Here's the deal: I am not a food blogger. Like, at ALL. Here's why:
- I'm a terrible photographer
- I'm a forgetful photographer
- I don't really "create" my own recipes (but I do modify and add to recipes a lot)
So while I will never call myself a food blogger, or this a food blog, I have made some recipes lately that are quite tasty. They're modifications of other recipes, so I'll just include what I changed or any changes to the preparation methods were made along with the original recipe.
The week before Memorial Day our family had two different college graduations! One had a big party that was hosted by the graduate's partner, and the second was a small family brunch hosted by me! I was really excited to celebrate our family graduate AND make my first brunch for people other than myself!
The Hubs is not a huge fan of most breakfast foods, especially eggs. I'm not a huge breakfast person, but I like savory breakfast foods like bacon, sausage, and EGGS. Yum. Since it's usually just The Hubs and I, though, I'll usually make myself a nice breakfast and he just waits until lunch. *shrug* So this was exciting! Not only did I get to do something nice for my graduating sister-in-law, but I also got to try out a recipe I've been wanting to do but couldn't thanks to The Hubs' egg ban.
My cousin made this recipe when I was visiting IL in November, and it was DELICIOUS. She actually made two batches; one with spinach, one without, and I preferred the one with spinach. Since The Hubs' sister and mom aren't as picky as he is, I figured this would be the best option for a main dish! Bonus: It can be made the night before!
I still needed to fill out the meal with stuff The Hubs WOULD eat, and I feel a good brunch has something sweet and fresh fruit also. Here's the final menu I came up with!
- Egg Casserole
- Cinnamon Rolls (pre-made)
- Waffle-iron Hashbrowns
- MIMOSAS! It's a celebration, after all.
|The casserole pre-baking. I forgot to take a picture post-baking. This is a perfect example of WHY I'M NOT A FOOD BLOGGER.|
- 1 lb. turkey breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese block, grated
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4" cubes
- 8 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (or 10 grinds of a pepper mill)
- about 2 cups baby spinach
- Prep the ingredients: Brown the sausage and drain on paper towels, grate the cheese, cube the bread.
- In a BIG bowl (seriously: HUGE), combine the eggs, milk, and black pepper by whisking the eggs to break up the yolks into the whites, then to mix the eggs with the milk and pepper.
- Gently stir in the bread cubes into the egg mixture, then mix in the cooked sausage, spinach, and about 3/4ths of the cheese. (I didn't use a big enough bowl, so I had to do this in two stages and mix it up in the casserole dish. KIND OF A PAIN. Seriously, you want the big-ol' KitchenAid 6-quart mixer bowl size. I used the little 3-quart size. Sheesh.)
- Spray 13"x9" pan with non-stick cooking spray, then pour in the casserole. At this point, I put plastic wrap on it and popped it in the fridge! Then I went and watched my sister-in-law graduate with her B.S.!
- To bake it, cook it at 350 degrees F for about 55 minutes if it's from the fridge (45 if it's not), or until a knife comes out clean (watch out for sticking the knife in a cheesy section - it's misleading!). The original recipe called for it to sit for 10 minutes but, uh, we couldn't wait that long.
Once the casserole was in the oven, I busted out the Mimosa ingredients so they could start celebrating while they waited for the food! I also rinsed and hulled the strawberries so they could nibble while the food was cooking. Around half-time in the baking of the casserole, I baked the bacon (but since it's at a lower temperature than the link suggests, I baked it for about 10 minutes longer). Once the casserole needed to sit, I threw in the cinnamon rolls to bake and started the waffle-iron hashbrowns. (I follow the basic directions in the link, except I used EVOO and I also mixed in garlic powder and onion powder!) The hashbrowns took a little longer than I planned because I forgot how long the iron takes, haha. So the hashbrowns were given out as they were finished.
Everything worked out well enough, though: Mom- and Sis-in-Law both loved the casserole, The Hubs got bacon and hashbrowns AND cinnamon rolls to fill him up, and we all had a nice and relaxing brunch to celebrate the sister-in-law's big accomplishment! She was happy, and that's all I could ask for. :)