As the More is More Mom®, I have been all about…..more moms helping other moms! I recently received a telephone call from my good friend, Bill Melka, of Ronald McDonald Charities. They are an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being and education of children in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. He was excited to share with me some of the amazing opportunities for participating in support of Ronald McDonald House.
You know my motto: More of everything is always better…..especially when it comes to creating meaningful life experiences. The Ronald McDonald House was perfect for me. In the Chicago area, there are four houses that provide a “home away from home” for families with children that are receiving treatment at local hospitals. One way to help is to provide a home cooked meal for the families staying at the house. I jumped at the chance to make brunch for 25 people over the weekend.
I knew immediately that my friend Missy (a More is More type mom herself) would want to be a part of this with me. We got right down to the business of planning our menu, keeping in mind that whatever we made needed to lend itself to great, easy to re-heat, leftovers for families that missed brunch while they were at the hospital with their children. We made;
- Baked French Toast Casserole (with syrup and powdered sugar)
- Breakfast Casserole, Eggs both with sausage and without
- Fresh Fruit Skewers
- Chocolate Milk
- Orange Juice
We decided that this would be a fantastic mother/daughter outing, and Amanda and Rosebud were right on board. They even asked another friend to help lend a hand. By 7 a.m. the car was packed and we were on our way to Hyde Park to visit the Ronald McDonald House that serves the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. In no time we were in the city, with the ovens pre-heating and ready for our tour of the house.
What a truly moving experience! The house was absolutely amazing; 22 bedrooms with their own private baths, three lounges, a computer room, two laundry rooms, a playroom for the siblings with so many new toys and books that it looked like Toys R Us, an enormous Dining Room and a state of the art Kitchen. The entire house is run and maintained by an army of volunteers. What a gift; to be able to provide a warm and comforting safe haven for families that are focused on getting the best possible care for their children and helping them to heal. We were moved and honored to be a part of it, if even just for a morning.
The best part of our experience was meeting the families that came down for brunch, and learning a bit about their stories. Love and healing was a common theme. We all promised to keep their little ones in our prayers. Everyone was so appreciative.
Everything was delicious and so easy to make. I promised everyone that I would post the recipe for the Breakfast Casserole (all prepped the night before). You’re going to love it too.
Pre-heat oven to 350°
In a skillet, brown;
1 lb of breakfast sausage
In a large mixing bowl;
Break 12 eggs
3 cups of milk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mustard
2 Tbsp chopped chives
7 slices of sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
2 cups of cheddar cheese
Cooked, crumbled sausage
Butter a 13x 9 baking dish
Pour egg mixture into the baking dish
Cook for approximately 1 hour
Cool, cut and serve….
Missy and I agreed we can’t wait to bring another home cooked meal to share with the families at Ronald McDonald House. More caring, more healing, more nurturing, more moms helping other moms……
For more information, please visit the Ronald McDonald House Charities at www.rmhcccni.org