Tag: cooking

Southwestern Breakfast Casserole

One of my favorite breakfasts to make and take (to church, brunch at a friend’s house, etc.) came to me years ago. No, not in a dream or a vision, but at my brother-in-law’s college graduation. We stayed at the home of some of his good friends, and they made this WONDERFUL breakfast casserole the morning of graduation.

I hadn’t been a huge fan of breakfast casseroles. Most of them involve bread and soaking overnight and just a big ol’ soggy mess, in my opinion. This one was different. The magical difference? Crescent rolls for the bottom layer instead of nasty old bread.

My genius husband also discovered that those “Grands” crescent rolls by Pillsbury cover the bottom even more thoroughly than the regular. Mmmm. Bread. You unroll them, spread them into a 9×13-inch pan, and press to make the seams and edges mostly meet. Meanwhile, you’ve got a pound of breakfast sausage browning on the stove.

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When the sausage is ready, you spread the crumbled sausage over the crescent rolls. Add this mixture of eggs, milk, spices, and green chiles to the pan … oh, and one of our favorite things to do is add Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming spice blend to the egg mix. It’s an absolute staple in our pantry now.

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Another trick I’ve discovered is to spread half a cup of green tomatillo salsa (or other salsa verde) over the sausage before the egg mixture. (Can you tell I’ve made this a few times?) You can do this in place of the green chiles or in addition.

Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top, pop in the oven, and YUM.

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An official recipe is below, linked from my Plan to Eat account. (It does give me a referral bonus if you sign up through my link.) I absolutely love this casserole, and I love that it reheats so well the next day! If you have any left, that is …

 

Print Recipe

Southwest Breakfast Casserole

A yummy breakfast casserole that uses crescent rolls instead of bread for the base.

Source: Erin

Course: Breakfast

Prep Time: 20 Min

Cook Time: 25 Min

Total Time: 45 Min

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 4 – 6  eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp green chiles diced or 1/2 cup green salsa (tomatillo)
  • 1 8 oz can crescent rolls (may want the “Grands” size)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese cheddar, mexican cheese blend, cheddar jack
  • 1 – 2 tsp seasoning salt and pepper, or garlic salt, OR Arizona Dreaming

Directions

  1. Brown sausage, crumbling as it cooks.
  2. Beat together eggs, milk, and seasoning until eggs are slightly scrambled. Mix in chiles.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls and press into bottom of 9×13 baking dish (can spray pan first with cooking spray if needed). Cover the bottom of the pan and press slightly up the sides. GRANDS crescent rolls more than cover and will slightly overlap.
  4. Spread cooked sausage across bottom of pan, on top of dough.
  5. Pour egg mixture over sausage, then sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Bake at 375F for 25 – 30 minutes or until egg mix is set.

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Pinned That, Did That. Sort of.

I love trying out new sites, gadgets, apps, etc. Love it. I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon early on, and it’s been more useful than I thought it would be. Many meals, some clothes, knitting projects, room design, etc. have come from that wonderful Internet crowdsourcing.

Christmas seems like practically the main reason Pinterest exists. I mean, decorations, food to make, craft projects to aspire to and never actually complete, plus lots of starved half-naked women to motivate you to put down the Christmas cookies (or drink another winter sangria). (Seriously. Stop with the creepy/skanky “motivational” fitness pictures. That’s not what healthy looks like.)

So yes, I’ve done my share of pinning in the hopes of making spirits bright this holiday season. I don’t know if it’s nesting or what, but I’ve had wild hairs you know where to actually attempt some of them.

Exhibit A: Snowmen sandwiches.

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I like making fun shapes with cookie cutters, but I am definitely not up to bento competencies. I just admire from afar in the “You actually MADE lunch?!” seats. So this was a big deal for me!

Exhibit B: tomorrow our office is having a cookie exchange. My original plans waffled between pillsbury slice and bake cookies or faking labor to just not bother (but maybe also get a sympathy cookie. Shh.). Then, at supper tonight, I got inspired to make these:

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That’s right: marshmallow reindeer pops. They aren’t as perfect or perky as the original pinspiration (yeah, the lingo does get annoying), but they’ll do. Of course, then we have …

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Exhibit C: the also-rans from the reindeer pops beauty contest. Pins tell the happy successes and usually gloss over the “omg … why did I ever start this project ?!” moments. This project was fun and cute and all, but definitely not one I’d do when my kids are awake and wanting to help!

They will, however, enjoy the imperfect reindeer just as much as the pretty ones when they get a special snack after their (likely not to be pinned) lunch tomorrow. So lesson learned, Mom: keep it light and if you’re not enjoying it, quit pinning it.

Symphony of smells – aka dinner

11:40 a.m. Oh, I wish you could smell my house right now. I just finished prepping tonight’s supper for the crock pot and the aroma is DIVINE. We’re going to try this Smokey Roast recipe from Everyday Paleo* and probably these Barbecue Potatoes. (The potatoes have no barbecue seasoning, it’s just referring to an option for the cooking method.)

*I’ll freely admit that I don’t get the Paleo thing. My rudimentary understanding is you eat only foods or use methods of food prep that were available in Paleolithic times … and I’m even fuzzy on that. So when I see paleo brownies and paleo nutrition bars, I get a little skeptical. It does make it easier to search for food that doesn’t include “package of …” ingredients, though.

I guess you could say I’m “inspired by” this recipe instead of actually following it? I’m using the Penzey’s Spices Arizona Dreaming blend instead of making the suggested spice rub and it’s HEAVENLY. Ingredients: ancho chili pepper, black pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, spices, cumin, citric acid, Mexican oregano, cilantro, lemon peel, chipotle pepper, red pepper, jalapeño, cocoa, natural smoke flavoring. This is also known as some of my favorite spices and herbs all rolled up into one.

I’m not usually a big believer in the browning/searing before putting in the crock pot, but it does seem to make a difference with beef. Today it made a HUGE impact in the spices. I heated the dollops of coconut oil, seared the meat on each side, and heady scents exploded throughout the house.

We still have four more hours of this thing cooking …

Sweet Tooth Factory, right here.

We’ve been busy little people around here, thus the lack of actual updates!

I’ve been stretching out my maternity leave (unpaid Family Medical Leave) by working 20+ hours a week and taking the unpaid leave the rest of the time. While it’s good to have the time with Nora and at least some sort of a paycheck, it does make things a little harried trying to balance what needs to be done at work and at home. Then there’s the stuff I want to do, too … most of the time that gets shunted aside in favor of sitting on my butt on the couch, relaxing with Will while we watch something on Netflix.

One thing I wanted to be sure and do was thank you gifts for Seth’s preschool teachers. I absolutely love them. My mom was a preschool teacher for a while, and I know from her that they love the little gifts from their kids. (Except really, they probably don’t need another candle or coffee mug. But they’ll love every one they get.) I wanted to add gift cards but that just wasn’t in the budget this year – see the aforementioned half-paycheck since this summer. So we baked and melted.

Christmas Tree Cookies
Christmas Tree Cookies

I had seen kits for making cookie Christmas trees out of star-shaped cookies, but I already have three sizes of star cookie cutters. We used this Sugar Cookie recipe from Cooking Light, and it was pretty good. I actually ran out of sugar and had to substitute agave nectar for part of the sugar, so who knows what that did to them. They were still yummy!

We made the frosting in the recipe, put it in a piping bag, and then Will lowered the cookies into the can while I drizzled frosting over each cookie. The frosting did help glue the layers to each other – three of each size cookie, alternating points – but we had a couple of anxious moments when we thought one tree was going to slide into the side of the paintcan container. (Which came from Hobby Lobby and are food-safe, btw.)

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Hot Chocolate on a Stick

The other, chocolate-y things are Hot Chocolate on a Stick. I’ll warn you about this: reading the very precise directions on tempering chocolate got me stressed out beyond belief. It turns out it wasn’t that bad, and you just suck it up and add some oil or shortening (my mother’s recommendation) if your chocolate gets ugly. Ta da. We used Semi-sweet chocolate and then dipped them in melted white chocolate bits. We put some in candy molds (the shaped ones) and the rest in a mini-muffin tin. I actually liked the muffin tin ones best! And don’t get all “fancy” like I did and think you can pipe in white chocolate first so you can skip the second round of melting and dipping after the chocolate cools. You don’t see the wrecked second batch where the two chocolates separated from each other when I took them out of the molds. Whatever!

The chocolates are delicious, and as I shared on Facebook, make great mochas if you stir them into your coffee with a little milk. We’ll definitely be making these again! Actually, we might be making them tonight to give to some more people …

And yes, Seth helped me with the cookies. That was an adventure in itself, but he does love to cook with us. It’s worth the mess. 🙂

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