The Morning After the Night Before

Are you planning a cozy dinner at home for your sweetie and you this Valentine’s Day?  Skip the crowded restaurant this year and make a romantic dinner for two.   I’m not here today to help you plan your date-night menu, but instead to remind you of the morning after, when you may want to keep that special “glow” going.

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Here’s the plan:  the next morning when you wake up, quietly go down to the kitchen, and prepare that first cup of coffee, and while you’re there surreptitiously slip this Cheesey Egg, Sausage, and Potato casserole into the oven.  While it’s baking you and your honey can enjoy your coffee(s) snuggled under the covers.  In about 30 minutes or so you will notice a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen.  That’s when you say ” let’s go see what we can find for breakfast”, and surprise!! you find this enticing breakfast casserole already to serve, hot out of the oven.

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He will be amazed at your  talent for coming up with such a wonderful breakfast.  The first slice of it will reveal a bottom layer of potatoes, made from frozen hash browns, then an eggy layer, on top of that a layer of spicy breakfast sausage and onions, all topped off with melted cheese.  How did you accomplish this so fast?  Only you will know that it was all prepared the evening before while you were making dinner, then hidden away in the refrigerator over night, ready to pop into the oven in the morning.  Oh, you clever girl, you!

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CHEESY POTATO AND SAUSAGE BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

YIELD:  6 servings

Ingredients:IMG_6404

  • 1  pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cups hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • dash or two of hot sauce, optional
  • 1 cup grated cheese of choice, cheddar, Colby, Jack, swiss

Directions:

1.  Lightly grease a baking dish.  This may be a round deep dish 9″ pie dish, or an 8 or 9-inch square pan.

2.  In a large skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage, and cook to brown and render the fat.  Add the chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent.  Set aside.

Cooking up the sausage and onion.

Cooking up the sausage and onion.

3.  In the same skillet, leave any drippings in place, and add the hash browns.  Cook just briefly, to remove any iciness and brown then up a little.   Transfer potatoes to the prepared baking dish, spreading them out in an even layer to form a crust.

Spread the potatoes out to form a crust.

Spread the potatoes out to form a crust.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce if using.  Pour over the potatoes in the baking dish.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes.

5.  Layer the sausage-onion mixture over the eggs, and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Cover with foil.

Layer on the sausage and onions.

Layer on the sausage and onions.

Top with grated cheese.  Cover with foil.

Top with grated cheese. Cover with foil.

6.  Bake for about 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and leave in the oven another 5-6 minutes to brown up the top and crisp the edges.

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Cut into wedges or squares and serve hot with a side of fruit or fruit salad, and toast or biscuits.

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When I served this to my husband all he could say was “Mmmm-mmmm.  Wow!”

SOURCE:    Allrecipes.com

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Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Sausage Polenta Breakfast Casserole

Sausage Polenta Breakfast Casserole

On Christmas morning I’m usually torn between wanting to open gifts, and getting something ready for breakfast.  Of course, I start with coffee—I must have my coffee before anything.  Breakfast should be hearty enough to sustain us until we have dinner later in the day, so it can take some time to prepare.

So I have been experimenting with breakfast casseroles to come up with a recipe that can be assembled the evening before and just popped into the oven the next morning.  While it bakes you can be hanging out in you pj’s, tearing open those presents, and enjoying the smell of something wonderful baking in the oven.

I’ve recently found packages of pre made polenta at the grocery store.  They are tube shaped and wrapped in a plastic wrapper.  Usually found in a refrigerator case somewhere near the deli department. This can be a great convenience if you know what to do with it. So that is what I have been experimenting with.  This recipe uses the sliced polenta to make a crust (of sorts), into which you layer some precooked breakfast sausage, seasonings, and an egg/milk mixture.  Top with cheese, bake, and  out will come a spicy, cheesy, egg dish that is hearty and filling.  In the pictures you see here I have made only half the recipe for two of us, and not having bulk sausage on hand I used brown and serve sausages, cut into slices.

SAUSAGE WITH POLENTA BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

SERVES:   6 – 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  16-ounce roll polenta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 – 12 ounces breakfast sausage, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash hot pepper sauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

1.  Using 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, brush into a 9-inch pie dish or similar baking dish.

2.  Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch thick slices, and arrange in the bottom and up around the sides of the baking dish to form a “crust’.

3.  Put the remaining teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet, crumble in the sausage and cook to render the fat from the sausage and brown it..  Add the green onions and garlic powder; sauté 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and spread over polenta in the baking dish.

4.  In a medium bowl,  Mix the eggs, milk, salt and hot pepper sauce.  Pour over the sausage mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Egg mixture poured over the sausage and polenta.

Egg mixture poured over the sausage and polenta.

5.  In the morning, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Uncover dish,  sprinkle on the shredded cheese, and bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until set.

Sprinkle on shredded cheese before baking.

Sprinkle on shredded cheese before baking.

Melted cheese, and a little brown and crunchy around the edges,    YUM!

Melted cheese, and a little brown and crunchy around the edges, YUM!

SOURCE:    A Carolyn Original

Hash and Egg Bake Casserole

Today is National Corn Beef Hash Day, and I just happen to have a great recipe that uses corn beef hash.

Hash and Egg Casserole

This is a recipe I developed some time ago when Mr. D. was in charge of putting on a breakfast for a men’s group he belongs to.  We wanted something easy to prepare and serve, and something that was hearty enough to satisfy guys’ appetites.  This was definitely it.  Along with it we served a fruit cup and corn muffins.  Since I knew Hash Day was coming up I made it again last weekend, so now I can share it with all of you.

As a time saver I usually make this up the evening before so it’s ready to bake in the morning.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Sprinkle on the crumb and cheese mixture just before baking.

HASH AND EGG BAKE CASSEROLE

SERVINGS:  6 large wedges or 8 medium size wedges

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can corned beef hash, or 2 cups homemade hash
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese (Mexican Blend), divided
  • 3/4 cup salsa,  mild or hot, your choice
  • 1/2 small onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs

1.  Lightly grease or spray a 9 inch round baking dish. A deep-dish pie plate is good.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  In a medium bowl mix eggs with a whisk, add in all but 2 Tablespoons of the cheese, salsa, onion and green pepper. Stir to mix.

3.  In another bowl, mix hash with 3/4 cup of the egg mixture.

4.  Spoon hash mixture into the baking dish, spreading it evenly across bottom and up the sides to form a crust.

5.  Pour the remaining egg mixture in the center.  If baking later, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at this point.

6.  Mix the bread crumbs with the reserved  2 Tablespoons cheese, and sprinkle over the top.

7.  Bake for 35 – 40 minutes till browned and tests done in the center.

To serve, cut in wedges and plate with sliced tomato and avocado.

SOURCE:  A Carolyn Original