Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Brunch Celebration

This weekend was graduation day for our youngest son's girlfriend.  She just finished her BS in nursing and we hosted a brunch in celebration.  Cortney is a wonderful person who does public health nursing and I wanted to honor her achievement.  She has worked very hard to accomplish her mission.

There is nothing like good company and good food to make a day memorable.   I had been stewing over the menu (no pun intended) for several days and finally made my decisions on Friday so that shopping could be done because we also had guests staying with us for the weekend. The menu served today was sausage, broccoli, hash brown casserole,  grits, Waldorf salad, roasted butternut squash with rosemary, fried green tomatoes with horse radish sauce, watermelon, bacon, ham, homemade pickled asparagus, pickled mixed vegetables with peppers, biscuits, homemade peach preserves and grape jelly, and pumpkin gooey butter bars.  Oh, and there were mimosas!  It was all so good!  The fried green tomatoes were done in Cortney's honor because they are one of her favorites, everything else was cook's choice (that would be me).  I will share some of the other recipes in future posts because they are definitely worth trying.

I was looking for recipes to make, searching for something different because I love trying new recipes.  This sausage casserole recipe came from the Jimmy Dean Sausage web site and it sounded so good so I decided to give it a try (with a few modifications).  Fortunately, it was quite a hit.  My son said he thought he could eat it every day!  

Here is the recipe:

1 lb regular sausage
1 medium onion, diced
 7-8 frozen hash brown patties, thawed
10 ounces frozen broccoli, thawed
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 eggs
3/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook the sausage in a pan with the diced onions, breaking the sausage up with a spatula until sausage is brown.  Spray bottom of 9x13 casserole with cooking spray.  Place hash brown patties in bottom of casserole dish.  Spread sausage and onion mixture over hash browns.  Distribute broccoli and tomatoes over sausage.  Cover with shredded cheese.  Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper with whisk until well mixed.  Pour over ingredients in casserole. (This does not cover the casserole like many egg type casseroles so don't be alarmed)   Bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

This is quick, easy and serves a lot of people.  We had 12 adults and 1 child in attendance today and one casserole served everyone with a little left over for later - yum!!  This is not just for breakfast, but would be a great main dish for an evening meal also.  You could even substitute Italian or hot sausage to spice it up a bit if you like things spicy.  Or, simply use the original recipe as is  -  delicious.  The good thing about it is you have a one dish meal  which is so nice for when you come home tired and don't feel like doing a lot of food preparation.  The only cooking on the stove top is browning the sausage and onions.  Otherwise, it is just building the casserole.  Add a green salad, some warm bread and you are good to go.  

With the holidays approaching, this would be a wonderful breakfast meal for a crowd or even an easy evening entree for your family.  Hopefully, you will give it a try and enjoy it as much as we did on this memorable day.  Let me know how you like it!  Congratulations Cortney!  You did it!!

Everyday Donna,

Things to Remember:

Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes up his mind to do. We are all capable of greater things than we realize. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

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