Thursday, December 24, 2009

Great Breakfast Menu

Here is a great breakfast menu for you to serve to ANYONE from your best friend coming over for breakfast before a big shopping trip, family or even a co-worker's breakfast like we hosted last week when our sales reps were in town. A co-worker Jennie and I prepared a spread to show them some fine Kansas City hospitality. Our menu started with a staple out of one of the great Paula Dean cookbooks that I have gotten over the years, Egg Hashbrown Casserole. The casserole was very easy to put together the night before and just required to be put in the oven the oven and let it works it wonderful food magic. We served this casserole with strawberry muffins and a fresh fruit salad (mandarin oranges, grapes, strawberries and blueberries) with fluffy dip (1 regular size container of cool whip and 1 cup of mayo). Paula's Egg Hashbrown Casserole 1 large loaf of Italian bread (will make 8 cups of cubes) 1 small yellow onion 3 TBS Butter 4 cups frozen hashbrowns 1 pound sausage 1/2 pound Ramono Cheese grated (2 cups) 1/2 pound Gruyere Cheese shredded (2 cups) 8 eggs 1 tsp salt 1 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground mustard 1/2 cup parsley chopped Pull the insides out of the Italian bread and tear up into small pieces, do not use the crust, it will get hard in the casserole. Spray a deep 9x13 pan with cooking spray, I used butter flavor, and place the Italian bread pieces across the bottom. Saute onion in 3 tablespoons of butter in an oversize sauce pan, add hashbrowns and toss with onion and butter, let heat for about 5 minutes (make sure any clumps of frozen hasbrowns are broken up). Pour the onion and hashbrown mixture on top of the bread. Brown sausage, pour over hashbrowns. Spread cheese over the sausage mixture. Mix eggs and remaining ingredients, pour over cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and chill over night. Remove casserole 30 minutes prior to bake and bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. This is an easy recipe to adapt by adding different meats and cheeses to the mixture, I added the herbs and they were a nice fresh touch. I made an identical recipe to this only substituted the sausage with sauteed baby bella mushrooms and zucchini squash and added cojack cheese instead of Gruyere. For more social settings, prepare the casserole in cupcake tins or individual serve dishes and a nice Bellini. Traveling Cowgirl Code: A great way to show gratitude to a group of people is by filling their stomachs and breakfast is an unexpected treat for anyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toasty Toes

10 days left of the 2009 Christmas shopping season and I know that some people are still racking their brains on what to get those hard-to-shop for people on their is a great idea for someone who 1) loves hiking and the outdoors and 2) enjoys outdoor activities/sports when it is cold. (or maybe I'm thinking about them because it is currently a negative wind-chill outside and I'm cozied up by the fire in my apartment) I highly recommend UnderArmor wool socks, they are fantastic, come in great girly (and manly) colors and are a great replacement for the typical package of tube socks in your stocking. I wear these socks when I'm working at home and recently I wore them skiing with warm feet all weekend. They also have great wicking and good elastic across the top so they stay up and don't bunch at your ankles. Enjoy giving the gift of toasty toes! Traveling Cowgirl Code: Give a practical gift with a unique twist.