Making my lists and checking them twice

Sausage, Egg & Hashbrown Casserole

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

1 (2 lb.) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

1 lb. pork sausage (like Jimmy Dean)

1 small onion, diced

8 eggs

½ cup milk

12 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

½ teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Place the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage and onion until sausage is crumbly, browned and no pink remains. Drain.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Layer with half the Cheddar cheese, the sausage mixture, and then top with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover, and bake another 10 minutes or so, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Life is easier when I remember to make a list… I often forget that the most successful endeavors always include lists, whether it’s a grocery list that I can actually stick to at the store, a to-do list filled with seemingly impossible to accomplish tasks, or something as simple as little projects around the house that get pushed off schedule thanks to life’s many distractions.

Lists with items I can check off when completed really help me get things done. Without a list, I always forget something.

The ease of Thanksgiving dinner happened in part by making a list of what, when and where for each dish we prepared. Having my ever-capable daughter assisting was the rest of what made it easy to accomplish the huge task with no stress.

This weekend, we’ll have a full house with family coming in for holiday fun. I started my food list Monday morning, although it’s been tumbling around in my head for at least a week longer.

One of the hardest parts of entertaining, for me, is breakfast. Not because breakfast isn’t my favorite meal of the day, and not because I don’t thoroughly enjoy preparing breakfast foods, because it is and I do. It’s because I’m really not much of a morning person. That’s the only reason.

I’ve been receiving countless emails for cookie recipes I can’t wait to try, and tips for the best way to feed a crowd at the holidays. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here, and have decided that the “best way to feed a crowd” is going to be employed at our house this weekend.

What does that mean? That means breakfast casseroles. Having something made ahead of time or with easy preparation that can popped in the oven for a warm, delicious start to the day will be the perfect answer to my groggy mornings.

At one point, I had recipes for twelve different breakfast casseroles open on my computer screen. When I took the time to read through each one, I found that just about every recipe had lots of eggs, lots of cheese, bread, sausage and potatoes in it. I printed two of those – one that had sausage as the main addition with potatoes and no bread (gluten-free if the sausage is gluten-free), and one that had mostly vegetables. Lots of cheese in both. I’m excited to make both, along with pigs in a blanket (also known as “sausage kolaches”), cinnamon rolls and assorted fruit. With a satisfying meal for breakfast, we’ll let the other meals fall into place.

Less time cooking means more time for visiting. Less time cleaning up after cooking breakfast means more time for hanging out and spending quality time with loved ones. When was the last time you said, “Remember that Christmas when we spent hours making breakfast and cleaning the kitchen instead of doing fun stuff together? Wasn’t that the best?”

Not that it isn’t fun to cook and clean with your people, but it’s more fun to spend those precious moments with your hands not in dishwater. I’d rather bake cookies together than scrub pots and pans.

Make your lists… meal plan list, grocery list, any list that will help simplify things so you can enjoy your people. Plan your meals and do whatever can be done ahead of time, and you won’t ever have to think about all the time you spent cleaning instead of making memories this holiday season.




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