Sunday, September 11, 2011

Maple Sausage and Waffle Breakfast Casserole ***

I've had this on my to-try list since well before my oven went out, so I was thrilled to finally have a chance to make it.  I threw it together last night while supper was cooking, so I was able to let it refrigerate overnight.  I just noticed what it says about using the plastic wrap and putting something over it to hold that down.  My baking dish has a plastic cover, so I just put that on it.  It came out fine, so I don't really see what the purpose is of doing it the other way.  Oh well.  I really didn't make any changes, other than I left out the red peppers (because I forgot to get any), and I sauteed the onions and green peppers with the sausage while it cooked, instead of doing the steps separately.  Again, it came out great, so I don't see a need to do it the other way. 
Anyway, we really loved it!  The kids are even looking forward to having the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow, which is an absolute shocker.  We love maple-flavored sausage anyway, but the taste of the green peppers and eggs added in give it another wonderful dimension.  Normally, casseroles with bread in them tend to be too doughy and mushy for me, but the waffles held up a little better than the bread.  Toasting them first just helps even more.  As easy as this is, I think we'll be having it on the weekends many, many times in the future.  :-)

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ from Cassie Craves website)

8 frozen waffles
1 small onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 pound maple sausage
1-1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-1/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Toast waffles in a toaster until browned. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a skillet until no longer pink and drain on paper towels. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, sauté onions and peppers until softened. Transfer to bowl with sausage.
3. Coat an 8 x 8 inch square baking dish with non-stick spray or butter. Arrange 4 waffles in the bottom and sprinkle with half the sausage/vegetable mixture and half the cheese. Repeat layer, with remaining waffles, sausage/vegetable mixture and cheese.
4. Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl with the syrup, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the waffles layers. Cover with plastic wrap and set a weight on top (like a baking dish holding a couple cans of food). Refrigerate overnight or for at least 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, uncover casserole and bake 45 to 50 minutes until edges are puffy. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yummiest Green Beans Ever **

These were pretty good.  I like the flavor of the honey mustard and ham, which totally surprised me.  I don't think they work well with the frozen beans, though.  I had to cook them twice as long, just to get them to stop having that "wet" feeling to them.  I know Amy said she used fresh green beans, and I think that would be delicious.  I'd also consider trying canned beans, and just cutting out the salt.  You would just have to cook it long enough to warm the beans, which would probably be better than the frozen.  Either way, for as easy as they were, I'd probably make them again.  They didn't wow us or anything, but everybody ate some, with no complaints.

(Amy ~ amylz ~ All Recipes)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped cooked ham
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 (16 ounce) package frozen cut green beans, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon honey mustard
kosher salt to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and ham; cook and stir until brown bits start to show up on the bottom of your pan, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Mix the red wine vinegar into the pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. The vinegar will evaporate quickly - don't panic. Mix in the mustard, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the green beans and stir to coat. Cook just until tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and serve.
Yields: 5 servings

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spaghetti Tacos ****

I love that when I tell the boys we're having Spaghetti Tacos for dinner, my announcement is met with excitement and not the usual griping that we encounter with meals.  No, this is not the healthiest main dish, so I always make sure to serve it with lots of veggies.  I want to try it with shredded zucchini sometime.  I've done that with regular spaghetti before, and it's always turned out great.  This time around, I tried angel hair pasta instead of spaghetti, thinking it would be easier for the kids to keep it in the tacos.  Score!  They loved the change, and so did hubby and I.  As usual, the kids had theirs on the taco shells, and hubby and I had ours plain with salsa and cheese on top.  So good!  That's my favorite part about them.  They are so versatile.  This has become one of our favorite meals.  The taco seasoning makes it so much tastier than regular spaghetti.  So good!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy)

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 jar Sauteed Onion and Mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 box spaghetti noodles
12 hard taco shells
Salsa, optional
Cheddar cheese, optional
Lettuce, optional

Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain and return to pot.
Brown meat in pan until no longer pink; drain.  Add taco seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until sauce thickens.  Add spaghetti sauce and cook until warmed.  Add to noodles and mix thoroughly.
To assemble the tacos, place a spoonful of salsa in the shell.  Sprinkle with a small amount of cheese.  Finally, finish filling the shell with spaghetti.  Add lettuce on top, if desired.
Very messy, but very yummy!

Previous reviews:
My boys both love iCarly. As with so many other kids, they saw the episode where they were eating Spaghetti Tacos and begged me to make them. This was my attempt at them, and I have to say, I was very impressed with it. The whole idea seems kind of crazy, but the salty crunch of the taco shell is wonderful with the spaghetti. Hubby wasn't as crazy about the shell part as the rest of us were, but he did love the addition of the taco seasoning to the spaghetti. He ate one taco and then ate the spaghetti by itself, with spaghetti and cheese on top. This is definitely a winner for us. The kids both raved about it. Plus, it makes enough that I could send some spaghetti with Hubby for lunch tomorrow and still have leftovers for the kids to have the tacos again this weekend. Score! I served it tonight with Roasted Asparagus.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes ***

Oh, wow.  We loved these babies.  The kids didn't want to even try them, since they don't normally like tomatoes, but since we have the "try a bite" rule around here, they gave it a shot.  They both loved them!  The best part was that the house smelled divine while they were cooking.  I got the recipe from my friend Leah (thank you, girl!), and I knew as soon as she posted it that I had to try it.  That alone is really strange, since I don't care for cooked tomatoes at all.  Leah suggested putting a little mozzarella on each tomato and then sprinkling it with the parmesan.  I'll definitely stick with that.  I think I'll put the parmesan on underneath the mozzarella next time, though, just to soak up some of the juices.  I have to admit, I didn't measure anything with this, lol.  I just sprinkled all the spices over everything.  Definitely use foil on the pan, because the cheese that comes off will burn and stick a bit.  This is so easy and so yummy that I am going to be making it many, many times.  Yum!

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ My friend Leah, via

4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450* F.
Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
* Amy's notes: I used mozzarella and just sprinkled a little on each tomato.