Shannon here: Jenny McLeod Carlisle shares how romance survives 24/7, plus a yummy recipe for Breakfast Egg McMuffins, & a chance to win a copy of her nonfiction title, Turn, Turn, Turn. Comment or answer the question in any post dated April 21st – 24th to enter the drawing. Deadline: May 2nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jenny:
Keeping the Romance Alive While Throwing in the Towel by Jenny McLeod Carlisle:
My hubby and I will be married 44 years next month. There have been a lot of adjustments and compromises over those years, and when asked how we have made things work for so long, I always say, “choose your battles.” Since I have been working from home for over a month, and we are together 24/7, adjusting and choosing has been put to the test.
One thing we agree on is that he is the best cook in the family. He loves finding new recipes and perfecting them. Nowadays, when we are not able to eat in our favorite restaurants, the best dishes are the ones that are somewhat healthy, and can be enjoyed more than once.
Our new go-to breakfast includes a lot of wholesome goodness like eggs and spinach with some extra tastiness like bacon and cheese and hardly any carbs to weigh us down. We can cook it early in the week, and make it last for days. I have included the recipe below. You will notice that one of the steps involves squeezing out moisture from shredded potatoes. Here’s where choosing my battles comes in.
When hubby was looking for something clean, dry and white to squeeze the potatoes in, he chose the nearest towel. It happened to be a decorative one from our local Hobby Lobby that added some style to my newly redecorated kitchen. I discovered the dingy damage while doing the laundry, and no amount of stain remover seemed to help. Fumes were bubbling up in my brain, but I stopped short of losing my cool when I noticed the slogan on my pretty towel. “Family means everything.” Oh well.
In true James and Jenny fashion, we are confident that we will come through this season stronger than ever. Worshipping in our living room, praying together, staying safe and caring for each other. Nothing could be more romantic.
Breakfast Egg Muffins (from https://natashaskitchen.com)
6 oz. bacon cut into ½’ pieces
1 small onion ½ cup finely chopped
1 large or 2 small russet potatoes peeled
4 oz. fresh baby spinach 2 cups, coarsely chopped
6 oz. mild cheddar cheese (1 ½ cup shredded), divided
8 large eggs
½ cup half and half or equal parts whipping cream and milk
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 12- count non-stick muffin tin or line with silicone muffin liners. (Pro tip from Jenny – silicone pans work SO much better)
- Place a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and saute’ the bacon until browned. Transfer to a place. Discard excess oil, keeping 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. In the same pan, saute’ finely chopped onion until softened.
- Meanwhile, grate potato on the large holes of a box grater. Use you hands to squeeze out as much water as you can from the potatoes then pat dry with paper towels. Once onions are softened, add grated potato to the skillet with onions. Saute’ stirring a few times until potatoes are golden and nearly cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 8 eggs, ½ cup half and half and 2 tsp. Tabasco Stir in sautéed potatoes, chopped spinach and 1 cup cheese.
- Distribute mixture evenly among a 12-count muffin tin. Sprinkle tops with bacon then top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-23 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out fairly clean. Cool a few minutes in the pan, then serve.
(Final note from Jenny – The silicone pans we bought are a little smaller, so we ended up with more than 12 muffins. We save them in the refrigerator in a sealed bowl, and warm them up in the microwave. Delicious way to start the day!)
About Jenny: Jenny McLeod Carlisle has been writing stories since she learned to hold a pencil. Growing up in a single parent home with her little sister, she filled the empty spot in her heart by writing letters to her Daddy. Her writing voice developed naturally, and if you had asked that little girl about her future plans, she would have said she wanted to write books. She studied English and journalism, but married before finishing college and helped her husband raise their three kids by working as a career State of Arkansas employee. Now that they are grown, she continues to learn the craft, and exercises her storytelling skills by writing a monthly column for Ouachita Life magazine, a free publication that reaches thousands in the southwest quadrant of Arkansas.
Recently, her website has allowed more opportunities to reach out to her community of readers. She has served in several different offices of her favorite support group, American Christian Fiction Writers – Arkansas Chapter. She also hosts meetings for Heartfelt Friends, a ministry based on the Second Chapter of Titus that allows older Christian women to become mentors to young wives and mothers. Eight grand-children in three states prompt frequent trips with her favorite travel buddy, her husband of 43 years. Learn more: Jenny’s Website
About the book – Turn, Turn, Turn: Turn, Turn, Turn is Jenny’s first book. A compilation of many of her past general interest columns, it contains short articles drawn from her joyful life. Part social commentary, part nostalgic look back, it offers quick moments of smiles, with a few tears mixed in to make them real. Her fans say it reminds them of sitting in their grandmother’s lap listening to her stories. She hopes it provides comfort and encouragement while inspiring readers to tell their own stories.
Question for Readers: What has been your biggest challenge during quarantine?
Come back April 24th for part 2 with Jenny!