Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hamburger-Green Bean Casserole

This is a favorite casserole of Hunky Hubby and my two kids.  Even after growing up and moving out, they come home and want this yummy dinner.


2 Tbls   Olive Oil
1           Small Onion, diced
2           Cloves garlic, finely diced
1 lb.      Hamburger, browned and drained
                                         6       Russet Potatoes, sliced thinly
                                        1 can     Cream of Mushroom Soup
                                        1 can     Green Beans
                                        Salt and Pepper to taste.

In a cast iron frying pan, add the olive oil.  Over medium heat, add the onion and sauté until tender.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the hamburger, breaking it into small pieces as it browns.  Once no pink is showing in the meat, remove from heat and drain the fat. 

Spray a casserole dish with Pam.  Add meat mixture to the bottom of the pan.

Clean potatoes well.  Leaving the skins on, slice thinly and layer on top of the meat mixture. 

In a small mixing bowl, add the cream of mushroom soup.  Open the can of green beans and drain, reserving 1/2 the liquid.  Add the liquid to the soup and mix well.

Spread the green beans on top of the potatoes.  Pour the soup mixture over the top of the casserole.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with lid or tinfoil.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Mix the ingredients well before serving.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Big House - Casa Grande National Monument

Casa Grande National Monument is located in the Sonoran desert of Arizona, in between the cities of Coolidge and Casa Grande.  Surrounded by beautiful cactus forests, the ruins of an ancient people remain for the modern day traveler to appreciate. 
Believed to be built around 1300 BC, the Casa Grande (Great House) is surrounded by an earthen compound.  There are several other foundations and partial structures near it.  The main structure was originally four stories high.  It consisted of 17 rooms.  According to the United States National Park Service, "An estimated six million pounds of caliche were used in the construction of the Casa Grande. Caliche is a naturally occurring soil consisting of clay, sand and calcium carbonate found in the deserts of the southwest."   It is believed to have been used for ceremonial purposes.  However, the true use of the structure may never be known.

One of the interesting things about this place is the stories of the people who lived here during the time the structure was built.  The Hohokam were a nomadic people until they settled in this area.  Water was plentiful from the nearby Gila.  The people developed an extensive network of agricultural canals and many varieties of vegetables were grown here.  Not only corn but several varieties of beans and squash, as well as cotton and tobacco were grown here.  Game was bountiful and there were lots of native plants to eat.

The  United States National Park Service website says, "During the late 1300’s and early 1400’s, the ancient Sonoran Desert people suffered a period of widespread depopulation and abandonment. Speculations as to the cause have included drought, floods, disease, invasion, earthquakes, internal strife, and salinization of farmland. Today, several American Indian groups have ancestral links to the ancient people. Their cultural traditions, together with on-going archeology and the continued interest of visitors at Casa Grande Ruins, all combine to keep the legacy of the ancient Sonoran Desert people alive to this day.

For more information, visit

Hunky Hubby is 6' 3".  This shows you the scale of the doorways.

Love this traveling cowboy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wyoming Sunrises

It turns out that working a gas plant on top of a mountain has its merits.  The boss requires that we arrive at the plant at 6:30 am every morning.  While this is not ideal for a night person such as I, it does provide a chance to see many a sunrise.  This morning, I thought I would share some of said sunrises with my readers.  My archaic cell phone tends to add fuzzy to the picture.  However, I think it adds to these photos instead of taking away from them. Enjoy!