Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Food!

I was feeling really run down and out of sorts this month, so I took a break from the gym. Bad idea. Cuz I've been eating stuff like this...

Fun homemade candy gift bags for the buds. Thanks again for the makins' and the cute lil wrappings, Sara! Aunt Rose donated the lovely dish : )

Quick and easy night-before-Christmas-Eve-dinner: Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden copy-cat recipe) adapted from Pioneer Woman; she cleverly calls it "Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup", but we know what she's reallyyy saying.. It was yummy, and way better on day two, after I mashed up some of the potatoes and the milks had time to thicken.

Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup ; )
12 red potatoes, cooked, cooled and sliced thin
1 whole onion, chopped
1 Tbls butter
1 bag (9.6 oz) Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage crumbles (great taste, no mess!)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
3 cups half-and-half (I used fat free)
Fresh or dried oregano
Red pepper flakes (I only use one "shake" of the container, but would love to use more!)
 and black pepper to taste
Splash of heavy cream
Half bag of Glory (or the like) ready to use kale

In a large pot, lightly brown onion in butter. Stir in sausage, chicken broth, milk, half-and-half, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and oregano. Simmer 20 minutes. Add potatoes (I'd suggest mashing up 2 of the potatoes now to help thicken), splash of cream & kale. Stir and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, then serve.
Great with fresh bread and a salad!

Cheese tree for Christmas-Eve-after-Mass-grubbins that I found it on Pinterest. I'm spending alot of time on there...

My personal favorite, Crock Pot Sausage & Egg Casserole, that literally took 5 minutes to put in the crockpot Christmas Eve night before going to bed. It was ready by 6 am Christmas morning, and so were we! Not as good as Mary's traditional Christmas egg strata, but darn good for just a little work.

Crockpot Egg Casserole
1 32-oz bag frozen hash browns
1 bag (9.6 oz) Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage crumbles (again!)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped
1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk (I used fat free and it was fine)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp dried oregano, or to taste

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. Layer 1/3 of the hashbrowns, sausage, onion and cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. In large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper and oregano. Pour over ingredients in crock pot, cover and turn on low for 8 hours. When done, thermometer in center should read 160°. 
I put mine on at around 11 pm Christmas Eve, and by 4 am the house was smelling good! We ate before 7, and it was wonderful : ) 

If I've messed anything up or forgotten something in the recipes, please let me know. I'm "writing out" my recipes now (instead of posting the hyperlinks) that I get from blogs, websites, etc, since I change them so much from the original recipes. I've added a print friendly button at the bottom of this page; you'll have to click "remove images" before printing to save ink. I'm looking for a different "print friendly" widget, so hang in there with me!

Happy eating, it's almost the New Year!

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