. When I find things like that, I explore them,  and hold onto them. Reminds me of washing someone’s feet. (feet and cooking? yeah I know I’m getting somewhere I promise)

My friend Van was telling me how she and Suzy went on a mission with a group in downtown Fort Worth. Everyone gathered with water, soap, and wash cloths and went into the homeless community. They washed their feet, to show them God’s love for them. Jesus washed all his disciples feet, even his betrayer. It’s a humbling of yourself to do that for another, to bow down before them on your knees.

I can imagine the down and out, off their feet, closing their eyes and just for those few moments; all their worries disappear. The thought of it really touched me.

So, one night, I washed Jason’s feet. I wanted to know what Jesus felt like, what Van felt like, what Suzy felt like. What all of those people felt like that trekked under all the bridges to give someone a  gift  and a few moments of paradise. I wanted to remember and to honor. Words can not convey what actions can.

It was deeply humbling. It was important. It was something, I will never forget. Then, it was my turn and he washed my feet with the same love and care. It bonded us more tightly than before. We made a deal that if we ever got mad at each other, we would have to get down on our knees and wash each other’s feet. Wash away the anger and the stress and find the love. The love that can only be found upon esteeming someone above you.

Cooking is similar. It is a submission, a respect, and an adoration. He makes me want to cook, and I have never felt that way before. Maybe his love  inspires me to be more than I am or thought I could be.  All I know,  is that it greatly benefits my life.

Our happiness in this world depends on the affections we are able to inspire.
— Duchess Prazlin

Love is not a fight

I’m gonna be honest. It’s been a rough week. I am typically so happy & so positive & so over & above GRATEFUL so grateful for everything I have.  So grateful for every moment that I can see the sky, touch the flowers, watch a child smile, a couple holding hands, even a chatty check out guy :-).

But this week it’s been hard to keep my chin up. I’ve had many looming things come down on me.  My step-dad’s death is coming up on one year. I can hardly believe it. HOW? How in the world did a whole year go by without him? How is this possible? Isn’t he supposed to just roll his wheelchair back in the door? I can’t see him chuckle anymore or laugh at Mom or be that rock that he always was for me. I miss him with all my heart. I wish Jason could have known him more. They were so much alike with their Computer Science degrees & programming. If only we had more time.Thank you Lord that they got to meet the Sunday before he went to be with you. I know that was your doing. I am so very grateful. 
I miss you Poppy soo soo much. ❤

Writing the Cooper story. That was hard! I don’t want to re-live those last moments. I still can’t believe something like that could happen. It really seems impossible. How do we not hear about these things?? Why have those collars not been outlawed?? Will I ever forget it?? Someone actually called me a murderer over it. That went along the lines of what I thought myself right after. It had to be my fault! OF COURSE! I always bring disaster with me. But no it was an accident. I hope & pray everyone who reads it knows that. I hope & pray their heart softens that they could say such a terrible, terrible thing about something so horrific Jason & I may never forget nor stop re-living in our minds.
God help us.

Another reason for my glum is that my daughter’s Dad moved away my ex-husband. He is someone I consider a best friend. I know I can tell him anything. I know that if Sydney ever needed anything he’d be there. He is a wonderful man & a good husband to his wife Kim & Dad to his baby son Tyler. They moved to Mississippi where his sister lives. It’s about 9hours from here. For the first time I truly feel like a single parent. I finally feel that void of I’m-on-my-own stomach drop. But it is kinda silly. I’ve always been on my own. I always supported myself financially. But just the general help. Taking her out for a meal. Taking her to an ortho appt. Nowadays she takes care of herself but when she was a baby WOW he really helped a lot. I know she will miss him too. I really wish the best for him. I may not have seen him every day but we talked often & were always there for each other. We always lived close her whole life. The last few years he lived 6 doors down on the same street. It was so awesome that Sydney could walk between our houses. What a great way to show our TRUE LOVE for our daughter to set aside all bitterness from the divorce & go on to be friends. REAL friends not just fake but true. I truly love & care for him. He is the reason I have my beautiful daughter. And I am so GRATEFUL. Thank you.
Thank you for her she is a miracle.

And lastly I should be CELEBRATING soooo much this coming up week. It will be one year July 4th that I met my boyfriend’s two daughters. ONE WHOLE YEAR. Do you have any idea how much a 2 & 4yr old change in a year?? A LOT! I am so GRATEFUL to know them. They have their mom & dad’s brains they are sooooo smart! And so adorable & sweet it will make your teeth hurt. The littlest one turns 3. It just blows my mind. I am little apprehensive about the upcoming birthday party. For one some things have come to light that I was blissfully unaware of til this week concerning their mother. It really threw me for a loop. I had no idea. She was the nicest , cutest person when I met her. I had no idea I offended her so badly & I certainly never meant to. I could just kick myself because I really did want her to like me.(dumb,dumb,dumb) Jason had told me how great she was so I never thought otherwise. I had a dream it’d be like my ex & his family we all just keep getting along because we loved Sydney so much.My gosh I could never take her place nor would I want to. My role is kinda like the fun teacher. We just have a good time but I don’t try to be their mother. In fact they would tell me their mother was magic and I thought that was soooo cute! I nodded and agreed with them. Your mom IS magic. HOW? they ask.
I don’t know Mom’s just are. 🙂

I made a pact w/my ex that we would never talk badly about each other. Even with this family I’m obligated to hold that pact true. I feel like it’s a divorce positive pact. Divorce is SAD. Divorce is AWFUL. Divorce is a BRUTAL BRUTAL LOSS. Just a loss all around to everyone involved. I want to at least TRY & bring some good out of it. So her birthday party is fast approaching & I hope I can smile & mean it because I really do want to move forward past the remarks into a spirit of LOVE. And it’s hard for me to smile & not mean it. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’ll leave you with this. I thought about doing nothing tonight. It was a VERY busy day at work. GADS it was nuts. My fingers were tired & especially my bad hand from where I broke my wrist & it never healed right. I wanted to sit on the couch with my dog & just watch cable mindlessly. But something told me hey why don’t you go to the store? Why don’t you make a meal? HA! I thought not me I don’t cook. I pity the fool. (chuckle) Plus it’s HOT. 103 frickin degrees & I should heat up a kitchen??? Uhhhh no! But the thing is I have been cooking more for Jason & my family & it IS nice. Not the cooking itself. UGH. But the serving of it. To serve someone & know they can sit & eat a hot meal they didn’t labor over. It’s blessing them & it’s blessing me to bless them. So Jason, I slaved over a hot stove instead of putting my toots up & watching millionaire matchmaker with Salem by my side. I’m glad I did.
I hope it’s edible ;-).

Love is not a fight. But I will continue to fight for my gratefulness. For my positiveness. I will fight to shine. I will fight to keep the spirit of Love surrounding our families immediate & extended.

Please if you have time watch this video below and listen to the words.