Potato and Vegetable Casserole

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Wednesdays in my life are pretty wonky.  I have after-school duty every day, so I never leave school before 4:15.  When Elizabeth and I get home, I give her a snack and get her started on her homework before starting on dinner.  She tries to get as much done as possible before we head to church for the Wednesday night kids’ program.  Michael picks up Christopher from football practice and heads to the youth service at church, called The Gathering.  On most Wednesdays, he has a car full of big, sweaty boys who Christopher has invited to go to church with him.  I am so proud of my son for inviting his friends to church, but on the Wednesdays when I have to pick them all up, I swear it looks like a clown car when we get to church.  These big boys just keep spilling out my little SUV!  Most of them call me “Mama,” so after that many boys of the same age shout, “Bye, Mama!  Thanks for the ride!” I’m sure there are people at church wondering just how many kids I have!  They are all races and sizes, but they are all big, sweaty boys.  And I love them.

Elizabeth gets picked up at seven and Christopher – and whoever we’re taking home – get picked up at 8:00.  Then it’s back to homework.  Elizabeth eats dinner before church.  Christopher eats after church.

And therein lies the problem.

I have to make something that’s good right out of the oven for me and Elizabeth, but that’s also good when it’s warmed up later for Christopher.  Michael is usually on some low-carb thing, so I make him something different.  It’s hard to use the slow cooker because, by the time Christopher gets to it, it will have been in the slow cooker for 14 hours!

So I find myself being inventive on Wednesdays.  That means, I basically just cook whatever I can find in the freezer, refrigerator, and pantry.  This week’s “throw-together” was a winner!

Potato and Vegetable Casserole (The Wednesday Night Special)

  • 2-pound bag of frozen hash browns (the cubed kind, not shredded)
  • 24 ounces of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 26 ounces of cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups of finely-shredded mozzerella
  • 2 2.8-ounce bags of bacon pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9X13 baking dish.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Yum.

Well Duh #1:  I guess if you only have the shredded hash browns, they will work.  The cubes are not a deal breaker.

Well Duh #2: The mixed vegetables I used were carrots, green beans, peas, and corn.  The 24-ounce bag ended up being a little more than 4 cups.  I did not thaw it first.

Well Duh #3: I did thaw the hash browns.  I would ordinarily thaw them all day in the refrigerator, but since this was last-minute, I just threw the whole bag into the microwave for 5 minutes.

Well Duh #4: This would be great with breadcrumbs on top.  Maybe with a little drizzle of melted butter.  Yum.  Wish I’d had breadcrumbs in the pantry!

Well Duh #5:  I guess you could actually mix this in the casserole dish to save having to wash another bowl.  Just stir very carefully!

I really shouldn’t be surprised that my kids ate this and loved it.  We do love bacon in this house!  But it was also just a good, warm, homey meal.

Good meal.  Finished homework.  Laundry washed and dried.  Uniforms laid out.  A little t.v. time with Michael.

I am so blessed.

Wednesdays aren’t wonky.

They’re wonderful.

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