Hash brown, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole


 

This breakfast / brunch casserole is so comforting and fullfilling. It makes enough to feed a large family and perfect if you are having company staying with you.

It’s easy to make and can easily be prepared in advance so you can just pop it into a preheated oven in the morning. An hour later, your home smells heavenly and everyone will be wanting to dig in.


You can adapt this to make it to your preference. You don’t have to add the onions if you don’t like them. You could add more veggies if you’d like. It is also delish with sautéed peppers added into the onion mixture.

It’s yummy served with salsa and sour cream over the top.

A fruit salad is a great fresh side.

Mimosa is a perfect drink pairing.

Here is what you need and what you have to do to make this yummy casserole.

Ingredients:

30 oz bag frozen shredded hash browns

1 lb ground breakfast sausage ( I like to use Jimmy Dean, the kind in the tube )

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

16 oz shredded Colby jack cheese

8 large eggs

2 cups milk

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

3 Tbsp Vegetable oil, for sautéing

  1. In a large skillet brown the breakfast sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces. When done transfer to a bowl, set aside. Leave fat in the skillet.
  2. In the same skillet add 1 Tbsp veggie oil to sausage fat and heat pan.
  3. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté for about 10 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. When onions are done to your liking, add to bowl of sausage.
  5. Using the same skillet, heat 2 Tbsp veggie oil.
  6. Carefully add the frozen hash browns, breaking up chunks as needed.
  7. Add some salt and pepper to just slightly season the potatoes.
  8. Press into the pan and let the potatoes brown slightly
  9. While the hash browns are cooking, prepare your egg mixture.
  10. In a medium bowl add eggs and whisk to break yolks. Add milk and seasonings.
  11. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
  12. Add half of the hash browns, evenly spread out along the bottom of the dish.
  13.  Layer on top, half of the sausage and onion mixture.
  14. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the sausage mixture.
  15. Repeat layers.
  16. Slowly and evenly poor egg mixture over the top.

At this point you can cover and refrigerate until ready to use. I like to make it the night before.

Preheat oven to 350

If refrigerated, remove from the fridge while the oven is preheating.

Bake, uncovered for 1 hour. Until the top is golden brown and sides are bubbling.

Let it set for 10 minutes before serving. If you serve too soon it may still be “liquidy”. You want to give it time for the eggs to set up. It should come out clean, with very little liquid.

I use a spatula and cut through it right down the middle, end to end. Then into 4-6 squares on each side, depending on how many portions you would like to serve.

Enjoy 🙂

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Overnight French Toast Bake


Over Night French Toast Bake - Fluffy & Moist Inside. Crunchy & Chewy Outside
Fluffy & moist inside. Crunchy & chewy outside

This is the epitome of comfort food right here! So fulfilling & good for the soul kind of breakfast to start your day off on the right foot. It’s so easy to make and the best part? You don’t have to do much work in the morning to have breakfast ready to feed a small army! You have to love that. Who wants to wake up and have to slave over the stove first thing in the morning? Not me that’s for sure. I’d rather sleep in and have an easy make ahead breakfast ready to go so I can enjoy it as well.

So go ahead & make sure you have everything you need for this the day before. Prepare it while you relax with a glass of wine at night. The next morning, pop this bad boy in the oven and chill with a cup of coffee while it’s baking away making your entire home smell heavenly!

Over Night French Toast Bake | Blueyedsoulfood

That cinnamon, sugar & butter crust topping is crunchy & chewy. A perfect contrast to the super moist & fluffy bread inside!

Here is what you need to make this glorious concoction:

FRENCH TOAST:
2 Tbsp Butter, For Greasing 9 x13 baking dish
1 loaf French Bread – sliced into 1″ pieces
10 Medium Sized Eggs (or 8 large)
2 1/2 cups Half & Half
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

TOPPING:
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces

This is how we do it baby:

For the French toast: Grease the baking dish with butter. Layer the slices of french bread in 2 rows. I had about 10 pieces on both sides and then filled in the middle with a little extra bread, from the ends that I tore into pieces. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. With a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, half & half, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the baking dish tightly and store in the fridge overnight.

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon & salt in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, or 2 knives, and mix it all together until the mixture is crumbly. Cover the bowl and stick that in the fridge until ready to use.

When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes. If you prefer a lighter, bread pudding like texture bake 45 minutes. If you want it well done with a firmer texture, bake 60 minutes. I like it in the middle, so I bake it for 50 minutes. Cooking times could also differ depending on the type of dish (glass, ceramic, metal, etc.) you are using, so just check it after 45 minutes to see if it’s done to your liking.

Let it set for about 10 minutes then it’s ready to serve! Scoop out individual portions. Top it with whatever you like! We like it with raspberry sauce or good ol’ maple syrup.

Baked French Toast
I personally like it with raspberry syrup. It’s so good you could eat it plain, too! It’s even better if you have a few slabs of bacon on the side 🙂

Serves a lot. 8-10 depending on the portion size.

 

The Best Ever Broccoli “Puff” Casserole


This broccoli casserole is a must have at every one of our holiday family gatherings. We always have it at Thanksgiving. We sometimes even have it again at Christmas. It’s THAT good!

Everyone in my family has the original Broccoli Puff recipe. It’s posted in a “Taste of Country” cookbook that was released in 1987 by relatives and friends of ours that live in Washington State. I think I got it as a high school graduation present, or shortly there after. I can’t believe I have held on to this cookbook for almost 30 years!?

I have always been the one to bring the broccoli puff, for the last 20 years or so, because I make it a little different. I’ve added my special touches to it to make it my own.

The recipe is for a generous 9×13 casserole which is what you’ll need if your making it for a crowd! I always make a big batch because we all love to take leftovers home! It’s easy enough to divide in half to have  a reasonable casserole to have with dinner, or FOR dinner. You could add cooked ham, or chicken into the mix, for a one dish dinner casserole! You could also add cooked rice, too.  Enjoy 🙂

The Best Broccoli Puff Casserole EverThe photo above is just a small portion – Don’t let the size fool ya.
This is one big batch of a casserole!

Ingredients:

8 cups of chopped fresh broccoli, steamed until just crisp tender & drained
*(or) 40 ounces of frozen broccoli florets, thawed
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup real mayonnaise (I prefer olive oil mayo)
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
3 full sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed *divided
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted *divided
*1 sleeve of crackers & 1/2 stick of butter go IN the casserole
* 2 sleeves of crackers & 1 stick of butter goes ON TOP of the casserole

Optional Mushrooms: (steps below)
8 ounces sliced baby bella or button mushrooms
1 vidalia onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp cooking sherry

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 9×13 casserole by buttering the bottom and sides of the dish.

In a large mixing bowl combine the soup, mayo, eggs, cheddar cheese & seasonings.
Add the broccoli. Now, add 1 sleeve of ritz crackers, crushed and 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) of melted butter to the mixture. Give it a good stir. It’s going to be a lot, so it’s going to take a few minutes to get it thoroughly mixed. Spread the mixture into the buttered casserole dish.

If you love mushrooms, this next step makes the casserole even more divine!

In a medium sized pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil & 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, thyme and a good sprinkle of salt & black pepper.
Saute until onion is tender and starts to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and give a good stir. When the mushrooms have dried out, releasing all of their juices and have started to brown, add the sherry and let simmer until sherry has been absorbed. Set aside to cool. Add to broccoli mixture and combine thoroughly then add to casserole dish and top with crackers.

In a bowl, combine the rest of the crackers ( 2 sleeves crushed ) with remaining 8 Tbsp melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the buttery crackers over the top.

Bake for 1 hour ( if halving the recipe it will only take 45 minutes )

It should cool & set for about 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy 🙂

Baked Sea Scallops in Shallot, Garlic & Wine Reduction Sauce with Buttery Cracker Crumb Topping


Baked Sea Scallops

This dish is so simple to make and so delicious it will blow your mind that you made this in no time at all!

In fact, it was one of those late night cravings that my fiance was having.
He says to me, “If I buy the ingredients, will you make this for us tonight!?”
I quickly responded with,  “Well of course! Let’s Go!” In my head I’m thinking…
I get a bottle of wine out of it AND scallops, heck yah!

We have over a pound of scallops here. They varied in size, but they are not the small, bay scallops – “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!”
We get the bigger, better sea scallops. The amount of scallops you will receive, per pound, will vary by their size.  Depending on how many people you are serving will also depend on how many pounds you will need.

You need very little ingredients to make this, so it’s a quick shopping trip!

  • Start with a pound of fresh sea scallops (for 2-3 people that will be plenty)
  •  1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of white wine, I use pinot grigio
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • a sprinkle of paprika
  • 1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 & 1/2 sleeves of buttery crackers
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter – add more if you want to be indulgent!
  • PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES

Remove the scallops from their container and place in a colander and rinse.  Check each scallop to see if the beard was left on. It’s a firmer strip that attached to the side of the scallop. Remove that! If you don’t you will get a chewy piece of scallop and that’s just no good! Place each scallop on a layer of paper towels and dry thoroughly.

Over medium heat, in a small pan, drizzle the olive oil and add the butter to melt. Once it’s sizzling add the diced shallots, grated garlic and dried parsley. Saute for about 3 minutes until the shallots start to get tender. Make sure your heat is not too high. Add the wine and cook for an additional 3 minutes to cook down some of the wine, but not all of it. You want a nice sauce for the bottom of your dish.

You can use individual ramekins to bake & serve the scallops in or bake them all together in a large dish. I have a 3 qt shallow baking dish here.

Pour the sauce evenly over the bottom of your dish or dishes. Give that a good sprinkle of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Layer the scallops over the sauce and give the tops of the scallops a good sprinkle of lemon pepper. Paprika is a nice touch, too!
Scallops in a wine & buttery shallot sauce

Now you need to make the cracker crumb topping.

In the same pan that you made your wine sauce, melt half a stick of butter. Keeping the heat on low.

Remove the crackers from their sleeves and crumble with your hands right over the melted butter and toss around until evenly coated and just starting to brown. Add more butter if it seems dry or if you just want to be a little extra indulgent. Now sprinkle the crackers evenly over the scallops. Go ahead and add a sprinkle of dried parsley over the crackers, too!

Scallops with a crunchy, buttery cracker topping

Bake in the center of your preheated oven for approx 20 minutes. It really depends on the size of your scallops. They should be opaque all the way through. If you’re unsure, remove the dish from the oven and cut one of the scallops in half to check the inside. It will be fine. You just want to be sure not to over cook the scallops. You want firm to the touch, but still slightly soft.

Scallops in a crunchy, buttery cracker topping

Serve immediately and make sure that you give each serving a wedge of lemon. Freshly squeezed lemon juice over the top of this is absolutely essential and divine!!!

I like to serve these scallops with roasted asparagus on the side, but I changed it up and made riced cauliflower with lemon pepper and it was an incredible combination!!! Not very colorful, but it was amazing! If you haven’t tried riced cauliflower, you should. I grabbed a bag of frozen riced cauliflower from the grocery store. It was super easy to make and you can season it up any way you want.

Enjoy!