Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! + Breakfast Casserole Recipe

We didn't have a white Christmas, but the weather was beautiful here at the beach. It was the perfect temperature and we even felt some sunshine. Our group exchanged presents in the late morning and enjoyed each other's company throughout the day, taking time to visit with extended family. Even though this year didn't quite feel as "Christmasey" as it should have, I feel so blessed to have those who mean the most to me, especially my beau and my parents. I have a ton to be thankful for. 

Kitty was especially thrilled with her loot from Santa!

As per usual, my mom was in charge of the dinner meal, so I took care of breakfast for everyone. I chose to make a hash brown breakfast casserole and a baked french toast casserole. Both were so easy to make (I actually prepped them Christmas Eve evening and cooked them this morning) and both were so delicious.

The baked french toast was actually a recipe from Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. I won't go into any length about the particulars, but it was SO YUMMY! I will definitely use this recipe for future breakfasts and get-togethers. You can find her recipe here.

Pioneer Woman also takes prettier pictures of her creations!
The hash brown breakfast casserole was also pretty tasty. Cooking breakfast for everyone was much easier than preparing any Christmas dinner; the prep for this one took less than 15 minutes. Although I thought it tasted great as is, next time I might add some mushrooms or peppers.


1 lb. pre-cooked turkey sausage, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 1/2 cups frozen hash browns
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup baking mix (pancake mix is just fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a heated pan on medium-high heat, cook onion and hash browns with a few tablespoons of oil (I used extra virgin olive oil), until the hash browns are slightly browned.

Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9- inch baking dish (stoneware is always my favorite for these sorts of recipes).

Stir together the lightly beaten eggs, cheese, milk, baking mix, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over the sausage/hash brown mixture. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Bake covered with foil at 350* F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

Optional toppings: sour cream, hot sauce, ketchup, salsa, parsley, etc.

My little Ikea trees decorated.

Before I started to pack away any decorations, I wanted to share a photo of my little trees. Though they aren't in an ideal location (ughhh, not having a place of my own), I decided to throw on some ornaments, even though I didn't plan to ever decorate them. They make my room looks much more festive and cheerful.

I hope you all had a magical Merry Christmas, spending your day with the people you love, eating the things you love, and doing the things you love.

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