a perfect springy weekend

Last weekend our good friend Elissa came down from Nashville to visit us for a few days.  I consider Elissa my oldest college friend, because we became friends during the 1st semester of our freshman year, and have stayed friends since then.  Most of the girlfriends I have now stem from friendships built in college, but Elissa’s friendship is one of the few that goes back as far as freshman year.  Here’s a look back…

I can’t believe that was 7 years ago!!!  Anyways. So Elissa came into town and all us girls enjoyed a wonderful weekend together. Friday night we went to our traditional dinner at Nabeel’s, then had a few drinks at Cocina Superior, then headed home and played some Wii dance (always a good time).  Then Saturday morning we go up, ate my yummy hashbrown casserole 😉 and then headed to Edgewood Creamery for ice cream. The weather was BEAUTIFUL outside, so we sat outside and talked for a while catching up on each other’s lives. Then after that we decided to go to the Railroad Park downtown.  It was obviously a popular spot for lots of people (and dogs!) that day. We spread our blankets out, layed in the sun, talked some more, listened to music and even played a little bocce ball.
 

 Even the pups had a great time!  I think Sophie is enjoying her new home/family 🙂  Look at this face. Does that not just say “ahhh…this is the life!”

 Saturday night we went out again to a swanky little bar in Mountain Brook, and the boys came along for a little visiting time.  Then Sunday we went and had brunch at Another Broken Egg.  One word. DELICIOUS!  This place was adorable. It felt like we were sitting inside of a true southern plantation home eating breakfast that grandma just cooked. I’m seriously considering having a bridesmaids brunch here now.  I can’t believe I had never been here before.  Yum.
 
So that pretty much sums up our weekend.  It was quite lovely. Nothing beats girlfriends in the south 🙂

famous hashbrown casserrole

First of all, I can’t believe I have not posted this recipe on this blog yet.  It is on my other food blog, The Wooden Spoon, if that counts for anything.  But, still, it needs to make an appearance here, cause it’s just that good if I do say so myself  🙂  One of my oldest college friends is coming into town today for a much needed girls weekend, and I want to cook this for breakfast Saturday morning. I will post more on the weekend fun later, but this post is all about some hashbrown casserole.  It is probably one of my most frequent go-to recipes. I loooove this recipe cause I will pretty much devour the entire casserole in just a few days. I end up eating it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or just as a quick snack. Yumm! And, it’s one of those dishes that actually tastes a little better (in my opinion) as a leftover, cause it thickens up a little once it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge for a bit.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup- sometimes I’ll even do one of each
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp butter (divided in half, and softened) – you will use 2 Tbsp here and 2 Tbsp there
  • 1 (2lb) package frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups corn flakes cereal
  • black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • onion powder

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  • In a large bowl mix the soup, sour cream, 2 Tbsp butter, and hashbrowns. Sprinkle in some black pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder to the mixture (it’s really all just a matter of personal preference, but I have found that more is usually better!)
  • Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Pour the mixture into the dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, as well as enough corn flakes to thinly cover the top. Then pour 2 Tbsp melted butter over the cornflakes.
  • Bake for 45mins-1 hour until cheese is melted and bubbly. I have made this many many times, and sometimes it takes even longer than an hour to cook, but I have found that it’s very hard to ruin this dish. Unless you just flat out forget about it for 2 hours, I’m pretty sure you can’t over cook this. It may still be a tiny bit soupy when you remove it from the oven, but like I said, as it cools (either sitting out on the counter or in the fridge), it will thicken up.

Enjoy!