Gotta Eat, Virginia Pillars

Not your usual pie

This past week, many people celebrated March 14  (3.14) as National Pi day. I’m not a math nerd, but I like a reason to celebrate, and so, Pi Day fits the bill.

In the past, I’ve made pies: pumpkin (hubby’s favorite,) blueberry (our granddaughter who happens to stay with us most years on this day loves this kind,) and apple (my favorite.)

Last Wednesday, Pi Day, I went to the cupboard, but the cupboard was bare. No pumpkin on hand – what was I thinking? I can’t make pies without making at least one pumpkin. Then, I remembered a silly poem:

Roses are red, violets are blue. Poetry is hard. Bacon.

I had bacon in the refrigerator. So, no dessert for us that day. Instead, we enjoyed…

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie – serves 4 – 6 people (at our house – it’s 4)

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound frozen southern style hash browns or 1 1/4 pounds fresh potatoes, shredded (I use fresh)
  • 1/8 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 pound ground beef (I use ground round)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder or 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 sliced bacon, fried, drained, and broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degree. Melt butter in large skillet. Add olive oil and potatoes. Cook until the bottom is browned and the potatoes cooked. Cook til second side is browned. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, oregano, 1/8 tsp pepper, and 1/3 c. shredded cheese. Cool about 3 minutes. Add beaten egg. Press into greased pie plate and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

While this bakes, prepare filling. If using chopped onion, add 1 T. olive oil and saute onion until soft. Add ground beef and brown. If using onion powder, brown ground beef and then add onion powder. Drain and return to skillet. Mix flour with water; add to meat with tomato sauce, seasoned salt, and dash of pepper to taste. Cook and stir until thickened. When potato shell is browned, remove from oven. Fill hot potato shell with meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted – about 3 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with bacon pieces. Let sit 3 minutes before cutting into wedges.

I’ve adapted this recipe over the years. Feel free to adapt it to your taste. Enjoy!



Gratitude, Virginia Pillars

Gratitude – November 24

Twas the morning of Black Friday, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except for the mouse…

Okay, not really true, because I’m up, but the mouse part is close to the truth. The little critters must think we offer free rent in our house, so I’ve declared war, as I do every year. But anyway, back to my gratitude reflection…

I hope my readers had a relaxed day yesterday. I know, I did. I ate turkey, which for me, is an annual treat that I dream about in anticipation for weeks. Why? My body reacts to foods that others can eat without any issues. Turkey, chicken, eggs, chocolate, and wine trigger migraines for me.

I can eat tiny amounts (of poultry, not chocolate) once in a while without problems, so once a year, my taste buds rejoice as I savor a helping of dark, turkey meat. I enjoy the homemade dressing and gravy, along with the sweet potatoes, squash casserole, and of course, the green bean casserole. I finished the meal with a slice of pumpkin pie and a cup of coffee. My mouth remains in a state of contentment this morning.

Yesterday, my family surrounded me – our three sons, three daughters-in-law, our daughter, and three of our four grandchildren. Our fourth grandchild made it to his eternal home over eleven years ago. He’s with us in spirit for every event. I call us the “Even Dozen Club,” but in reality, we are probably a bit odd.

We have fun together. We compete like Olympians as we play games, work together, and of course, tease each other. I’m certain I will hear about the year I forgot the sugar in the pumpkin pie for the rest of my life. And if I know my family, they’ll share the story at my funeral.

Oh, we do love to laugh at our mistakes.

After all, life is too important to take it seriously. I laugh at the silly things I do wrong, and revel in the things that go right.

My devotional readings this morning remind me to stay grateful.

I’m thankful for my life, and that I don’t feel the need to fight the crowds today to shop. I plan to write a few chapters for my first-ever novel. And eat another piece of pumpkin pie with my coffee.

Happy Black Friday!