Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole

Italian Garden Casserole (1)

It was a cold Sunday morning in January.  We didn’t have any games. We went to mass the night before, and we were in the mood for a big breakfast, a big Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole. I checked the refrigerator.  I had a ton of eggs and some bulk Italian sausage. Next I found some green and red peppers. I always have cheese in the house…always!  A bag of hash browns were in the freezer so it was then, the making of the Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole came to fruition.

Growing up, I never cared much for breakfast unless it was pancakes, french toast, or cereal.  Of course, I loved the sweeter side of breakfast as a kid.  I didn’t eat eggs…any kind of eggs. My Dad loved eggs…any kind.  He liked them prepared any way.  In fact, everyone in my house liked eggs, but me. Finally in my twenties, I slowly started to try some egg casseroles and omelets. I figured the cheese, veges, and meat must help with the taste. Well, I was right. I liked it. I married my husband, who, by the way, loves eggs…any kind, so I started to cook them.  I still do not eat eggs over easy, scrambled, or poached.  But, I have definitely grown quite fond of omelets and casseroles. On this particular weekend, I decided to make a casserole without the bread and use the hash browns as a base.  It really worked out well.  The Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole was a huge hit.  Plus it can be a Make Ahead Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole. Check it out!

Italian Garden Breakfast Casserole

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of bulk Italian Sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped Onion
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 3-4 cups of Frozen Shredded Hash Browns (country style)
  • 3 cups of Shredded Cheese (I use the Kirkland Costco Mexican blend)
  • 1 cup of diced Green Pepper
  • 1 cup of diced Red Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of diced Green Onions (from about 6-8)
  • 12 Eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup of Nonfat Milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • Add Pepper and Crushed Red Pepper
  • Bacon Bits (Kirkland Costco brand – best bacon bits around)

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic.  Stir the mixture to break up the sausage into smaller pieces.  Cook until sausage is no longer pink about 10-12 minutes. Drain any liquid.
  2. Coat a 9×13 glass pan with cooking spray. Layer potatoes (unthawed), sausage mixture, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, green/red peppers, and green onions.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole.  Season with pepper and crushed red pepper if you like. Sprinkle the top with some of Costco’s bacon bits. If you are planning to make this in the morning, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
  4. Ready to bake casserole immediately or in the morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Bake casserole for 70-80 minutes or until egg mixture is set in the middle and the edges are lightly golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!

Fresh Spinach and Bacon

Spinach

Looking for that last minute, quick, throw together, side dish?  This spinach dish is for you. On this particular night, I was looking for something different instead of the usual “go to” quick vegetables such as corn and peas.  I had some fresh spinach from Costco in the refrigerator.  It was time to use it as a side dish instead of doing the normal spinach salad.  I threw together this recipe in about 8 minutes which is exactly how long it takes to cook.

Wow, it was really good!  I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of cooked spinach, however I do like it when there are great flavors involved.  The combination of Rotel and bacon were a perfect fit.  The Rotel added some extra zing not to mention bacon is always a great addition to many dishes.  We LOVE bacon.  My 10 year old son even liked this spinach dish.

Another bonus about this dish…it only take 8 minutes! I would suggest making this dish when everything else is ready for the table. It is that quick and easy.

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 Ounces of fresh Spinach (Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Spinach from Costco)
  • 1/2 Can of Rotel (original and strained)
  • 4-5 Slices of cooked Bacon (broken up in pieces)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Cloves of fresh Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste ( we prefer Sea Salt)

Directions:

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Using a garlic press, add the fresh minced garlic to the oil.  Next add the Spinach.  It will shrink very quickly.
  2. Stir in the Rotel Tomatoes and Chilies. Then mix together the Bacon.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Stuffed Pork Chops

Stuffed Pork Chops

On this particular evening, I didn’t cook.  My husband and my 11-year-old daughter took care of everything.  They decided to use our Costco thick cut pork chops and stuff them. We’ve never stuffed pork chops at this house.  We usually buy them already stuffed from our local meat market, Kenricks, however this time they decided to make some Sievers stuffed chops home-made.

These pork chops are my favorite recipe of 2014 thus far! If you like gouda cheese, bacon, and spinach, then this recipe is a must. Wow, it was absolutely delicious.

Stuffed Pork Chops

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • 6 thick cut Pork chops (Costco pork chops are ideal)
  • 1/2 Pound of Smoked Gouda (shredded)
  • 8 slices of cooked Bacon (chopped)
  • 1 Cup of fresh Spinach (chopped)
  • Salt and Pepper for Taste (prefer Sea Salt)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Begin by preparing the stuffing.  Add the shredded gouda cheese, chopped bacon, and fresh chopped spinach to a medium Mel stuffing chopsbowl and mix together. Add salt and pepper for taste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. Lay each chop flat on a cutting board. With a sharp knife held parallel to the cutting board, cut a pocket into the pork leaving three sides in tact. Stuff each chop with the mixture.  Sticks or small skewers can be used to keep stuffing together. Lightly salt and pepper each chop.
  4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium to high heat. Brown pork chops on each side.  Then add them to the 9×13 baking dish.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes or until meat reaches correct internal temperature.

Stuffed chops before

Enjoy!