Family Favorites · New Traditions

Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding

Breakfast casseroles are always a treat and easy peasy when you make it the night before.  This casserole has a wonderful cream cheese surprise in many bites.  Why have I never thought of that?

Serve this dish with a wonderful fruit bowl, a cup of hot coffee (or tea), and great conversation.

BIG COUNTRY BREAKFAST BREAD PUDDING

1 loaf Brioche bread, cubed (I used French Bread)
1 cup heavy cream (I used half & half)
1 /2 cup milk
9 eggs
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 c. + 1 c. shredded sharp white cheddar (or any shredded cheese of your liking)
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
10 oz. browned breakfast sausage (optional)
5 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or 1 tsp. McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning)

  • Spray a 9×13″ extra deep baking dish and place 1/2 to 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish.
  • Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl, add cream, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.  Reserve 1 to 1.5 cups of mixture and pour remaining over the bread cubes.
  • Spread green chiles on top of bread. Sprinkle with 2 cups of shredded cheese.  Lightly press the bread down to aid in absorption of the egg mixture.  Top with cream cheese, sausage and bacon, if desired.
  • Top with remaining bread and pour reserved egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake on middle rack for 45-55 minutes or until the center is firm. Cover the bread pudding with foil about halfway through the cooking time and remove for the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Serves 12.

Recipe adapted from foodforayear.com

 

 

Family Favorites · New Favorite

Chicken Enchilritos

Enchilrito…what the heck is that? It’s my interpretation of a chicken enchilada made with flour tortillas instead of corn. The recipe I chose for this dish called it an Enchilada but used flour instead of corn tortillas.  I made, I liked, but would use corn tortillas next time for a truer version of Enchiladas.

The recipe is quite good and hearty.  Serve with a green salad, and if you can, a great Margarita!

CHICKEN ENCHILRITOS

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 to 4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken
2 (19 oz.) cans of Enchilada Sauce
10 count package of flour (or corn) tortillas (8-10″ in diameter)
3.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella (or Monterey Jack) cheese
1 can drained black beans
1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Great a 9×13″ casserole dish.
  • In a heated skillet add a small amount of cooking oil and saute onion until soft. Add chicken, one can of Enchilada sauce, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, black beans and chiles. Stir and heat slightly.
  • Place 2-4 spoonfuls of filling in the center of each tortilla.
  • Roll each tortilla up and place in the casserole dish with the open side down.
  • Pour the second can of Enchilada sauce over the tortillas.
  • Top with remaining cheese and garnish with parsley flakes.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with sour cream and salsa.

Note:  The recipe indicates that these can be frozen, leaving off the topping of Enchilada sauce and cheese until it is time to bake.

Recipe adapted from Cooking with Libby

Home · New Favorite

Chicken YUM YUM lives up to its name!

Great friend and neighbor, Maribeth, shared this recipe with me several months ago. She had shared with me that Chicken Yum Yum was a family favorite and I was excited to try it. For some reason, I envisioned a Chinese dish but this is true Americana comfort food. I have made it with cooked chicken breasts (a little drier) or with a whole roasted chicken.  The roasted (or rotissiere chicken from the store) wins, hands down.

This would be a great recipe to assemble the night before (sans the stuffing), adding the stuffing and butter immediately before baking.

I paired the Chicken Yum Yum with roasted broccoli and it was…YUM YUM!

CHICKEN YUM YUM

1 cooked chicken
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box stove top stuffing
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine/butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Place evenly in a 9×13″ greased pan.
  • Mix together sour cream and cream of chicken soup and pour over chicken.
  • Sprinkle box of stuffing over soup/sour cream layer.
  • Drizzle chicken broth over stuffing layer.
  • Melt 1 stick margarine or butter and drizzle over the top.
  • Bake for 60 minutes.
Garden · Vegetarian

Zucchini…today it’s a boat!

Zucchini is the vegetable that keeps on giving, except in my garden.  Daughter Megan has several plants and shares the wealth with family and friends.

Zucchini
Zucchini (Photo credit: Farmanac)

Zucchini can be a blessing or a curse.  I’ve read a quote online that supposedly came from Garrison Keillor that made me laugh.  ‘July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people don’t put squash on the front seat.’

We’ll be wishing for garden fresh zucchini this winter so we’ll, again, get creative with the zucchini recipes.

ZUCCHINI BOATS

3 small (or 2 medium) zucchini
Cherry or Sun Gold tomatoes (sliced in half)
Olive oil
salt and pepper
Bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
Mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice a bit off the back side so the zucchini will lie flat on the baking pan.  Scoop out the centers of the zucchini halves with a spoon.
  • Brush the surface of each zucchini half with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice tomatoes in half, and arrange them into the grooves.
  • Lightly sprinkle with bread crumbs. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese (or both) and bake for about 30-40 minutes until tender.

  • Optional:  Set your oven to broil, and continue to cook another minute or two until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Recipe adapted from: http://sinfullytempting.com/2013/09/01/zucchini-boats/

New Favorite

Farmer’s Breakfast Casserole

I love a hearty breakfast from time to time and this casserole is a favorite.  It combines all of the things I like…sausage, eggs, potatoes and, of course, cheese. The casserole is easy to make and can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking making easy work of brunch/breakfast preparation.

Serve with fresh fruit, perhaps a pastry and good cup of hot coffee!

 

FARMER’S BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

6 cups frozen shredded hash browns
1.5 cups shredded Jalapeno Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups cooked breakfast sausage (or ham)
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
8 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 4 quart baking dish.  Evenly arrange the potatoes in the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle the cheese, sausage and green onions on top.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour the egg mixture over the potato mixture.
  • Bake uncovered for 50-55 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

Family Favorites · My Roots

Crunchy Potato Casserole, aka Wedding Potatoes

Crunchy Potato Casserole is a yummy side dish and family favorite.  It has become tradition served with Christmas and Easter ham.  I typically make the casserole the day before.  Simple to make and bake.  To make it easy on myself, I typically make the casserole the day before, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Many folks refer to this dish as ‘wedding potatoes’, since it is often served as part of wedding feasts.

CRUNCHY POTATO CASSEROLE

1 large bag frozen hash browns partially thawed
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup butter, melted
crushed corn flakes (or seasoned bread crumbs)
parsley flakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients together, except for 1/4 cup butter and crushed corn flakes.
  • Place mixture in lightly buttered 9″ x 13″ pan.
  • Sprinkle crushed corn flakes (or bread crumbs) over the potato mixture and top with remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.
  • Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

  • Bake for 50 minutes (or until hot in the center).
Family Favorites

Chicken Divine

Chicken Divine starts by roasting chicken breasts with savory rosemary making your mouth water, anticipating the great final dish to come.  This dish takes a while but you could easily bake the chicken breasts ahead of time.

I do not recall where I found this recipe but it’s been a family favorite for the past 20 years.  Pair Chicken Divine with a green salad, crusty bread and a nice glass of white wine.  Dinner is served!

CHICKEN DIVINE

3 whole chicken breasts
rosemary to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 sliced onion
1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli
3/4 cup raw rice, cooked

CHEESE SAUCE:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated, sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

SAUCE:

  • Melt butter, add flour and stir until smooth. Cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheeses and seasonings.

CASSEROLE:

  • Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool. Skin, bone and slice.
  • Cook broccoli in water with salt and onion. Drain.
  • Layer chicken, then broccoli, then rice in buttered casserole.
  • Pour cheese sauce over entire dish. Add more grated Parmesan on top if desired.

  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Family Favorites

Curry Chicken and Broccoli Casserole…winter comfort food

Curry Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is a wonderful winter comfort food and a great way to use chicken or turkey leftovers. This recipe has been with me for years and as good as ever!

CURRY CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

Servings: 8
2 10 ounce packages frozen chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 tablespoons sherry
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 cups toasted bread crumbs
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook broccoli 1/2 of the time directed. Mix with celery and onions. Place in buttered casserole 9 x 13″.
  • To make sauce, combine mushroom soup, sherry, garlic, curry powder, milk and mayonnaise, butter and pepper.
  • Heat sauce thoroughly. Add chicken to the sauce. Pour sauce mixture over broccoli mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Top casserole with toasted bread cubes, cheese and almonds (tossed together). Bake an additional 10 minutes.
Family Favorites

Mexican Cornbread Casserole with Green Chile

Many years ago, my friend Judy D., shared this recipe with me and it has been a family staple.  Serve with homemade green chile and you have a wonderful meal for family and friends.  This time I served with slices of the last tomatoes of the season.  A silly discovery…sliced canned peaches made a wonderful side to this.  Don’t ask me why…it just does!

This casserole also freezes beautifully.  I have frozen leftovers and have also  made two pans and froze one.  Just heat it again and voila…dinner is served.

MEXICAN CORNBREAD CASSEROLE

2 cups yellow corn meal
2 cans cream style corn
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 small can green chiles (mild or hot)
Green Chili

  • Mix together corn meal, corn, eggs and milk. Set aside.
  • Brown and drain ground beef.
  • In a separate bowl, mix cheese with green chiles.
  • Spray 9×13″ pan with PAM. Put 1/2 of cornmeal mixture into bottom of baking pan.
  • Spread all ground beef and chiles on top. Next sprinkle with cheese.
  • Finish with remaining cornmeal mixture.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Great topped with hot green chili (canned or home-made).

 

New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Summer Veggie Stir Fry

Recently I went to the Highland Ranch Town Center Farmer’s Market,  http://www.denverfarmersmarket.com/locations.htm, a dangerous place to be when you are hungry. My daughter, Megan, and son-in-law, Christian, and I strolled through the market sampling and buying more than we really needed.  However, the wonderful dishes that came from the veggies and fruit were summer delicious! There is nothing in the world like fresh vegetables and fruits.

We bought a squash new to us, a round, globe squash. I asked the vendor how she cooks the squash and one of her suggestions was a Vegetable Stir Fry. I also decided to throw in a chopped Japanese Eggplant.   I tried, I liked, I shared.  Enjoy!

SUMMER VEGGIE STIR FRY

Chopped yellow squash, globe squash, zucchini, eggplant (optional), peppers (bell, Anaheim or whatever you like), onion, garlic, fresh sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, herbs of your choice (I used a blend of thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and basil), salt & pepper.

Sauté the onions, peppers and garlic in about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When softened, add the chopped squash, eggplant, peppers and seasoning. When the squash is beginning to soften, add cut cooked fresh sweet corn and 1-2 chopped fresh tomatoes. Continue to cook/stir until all vegetables are cooked to your liking.

I made a large batch and had leftovers for 2 days. It seemed to get better every day, just like a wonderful batch of soup.