Heather and I were hurriedly cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, when we heard the call from the bath tub… “Mama! Can you come here?” It had become a regular routine. Jack has developed a fear of the dark – and sometimes that means a fear of everything when we aren’t in the room with him, even when that’s a brightly lit bathroom just a few yards away. Heather and I both had that fear as kids, so we try our best to be patient with him. But sometimes it’s just a lot to deal with. Bath time for him, means clean up time for us and an opportunity to start getting things ready for the next day. I’m sure he thinks we’re gallivanting around the house eating extra servings of dessert or maybe just laying on the couch being lazy – but that, my friends, is not the case. On this particular night it meant we were desperately trying to get things done so we could all sit down and play a game as a family like we had promised him. But that didn’t matter. He yelled again.
I felt my blood pressure rising. “Mama! Will you please come here?” I had had it. All I could think was, “Why can’t he give us 20 minutes to get things done?” I stormed into the bathroom with my voiced raised to see a terrified little boy – my terrified little baby – with his knees pulled to his chest, nearly trembling. He wasn’t just frightened. He was terrified. In that moment, I was reminded of how I would wake so scared from a nightmare that I barely had the breath to squeak out a silent call to my mom. I remembered how paralyzed I would feel. I remembered how I would have to go brush my teeth down the dark hallway, which seemed like the length of a football field at the time, and then would run back into the living room for fear that something would grab me along the way.
I went in there to yell, but he reminded me what it feels like to be scared. To truly be scared. As an adult, it seems so trivial to be afraid of the dark or the boogeyman or whatever it may be that frightens our children. But I think it’s important that we give those fears some credence and remember that as a child our perspective was a little different – okay, a LOT different. If we’re raising our children right, the dark should be the scariest thing they know at such a young age. I say it a lot, but so many times it really is all about perspective. As an adult, you’ve experienced far scarier things than the dark. But thinking about the scariest thing you know would probably have you in tears, too.
Heather also reminded me that night that in as few as 10 years – just 10 more summers, the house will fall quiet – our boy will be gone off into the big ol’ world. And it made me realize that sometimes I just need to stop and ask myself, “Is this going to matter tomorrow?” “Is getting furious going to make this situation any better?” In the current state of our big ol’ scary world, I think it might be a good idea to ask myself those questions more often. —
Y’all, I just can’t wait for y’all to try this new recipe. This Cheesy Beef Bake with Onion Rings is a delicious twist on the Classic Tater Tot Casserole – except, as you guessed, it’s topped with Onion Rings!
These new Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Crispy Breaded Onion Rings from Farm Rich make the perfect topping. This recipe is so easy and filling – and there won’t be many dishes to wash with this one since you’ve got a complete meal right in one dish. I’m all about making things quick and easy. And so are the folks from Farm Rich. Making things that are simple and great tasting is what they do.
Let me show you how easy this is. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 13X9 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Start by browning your ground beef with your onions in a large skillet over medium high heat. When done, drain the grease away and return the meat to the pan over low heat. Stir in the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and cream of mushroom soup (undiluted). Stir until combined. Add the mixed veggies and stir again.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and spread it evenly.
Top with the shredded cheese.
Then top with the Onion Rings in an even layer however you see fit. Get fancy and creative if you wish. Make a design. Or just dump them on there if you’re short on time. 🙂
Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted, the casserole is heated through, and the Onion Rings are golden brown.
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- 2 pounds ground beef ( I used chuck)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used corn, peas, carrots, and beans - use your favorite)
- 1 cup shredded Colby/Monterrey Jack cheese blend (or other favorite cheese)
- 1 (24-ounce) box Farm Rich Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper frozen Onion Rings
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 13X9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the onion over medium high heat. Drain away the fat and return the meat to the skillet over low heat. Stir in the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and undiluted mushroom soup. Add the mixed veggies and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and top with the cheese. Arrange the Onion Rings in an even layer on the top. You may not use them all. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the casserole is heated through, the cheese has melted, and the onion rings are golden brown.