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.

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Iki Marinade 2.0

Iki Marinade 2.0

1/8 C. olive oil

1/8 C. canola oil

1/4 C. light thin Thai soy sauce

2  1/2 T. light brown sugar

2 T. apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 T. ketchup

1/2 T. granulated garlic powder

1/2 T. onion powder

Dash red pepper flakes

The Story Behind Iki 2.0

For the story behind Iki 1.0 the original click here.

Ever wonder how two cooks can make the same recipe and they come out different?  One cook makes the dish and it tastes good.  The original cook makes the same dish and for some reason no one wants to explain, it doesn’t just taste good it tastes great.  Wonder no more!  The secret is simple.  The original cook uses certain brands of ingredients and also changes the recipe.  A digital cookbook is the perfect place to document such changes.  As always I leave the original alone and highlight what changes I’ve made.

What Changed

I moved away from all olive oil to a mixture of olive and canola oils.  The soy sauce I use comes from Thailand and is the Happy Boy Thin variety.  While I prefer this brand you may not be able to find it in your local Asian grocery.  Also be aware that MSG is listed as an ingredient so avoid if you have any sensitivity to this substance.  Both of these changes lighten the marinade.  Kikkoman which is found almost everywhere is an example of a dark soy sauce.  The amounts of brown sugar and ketchup are a little higher than in the original.  Thus, this version is a slight bit sweeter.  Finally, garlic powder subs for fresh garlic and I’ve added onion powder to the marinade.

Why Change?

Why not?

Strawberry Mousse

  • One package unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup strawberries, crushed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  1. In a sauce pan soften the gelatin in water.
  2. Stir over low heat until the gelatin dissolves.
  3. Crush strawberries, stir into the gelatin mixture.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff.  Gradually add sugar.  Fold in strawberry mixture.
  6. Whip cream.  Fold into the strawberry mixture.  Add one drop of red food coloring.
  7. Pour into individual molds or bowls.
  8. Garnish with fresh strawberries and chill for four hours.
  9. Serves 6-8.

“I’m going to make something light for dessert.”

“Like what?”

“Strawberry Mousse and Forgotten Cookies.”

“You forgot what?”

“No, I’m also making cookies to go with the mousse.”

“Why?”

“You’ll see.”

Tips

I crushed the strawberries with a potato masher.  You don’t want puree.  Leave some chunks.  Serve with Forgotten Cookies.  You’ll see.

Another recipe saved from its original pen and paper format.  One down and several thousand more to go.

 

Buttermilk Pound Cake ala Rhonda

 

Here’s what the pound cake looks like right side up out of the pan.

Here’s the recipe.

Here’s the reviews:

Tastes like a big soft sugar cookie.

I’ll have another piece please.

I found the spaghetti !!!

It needs another stick of butter.

You can butter the sides, brown in a pan, and viola…breakfast!

Tips:

Trust your instincts and don’t use a dried spaghetti noodle to see if the cake is done.  I used a strand of fettuccine only to break off a sizeable piece.  The crowd was warned.  If you find the spaghetti don’t eat it. 

Thanks Rhonda wherever you are.  We won’t wait another 25 years before we make this cake again.

 

Buttermilk Pound Cake

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks butter

4 large eggs

3 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Mix buttermilk and baking soda.  Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugar, and salt.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
  5. Add half the buttermilk mixture and mix well.
  6. Add half of the flour and mix well.
  7. Add remaining buttermilk mixture and mix well.
  8. Add remaining flour and mix well.
  9. Add vanilla.
  10. Pour batter into your greased and floured bundt pan.
  11. Bake at 325° for one hour and 20 minutes.  Due to oven and atmospheric variations, check the cake after one hour and 10 minutes.

“Why do I always have to make dessert?”

“Because you are an excellent baker and all of your desserts taste wonderful.”

“Why don’t the neighbors ask you to make appetizers instead?”

“Because your desserts are better than my appetizers.”

Sometimes it takes time to decide what to make for a  neighborly get together.  Pound cake sounded good so we dug out this old recipe from the box.  Our first house was located on a cul-de-sac.  It was and still is a great spot to raise a young family.  A young family of four lived across the street and Rhonda was the source of this recipe.  I’ve not changed the ingredients but the instructions have been somewhat modified.

Don’t forget the strawberries and whipped cream.

pound cake

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).

 

Turkey Ragu 2

One of the more interesting aspects of capturing your recipes online is seeing how your recipes change over time.

“I made your sauce.  I followed the recipe but it doesn’t taste the same.

So I look at my original Turkey Ragu recipe.  Sure enough, I made it differently today.  Too many episodes of Food Network in your head changes your recipes.  Just my opinion but I’m sticking with it.

So I look at The Boss and say, “How about a fresh batch of meat sauce?”

And this is how I made it today with the changes from Ragu One in bold.

Turkey Ragu 2

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced plus 1/2 to 1 T garlic granules

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced

1 medium carrot, fine dice

1 celery stalk, fine dice

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 fresh green pepper, finely diced

1 pound ground turkey (use 93/7)

2 T dried basil

1 T dried oregano

Pinch of Thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup white wine

1 28 oz can tomatoes diced San Marzano style with juice

1 28 oz can tomatoes, crushed

1 6 oz can tomato paste

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Brown sugar

1.  Heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over high heat in a large saucepot.  I prefer the taste of Spanish olive oils and Borges is my favorite.  If you can’t find Borges look for the Star brand which is made by the same company.  Substitute your favorite regular olive oil if desired.

2.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and green pepper.  Saute for a few minutes until limp.

3.  Add more olive oil to prevent sticking and add the ground turkey.  Break up the meat and brown.  Add basil, oregano, and thyme and continue browning until the herbs become aromatic.  With the heat still on high, add the wine and cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated.

4.  Add the can of diced tomatoes with juice.  Toss in the bay leaves, mushrooms, and green pepper.  Stir until well mixed and lower heat to medium.  The sauce ingredients should be bubbling mildly.  Leave uncovered until the tomatoes release their juices and the liquid in the pot is mostly evaporated.  This step concentrates the flavors and will take 15 to 20 minutes.

5.  When the sauce becomes thickened, add the can of crushed tomatoes and the can of tomato paste.  Stir to incorporate well.  Partially cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for a minimum of one hour.

6.  Taste for seasonings and add more basil or oregano if desired.  Salt and pepper if you must but there is plenty of salt in the canned tomatoes.  If the tomatoes are highly acidic, add brown sugar a half teaspoonful at a time until the acidity is reduced to your liking.  A little bit of sugar will cut the acidity and add smoothness to the ragu.

7.  Find some cooked pasta and plenty of grated cheese.  Eat!