Monday, October 31, 2011

Queen of Cheesy-ness and Potatoes...

 ...Did you read my Pumpkin Carving Blog?
Stop! Go Back! Read it!  There's cute photos on there of the kids!

I have LOTS to write about the past 3 days and  3 recipes to share. This post contains 2 photos and 1 have been's word heavy.

And so it begins:
Halloween weekend consisted of 5 parties for The Gaylord Family...who, unlike last year's Toy Story Halloween-..Did NOT have a "family theme". sigh.

So, this year:
Grant:  "Transformer- Bumble Bee"
Gwen:  Talked into recycling Grant's old "Elmo" costume

But....I did manage to talk/beg/force Brent to dress up with me


And, initially, I thought it was a damn clever idea if I do say so myself...seeing as he heart surgery this past June...

..I informed him about 2-3 weeks ago that He was to be "The King of Hearts" and carry his cardiac heart pillow along with him while I donned "The Queen of Hearts" from Alice in Wonderland.
Cute/Clever, right?

Of COURSE anywhere I looked the Queen of Hearts from Alice was $$$$....but ebay DID however have a "queen of hearts" costume...a steal at $4.00 + $4.00 shipping..right?....

....but THIS Queen of hearts costume was the one from the Queen of Hearts from the card deck...

I decided immediately after hitting I hit "purchase, pay and thereby COMMIT"  to wearing this cheesy outfit that perhaps this was not the correct choice in costume...

On top of my dorky costume, Brent FORGETS to bring his cardiac pillow at the Friday night party and I have to continually explain to everyone our "theme".

At this point, I'm questioning the "cuteness/cleverness" of my theme for this year.

Brent was working late (shocker, I know), and the kids and I had to get ready for Tasha's party after Grant's swimming lesson.

We were the only ones dressed up at swimming and I was feeling very....
...... DUMB with my " $8.00 Ebay-I-should-have-spent-$-on-the-Alice-in-Wonderland-Dress" costume.

As I came out of the bathroom with the kids, I noticed a few "glances and stares" from some of the parents who, undoubtedly thought I was somewhere between lame and insane...

...I see Ms. Swim Coach and I explain to her (in an intentionally rather loud voice so as to explain to the other parents in the room:

 "My husband is the King of Hearts because he had heart surgery and I'm the Queen of hearts...but he's not here because he's working late...."

Side note: (was it the tiarra?, the heart crown?...or perhaps the shiny plastic skirt that was about 4 sizes too big for me?)

Well, I lied, kind of. We weren't the ONLY ones dressed up. Our friends Courtney and Bobby's little boy Aiden, was wearing Grant's Buzzlightyear costume from last year.... and he and Gwen (who is "serving" food from the kitchen play set at swimming) struck a pose.

Side Note: Aiden's Birthday was this weekend and was party #4 that we would be attending..and although Gwen is looking very shy in this photo, she smacked him with a big, fat, birthday kiss on Sunday.

I know, you are all wondering where Brent is in the photo.....I have one from the NEXT party (blog to come!) with he and Gwen but somehow I didn't get a photo us on Friday night.

Perhaps it was because I was mad he deserted me at swimming lessons... and then FORGOT the pillow? I don't know...I'm just sayin....

Now, a break in the "Cheesy-Mom-Costume" story for a Cheesy Recipe...that has a story.

Two out of the 5 parties requested that I make my "Cheesy Potatoes"--and to double the batch!  Although I was hoping to get my "creative bug" out a bit and make something unique and different (I have been pinning a TON of Halloween recipes that I've wanted to make,) these potatoes are super easy and really good..AND they can be made a head of time.

The history of these potatoes dates WAY WAY back in my family. We make them for holidays, birthdays, graduations, baptisms,confirmations...etc...etc...but only for "occasions"..not "just for dinner".  But if you've ever been to any event that involved my've had these.

Recipe for My Family's-We-Have-It-At-EVERY-family-Occasion-Cheesy Potatoes

1  2 pound back frozen hash brown potatoes
       (the chunks, not the shredded, and don't get the ones with the peppers, just the PLAIN potatoes)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
      (if you are gluten intolerant, here's a recipe to replace the canned cream of chicken)
And this brings me to a Side Note Regarding my family's recipes:  I DO NOT, under any circumstances, alter my family's staple family recipes,..this being one of them...(another one is my grandmother's meatballs)..I don't try to make them healthier, I don't "doctor" them up...these are what I grew up with and when I make these recipes, I want to remember being 10 years old going to my grandmothers house and smelling the aromas of her meatballs simmering in her sauce, or tasting the cheesiness of the potatoes EXACTLY how they should the condensed soup if you aren't gluten intolerant...

1 pint sour cream
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick melted BUTTER- not margarine, or "I'm a wimp and I can't Believe it's not Butter",

mix it all together and layer into 9 x 13 pan (I spray mine with Pam Olive Oil spray)

1 stick melted BUTTER mixed into 1 cup Kellogg's Cornflake Crumbs (they sell this people, don't spend your time crushing the cereal)

Bake 375 for 1 hour.  If you double the recipe as I did, PLEASE double the time...4 pounds of frozen potatoes takes a while to cook.

Now, I have to say, these were a serious hit at BOTH of the parties that I made them for this weekend. I overheard and was directly told how awesome they were. pat myself on the back a bit, I guess I am very successful as being the Queen of Cheesy-ness..and potatoes.

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