Easter Egg (or spring forward) Casserole with Fresh Salsa and Cheese Sauce

I liked to have a casserole to serve for Easter breakfast.  It was easy to serve and could be made the night before and popped in the oven while 3 kids were looking for eggs and going through their Easter baskets.  We almost always had to hide the eggs inside the house.  It was either very cold or very windy on Easter Sunday.

It was always such a scramble (no pun intended) to get the eggs gathered, kids dressed for church (when did I ever have time to get dressed?) and have something for breakfast.  The church service was always longer than usual so we had to have something for breakfast.  Especially after all those jelly beans and chocolate bunnies had been nibbled on.

This is easy and can be enlarged or even doubled for a large crowd.  I served it with fresh fruit and made a side salsa of diced tomatoes, green onions and halved grape tomatoes with just a little red wine vinegar.  I usually served the cheese sauce on the side.

Easter Egg Casserole

Hugs and Kisses Eggs

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days.  For me it means sweets to eat and sweeter still notes declaring my fondness, affection and love.  It is just a sweet time.

I met my husband near Valentine’s Day.  I had never received roses from anyone before.  He sent me a yellow rose.  (Those were his favorites.)  In high school I had an English teacher who said if a guy gave you one rose, you should ask where are the other 11?  If he came back with 11 roses he was a “keeper.”  So I did.  They came the next day!  A girl never knows if she doesn’t ask, right?  It must have been ok.  It seemed to work out.  It was so sweet to get roses.  I love flowers too.

Anyway, Hank loved breakfast.  I think it was his favorite meal, especially on the weekends or on vacation.  He had a pretty strict menu.  Eggs, pork of some type, grits or potatoes (maybe gravy) and toast, coffee and orange juice were the order.  How it was prepared and in what combination didn’t matter.  So I was trying to think of a Valentine’s Day breakfast meal when I spied two slices of white cheese and a large bell pepper.  Why not try to cut the bell pepper into a slice that looked like a heart.  It didn’t work.  Next was to use the cookie cutter to cut the cheese into a heart.  That was much better.  Thus, eggs in pepper rings with cheese hearts came to be. Just thinkin’ about Hank and breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Valentines Breakfast

Cast Iron Skillet Frittata

I had an inspiration this morning for another leftover ham dish.  I fixed it for brunch, but it would be good for dinner or any time.  If you want to mess up all those dishes so early in the morning, be my guest and make it for breakfast.  I am a messy cook and can use almost every pan in the kitchen on a good day.  Just ask my girls.  But today it was me on my own to cook and clean!

Back to the leftover ham.  I had put it in the freezer, so I had to peel off about three slices and defrost in the microwave for a couple of minutes.  At that point it was ready to dice.  At this rate I think I have about 3 more meals, maybe 4 from a small, sliced ham I received as a gift for Christmas.  Be thrifty and use up those gifts.

Anyway, it is a cold, grey day here today and the kitchen is the place for me to be.  Even at work on a day like this I would prefer to be at home baking.

As we move into a new year the Tumbleweed Contessa crew wishes you the best.  May you have all you need and your health, your faith, and your family be secure.

Blessings and best wishes for a Happy New Year!     The Contessa (Linda)

Hot Chocolate and Monkey Bread for Christmas Morning

What is your most memorable menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?  Our familyChristmas Dinner tradition is dinner after the family service at church on Christmas Eve.  The granddaughters need to get home and get ready for Santa to come.  We have a breakfast/brunch on Christmas morning and a dinner later in the day at my daughter’s so the little girls can play, play, play with their new toys.

Christmas Eve has to be easy to put together.  I burned the lasagna one year because the service went way too long (or at least longer than I had planned.)  So I have settled on spaghetti, salad, a slice of garlic bread and cookies left over from the Cookie Exchange party.  Easy.

I like a simple menu for both breakfast/brunch and dinner on Christmas Day.   We discovered a new hot chocolate laced with butterscotch schnapps at a recent cooking school we attended.  It was wonderful.  Living in the Southwest a spicy flavor is usually appealing.  The Breakfast Burrito Casserole is great and everyone can help themselves as they get up.  A hot sweet roll is good with the hot chocolate too.

My Ideal Christmas Dinner Menu

  • Baked Ham thinly sliced
  • Baked potatoes with cheese, bacon and chives
  • Steamed Broccoli with a cheese sauce
  • Fresh vegetable tray with Ranch dipping sauce
  • Hot Rolls – Butter
  • Chocolate Cake

I have a dry hot chocolate mix I have made for years.  The kids could make their own in the morning or after school in the microwave.

I have seen lots of recipes for a pull-apart bread.  This one works for me and can be prepared the night before and put in the refrigerator.  Then pull it out to rise before baking.  It is just the right sweet bite.