Rise 'n Shine

There's something comforting about breakfast casseroles. They take minutes to prepare. They give you just enough time to relax with a cup of coffee while they're baking. They fill the house with an aroma that reminds people that life is good. They tend to be easy to transport and clean up after. They are great make ahead meals and they almost always impress those around the table. So, as the new year gets its start, why shouldn't we celebrate with a breakfast casserole?

This month's recipe is a versatile casserole that starts with a crust of baked hashbrowns. Then a bevy of fillings are kissed with a little heat from the stove and poured over the potatoes. By the time it's done, you've got potatoes, eggs, dairy and even sausage on the table. (You might want to serve the orange juice separately!) There are even ways to tweak this recipe to make it relatively healthy. Try using thinly sliced Canadian bacon instead of the sausage, an egg substitute, skim milk and reduced fat cream cheese. I don't recommend using fat free cream cheese because the texture will not work with this recipe.

So there you've got it. A breakfast casserole that's fast, versatile and tasty. What more could you ask for? Well, maybe that tall glass of orange juice!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . I'd also encourage you to experiment with this month's recipe and make it your own. Enjoy!

Hashbrown Casserole

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 c. frozen hashbrowns
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2/3 c. crumbled, cooked sausage
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and layer the frozen hashbrowns in the bottom. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute the onion and pepper. Add the sausage, eggs and milk; mix thoroughly and cook for 1 minute. Fold in the cream cheese and cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until the mixture has the consistency of soft scrambled eggs. Remove from the stove.

Pour the hot egg mixture over the partially cooked hashbrowns and return to the oven. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes