Breakfast Casserole (a.k.a Christmas Morning Casserole)

This is Mom's recipe, that she got from Sister Killian:

  • 6 slices bread
  • 6 beaten eggs
  • 1lb pork sausage (browned & drained) or bacon
  • 1 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 C half and half or whole milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • butter

Remove crust from bread (optional). Spread butter on bread slices. Place bread side by side in buttered 13x9 pan. Sprinkle sausage or bacon over bread. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine eggs, milk, and salt. Mix well and pour over all. Let sit 15 minutes before baking or make the night before and put in fridge. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

May also add 4oz. can green chilies and/or ¼ c. green onions.

Strawberry Pie

I made this the other week. It's the first fruit pie I've ever made. (I usually prefer to buy my pies because I'm lazy.) ;) But this was surprisingly easy to make. Also, it is naturally vegan, as long as you leave off the whipped topping at the end. Woohoo!

THE CRUST
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons cold water (add 1 additional tablespoon as needed)
COMBINE flour and salt in medium bowl; cut in vegetable shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle with water; blend until mixture holds together.

SHAPE dough into ball; place on lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Line pie plate with pastry. Turn edge under; crimp as desired.

BAKE in 9-inch glass pie plate at 475 degrees for about 10 minutes.

THE FILLING
  • 6 cups fresh strawberries                                           
  • 1 cup sugar   
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 to 5 drops red food color, if desired
In a small bowl, crush enough strawberries to make 1 cup. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; stir in crushed strawberries and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. If desired, stir in food color. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Place remaining strawberries, whole or sliced, in cooled baked shell. Pour cooked strawberry mixture evenly over berries. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours, before serving.

Top with whipped cream (optional).

Pistachio Salad

Liz can't have this because of her allergies, but I'm thinking of making it for Thanksgiving anyway, because it sounds good. :)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/2 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

In a large bowl, combine the pineapple and pistachio pudding mix. Fold in thawed whipped topping and marshmallows until well mixed. Refrigerate until chilled and serve.

Favorite Chicken Marinade

This marinade makes a delicious tasting chicken, and it is super easy. Literally the hardest part is just remembering to mix it the night before so that it has plenty of time to flavor the chicken. Then all you have to do is grill it. (I use a George Foreman, but you could use an outdoor BBQ grill or probably even bake it in the oven.)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (10 ounce) bottle Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper

Directions:

  1. Put the amount of chicken that you want to grill in the bottom of a big bowl.
  2. In another bowl put all above ingredients in and whisk together.
  3. Then pour the prepared marinade over the chicken, and refrigerate overnight, or for 4-5 hours.

I like to serve it with a fruit and nut salad (spring mix lettuce, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, feta cheese or substitute, and balsamic vinegar dressing). But you can pair it with any side you like. Yum!

Scary Easy Pumpkin Cookies

My VT comp shared this recipe with me this week. I plan to make them with vegan chocolate chips so Liz can have them.

Ingredients:
  • 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • Duncan Hines spice cake mix 
  • 12 oz bag of Chocolate Chips OR Craisins OR Nuts, etc.

Mix all the ingredients together. Drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees. (I'm not sure for how long, but I'm guessing 8 to 10 minutes.

Empanadas

I've been in an experimenting mood lately. Last week I made up my own chicken chimichanga recipe, and it was pretty amazing. This week, I plan to experiment with empanadas. (Empanadas were one of my favorite foods on my mission.) Here's the recipe I plan to use. (It's a combination of a taco recipe that I got from LeiLani's mom year's ago, plus an easy empanada recipe that I found online.)

PREP: 3 or 4 hours before you plan to start cooking, put out Rhodes rolls to rise.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can green beans, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • crushed chili
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 t. chili powder
Directions:
  • To prepare the filling: Brown meat. Add garlic and onions. Add carrots and potatoes. Add about 1/8 c. water and lots of salt. Add chili powder. Stir and let cook on low-medium for about 10 minutes. Add green beans. Stir and let cook on medium 5-7 minutes. Add crushed chili.
  • To prepare the empanadas: Take your Rhodes rolls that have raised and roll them out paper thin. Put taco filling on half of each piece of dough, and fold over. Use a fork to close up the edges (like you would with a pie crust). Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

I will let you know how it turns out! It probably won't be very authentic, but it's bound to taste good--I hope. :)

Note: If you're unfamiliar with empanadas, they look something like this:
On my mission, I usually ate them stuffed with cheese, but you can also get them filled with meat and veggies (which is what I'm attempting here), or they make special sweet empanadas that are filled with manjar (kind of like caramel).

Another Note: This concept could also be adapted to make calzones. Instead of stuffing with the taco filling, you could try pizza sauce, mozarella cheese, and pizza toppings (diced pepperoni, sausage, diced peppers, etc.). If the empanadas work out, I'll try the calzones variation next week. :)