Xmas Breakfast Casserole

“Why don’t you make that breakfast casserole you used to make?”

“What’s wrong with your Breakfast Casserole?”

“Not enough eggs.”

“Can’t you just put more eggs in it?  Besides I have no idea where that recipe is.”

“It’s on your blog.”

Well, it’s here now.  Here’s another fine example of something I made at some point in the past but the recipe went AWOL.  So here we go (again) and this recipe is as original as any you’ll find online.  Overnight breakfast casseroles are all pretty much the same.  Some use potatoes, some don’t.  I saw one recipe that used croutons instead of bread.  Mushrooms and spinach seemed pretty popular.  Use what you have on hand and let your palate be your guide.

Xmas Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Serves 12 or more depending upon portion size

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork breakfast sausage (if you’re in Oklahoma I used half Blue and Gold and half JC Potter)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cups white bread (Pep Farm Hearty Farmhouse white, crusts on) cubed
  • 14 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (medium, Wisconsin sharp, and NY sharp)
  • 1/4 butter melted
  • 1/2 small red pepper, small dice
  • 3-4 green onions, tops only, diced

Instructions

The night before:

  1. Cook the sausage in a large skillet and drain the fat.
  2. Add onion and saute until the onions are translucent.
  3. Allow sausage/onion mixture to cool.
  4. Coat the bottom of a 15″ x 10″ baking dish with melted butter.
  5. Spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the dish.
  6. Add the cooled sausage/onion mixture.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and dry mustard.
  8. Spread the shredded cheeses over the sausage mix.
  9. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sausage and cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning:

  1. Take the casserole out of the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least an hour. It can be cool to the touch but not cold.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes until the top turns golden brown and the casserole is bubbling on the sides.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Sprinkle the red pepper and green onions on top.
  6. Yum.

Post Xmas Brunch Observations

You’ll note this recipe does not call for any salt or pepper.  You won’t need salt or pepper in the dish.  Allow your guests to season as they please.  Trust me on this.  This dish is quite rich and full of flavor even the salsa and ketchup on the counter never got used.  We made Xmas Breakfast Potatoes on the side.  This casserole freezes well for quick and hearty meals when you don’t feel like cereal or toast.  Make sure you’re feeding a crowd because otherwise you’ll have a lot of leftovers.

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Scraps Frittata

Sometimes you have odds and ends in the fridge.  Half an onion, two halves of red and green peppers, maybe even some leftover fresh spinach sauteed with garlic in the freezer.  No one else is home.  So it doesn’t really matter if this thing turns out OK or not.

I hate wasting food.  There’s just too many people on the planet who would gladly take your odds and ends, the scraps that might get thrown away.  So tonight I made a frittata with what I had on hand.  And if it turns out OK, then this recipe stays on the blog.

If not, well you’ll never know it was here.

  • 2 Tbl EVOO
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 green pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, organic, small dice
  • 1 cup sauteed fresh spinach with garlic, drained
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dried basil, healthy pinch
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in an 8 inch non-stick pan.
  2. Saute the onions and peppers for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and continue cooking until nearly cooked through, about 10  minutes.  Add more olive oil if needed to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the basil, salt, and pepper.  Add oil if needed.
  5. Spread the spinach evenly over the potato/pepper mixture.
  6. Sprinkle Parmesan over the spinach. Be as generous as you like.
  7. Beat the eggs and half and half.  Pour over the vegetable mixture.
  8. Preheat your broiler.
  9. Allow the frittata to sit over a very low flame until set.
  10. Place the pan under the broiler to brown the top.
  11. Remove from the broiler and place the frittata on a serving plate.
  12. Serve warm or cold.  Makes about 4 servings.
  13. Yum.

Update

The recipe stays.

Doris’ Baked Oatmeal

We all have friends like this. They are the ones with whom time is a meaningless concept. Five hours, five days, five years pass and it doesn’t matter. Time is meaningless because the friends you share a unique time/space continuum with are always there for you. Years will pass (and they do) but when you see each other again it feels as if no time has passed.

There comes a time when we all reach out. Maybe it’s for companionship, perhaps for understanding. There is a bond that exists unbroken by time or geography. A call is made. Yes, it would be great to see you again. Most of the time nothing further comes of the call. But then the second call comes, you clear your schedule, and you make time to spend with your special friends.

“Do you eat oatmeal?”

(and who at this age in life doesn’t eat oatmeal?)

“Yes, I love oatmeal.”

“Then I will make baked oatmeal in the morning for breakfast.”

Baked oatmeal? Never heard of it. I’ve been cooking for over 40 years and never heard of baked oatmeal. So when in doubt do what everyone else does.

Google it. Amish Baked Oatmeal. Dozens of recipes, all the same, each just a little bit different.

So I took a picture of the recipe but not of the book cover or author. The recipe is Amish and I’m stealing it now. I guarantee the recipe will change, but for now, I’m stealing it unchanged.  Kathy King is listed on the line with the recipe title.  So Kathy, wherever you are, Doris and I thank you for this yummy oatmeal recipe.

Doris’ Baked Oatmeal

IMG_0724

I don’t want anyone to think we just jumped in the car and drove three hours for oatmeal.

No, we jumped in the car to go see this guy with our buddies.

 

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Plain yogurt is awful.  Plain Greek yogurt is worse.  Thick, sour, and nasty.

The plain Greek yogurt in the fridge was at its expiration date.  We cannot keep any dairy products in the house past their expiration dates because they will go bad at precisely 12:01 AM the day after the expiration date.  What do you do with a half container of thick, sour, nasty plain Greek yogurt that will turn at one minute past midnight?

Pancakes of course.

Tips

No hints or tips.  This recipe is reasonably fool proof.  For those with sharp memories this recipe is a variation on my Yogurt Pancake recipe.  All of the normal pancake rules apply here.

We await daughter-in-law approval.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

1/2 cup all-purpose white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat milk

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking
soda, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, yogurt, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.

For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Barb’s Breakfast Casserole

“You need to put the breakfast casserole on the blog.  Everyone at the office loved it.”

“OK.  Where do I find it?”

“It’s a Trisha Yearwood recipe.  But I changed a few things.”

In today’s world of instant information the recipe wasn’t hard to find.  After confirming with The Boss that the recipe I found was the one she used, I started writing.  But my eyes caught the following:

If I understand this correctly the recipe here is an adaptation of an adaptation of Yearwood’s original 2008 version.

So with all of these credits it’s likely I won’t get slammed for a lack of attribution like I did when I published a slightly altered version of someone’s Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe.

Seriously.

  • Butter
  • 1/2 loaf of sliced white bread
  • 1 pound fresh bulk pork sausage
  • 5 ounces Sharp and 5 ounces Medium Cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs beaten
  1.  Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Grease a 9- by 13- by 2- inch casserole dish with butter.
  3. In a skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to drain the fat.
  4. Spread sausage over the bread and top with the cheese.
  5. Mix half-and-half, dry mustard, salt and eggs. Pour into the casserole dish.
  6. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  7. The morning of serving preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Bake covered until set and slightly golden, about 50 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for 15 minutes before serving.

Tips

Pepper?  Definitely add some black pepper.  We used Potter sausage a fine MIO product which IMHO is some of the best pork sausage on the market.  Very good ratio of fat to flesh.  For the bread, use a thick slice bread in the Texas Toast style.  This size helps to create the perfect size bread cubes.  Yes, I also noticed that this recipe and the original do not specify how much butter.  (psst…this is not a low-fat low-calorie vegan dish so how much butter do you think?)  Don’t ask me why two different Cheddar cheeses because I don’t know.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict this dish will be Daughter-in-law Approved.  Anything you can toss together the night before and bake in the morning is a life saver when you have a Tiny Human on board.  Plenty of leftovers too.

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins (updated)

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

1 stick butter

1/2 C light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 C whole wheat flour

1/2 C white flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 large ripe bananas smashed

1/4 C sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat some more.
  3. Add smashed bananas. Stir to mix.
  4. Add flours. Sprinkle baking soda and salt evenly.  Stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Do not over-mix.
  5. Place baking cup papers into a 12 cup muffin pan.
  6. Fill each cup 3/4 full.
  7. Bake 20-22 minutes.

 

Update 04.15.17

I’m at the point in life where I buy just 2-3 bananas at a time.  Since bananas conspire to all ripen simultaneously buying a small number of fruit also cuts down on the amount of muffins in the freezer.

The Boss ate the last one from the freezer this week.  So I had to make more.

Since recipes gradually change over time today was a good day to update my World Famous Whole Wheat Banana Muffin recipe.  As always I’ve left the original intact for all you purists out there.  The changes are subtle but they do make a difference.

Butter not margarine and sour cream instead of buttermilk or yogurt.  Two eggs instead of one.  I find these little changes make a softer, fluffier muffin.

And for non-family member readers this recipe is not Daughter-in-Law Approved (yet).

 

Banana Oat Pancakes

I took some vacation days in a valiant “use ’em or lose ’em” effort.  Today is the first day of an extended weekend in which I have nothing planned.  So without any work to be done I did what most people would do with plenty of time on their hands.

Make pancakes.

When The Architect and The Doctor were kids I made pancakes all the time.  Nowadays with just two in the house and one a non-pancake lover I don’t make pancakes that often anymore.  But I had time, two very ripe bananas, and buttermilk in the fridge.  And I was getting tired of banana muffins so…

Banana Oat Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup low fat milk
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • Dash cinnamon

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flours, rolled oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl combine eggs, buttermilk, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir batter just till blended.  Add two smashed bananas and fold gently into the batter.  Allow the batter to sit for 15 – 30 minutes before frying.
For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto a lightly greased preheated griddle or heavy skillet. Cook several pancakes at a time over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or till the tops are evenly bubbled and the edges are dry, then turn and cook until golden brown on the second side.

TIPS

The banana in the batter will burn easily so cook these cakes at a lower temperature than you normally use for pancakes.  I finally figured out medium was a good temperature.  The pancakes will take a little longer to cook but they won’t turn out dark brown.  These pancakes are pretty sweet by themselves but knock yourself out if you want to eat them with real maple syrup.  Fresh fruit would be better.  And peanut butter would be the best.

Peanut butter and banana pancakes.  Yup.