Friday, June 30, 2006

Which cassarole for the 4th of July breakfast

I have signed up to bring a breakfast casserole for the fourth of July celebration at our church next Tuesday morning. I have had a hard time deciding which one to make so I thought I would put up a few recipes and let you vote: Soooo.....which one will it be.

Crockpot Western Omelet Casserole Recipe By : Real Food for Real People

32 ounces Hash Browns - frozen
1 pound Ham, extra lean -- cooked & cubed
1 medium Onion -- diced
1 medium Green Bell Pepper -- diced
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese -- shredded
12 Eggs
1 cup Milk, skim
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper -- or to taste

Place a layer of frozen potatoes on the bottom of the crock pot, followed by a layer of ham then onions, green pepper and cheese. Repeat the layering process two or three more times, ending with a layer of cheese. Beat the eggs, milk and salt & pepper together. Pour over the mixture inside the crockpot, cover and turn on low. Cook for 10-12 hours, overnight, and enjoy for breakfast or brunch the next day.
Per serving: 244 Calories (kcal); 11g Total Fat; (41% calories from fat);19g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 218mg Cholesterol; 877mg Sodium; 1g Fiber

HAM AND CHEESE BRUNCH BAKE Serves 10 to 12 Ingredients:

24-oz. package frozen Hash Brown Potatoes
2 cups cooked Ham, cubed
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided
1 small Onion, chopped
16 oz. Low-fat Sour Cream
10-oz. can condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup, undiluted
10-oz. can Cream of Potato Soup, undiluted
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Thaw the hash brown potatoes and combine them in a large mixing bowl with the diced ham, a half-cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, and the chopped onion. In a separate mixing bowl, blend together the sour cream, cheddar cheese and potato soups, and black pepper. Add the sour-cream-and-soup mixture to the potatoes and ham, making sure all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 3-quart oven-proof baking dish. Top with more cheese, and bake in a pre-heated 350-F degree oven for an hour. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Baked French Toast Recipe By : Real Food for Real People Serving Size : 8

2 tablespoons Corn Syrup
5 tablespoons Butter or Margarine
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 whole French Bread -- sliced
5 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Chopped Pecans
Cool Whip Lite
Fruit -- (Strawberries, Raspberries, etc.)

In a saucepan cook the corn syrup, butter and brown sugar until bubbly. Pour into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle generously with pecans. Arrange 2 inch thick slices of French bread over the mixture. Beat together the eggs, milkand vanilla. Pour over the bread, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes. To serve, invert and serve with fresh fruit and whipped topping.
Per serving: 372 Calories (kcal); 13g Total Fat; (31% calories from fat);10g Protein; 54g Carbohydrate; 142mg Cholesterol; 489mg Sodium; 2g FiberFood Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 ½ Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Cheesy O'Brien Egg Scramble

1 pkg. (28 oz) frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 t. garlic salt-or to suit taste
1/4 t. pepper-or to suit taste
1 can cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
12 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. butter
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz)

In large skillet, prepare hash browns according to pkg. directions.Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to greased 2 1/2 qt. baking dish. Top with soup. Set aside 1/2 c. bacon, sprinkle remaining bacon over soup. In another skillet, scramble eggs in butter until nearly set. spoon overbacon. Sprinkle with cheese and reserved bacon. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 min.

Breakfast Pancake Casserole

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 1/2 c. (6oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in 1/2 c. cheese. Pour into greased and floured 13x9 baking dish. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Sprinkle pancake with remaining 1 c. cheese and bacon. Bake 3-5 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup.

English Muffin Breakfast Casserole ( I am leaning towards this recipe.)

1 pkg. Sourdough English muffins, cut in half
3/4 tsp. mustard
1 lb. sausage, cooked and drained - mild or regular
10 eggs
2 1/4 c. milk
2 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Use a 9x13 pan. Layer in order - muffins, cheese, and sausage. In a mixing bowl mix eggs, milk, and mustard. Pour over top. Let set overnight in refrigerator. Spread soup on top in the morning and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Breakfast Casserole (no other name but this)

4 1/2 cups frozen hash browns
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped meat of your choice (Ham, fried Sausage or Fried Bacons)
1/4 cup chopped onion (I have also added green peppersand Mushrooms)
6 eggs beaten
1 can evaporated milk
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a 13 x 9 pan with Pam Add hash browns sprinkle meat, onions and cheese. Combine eggs and milk salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in pan. Can be covered with foil and refrigerated at this point over night or baked. Bake in a oven at 320*-350* for 40 min until brown and eggs and set.


4-5 cups seasoned croutons
3 cups shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
one can mushroom soup
2 cups milk ( I generally use about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2)
10-11 eggs
Diced ham 1/2 lb (one cup rounded)

Toss croutons, cheese and ham together and put in a greased 9 x l3 pan. Mix eggs which have been lightly beaten with soup and milk. Pour over crouton mix. Cover tightly and refrigerate over night. Bake uncovered 350 degree oven for one hour.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Home from the beach…..

Yes, I’m home! We had some monsoon rains on Monday and Tuesday, so I got out late. Twelve inches or more of rain will play havoc on a city. We had a low pressure system that pulled rain in off of the Gulf and it just keep circulating over Houston for two days straight. My area town did well and I made it out the door by 1:30pm. on Tuesday. I did drive thru a ton of rain the closer I got to Galveston. I found out that they had continuous rain for two days straight. I’m actually glad I didn’t go early. Well with the rain behind us, the vacation began. We lathered on the sun tan lotion/sunscreen and headed for the beach. A ton of seaweed had washed ashore from the storms. We set up “camp” just behind the seaweed and went about our merry way. I held down the fort, reading a magazine and taking a nap. Barbara, Pat and Donny fished while the kids tried to become experts with the boogie boards. Around 6:00pm we wandered back to the travel trailer and cooked spaghetti for dinner. By night fall, the sky was clear and we could see stars, real stars. It was beautiful and a sight we don’t see often. We grabbed up the flashlights and headed back to the beach to catch crabs. Jula has become quiet an expert at seeing the little creatures. We wandered down the beach a ways and then headed back for our nightly beauty sleep.

Time with the family comes at a premium and I enjoyed almost every moment. Let me interject one thing, don’t take a two hour nap in the middle of the afternoon or you could be up in the middle of the night twiddling your thumbs. To make a long story short, I will give you highlights of the trip. We shopped, fished, walked our feet off, ate and just had general fun being together. I will have to say that I had a full display of Cover Girl make up fall on my head as I was walking down the aisle at Wal Mart. It didn’t hurt, but I was dizzy for half a minute. I did hear a young boy yell, “I didn’t touch it.” So who knows what happened. I ate the sweetest water melon I have ever eaten, wow it was good. Stacey made some homemade ice cream that was to die for. My crock pot was the hit of the trip, so much so, that both of my sisters bought one at Wal Mart. Stacey bought several lottery tickets with the stipulation that if we won we would split the proceeds four ways. You guessed it, we didn’t win. Oh yes, I managed to bag up some of that seaweed to bring home. I’ll tell you what I am going to do with it in a later post.

It was hard coming back, but TF was about to go crazy and I had things to do. Thursday night around 10:00pm, I started my trek back home. I called a friend of mine, who is a night owl and she talked to me most of the way home. I needed to stay awake and she is the perfect person to handle that chore. As I got off the freeway, at the usual exit, I noticed that it had been raining. Before you know it, I was driving thru flood waters. It wasn’t deep, but it sure was unexpected. Evidentially, earlier in the day, our area of town had 4 inches of rain in one hour and the area flooded. I did make it home in one piece and crashed into my very own bed. Ahhhh……The next morning I was at the cannery to train a new Dry Pack specialist. Back to the real world, I am!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Off to the beach……

It’s been a very busy week and I am just now getting a chance to wash some clothes and get packed for my trip to the beach. Barb, Pat and Donny are already down there and I leave in the morning after I get some important work done.

Yesterday I went to an all day “Ready Houston” hurricane preparedness conference. I’m still learning about what we need to do to become prepared. One of the most interesting speakers was Dr. Neil Frank, who is a weather man for one of our TV stations. He used to be the head of the National Hurricane service headquartered down in Florida. He is such a knowledgeable person and a great speaker. I learned a lot from him.

One of my other favorite classes was about the national 211 service that is in 38 states so far. It was commissioned by the government in the year 2000 and it is headquartered from the United Way office right here in Houston. They have operators available 24/7. I had no idea that it was even available. One of the new features of the service is to pre-register people, with special needs, so that the county knows where they are in case of an emergency. If you have no car or you don’t have a way to leave when a hurricane comes, then they will arrange transportation for you. This service is free and they answer questions for any number of problems. They will give information about where the comfort stations are along the evacuation routes and will tell you where you can get gas, food, ice and lodging. This service is not just for hurricanes, but for people wanting almost any kind of information. I am truly amazed by what I learned yesterday.

One of the other classes that I attended was about the Harris County Citizen Corps. The national program has several programs and you can go take a look at them on their website at: Their Harris county group helped handle the Hurricane Katrina evacuees in the Houston Astrodome and Reliant stadium. They handled 33,000 people and had only 24 hours to pull it all together when Houston volunteered to help. It was a sight to see.

Another website you might be interested in taking a look at is: If you live in the Gulf Coast area this is a must see. Fred, it may be helpful for you too, over there in Florida.

Happy Fathers Day to all you “Dads” out there. I miss my dad a lot and wish he were still here with us.

Well, tomorrow I’ll be off for my trip to Galveston. I’ll report back in when I get home. Have a good week everyone.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Grilled Onion Potatoes

8 medium Potatoes -- baking style
2 small Onions -- sliced
Salt and Pepper -- to taste
8 ounces Italian Salad Dressing, low calorie -- Zesty Style

Cut each potato into five slices. Place onions between slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reassemble each potato; place on a double layer of heavy-duty foil (about 12-inches square). Pour about one ounce salad dressing over each potato. Wrap foil around potatoes and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 50 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 137 Calories; 3g Fat (18.8% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 2mg Cholesterol; 231mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Note from Lucy: I'm going back to bed and I'll finish this post later in the day.

Update: It's about 6:20pm. and I'm finally able to sit down at the computer and add a little to my post. I have been playing taxi driver today, motoring Trixy off to girls camp and Bonnie and Aunt Mary off to the airport. On the way back I stopped and paid a couple of bills and visited over at the Bishops storehouse. TF and I went to Subway for dinner and now I'm home and I can relax and sit down at the computer for a few minutes. Ahhhhh.... While at the Bishops Storehouse, a couple of men came in from the Houston Food bank and took a tour of the Cannery/Storehouse complex. I was able to tag along and add a few comments when asked. I learned more about the partnership our church has with the food bank. It was quite interesting.

Last week, I cut a "Fridge Clip" out of the food section of the newspaper. I thought it was a great lesson to those of us that like to cook. The Fridge Clip is called: Lose a little liquid, gain intense flavor. Here's what it says:
"Reducing" is the term chefs use for cooking a liquid over a high enough heat to evaporate some fo the water, thereby reducing the volume of the liquid. The flavor becomes more concentrated, and the texture thickens.
Basically, any time you cook a liquid without covering the pan, you are reducing. In classic French cuisine, reduction turns stock into glace de viande (meat glaze). A gallon or so of chicken, beef or veal stock is strained and simmered until it has reduced to one or two cups of thick glaze. This adds incomparable richness to sauces. Newsday

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The summer heat is here….

I think I can officially say that summer has started. Have you ever noticed that when it is really hot that the crickets start chirping? Last week we had four days of heavy rain. This week the heat has settled in. TF came home yesterday with salt lines all up and down his shirt. We are going thru more ice and water and the air conditioner is chugging away. I am not looking forward to next month’s electric bill. It’s already high.

Last week my friends, Sonja and Darlene and I went down to the George R. Brown convention center for the annual Hurricane Preparedness Conference. With our near miss of hurricane Rita last year, many people are getting better prepared for this year’s season. We learned about the cities new plan for evacuation, saw the map for the new and revised 500 year floor plane, learned about what is planned for our special needs citizens, 72 hour kits and much, much more. I was very impressed with what has been done since last year. On June the 17th there will be another Hurricane conference at the convention center that I will be attending. It will be geared more towards community preparedness. I am signing up for a class that will be taught in our area on the use of Ham radios. I am hoping to pass the course and obtain my Ham radio license. Fun!!! I have been checking out how much these radios cost and it looks like it could be reasonable.

Coming up in a couple of weeks will be my annual trip to the beach with my brother and two sisters. I have been put in charge of the food again, because I find such bargains. Last Tuesday, I found chicken breast marked down to 45 cents a pound. The store had overstocked and was trying to clear it out. I took full advantage of the sale and filled my freezer. I have also purchased ribs, ground meat, hot dog fixins and all other necessary items. This year I am taking my crock pot so that we can start something in the morning and have dinner ready when we come in from our activities. The best part of this trip will be the fun we have as a family. It reminds me of the fun we had as kids, living at home. I’ll tell you more about the trip when I get home.

In July I will be helping to teach an alternative fuel cooking class. We will be teaching how to cook with 1) foil 2) dutch ovens, 3) reflector ovens (solar cooking) and 4) how to use a buddy burner. I will be teaching the buddy burner class. The people in my class will actually make a buddy burner and a Vagabond stove and take it home with them. Our dinner that night will be from the foil pouches that each person gets to put together. While the other classes are going on, the foil dinners and dessert, from the dutch oven class, will cook and be ready by dinner time.

Also in July, TF and I will be going to Las Vegas for the locksmith convention. I’m looking forward to that. It should be a lot of fun.

Here are a few articles that I thought you might be interested in. Having a problem getting rid of roaches? Here are some reader recipes that may work for you. Does your teen need a summer job? Check this out for some ideas. Cable or DSL Which one is best for your needs? Are you a spendaholic? Learn how to control your addiction with these pearls of advice. Inexpensive pet medications. I really liked this one.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Check out Vista Print….

If you need business cards, magnets, stamps, post cards, invitations & etc., you need to check out Vista Print. I have been buying all my business cards from them for about four years now. They offer pre-selected cards or you can upload your own logo or your own design. They have a certain number of cards that you can order that are free and you just pay the shipping or you can select for 70,000 designs. Last week I ordered 250 cards for six cents and just paid for shipping. Last year I order refrigerator magnets for my husband’s business advertising and got an awesome deal. My son-in-law also uses Vista Print for his business cards. Last month I got a free stamp for my bank checks to use when I stamp, “For Deposit Only” and my account number. I absolutely love ordering from Vista Print and I don’t mind sharing this information. I have always been happy with their products and would gladly recommend them to anyone looking for a nice product at a great price. Visit them at: Right now your can get business cards on sale if you go to:

Special Note: If you don’t like any of the pre-selected cards you can go to the search box and type in what ever you are looking for. I was looking for a design with a light bulb on it and just typed in light bulb. I also typed in electricity and it came up with four pages of photos to select from. I selected two that were perfect for my card, and ordered them both. Daybyday, this would be perfect for your bead business.

On a Personal Note: We are still busy painting the living room and dining room. The paint we selected seems to have too much pink in it and we will end up using it as the primer. TF has gone back to Home Depot and purchased more paint that will be more of a burgundy. It’s taking time to get all of this done, but it will be worth it. As soon as the painting is done, we can put in our new wood floors. I suspect that it will take all summer to get this done because the living room is actually our office. We have moved out as much as we can for now and when the time is critical we will move the office furniture into our breakfast nook and get it finished. I think it is taking so long because we have so many other irons in the fire at this time….as they say, “Life goes on.”