Spicy Baked Eggs and Hash Brown Casserole

While some people go out for fancy dinners on Valentine’s Day night, or cook fancy meals like steak and lobster tails, I made truck stop food humble food.

However, my husband loves eggs, love potatoes, and since he surprised me, I wanted to surprise him and to him, this is a lobster tail. Well, almost, but you know what I mean.

I’m frequently asked why I don’t photograph our dinners more often or feature more savory or dinnertime food on my site and the reason is that frequently, dinner is a simple entree, paired with a salad.

Not “bad” but I don’t know if the world cares about eggs and potato casseroles, so I typically refrain.

And then there’s the issue of lighting…

At 4pm (and with the help of Lightroom 3 editing), the lighting is acceptable, and this is what the casserole looked like before I baked it. However, by the time dinner is actually served, the lighting is usually sub-par making it hard to take pictures that are useable, even after massive editing and color tweaking.

The spinach added a nice pop, both in flavor and in color to otherwise neutral food. It doesn’t get more white-colored and neutral-tasting than potatoes and eggs, and I like to incorporate veggies as often as possible. For once, I do live up to my blog’s name.

And I tossed in some kick and heat, too. Cayenne or hot pepper jelly is great for the sinuses and as a way to jazz up those hum-drum eggs ‘n taters before baking.

This is humble and honest food; this is not fancy. This is dinner on Tuesday; this is not the French Laundry.

But sometimes the basics are just what the doctor ordered truck driver ordered.

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Spicy Baked Eggs and Hash Brown Casserole (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

3 eggs

3 cups hash browns (I used Simply Potatoes that I had in the freezer)

1 1/2 cups spinach (I did not thaw it first, just tossed in the frozen flakes)

3 tablespoons olive oil, drizzled (or melted butter or margarine, drizzled)

salt and pepper, to taste

pinch chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic, onion powder, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend, Tabasco Sauce droplets, hot pepper jelly, optional and to taste

1/2 cup carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, onions, corn, or any vegetable that needs to be used or your have on hand, optional

1/2 cup shredded cheese, optional

ketchup drizzle, optional

Preheat oven to 375F and spray a medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray. Crack eggs into the baking dish and lightly beat them with a fork. Add all remaining ingredients and any optional ingredients and swirl them into the eggs, dispersing them evenly. Place baking dish on top of a cookie sheet if needed for stability, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, covered. If your baking dish does not have a lid, you may wish to cover it with foil so the top doesn’t burn before the rest is cooked through.  I removed the lid and baked for 20 additional minutes, uncovered, to brown the top very slightly (25 minutes covered + 20 minutes uncovered = 45 minutes total baking time) Optionally, top with cheese in the last 5 minutes of baking. Cooking times will vary based on size of baking dish and amount of vegetables used. Remove from oven when edges are just beginning to brown and pull away slightly from the sides of the dish. Slice and serve immediately, with ketchup drizzled over the top if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and serve them either cold or reheated, for up to two days, using common sense.

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After three years of not showcasing a savory egg dish on my site, I’ve done it twice in one week by kicking off the week with a Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata.

I can promise that three times in one week will not be a charm.

You’re safe if you’re not as big of an egg fan as my husband is because I’m fresh out of eggs. I blame it on all the baking I did yesterday.

And I’m also fresh out of the Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars with Pink Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting now, too. 

They were our Valentine’s Day dessert and I’d like to think they look a little fancier than the casserole, but truthfully, I make bars whenever possible instead of cookies because they’re easier and faster.

Do you have any weeknight staple dinners or favorites?

In general, do you prefer fancy food or more basic food?

I can appreciate fancy food and I love going out for fancy dinners when the time is right.  But at 6:37pm on a weeknight with hungry mouths to feed, that’s not the time for fancy. That’s a time for have a gameplan, get it done and on the table quickly, and the basics are where it’s at.

Thanks for the Peanut Butter Cheerios Giveaway entries

   

69 Responses to “Spicy Baked Eggs and Hash Brown Casserole”

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    lauren@spicedplate — February 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I saw this and immediately started to drool! I love the vibrancy that the spinach gives this dish….hash browns and eggs — the perfect combo!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      It’s so funny what makes people get excited. To me, this is not one of those things, but glad it did it for you (and my hubs)..ha!

      Reply

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    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — February 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Simple food like this is my favorite– so comforting!!! Looks perfect! This would be a great dish for a brunch, too!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      You better eat your last few brunches here, my friend. Brunch means leisurely, relaxed, chill and easy, on a weekend morning. You will have none of that coming up here shortly :) So go have brunch for the next 10 weeks or however long you have left! xo

      Reply

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    Bev Weidner — February 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Girl, that’s my kind of meal, RIGHT DIDDLY THERE.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      I was thinking of you the *entire time* I was making this, taking the pics, and posting it. I was like this is Bev’s food, Bev’s photography with the dinnertime food photography (but you have better results than me) :)

      Reply

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — February 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Love the savoury recipes!!!! I prefer foods that are more basic. Usually the simplest things taste the best!

    Reply

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    Marina — February 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Oh yes, we are all for more basic food. I love the taste of food made out of one or two ingredients. Can you ever have enough baked potatoes, right from the oven, drizzled with a good quality olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt?!

    Reply

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    Paula — February 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I love to make most everything from scratch so simple is best for my tastes and lifestyle. Simple can still be very well executed and taste as good or better than complicated recipes! Love the idea of hash browns with the eggs and can’t remember the last time I used them together in a casserole–so thanks for sharing because now I have some new egg-spiration!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      egg-spiration!! <– love it

      It’s eggcellent that you have more eggspiration now :)

      Reply

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    Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather — February 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Eggs and potatoes (and cheese!) are what we’re having tonight. Made the quiche last night. This sounds just perfect Averie, love the kick of heat + spinach in there too.

    And I am all for simple meals :)

    Reply

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    Jenny@vegetarianhatesvegetables — February 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    You know, I make all kinds of omelets for my boys, and all kinds of hash browns- but it never occurred to me to combine the two! This would be their dream food.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      And it’s actually easier than making omelets…just crack the eggs in the baking dish and swirl it all together…no egg-flipping required.

      Reply

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    Kelli@kellird.com — February 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    You are to funny. My husband would feel extra love if he came home to potatoes, eggs and cheese! Triple score!!! I made this Asian Noodle Pasta Salad once a week. My family can’t get enough of it, plus it is SUPER easy and healthy. You would love it! http://kellird.com/asian-noodle-pasta-salad/

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      And I didnt even use any cheese in this version, but added it as an opt-in..it would be stellar. I just didn’t have any on hand or I would have tossed it in to really! make his night.

      Reply

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    Heather (Where's the Beach) — February 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Jason would be all over that! We used to live on casseroles. I guess I like to do more elaborate when I have time. But lately, simplicity is winning out, like chili or veggie burgers and “fries.”

    Reply

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — February 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Comfort food at its best! Yum!

    Reply

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    Tracey — February 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with simple food, this looks great! We definitely have a dinner rotation that consists mostly of quick and easy meals, though I’ll occasionally throw in something more time consuming or complicated when I’m feeling extra motivated :)

    Reply

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    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — February 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    This looks like a great Sunday brunch item, though I’m so not against breakfast for dinner. :-)

    The Mr’s favorite is my bbq chicken pizza so we usually have that and fish with quinoa at least once a week on average. I guess I prefer basic food but fancy is always good to shake things up!

    Reply

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    katie @ KatieDid — February 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    yummm i love egg dishes and savory meals so much. I keep my eating super simple. most of my ‘meals’ are 2-3 ingredient stir fries or omelets. simple is perfect in my world!

    Reply

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    Cookin' Canuck — February 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Sometimes humble food is the best and this truly looks wonderful. Warm and comforting – it just doesn’t get any better.

    Reply

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Yum! I love egg bakes! My family isn’t keen on them, but I love them! Yours looks tasty!

    Reply

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    Katie — February 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    When I first got into cooking my own meals (post-college, where “meals” were chips and salsa or mac and cheese from a box), I was all about the fancy, multi-step recipes that took forever. On two separate occasions, I remember starting a dish for dinner at 5:30 and not sitting down to eat until after 8 pm. They were both wonderful – Chicken Pot Pie Casserole and Butternut Squash Ravioli (from scratch!) with herbed goat cheese. But I never made either one again. Now, I am all about simple.

    Dinner tonight was spaghetti squash with steamed szucchini and mushrooms. A little salt, Mrs. Dash, and garlic and I’m a happy girl.

    Reply

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    Dawn (HealthySDLiving) — February 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I’m drooling. I want to make this right now!!!
    I’m a creature of habit and make a lot of stir fry during the week

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Glad I made you drool and hi to a fellow San Diegan. It was so cold today..this was the type of food that was necessary to stay warm!

      Reply

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    jackie @ marin mama cooks — February 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Hey girl! Photographing dinner fare is hard. I was so bummed the other night because my enchiladas came out perfect and the salad I paired it with was so vibrant and full of color and such a nice contrast. Anyway, i was on the wrong setting and my photographs did not turn out well at all and could not be tweaked no matter what I did. I was so sad :( I told my husband that it just stinks when you make a gorgeous meal and you can’t even blog about it because the photos didn’t turn out. He laughed and just told me I would have to make it again.

    We love pastas and soups during the week. My daughter’s favorite meal is dinner so I really have to make something special and it puts pressure on me. Sandwich night just doesn’t cut it in our house. She wants the full entree paired with a huge vegetable helping. Luckily, she loves and wants a vegetable each evening. I haven’t made an egg fritatta dish in quite some time and your post got me thinking I should whip one up soon. Your photos look great and sometimes people want the recipe and don’t care if the photographs are not “tastespotting” quality. We all know your a wonderful cook and we trust if you say something is good, then it’s good. My friends remind me of that all the time regarding my blog. I may comment that my photo wasn’t great on a particular dish and my friends tell me, who cares, the recipe was delish. My friends are my best followers as they really make each dish I post :)

    Have a happy Friday!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 15th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      You are so sweet and thanks for the reminder that sometimes people just want the recipe…it’s such a fine line because I feel if my photos aren’t good enough to make it onto the food sites, then the recipe doesn’t “get out there” and just dies as soon as the next post is published on my site, i.e. 12 hours later. Whereas if they get accepted, the sort of “live on” a bit more, which is what’s nice about Pinterest. I find things from other people who I missed via Pinterest and I think people do the same with my stuff.

      Sorry your camera settings weren’t right and you lost your “work”. Foodgawker just declined all photos in this post, well, the 3 that I submitted. So no dice for me either!

      Reply

      • jackie @ marin mama cooks replied: — February 16th, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Hey girl! I was told not to judge my photos by foodgwaker or tastespotting. So many people even professional photographers have been turned down by them. I think I have some beautiful photos on my site but when I have turned them into foodgwaker they got turned down. I use to be sad but I’m not anymore because that is one person’s opinion and it’s honestly to much pressure and takes to much time to stage everything based on their criteria. I am happy staging or not staging my photos and presenting them the way I like and want to on my blog. Our blogs represent us and our personalities.

        Your personality shines on your blog. People do come and ohh and ahh over your photos but they really come to hear your voice and see your creative recipes. At least that is why I keep visiting your site. Your fun and real and that is what people like! Your also an amazing and creative cook! Not everyone can create the amazing and unique desserts you whip up.

        Anyway, you will find that your readers will love your savory as much as your sweets. My readers love my easy and boring meals a bit more that my fancy, vegetarian and healthy meals. Go figure!

        • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 16th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

          What a lovely comment, Jackie. “Your personality shines on your blog. People do come and ohh and ahh over your photos but they really come to hear your voice and see your creative recipes. ”

          Thank you…yes it’s always a mystery what the food sites will take and what they decline. For the most part, I know what they like and don’t and I was 95% sure they’d decline my dinnertime savory stuff, and they did.

          And “My readers love my easy and boring meals a bit more that my fancy, vegetarian and healthy meals. Go figure!” <– the stats on my blog do.not.lie. People want the most sugary stuff, the fattening decadent stuff, if they are voting by clicks, that’s what they want. Not “healthy” according to the clicks.

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    Julia {The Roasted Root} — February 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    My boyfriend eats eggs everyday..I personally get a little sick of them. Both the casserole and the frittata look delicious, so I’ll have to change things up with your ideas. :)

    Reply

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    dragonmamma/naomi — February 16, 2012 at 4:07 am

    Eggs and potatoes aren’t boring at all! Substitute sweet potatoes instead of russets and you’re talking about two of my favorite foods in the whole wide world. I don’t usually combine them, though. Breakfast is usually either fried eggs with fruit, or sauteed sweet potatoes and onion with some kind of meat. The spinach and peppers definitely makes it more photogenic.

    Reply

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    Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free — February 16, 2012 at 5:21 am

    I get what you say about photography dinner thing. I had a great dinner the other day, and by the time I took pictures, it was dark and they all turned out awful. (I have a simple point and shoot camera, too, so that doesn’t help any.)

    But I love this Casserole. It reminds me of a sort of baked Spanish Tortilla.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 16th, 2012 at 7:47 am

      And whether you have a P & S or a DSLR, if you have no light, you have no light. It looks bad regardless!

      Reply

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    Bree — February 16, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I wish I was having that for breakfast–right now!

    Reply

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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — February 16, 2012 at 7:10 am

    ugh I hear you on the lighting situation. I don’t get home from work until 7 and so in the fall/winter hours, there is simply no natural lighting. I’ve considered getting a light box because there is just no other option! This looks delicious though! I love breakfast casseroles :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 16th, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Unfortunately I think it’s nearly impossible to photograph food in a tiny little box? I mean how does one get any perspective or depth of field or “setting of the scene” when the food is in a little box…which is why I never understood the popularity of these. Unless you’re shooting product shots, i.e. a watch for an ebay ad where you want it really sterile, I don’t see the benefit…but my .02 only of course :)

      Reply

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    Cindy — February 16, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I so hear you about sub-par lighting. My evenings are the only time I have to photo what we’re doing or eating so pictures are never good. I gave up fighting it. I save my photo fun for the weekends when I have time to play in the kitchen and let the light in.

    I am so happy you posted the egg/potato recipe because it sounded so good the other day!
    THANKS

    and I’m pretty simple during the week for food. I like to whip up a batch of soup on the weekend and than add to it whatever else I’m in the mood for.

    JJ is a different story. He’s all finger foods right now and I can’t get him to do more than sample anything warm and casserole ish that i’ve made. at least WHAT he’s eating is good.
    haha
    oh and cookie bars are the bomb!
    no arguments here!
    :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — February 16th, 2012 at 8:46 am

      I gave up photographing dinners for about…2 years! And just started again but honestly can’t see it continuing much b/c it’s too challenging with a hungry family standing around wanting to eat (not wait for pic time to be over) and the lighting is craptastic, anyway. So saving it for fun desserts than can be photographed at any time, the next day, etc and at my leisure with no pressure and waiting for the good lighting is where it’s at :)

      Reply

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    kelley {mountain mama cooks} — February 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

    This is total comfort food. I like meals like this so I can get multiple meals out of it. This would be great any meal of the day!

    Reply

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    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — February 16, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh my! This looks ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!! AND i think your photos are STUNNING. :D

    Reply

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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — February 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Looks like a great dinner! I wish I could post more dinner recipes, but that darn light is a killer!

    Reply

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    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning — February 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

    My dinners are not usually too exciting, but when they are, I’m bummed about the lack of daylight. It will be a lot better when we set our clocks forward next month! We generally rotate the same 7 or 8 dinners over and over again, but I’ve been throwing a lot of new recipes into the mix lately.
    I love egg bakes and casseroles- this looks delicious!

    Reply

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    Christine (The Raw Project) — February 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

    My hubby would love this casserole too. Our weeknight dinners are usually simple especially with as busy as work has been lately.

    Reply

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    Aylin @ Glow Kitchen — February 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Those look amazing! You cant get more comforting than that.

    Reply

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    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray (soon to be Rachel Cooks) — February 16, 2012 at 10:31 am

    This looks delicious, and I think the photos look great!

    Reply

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    Amber K — February 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I’m all about comfort food. I just can’t get into “fancy” food. Just reading about fancy food makes me feel like I’m being pretentious or something. Plus it makes me feel like I have to dress up and sit at the dining room table instead of wearing my sweatpants and eating at the coffee table. And who wants to do that? Oh, right, normal people!

    Reply

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    Andrea — February 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    That looks delicious! We plan all our dinners in advance, so there are staples every week that allow us to vary the recipe within the “theme”: beans & greens on Mondays; tenderloin on Tuesdays; soup on Wednesdays; etc. And it’s ALL very simple. Almost never more than 5 ingredients for dinner! So, that said, I LOVE this egg bake as an idea! I’ll definitely be proposing this one to my honey as an addition to our menu :-)

    Reply

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    Deborah — February 16, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Yes, at this time of year, my dinners are usually done by lunchtime. Then it’s just a re-heat for dinner!! I can’t wait until summertime…

    I think I’ve already told you of my love for eggs. This looks SO good!

    Reply

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    Emily — February 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Yum! I’m in Spain right now and potato omelettes, which are similar to this, are one of their signature dishes. It’s been a vegetarian staple for me! :)

    Reply

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    Katherine Martinelli — February 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Another amazing breakfast recipe – this looks zoo up my alley! Thanks again for linking up to my breakfast blog hop! Pinned :-)

    Reply

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    Marissa Moschetta — March 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Quick and random question: Would it be okay to bake and freeze this? Will it still turn out?

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 27th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      You mean bake it and freeze the leftovers? And then reheat it again? I’m sure it would be fine but I haven’t tried it personally.

      Reply

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    Sara — February 6, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Hi Averie!
    I love this recipe!!
    Also, I had one quick question- what template do you use for your blog? Do you use wordpress? I love the look.

    Reply

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    Rhonda — September 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    How many side dish servings?? Two?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — September 23rd, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      depends who you’re feeding but I would say 4 sides or 2 hearty mains.

      Reply

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