Thursday, December 24, 2015

Monte Cristo Strata

This cheesy and indulgent strata is inspired by the flavors of a Monte Cristo sandwich: ham, tangy mustard and Gruyere cheese.

The photo and recipe source is Betty Crocker.


    • 1 loaf (20 oz) country white bread, crusts removed and thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
    • 14 oz sliced Black Forest ham
    • 3 1/2 cups shredded Gruy√®re cheese (14 oz)
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
    • 4 eggs
    • 3 cups milk
    • 2 teaspoons ground pepper


Heat oven to 375°F. 

Generously grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.

Layer bread slices in bottom of baking dish. 

Brush with 2 tablespoons of the mustard. 

Top with half of the ham slices.

Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon of sage. 

Repeat layers, reserving last 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese.

Beat eggs in a large bowl, add milk and ground pepper; beat to combine. 

Carefully pour egg mixture over layers in baking dish, making sure bread absorbs most of the liquid. 

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and 1 tablespoon fresh sage.

Cover dish with sheet of greased foil. 

Let stand 30 minutes before baking.

Bake about 35 minutes or until dish is baked through and bubbly. 

Remove foil, and bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese on top is lightly golden.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Betty Crocker

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sausage Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

This is one of those casseroles you can make ahead of time, chill in the refrigerator and bake when you are ready to serve it.  Great for those times you have overnight visitors or holidays like Christmas morning when you would rather spend time with your guests rather than spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

You can be versatile with the recipe . . . I love breakfast sausage, but I also love little smokies that I would love to experiment with, add onions, peppers or mushrooms . . . the choice is yours.  I would not experiment with the hash browns though.

The photo and recipe comes from Plain Chicken, one of my favorite food blogs.  The link to the website follows the recipe.  Steph's blog is like a lifestyle magazine with lots of delicious and practical recipes, all things family-related and interesting travel articles.

Sausage Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
serves 10

  • 2 lb mild or hot breakfast sausage
  • 1 (30-32oz) bag frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook sausage until no longer pink in a large skillet. Drain fat and set sausage aside.

Cook hash browns in skillet until lightly brown. 

Place hash browns in bottom of lightly greased 9x13-inch pan.  

Add sausage and cheese.

Whisk eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and milk . . . pour mixture in the pan.

Note:  Cover and refrigerate at this point if baking later.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Semi-homemade versatility of cake mixes

Grocery store shelves are filled with all types of products that cater to those cooks who are looking for convenience and saving time in the kitchen.  

Cake mixes are one of those products that make semi-homemade baking so fast and easy.  

Discount stores like Big Lots have a permanent place on their shelves for cake mix.  For example, many are meant for other countries, therefore the instructions are in another language.  You can buy cake mix for a fraction of the cost if the language is different.

Tiffany at Eat At has perfected it a science.  Click here to go to Tiffany's article . . . don't forget to check out the comments for even more ideas and recipes from her followers!  

Huffington Post has posted an article on cakes you can make with cake mix and soda . . . you would not believe the variety!  Click here to go to the article.

You will be amazed!

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