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 · Garden · Home · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Roasted Tomato, Sausage and Pesto Sauce

Fall brings the bounty of tomatoes, basil and much more. Older daughter, Megan, told me about a roasted tomato and pesto sauce she made. I tweaked it a bit to serve my tastes. I love the idea of adding pesto to a rich, red tomato sauce. It was delicious and definitely a new recipe for my collection.

ROASTED TOMATO AND PESTO SAUCE

1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups roasted tomatoes and peppers, cooled and blended (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
Cube of pesto (about 1/3 cup)
26.5 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped or blended
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil
1 pound cooked pasta (I used bow tie pasta) and 1 cup of pasta water
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

  • Core and slice tomatoes. Halve and remove seeds from peppers.
  • Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on a heavy cookie sheet (I line with parchment paper).  Drizzle with Avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Roast at 400 degrees until the edges of the vegetables start to char and are cooked through.
  • Blend the mixture to a smooth consistency.
  • Cook and drain the sausage. Drain and set aside.
  • Sauté onions in olive oil and when almost cooked through, add the garlic. Continue to salute until garlic is cooked through.
  • Add roasted tomatoes and peppers, pesto, San Marzano tomatoes, water, basil and sausage.
  • Heat thoroughly.
  • Add 1 cup of pasta water to sauce. Stir.  Add drained, cooked pasta, and stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Family · Family Favorites

Biscuits and Gravy…Tradition!

Biscuits and gravy were introduced to me when I moved to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1975 and they’ve been a favorite breakfast in our house since.  My husband, Karl, made biscuits and gravy, with scrambled eggs, and sausage almost every weekend while the girls were young.

Biscuits were made from scratch, Bisquick mix, or even refrigerated buttermilk biscuits.  The gravy, however, was always made from scratch and the flour browned to just the right shade of perfection before adding the milk and watching the bubbly goodness thicken to our perfect gravy thickness. A cast iron skillet was always the cooking vessel of choice.

Daughter, Megan, stayed with me for a few days while her hardwood floors were being refinished and she wanted to make biscuits and gravy.  We tried a new drop biscuit recipe that we liked but she made the gravy the old fashioned way.

I love a little sweet with my savory so for my breakfast dessert, one biscuit with honey.  MMMM…

What a wonderful walk down memory lane and the chance to revisit family tradition.

DADDY’S DELICIOUS BAKING POWDER DROP BISCUITS

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Combine all dry ingredients.
  • Blend in the warm butter.
  • Slowly add the milk to the mixture until the dough holds together.
  • Use two spoons to drop evenly sized biscuits on ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

http://www.food.com/recipe/daddys-delicious-baking-powder-drop-biscuits

OLD FASHIONED SAUSAGE GRAVY

1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour
3-4 cups milk
salt  and pepper to taste

  • Prepare biscuits and keep warm.
  • Cook sausage patties in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. Set cooked sausage patties aside and keep warm.
  • Add flour to sausage drippings and let brown (watch carefully or it will burn). Once flour is brown, add milk, salt and pepper and let gravy bubble until it thickens.  This may take about 10 minutes.  If the gravy becomes too thick, add milk to gain desired thickness.
  • Optional:  Add some crumbled cooked sausage into gravy.
  • Serve hot with biscuits, sausage patties and eggs of your choice.
New Favorite

Zuppa Toscana…Copycat of Olive Garden recipe

My daughter, Megan, told me this was a great recipe.  As mentioned in my Roasted Fennel post of last Friday, we garnished the soup with bits of the fennel and loved it. From now on, it will be a traditional side served with the soup, and a slice of hearty Italian bread.

The original recipe called for heavy cream, but we liked the soup without the cream and without the extra fat. Next time I would add chopped carrots and celery.

ZUPPA TOSCANA…COPYCAT OF OLIVE GARDEN RECIPE

1 lb. Italian sausage
2 large russet baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
2 (8 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream (I omitted)

  • Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
  • Brown sausage in your soup pot.
  • Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
  • Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
  • Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  • Add bacon.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Turn to low heat.
  • Add cream (optional) and heat.
  • Tear pieces of kale into bowl and pour steaming soup over the top.

Recipe slightly adapted from Food.com

New Favorite

Cheesy Sausage Grits…MMMM, MMMM, Good!

Grits and Cathy did not have the opportunity to meet until about 8 years ago when I tasted a Grits Breakfast dish at a party. They actually tasted good and weren’t just a mushy, bland bowl of nothing like I expected.  Of course, what doesn’t taste good when mixed with cheese and sausage?

A few weeks ago I bought a bag of grits at Sprouts before I found a recipe for this yummy dish for my annual Mother’s Coffee/Tea. Every recipe I came across called for ‘instant grits’ not just plain old grits.  After much searching, I found this recipe. As one Southern friend told me, instant grits aren’t as good so don’t even bother!

Grits are now like a dear, old friend (at least when cheese is involved). I plan to make this again, without the sausage, as a side dish for BBQ.  MMMM, MMMM, good!

CHEESY SAUSAGE GRITS

1 cup grits (uncooked)
1 lb. breakfast sausage (bulk, if you need to use links, finely dice the cooked links)
1 cup onion (diced)
9 oz. green chiles (drained and chopped)
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
10 drops Tabasco
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Cook the grits in 4 cups of salted water until done (follow package directions). (I whisked the grits into boiled water and it only took me about 5-10 minutes to cook the grits)
  • Saute the sausage and onions, breaking the sausage into small pieces.
  • Drain the grease from the sausage and onions.
  • Add the chilies, butter, eggs, cheese and Tabasco to the cooked grits.
  • Combine the sausage and onions with the grits mixture.
  • Pour everything into a 9″x 13″ casserole and garnish with the paprika and parsley.
  • The mixture can be refrigerated for up to two days before baking (bring to room temperature before baking to use the same bake time).
  • Bake at 325°F for one (1) hour.
  • (The recipe states that this freezes well but I didn’t have any left to freeze!)

http://www.food.com/recipe/sausage-and-grits-casserole-92343

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!

IMG_2224

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.

IMG_2211

  • 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 · Gluten Free · New Favorite

Hearty Minestrone…winter delight!

With the frigid cold this past weekend, it was the perfect time to make Hearty Minestrone.  My good friend, Maribeth, introduced this recipe to me several years ago and it is a winter delight!  Pair it with a crusty, hearty bread, a nice glass of red wine and you can please family and friends alike.

This soup freezes beautifully!  With our busy schedules, what a treat to be able to have this soup on hand for those crazy, busy days we all have.  If you are gluten-free, eliminate the noodles.

Mmmm…making me hungry for another bowl of leftovers!

HEARTY MINESTRONE

2 pounds chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
4 quarts water
1 cup sliced celery
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
16 ounce can dark red kidney beans
15 ounce can garbanzo beans
16 ounce can pinto beans
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 small zucchini
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, sliced
8 ounce package kluski (homemade style) noodles

  • In a large kettle, combine chuck roast, 1 teaspoon salt and water. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until beef is tender.
  • Remove meat from kettle and set aside. Remove fat from broth by letting kettle cool in refrigerator and then lifting hardened fat off top and discarding. Break meat into 1-inch pieces and combine with broth in a very large stock pot.
  • Stir in celery, onion, carrot, tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, salt, oregano, basil, kidney beans with liquid, garbanzo beans with liquid, pinto beans, spinach, zucchini and sliced sausage.

  • Simmer, covered, until vegetables and sausage are tender, about 1 hour. Soup may be frozen at this point.
  • To serve, cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse, drain and add to hot soup. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian Bread.

Yield: 8 quarts

Adapted from Creme de Colorado Cookbook 1987

Family Favorites

Mexican Quiche…easy, tasty, wonderful!

Mexican Quiche hit my recipe box via Sunset Magazine circa early 1980s. Over the years, I have made with it with chorizo or more often with a savory sausage.  Topped with a fresh slice of yummy avocado and tomato, it presents beautifully.

Recently I served Mexican Quiche at my annual Mother’s Day Coffee.  There were a few pieces left over and were equally tasty the next day.

When serving a crowd, I often make the Quiche the night before and have it ready to pop in the oven the next morning.  Enjoy!

MEXICAN QUICHE

1 pound chorizo (or savory) sausage
2 medium-size onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons diced green chiles
10 eggs
2 cups half and half or milk
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained (2.5 oz.)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained (8.75 oz.)
3 cups shredded Jack cheese
Avocado and Tomato Slices
Fresh cilantro sprigs

  • Remove casings (if necessary) from chorizo. Crumble or finely chop meat and place in a wide frying pan; cook, stirring over medium-high heat until browned. Add onions and saute until tender. Drain off excess fat. Stir in salt, pepper, and chilies. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and half-and-half just until blended. Stir in chorizo mixture, olives, corn and cheese. Evenly spread in a greased 10×15″ jelly roll pan.
    3. Bake in 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with avocado, tomato, and cilantro.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine, Circa early 1980s