Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

     One of the demands of most homeschooling moms is the ability to create something out of nothing.  How many times has your cupboard been low and you just can't get any more groceries until that pay day?  What I love about the breakfast casserole is that you can use such a variety of ingredients that you can make it as humble or as luxurious as you want.  One of the main ingredients that holds the entire thing together is eggs, and we use a lot of them at our house.  Both of the casseroles I will be demonstrating here have eggs in them, but if you left them out, you would still have a suitable breakfast.  I also included my lower calorie breakfast at the end of the post.

Supplies:  casserole dish
                cutting board
                spray Pam or something to grease your casserole dish

Ingredients:  A "base" for the bottom.  It can be diced potatoes, torn bread, or any   
                   other creative option
                   A can of cream of something soup if you use potatoes
                   Meat or sauteed veggies or both to top your base
                   Cheese - not required
                   8-10 eggs - hold everything together

 First, I dice an onion.  My mother-in-law taught me to cut a grid into the top and then slice the onion sideways for nice, little onion cubes.  You can also add green peppers, garlic, etc.

Next, I threw a roll of breakfast sausage into a frying pan with the onions and cooked them together until the sausage was browned.  Bacon is another favorite.
 Remember those diced potatoes from Emily's baked potato soup?  Well, we had frozen the extras and now they have been thawed out for the bottom of a breakfast casserole.  I have noticed that potatoes alone in the bottom of a casserole can get a little dry, so I mix them with a cream of something soup.  I happened to have both of these in my pantry (cream of mushroom and cream of chicken) so I mixed them both into the potatoes.  There was enough here for two casseroles.

I also wanted to make a more "humble" casserole for those who are on an even tighter budget.  I gathered all of my bags of bread end pieces, leftover buns etc.

I tore them into bite sized pieces and layered them in a greased casserole dish.  And yes, it ain't even a pretty one!
    Here are the potatoes mixed in with the soup in two greased casserole dishes. 

 Next, I top the potatoes with the cooked and drained sausage and onions.

Yep, those are hot dogs!  When I was a kid, our family had gone camping with another family and the dad made scrambled eggs with hot dogs and I thought those were the best eggs I had ever had at the time.......
 These are the bags of cheese I had in my fridge, so I used the opened ones first.  One is a sharp cheddar and the other is a Mexican blend.  I didn't even have to open the other bag.

 I topped the sausage casseroles.

So far we have torn up bread in a greased casserole dish with sliced hot dogs and leftover cheese.
 I scrambled about ten eggs for each casserole (except for the smaller one - I used about eight).  You do not have to use that many eggs!

It doesn't even matter if the eggs are perfectly scrambled.  It actually gives the casserole a nice, rustic look when it is not perfectly uniform.

I push the casserole ingredients down into the egg and try to moisten as much as I can.

Finally,  the smaller casserole with more than enough eggs - probably too many!
Bake them at 350 degrees from thirty to forty minutes.  You may have to increase the time if you are making several like me.  These took about an hour.  Even if they aren't completely finished, they'll finish in the microwave the next morning!
Ta da!  Here they are.  After they cooled a little, I covered them with saran wrap.  One went into the fridge and the other two went into the freezer.  Sunday morning, the kids can zap their little wedges in the microwave for a fast, but hearty breakfast!  But wait....
What about Mama and Daddy?  Aren't they on DIETS?!  Okay, folks, here it is....

I am on a low cal diet, so I get a vegetable egg white omelet (green onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomato) that I'll make in our handy dandy microwave omelet maker.  I also get two turkey sausage links and a shot of grapefruit juice.  I also sprinkle a teeny little bit of Parmesan cheese on top of my omelet since I don't get any of the gooey stuff (it's, like, an EGG WHITE OMELET - it needs SOMETHING!

And then there is Daddy.  He is on the low carb (I call it the carnivorous diet) so he gets sausage patties (No, he did not eat all of these!  I do not own a defibrillator.) He also had a couple of eggs. 

This is what my breakfast actually looked like Sunday morning.  I'm thinkin' it looked a whole lot more promising the day before......and those sausage links?  Sorry, Banquet, I can't recommend them.  They were just soooooo........bad.  I'll be experimenting with some other brands.  The omelet was fine.  How do you like my little juice cup?  At least it wasn't a sippy cup.  (Have you ever done that?  Act really serious while you're drinking out of it in front of your kids and see what happens)!!!  So far Scott and I have both lost a few pounds (3-5) since the first week of January.  Please pray for our success!

Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast."  Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" - knowing that it was the Lord.  Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.  This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.  John 21: 12-14



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