Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

When I first met Jeremiah, I learned very quickly that he loves biscuits and gravy. He’s very particular though – no one does it like his mother. I soon learned the whole family feels this way.

When Jeremiah and I were planning the menu for our wedding day brunch, our Sales Manager suggest biscuits and gravy. I said, “No, his family will just compare it to his mother’s recipe and be disappointed.” Sorry Chef – no offense.

Every year, the whole family gathers at his parent’s house for Christmas. It is practically a requirement that my mother-in-law Lynn make biscuits and gravy when EVERYONE is there. On Christmas Eve morning  though, Lynn made a Biscuits and Gravy Casserole recipe a friend had shared with her. Lynn let me in on a little secret. Occasionally, she uses the Pioneer brand packet gravy. This I can do. Although this isn’t the exact recipe my mother-in-law made that morning, my husband does like this dish. He also likes it when I use sausage from our local butcher shop – The Peculiar Meat Company.

Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast Casserole from Pinterest
img_0223.jpg2 cans (16 oz.) Grands biscuits
1 lb. ground breakfast sausage
1 package of Pioneer Country Sausage Flavor Gravy Mix

Cut one can of biscuits into quarters. Sprinkle in a sprayed 13 x 9 baking dish and cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then, cut the second package of biscuits the same way. Meanwhile, cook and drain sausage. Also prepare gravy according to packet. Mix sausage and gravy together and pour over biscuits. Top with remaining biscuits and cook for 15-20 minutes. (Optional – top biscuits with melted butter to make them shine.)

Notes:

  • I’d suggest maybe making it in a 9 x 9 pan and using only one can of Grands biscuits (half on bottom/half on top) if you want more gravy to biscuit ratio. You could also use regular sized biscuits and still make it in a 9 x 13 pan. 
  • Another option to to make a second envelope of gravy to pour on top of finished dish. That’s what Lynn did for her family. 

 

 

Sausage Bombs

We love breakfast foods. I’m always pinning new recipes to try. My original plan on the morning I made these was to make a biscuit and gravy casserole. When I realized I was missing one of the ingredients I needed to make that recipe, I made this recipe with some of the ingredients instead. Jeremiah has already asked me to make these delicious filling breakfast treats once again.

Sausage Egg & Cheese Stuffed Breakfast Biscuits by So Fab Food
IMG_06401 package of Grands biscuits
6 eggs
8 sausage patties
8 slices of cheese

Make scrambled eggs and season with salt and pepper. Cook sausages according to packaging. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten biscuits to about 5-6 inches wide. Break cheese slices into four pieces. Stack on top of biscuit. Top with scoop of scrambled eggs. Place sausage patty on top. Pull biscuit from opposite directions to cover entirely. Place wrapped side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with butter and top with favorite seasonings. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning pan halfway through baking. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • I added a little milk to my eggs to make them fluffier. I’d also suggest maybe 5 eggs would be enough.
  • I used turkey sausage and Cheddar cheese.
  • I topped mine with fennel seed to bring out the flavor of the sausage.

Hash Brown Lasagna

My mother-in-law is the queen of biscuits and gravy. Nobody can even compete with her recipe. It sounds like she has been perfecting it over the last 30 years. I saw this recipe and wasn’t sure how my husband would feel about it. I made this delicious Biscuits and Gravy Casserole dish from an old coworker. He told me the jar country gravy was “too salty”. For this recipe, I made the McCormick Country Gravy. I think he was ok with this gravy in a dish that is very different than his mother’s original. We did like this dish but I think I like a few other breakfast recipes better like Breakfast Sliders, Weight Watchers Breakfast Quiche, Mini Maple Bacon Rolls, Creamy Biscuits, or Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Ring.

Hash Brown Lasagna from Pinterest
img_00341/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
shredded hash brown potatoes
salt and pepper
sausage crumbles
bacon
cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
McCormick Country Gravy packet prepared
1 Tsp. butter, melted

Bake bacon in the over at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cook sausage according to package.

In the meantime, pour gravy packet into a medium pan. Slowly pour two cups of milk over mix while whisking. Cook over a medium heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Then, reduce your to low and simmer for 1 minute.

Spray 8 x 8 pan. In a bowl, mix hash browns, Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and eggs. Pour half of mixture into pan and even out. Top with a layer of cheese, gravy, and meats. Repeat with other cheese, gravy, and meats. Top with remaining remaining hash browns. Pour melted butter on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting.

Notes:

  • I used a 13 x 9 pan because it appeared to be too much for the pan.
  • I used skim milk to prepare my gravy mix. It cut the fat and salt in country gravy.
  • I thawed the hash browns slightly in the microwave. This helped them break-up easier. Looking back, I wish I had baked the bottom layer for 10 minutes before topping to give me a slightly cruncher crust. 
  • I used turkey sausage.
  • I only used four slices of bacon. I really couldn’t taste it so you either need to use more bacon or opt it out. Sausage can be an overwhelming meat flavor.
  • The recipe suggested both mozzarella and cheddar. They suggested a prosciutto wrapped mozzarella and Velveeta cheese slices. I used shredded cheese. I’d suggest just mozzarella because I think it matches the flavors of the country gravy better. 
  • Make sure you have a lot of time to cook this recipe. I think I took me a good 40 minutes to prepare before backing. 
  • If I made it again, I think I might create a crust with something different like crescent rolls.
  • Jar gravy and precooked meats can save you time. 

 

 

Stuffing from Scratch

It’s 5AM and I’ve been awake for about an hour now. After 30 minutes of tossing and turning in bed, I had a bit of a panic attack when I remembered that my uniform for work was in the laundry. I jumped out of bed and found myself sorting laundry in the closet as to not wake my fiancé.

I guess that is a bit of news I’d hadn’t shared here. My boyfriend proposed to me at dinner a few weeks ago. It was our 16 month anniversary and we were eating at Houlihan’s in Leawood. It was where we had gone on our very first date. We had planned to go to dinner early because the Kansas City Royals were playing game five of the World Series at 7PM. We were standing outside the restaurant talking about our first date and how we stood outside the restaurant talking after a long dinner. I turned around to walk in and Jeremiah spun me back around before getting down on one knee. I was a little in shock. If I was, you should have heard all the people around us. The people dining on the patio and getting in/out of vehicles were like “Is he prosing?” “Did she say yes?” Of course, without a doubt in my mind, I said yes. We went into the restaurant and the server asked us how it was going. I said, “We just got engaged.” He was like, “Congratulations!” I was like, “It was a minute ago just outside the restaurant. This is where we went on our first date.” The table next to us asked if he could take our photo when he overheard us. He told us how it was he and his wife’s second marriage but when you find the right one, it’s meant to be. The restaurant was so sweet and the manager brought us champagne and dessert to celebrate. Phone calls were made while we waited for our lovely dinner – the George Banks Sea Scallops with risotto and fresh arugula (one of my absolute favorite dishes of all time). As you all know by now, the Royals won it in game five beating the Mets in extra innings. It was also my mother’s birthday so this is certainly a day we will never forget.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping very long since our engagement. I wake up with ideas about our vows or what food should we make during our engagement photos. The date is set for July 2016 so I need to get cracking on these details. The venue is pretty much set, the guest list has been made, our wedding app/website has been created, half the attendants have been asked (including our adorable 3 ½ month old ring bearer), and the photographer has been selected. However, I have no idea what my dress will look like or what colors I want. I also need to email my hairdresser to see if she’s available. Every hinges on what time my hair can be done. Oh let’s hope she’s available because I have zero skill when it comes to doing my hair. I better email her right now, this is really important.

So since I’m awake and my laundry is in the wash, I decided to write a blog post for all of you. It is Thanksgiving week. Can you believe it? Normally, I would have already scoped all the Black Friday ads and had a plan for our day after Thanksgiving adventure. This year, I’m worried about whether or not I need to schedule a dress outing the Saturday after Thanksgiving with my mother and sister. I’m also not sure what on earth to get my fiancé for Christmas in our $75 spending limit?

In honor of it being Thanksgiving week though, I have decided to share with all of you one of the recipes Jeremiah and I will be making for my family. This is a recipe we learned last year while taking a cooking class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Not to worry my vegetarian friends, I’m including modifications for you to enjoy this recipe as well. I made both recipes for our Thanksgiving work potluck last week.

stuffingApple, Sage, & Sausage Sourdough Stuffing by Rachel Ciordas
12 oz. turkey breakfast sausage
1 tsp. oil
2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped apple
2 c. chopped celery
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. black pepper
12 c. cubed sourdough bread
1 can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth

Cook sausage until browned. Add onion, apple, and celery. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in seasonings. In a large bowl, combine sausage mixture, bread, and broth. Spoon the stuffing into a sprayed 11 x 7 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Nutrition: Makes nine (1 c.) servings. 208 calories, 5 g. fat, 11.9 g. protein, 28.9 g. carbs, 2.1 g. fiber.

Notes:

  • Rachel said to not use green apples for this recipe. They are not sweet/juicy enough to sauté.
  • Did you know you can eat the leafy part of celery? It’s actually really flavorful.
  • I brought two loaves of fresh French bread at Spouts. I cubed 1 ½ loaves and let it sit out in a bowl overnight. I used the extra bread for a brioche French Toast.
  • I used the local brand of ground sausage. It added some extra flavor. 
  • I’ve found the lowest sodium chicken broth is Rachael Ray’s brand.
  • To make it vegetarian friendly, I substituted veggie broth and removed the sausage. In its place, I put some dried cranberries. After my luncheon, Jeremiah and I mixed the leftovers. It was good so feel free to add cranberries to the original recipe.
  • For a little crisper stuffing, bake covered 15 minutes and uncovered for 35-40 minutes.

Bean Paste Day 2

I was very nervous about day two. In theory, work should get my mind of the hunger. However, I work in a 217,000 sq. ft. warehouse full of food. If you read my post yesterday, you know how much I was thinking about food.

Luckily, my second day went better. I ate breakfast at 7:30 AM after working out. This kept my stomach from growling until just after 11 AM. Jeremiah took his to work and ate it. That helped him stay full until lunch time.

hummusLunch seemed to hold for me. I added a little Italian Seasoning to my hummus or what Jeremiah affectionately refers to as “Bean Paste”. It seemed to taste a little better. Jeremiah reported had a very difficult day at work. He wasn’t sure if it was just an issue with his update or a combination of also being hungry.

Unfortunately, I got a headache during my drive home. This is what my sister warned me about – the sugar headache. Stephanie got one when she gave up sugar and caffeine for two weeks on the Mayo Clinic diet. I know mine wasn’t from caffeine because I drink decaf half the time. I don’t drink soda very but I remember who painful it was when I gave it up. I told Jeremiah that this was probably the least amount of sugar my body has had in years. He agreed.

We had two very difficult social engagements last night. I opted not to attend a work function called Taste of Elegance. It’s an event where some of the best chefs in town cook pork dishes. As foodies, Jeremiah and I would have been in heaven at this event had it not been SNAP Challenge Week for us. Could you image going to mingle with your volunteers at a social function and not being able to eat or drink anything?

The second event was making our March meals at Social Suppers. I love this event and it helps us knock out preparing most of our meals for the month in about 30-45 minutes. Plus, the owners Jen and Jill are just so darn sweet. We decided to go and just not cook any of it until after the challenge. It’s amazing how quickly six entrees and one side dish add up to over $100. Yikes in comparison this week’s budget. We survived the experience of being temped by food.

When we got back to Jeremiah’s house, we ate a dish we had cooked on Sunday. Thank goodness we had since it was 6:45 PM. Normally, we are doing dishes by then. In fact, we usually go out to eat after we make Social Supper. Not in the budget this month.

The dish we made was Dave Ramsey’s Simple Red Bean and Rice recipe. I have to admit, Jeremiah and I got the recipe from a former coworker Chef Hild. He prepared for our Financial Peace University class a few weeks ago. He cooked enough to feed 80 people on just $30. Jeremiah and I weren’t able to get the price per serving that low. Then again, we can’t buy food directly from companies or shop at Restaurant Depot.

red beansSimple Red Beans & Rice by Financial Peace University & Chef Gary Hild
2 c. water
1 c. uncooked rice
1 – 16 oz. turkey sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove of chopped garlic
2 – 15 oz. cans of kidney beans, drained
1/2 c. water
1 – 16 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Options to add at the table (not in our budget): Worcestershire sauce, salsa, Sriracha sauce, Tabasco sauce, or dried basil

In a sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, cook sausage over a low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in onion, green pepper, and garlic. Saute until tender. Pour in 1/2 c. water, beans, and tomatoes with juice. Season with oregano, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Stir and then serve over rice.

Notes:

  • The cost of the entire dish was $5.75 or just $.82 per serving.
  • Jeremiah and I found the cheapest place to buy bulk rice is at Sprouts. Plus, you can mix white and brown together to make it healthier.
  • Jeremiah and I over cooked our rice so we mixed the ingredients together. It was fine.
  • We also purchased all the fresh veggies on sale at Sprouts.
  • We brought two sausages in the fresh meat case at HyVee. We got between 5-6 slices of meat per serving.
  • We brought diced canned tomatoes to save time in prep.
  • We served this dish with a slice of corn bread and a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie.
  • The recipe wasn’t too bad – though not as taste as when Chef made it. Both our stomachs were growling around 9 PM. Jeremiah supplemented with a few crackers. 

 

Welcome Back

Oh my goodness, it feels like forever since I last wrote a blog post. Perhaps because it was a long time ago. This month has been just crazy. Work budgets, illness, much needed time with friends, and the loss of my Grandpa Fletcher. But now it is time to buckle down and share some of the new recipes I’ve been cooking up in my kitchen. Today, I am going to share a new breakfast recipe that I thought turned our pretty good. Perhaps you will enjoy it for a Sunday Easter Brunch.

Breakfast CasseroleBreakfast Casserole from Pinterest

Two packages of sausage links
Six eggs
1 c. of milk
salt & pepper to taste
½ a bag of tater tots
2 1/2 c. of cheddar cheese

Cook sausage according to package. Then, slice into bite sized pieces and sprinkle along the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Pour over sausage. Sprinkle with a cup of cheese. Top with tater tots. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used turkey sausage, skim milk, and 2% cheese to make it a little healthier. I think you could also reduce the number of eggs by using egg substitute.
  • I used the mini-tater tots so I could reduce the amount of cheese in the recipe by a ¾ of a cup. This way, the lower cheese amount melted together better.

Goodbye 2013

Looking back at 2013, I thought I would share a few of my favorite new recipes. In no particular order, here are my top 13:
Breakfast QuicheBreakfast recipes:

Dinner recipes:

Dessert recipes:

A New Kind of Meatloaf

When I was a kid, my mother made meatloaf a lot. My mother especially liked adding this season packet to it. I hated when she did that. As a kid, I liked the plain old ground beef, oatmeal, egg, and ketchup. As an adult, I want something with more flavor. But probably not as much onions as my grandmother puts in her meatloaf recipe.

My sister wasn’t a huge fan of meatloaf. But as an adult, I remember her saying that she had found a mini-meatloaf or meatball recipe she liked. It looks like I must have printed this mini-meatloaf recipe off from a Betty Crocker email. I liked the smooth consistency of using Bisquick instead of oatmeal. I also thought the sausage wasn’t over powering. BBQ sauce was the perfect mix of sweetness. Hope it spices up a classic from your childhood.

30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves
1 lb. of hamburger
1/2 lb. of ground pork
1/2 c. Bisquick
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and ketchup. Reserve 1/4 c. for topping. Add to bowl remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Place meat into pan and make a 12 x 4 rectangle. Split down the center with a spatula, crosswise split into six equal sections. Separate into 12 mini-loaves and make sure they aren’t touching. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes. Makes six (two piece) servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 300 calories (140 calories from fat), 16 g. fat (6 g. saturated fat, 1 g. trans fat), 105 mg. cholesterol, 440 mg. sodium, 17 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 11 g. sugars, 22 g. protein.

Cheesy Southwest Egg Bake

This is a hearty breakfast recipe I found on the Pillsbury website.

Cheesy Southwest Egg BakeCheesy Southwest Egg Bake by Pillsbury
1 package of chorizo or pork sausage
1/2 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. chopped bell pepper
10 eggs
1/4 c. whipping cream
2 c. shredded pepper Jack or Mexican cheese blend
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 can Grands flaky layers biscuits
1 T. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In skillet, cook sausage, onion, and pepper. In a large bowl, beat eggs and cream. Stir in 1 c. cheese, red pepper flakes, and sausage mixture. Separate dough  into 8 biscuits. Cut each into 6 pieces. Spread oil bottom of skillet. Drop biscuits over oil. Pour sausage mixture over biscuits. Top with remaining cup of cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until crust is set. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • I used regular sausage and added fresh cilantro.
  • I used 6 eggs and 4 egg whites.
  • I used red bell pepper but you can use any kind.
  • I also used Mexican cheese.

Sweet Breakfast Treat

I’m at my mother’s house in Nebraska celebrating Christmas. It started snowing the big fluffy flakes a couple of days ago. If you aren’t from a part of the country where it snows, this is the perfect snow. It’s easy to scoop, will melt fast, and looks pretty. However, we got 6 inches which makes travel around town a little difficult.

I cooked up this quick recipe before going out to help clean the snow off my sister’s car. I loved this new recipe from Pillsbury.com and I hope you will too.

Maple RollsCinnamon Roll-Wrapped Sausage with Maple Dipping Sauce
1 can Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls
10 fully cooked pork or turkey sausage links
10 toothpicks
1/3 c. maple syrup

Open and remove cinnamon rolls from package. Slice in half. Wrap half way around sausage and secure with a toothpick. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. While cooling slightly, mix syrup and icing in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds on medium (50%). Serve as dipping sauce for cinnamon rolls.

Nutritional Information: 470 calories, 18 g. of fat, 5 g. saturated fat, 2.5 g. trans fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 850mg sodium, 68 g. Carbs, 1 g. fiber, 33 g. sugars, 7 g. protein.

Notes:

  • My mother misunderstood me and bought regular cinnamon rolls. It worked – so consider buying the reduced fat kind.
  • She also bought sausage that needed to be cooked first. Just cook them in a pan before wrapping with cinnamon roll.
  • I used about 1/4 c. light Mrs. Butterworths syrup. Another great way to reduce fat and sugar intake on this recipe.
  • I would also suggest looking at veggie sausages like Morning Star. They taste pretty good and you reduce calories/fat here as well.