Vegetarian vacation

Apricot and brandy-glazed coffeecake with pecan, currant, brown sugar and butter filling.

As wonderful as it is when the children come home, it stinks when they leave to go back to college or work or both. Our youngest drove off in pouring  rain this morning, leaving the house feeling chillier and duller.

We had a wonderful time, saw 9 movies during the 8 days and 9 nights she and her imaginary cat were here (although last night her ‘fraidy cat  actually made it all the way from bedroom to living room) and ate ourselves silly.

Since she’s a vegetarian, we ate shells stuffed with mashed sweetpotatoes, blue cheese and caramelized onions, cream cheese- and blueberry-stuffed oven-baked French toast (stuffed being the operative word in both recipes), cannelini bean soup and a green chili and egg casserole. We ate in Lebanese, Mexican and Chinese restaurants. We ate homemade oat bread, James Beard’s sweet coffee cake and a melt-in-your-mouth fruitcake that begins at Thanksgiving with fermenting fruit. We had enough sugar, butter and chocolate to last us until next Christmas.

We are blessed, which does not stop me from feeling sad on this drippy morning. The house looks like Times Square on New Year’s Day, but  next week someone else’s children will spend the night here when the choir from Westminster College of Pennsylvania sings at our church. And we’ll give thanks again for young people of passion and talent.

Green chili and egg breakfast casserole

10 medium eggs

2 cups small curd cottage cheese

2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

2 4-1/2-ounce cans chopped green chiles, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2-quart rectangular baking dish or spray with cooking oil.

Break eggs into mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour mixture into baking dish, place dish into oven and bake for 50 minutes or until center is firm. Bake only until casserole becomes firm but remove it from oven before top browns. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serves 8.

Beloved college junior focuses on sugar cookie decorating.

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