Cheesy Brown Rice and Kale Casserole


Cheesy Brown Rice and Kale Casserole

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 bunch chopped kale

8 oz mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup butter

1/4 flour

1 cup milk

1 1/2 cup swiss and gruyere cheese


2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to directions.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute onion in olive oil until translucent.  Add mushrooms and kale.  Saute until kale and mushrooms soften.  Add butter to pan and melt.  Whisk in flour and milk, once mixed, add cheese.  Mix together, add rice to skilled.  Stir together.  For topping, melt butter and then add bread crumbs and mix together.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on casserole, sprinkle parmesan.  Bake until bubbly.


Asparagus Quiche


Breakfast this morning was leftover asparagus quiche from last night.  We eat a lot of egg products because our chickens lay so many eggs.  Asparagus also came from the garden.  My recipe is very simple and takes about 5 minutes to make.

Asparagus Quiche

Pie crust (I use premade from Trader Joes)

5 eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

9 stalks asparagus

3/4 cup shredded swiss and gruyere cheese

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put pie crust in pie pan.  Scramble eggs with milk, add salt and pepper.  Cut asparagus into pieces, place in bottom of pie pan, and cheese.  Pour egg mixture over the asparagus.  Bake in oven 30 minutes or until quiche is golden brown.

Frugal Living

Five Frugal Things- May 18 to 25

We spent another week saving our pennies.  It’s amazing how much stuff each of us actually has and never use.  I don’t know about other countries but Americans really do know how to over consume.  We need to all take a step back and ask ourselves if we need everything we are spending our hard earned money on.

  1. I enter a lot of Instagram contests.  You know the ones; like the page, tag a friend and say something you love about the place.  I won a contest in December for a $50 dinner at a local restaurant.  We went last weekend.  The downside though, I got a $60 parking ticket.  The night cancelled itself out.  But, we rarely go out and this forced us to enjoy a night downtown.
  2. I won another contest, this one on Facebook.  We won a year of free nail trims for one of our dogs.  Last week we went in for their quarterly nail trim.  I had acquired enough points on the vets app to get the other dogs nails trimmed for free as well.
  3. We had a nice, wood coffee table.  One of our dogs decided that it would make a really awesome chew toy.  Buying a new one seemed like a risk I wasn’t willing to take given the damage done to the one we had.  A friend is moving and getting rid of all of her stuff.  She gave us her glass and metal table for free.  I have challenged the dogs to destroy that one.
  4. My daughter got a job at Starbucks.  One of the perks of being a Starbucks employee is one free pound of coffee, per week!
  5. We officially turned the heat off for the year.  Mornings have been a little crisp in the house, but it’s May, so off with the heat.

What have you done recently to save some cash?


Luna pretending like she is innocent regarding the coffee table


Memorial Day Weekend

It was a lovely long weekend with the family.  I am forever grateful for the blessings I have living in the country I live in, surrounded by family and friends.  It should go without saying that those who died while fighting for their country deserve to be honored.  The USA is extremely polarized at this moment in time, but I think we can all agree that those soldiers who died while defending our nation have earned the respect of all of us.

My husband planted the garden this weekend.  We have had relentless rain, so I am concerned that everything might drown.  He planted tomatoes, peppers, brussel sprouts, purple cabbage, eggplant, watermelon, cantaloupe, beans and herbs.  He planted lettuce, spinach and peas several weeks ago.  It looks like we might have enough lettuce for a salad very soon.  We were able to get enough asparagus for 2 dinners.  Nothing beats asparagus from your own garden.  I prepare asparagus very simply, I roast it at 350 degrees with olive oil and Penzey’s Fox Point, it turns out perfect every single time.


We stuck close to home over the weekend.  We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night.  It was wonderful.  We had our first summer like evening and we sat on the patio with good food, wine, music and conversation.  Those moments are free of charge but worth so much.  I made Kale Salad on both Saturday and Sunday night.  I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I cannot.  It’s absolutely delicious.  Sunday night dinner brought all 3 of my children home and my daughters included their boyfriends.  My husband made his famous Korean Ribs.  We have given up meat, but they were still in the freezer from the pig we bought last year.  I did forgo the ribs and had veggie burger instead.  The 3 boys that were here certainly appreciated a rack of slow cooked ribs from the grill though.

My daughter is moving back home from college for at least a year.  She will commute to school, so she had to buy her first car over the weekend.  Car shopping takes way too long.  The girl test drove ONE car, was pre-approved for a loan and asked very few questions.  It still took 5 hours to complete the transaction.  I am very proud of her, she saved her money and secured a loan without any help from us.


Hannah with her new car

Our chickens continue to lay a crazy amount of eggs and the bees have been very busy.  We lost a hive in recent weeks.  Pretty unbelievable that they survived what has to be our coldest winter in decades, only to die off when it was warmer.  Eric has no idea what caused the hive to collapse, but it goes to show that we need to everything we can to protect our honey bee population, they are so fragile.

After being fortunate enough to have a 5 day weekend, today it is time to get back to work and get back to real life.



5 Frugal Things – May 1-7

We tried to continue with frugal and earth friendly choices the first week of May.

  1.  I bought a second hand halogen lamp from a friend for $15.  She is moving soon and getting rid of stuff.  We needed a lamp so it was a win-win.
  2. I did my monthly gas fill up on my car.  With gas points from my grocery store, I saved 90 cents per gallon on a 20 gallon tank.  Not too bad.
  3. On impulse a couple weeks ago, I bought a $60 moisturizer at Macy’s.  I don’t do things like that and knew I had to return it because I didn’t need it.  My husband on the other hand needed new shoes, desperately.  So I returned the moisturizer and bought the shoes.
  4. More on shoes.  My daughter needs sandals and as a size 11 foot, they are hard to come by.  I ordered a pair for her and for me from Teva, received a 10% off code and got free shipping.  Teva tend to be pricey, but quality shoes are worth every penny.
  5. We are phasing meat out of our diets.  This was not a spur of the moment decision and not a decision based on health.  As more news comes out about the consequences of meat consumption to the planet, we knew it was time for us to do our part.  I have also been having a difficult time reconciling my love of animals with my diet that included meat.   I did not buy any meat at the grocery store this week and the savings was noticeable.

Side note regarding our decision to phase meat out of our diet.  I know this is a personal decision and I personally do not have issues with others eating meat.  I will never be the person who lectures someone about it.  I have been on the receiving end of a lecture about why I am wrong to enjoy a hamburger (I do enjoy hamburgers).  So, I am not looking to debate the issue either way.

What did you do to save money this week?



Luna pondering life


My Top Book Pick For 2019…So Far

As a prolific reader, I tend to read the top picks every year. Each year, I find one book that I would rate as my top pick. The best of the bunch. One that needs to be read, by everyone. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is already my pick for 2019. Maybe I will read something that I think is better, but I highly doubt it, it is just that good.

Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, a girl who grows up in the marshes of North Carolina. Her story is one of true heartbreak and tragedy. She lives alone in the marsh with little contact with the outside world. She is a truly kind and intelligent soul, who has had more disappointment in her life than any one person should ever have.

Without giving spoilers, I will explain why I have such a high opinion of the this book. First, the story itself. The author is able to write an incredibly heart breaking story with such beauty. Her writing is lyrical, her descriptions make the reader feel like they have been transported to the marsh that Kya lives in. You will feel her pain. Make no mistake about it, her pain visceral and the reader will feel it with her. I knew when I started this book, it was going to be a heartbreaker. In fact, I had reserved it 3 times at my library, read the first page and then returned it. I was afraid to feel such sadness, but in the end I am glad I read it.

Second, all of the characters are integral to the story. Like the story itself, the author has created characters with so much description, you feel like you know each of them individually. Some you love and some you hate. But all are necessary to the story itself.

Third, the focus of the natural world in Kya’s life. You will be able to feel like you are sitting in the marsh with Kya. The descriptions of the tides, the birds flying, even the shells she finds on the beach are described with such intense detail. It is clear that the author’s first profession was as a naturalist. She has a way of describing everything with such beauty.

Fourth, the ending is truly satisfying after a heartbreaking journey through Kya’s life. Expect to cry a little, but also expect to feel relief at the end. Her journey is long and full of disappointment, but she finishes that journey with less loneliness and true happiness. This is truly a beautiful read.