Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's for Dinner? Heavenly Potatoes

A few weeks back I posted a recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu. As a side dish we had some of my favorite potatoes and it's a really simple recipe too!

This recipe is modified from a book called Blue Plate Specials.

Heavenly Potatoes

1 onion, finely chopped (I chop it, toss it in to mini food processor and done!)
2 Tbsp butter
24 ounce package frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
10 3/4 ounce can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
2 cups sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter until tender.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour in a 2 quart baking dish or casserole dish.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Powerful Statement

On Thursday I was having a really stressful and overwhelming day at the office. My friend sent me this email and I just put it aside because I didn't have the time or energy to deal with it.

Sitting on the couch on Sunday morning, catching up on my Gmail account, watching Top Chef, I read the email:

Survivor after survivor stood in a Tucson, Arizona, courtroom today, looked at the man who brought death to their city, and told him exactly how they felt.

"You pointed a weapon at me and shot me," Susan Heilman told Jared Lee Loughner, who is to be sentenced to life without parole today for a mass shooting outside a grocery store that killed six people and injured others, including Gabrielle Giffords, who represented the area in Congress.

"Mr. Loughner introduced my children to something sinister and evil," testified Mary Reed, who was also there in January 2011.

Giffords stood by her husband, Mark Kelly, as he addressed the shooter: "Mr. Loughner, pay close attention to this: Though you are mentally ill, you are responsible for the death and hurt you inflicted upon all of us on January 8 of last year. You know this. Gabby and I know this. Everyone in this courtroom knows this.

"You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today, after this moment, here and now, Gabby and I are done thinking about you."

Follow our live blog of the emotional sentencing hearing at to read more powerful testimony.

The timing of this email was as timely as this horrific event which really rocked me. The day before Gabby's rally where she was shot I heard an interview with her on NPR. I was moved by how real, personable, approachable, and intelligent this woman was. She was being interviewed about the Illegal Immigrant situation in Arizona. I had never heard of her before this interview but after it was over I was moved with pride to know there are people like her sitting in our countries congress.

Then the next day I hear she is shot. I was driving in my van and it felt like the world stopped for a moment. I could not believe this woman who I felt such a connection with was shot in the head and possibly going to die.

I have been paying attention to her recovery and again, she moved me with her drive and passion for life.  Her husband has been a source of inspiration. He has a high pressure, high profile job yet he found a way to balance not only that but he assisted in the care and recovery of his wife.

Now, I really have no idea what happens in their home, but in the public eye, they are a couple to inspire other committed couples. Outwardly, they are what I hope Shawn and I would be in the eye of a drastically life changing event.

I applaud Mr. Kelly for his statement and from what I have seen I believe him. He and Gabby will not let this sick mad effect their lives any more. It is over and they are going to keep moving forward.

Sure does put life in perspective. I thank my friend for sending me this email at a time when I was feeling very overwhelmed, it really helped me see things from a different point, specifically that I should be thankful that my family is healthy and functioning well.

I thank Mark and Gabby for sharing her recovery with us. You are an inspiration.

And I thank what ever force made sure I was able to hear that initial interview with Gabby and get to know her as the amazing woman she is before this horrific event took place that forever changed her life, the lives of her constituents, and I am sure the dynamics of our Congress.  

Okay! Enough of the deep post for today! Happy Monday everyone!!