Friday, May 28, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Woohoo for Friday, and a super long holiday weekend!!  Once again I'm joining in with Emily and the girls to lsit 5 things that made my week fabulous.

I have a widget for this at the bottom of my blog, nad like my beloved Zoompanel, this is another website where you can rack up points for free things!  Swagbucks is a search engine powered by google, so you can literally win points just by searching.  (that image I posted is the points I won just for typing in "swagbucks").  Now, I will admit that the search engine is not as well organized as Google, and I do still use Google a lot, but I don't mind visiting a few sites if it means I can get free stuff!  This week I cashed some of my points in for a $10 Barnes & Noble online gift card and was able to order 2 used books with it!  Swagbucks doesn't have the greatest selection of prizes, but there are a lot of gift cards to choose from, and also a section to donate to the Nashville flood relief.

2.  My Kitchenaid Mixer!
The two of us are best friends :).  It has gotten me through marathon batches of holiday baking, helped me turn out tons of cakes and cookies, and has not failed me once!  I really should name it--it is that important in my life.  Any name suggestions?  (and I do have it in red it!)

3.  Enchantment: the Life of Audrey Hepburn

After my less than enthusaistic feelings towards Julie Powell's Cleaving, this book is like a breath of fresh air!  I adore Audrey.  We even share the same birthday!  I've only made it a few chapters in, and I am already fascinated with her life.  As a young child she even risked her life to help Holland's resistance in World War I!  Great book, excellently written, I can't wait to read more this weekend!

4.  So You Think You Can Dance
My favorite summertime show is back!  Woohoo!  And I'm excited about how they are changing things up, and about Mary Murphy taking a back-seat role (her screaming was making me crazy!).  Last night's premeir was awesome!

5. Kashi Organic Promise Cinnamon Harvest
This is some good stuff!  I have it basically every day before work with bananas and strawberries or blueberries.  Nice and filling with a hint of sweetness, and you know that there it is made of good real ingredients :).

Well, that's it for me!  What made your week fabulous??

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TWD: Banana coconut Ice Cream Pie

For this week's TWD challenge, Spike of Spike Bakes chose the Banana Coconut Ice Cream Pie on page 350 of Baking from My Home to Yours.
I wouldn't call myself a banana lover.  I  like them in my cereal, and love banana bread and cake, but am not one to eat them straight up or to eat frozen bananas or banana flavored things.  I also am not a huge fan of the banana/chocolate combination.  So, I almost skipped this week. 

But then, I was sick yesterday and wanted something sweet...and after a year of homemade baked goods, packaged cookies just don't do it for me anymore!  I looked in the fridge and freezer, and was completely shocked to see that there were no treats to eat!!!  How is that possible?? 

So I took another look at the recipe.  I didn't have butter cookies or chocolate ice cream, but it seemed like it would come together so quickly...So I subbed graham crackers for the butter cookies and used butter pecan ice cream to mix with the banana, rum & lemon juice for the filling.  Seriously, this pie was done in like 15 minutes!  the longest part of it was getting the coconut to brown, which was my fault b/c I used a small saucepan instead of a skillet. 

I've read this on so many many other blogs, but the crust is the real star of this recipe.  I mean, how can you go wrong with butter, coconut, and cookie crumbs?? 

I don't know if I will make this particular recipe again, not being a huge fan of banana and all, but I think this crust is amazing and I will definitely use it again.

Thanks for the pick spike! Check out the Leave your link post on the TWD site to see who else baked along this week.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cleaving by Julie Powell; a review

My lovely friend Sabrina regularly reviews the books that she reads on her blog, and I have decided to follow suit.  Tonight I think I am one of exactly 5 people in the USA not interested in the Lost finale, so I figured I would go ahead and start!

As you know, I am a bit obsessed with reading, and have been making a concentrated effort to read more books on top of the stacks and stacks of magazines that I accumulate. I've only finished 4 so far, which is kinda sad actually, but I will try to go back and review some of the others soon.  Also, I have become a library of sorts, lending out my books and DVDs to lots of friends.  Currently I have loaned out (at least) 36 books & dvds in the past 2 months (!!) and am now keeping lists of who gets what and when.  It's a nice way for me to find out what is good without actually having to read it!  Currently I am on a memoir/biography kick, so that's what you will see a lot of for the first bit at least.

So, on to Cleaving.

For those of you who don't know, this is the second memoir from Julie Powell, of Julie & Julia fame.  Around the time of the book/movie hoopla, it seemed to become a type of sport to hate on Julie, especially in the food blogging community, but I never fell in with that.  I read the original book before the movie and still occasionally meander to the blog that started it all to read through the posts.  Yes, Julie can be crass, and isn't a "cook" per se, but I kind of like the lack of refinement and the honesty that she has. 

Or, I did like it....

I won't lie.  This was a hard read.  Not hard as in poorly written and impossible to follow, but in that the book is so raw and graphic and painful and messy.  I don't like infidelity.  In the past year or so I have watched people that I know and love walk through the pain of affairs and try to salvage their relationships, but I have not seen it from this side.  From the side of the adulterer.  And I had a really hard time getting through that.  Julie writes in such detail of her relationships with her husband and lover and basically wanting to have both yet to run away from both at the same time.  I just can't wrap my mind around that kind of thinking I guess.  I knew before getting the book that this was the subject matter but I had imagined that it would be more about her marriage in the aftermath of the affair and how she and her husband "cleave together."  Nope.  Because the affair goes on for 2 years and her husband knows about it and has his own thing on the side too, yet they are staying married...yeah, just not the way my mind works. 

I do enjoy her writing style and the way she narrates the stories, though it is definitley self-centered (but isn't all blogging?).  The butcher shop parts are very detailed and could be boring--and/or disgusting--for someone who is not interested in food, but they just make me want to cook some meat.  (and there are plenty of recipes for the cook!) She weaves her life and the art of butchery together fairly well without being obviously metaphorical. 

Honestly, I most enjoyed the second half of the book: her apprenticeship has ended and she takes off to travel around the world learning about butchery in other cultures and, in doing so, (naturally) ends up learning more about herself and her relationships with the men in her life. The whole thing ends fairly anticlimactically and leaves the reader wondering...but that's life right??

So would I recommend it?  I can't say yes, but I didn't hate it.  I just think the reader should be prepared going in.  So many people fell in love with the Amy Adams portrayal of Julie in the movie, and this is not the same character.  This Julie is unlikeable for most of--even all of--the book (some people may argue she was unlikeable in Julie & Julia, so if you didn't like her then, you really won't like her now), and though I think there is some growth by the end, it is a portrayal of an inhereantly selfish and often immature woman who is constantly searching for things to fulfill her.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fab five friday

I considered skipping this week due to a case of the grumps and some loopiness from pain meds, but then i got on here and all my other fab-five peeps are posting, and i didn't want to feel left out ;)  So, once again I am joining Emily to post 5 things that made life fabulous this week!

1.  My George:

I adore this George Foreman grill that we got for our wedding!  I use at at least once a week, generally more often.  It's got waffle plates, grilling plates, and a baking plate that basically works as a griddle and you can even do cookies on it (though i haven't attempted that...)  I use it a ton for making hot sandwiches and quesidillas, and occasionally eggs and breakfast sandwiches.  And, most importantly, the plates are removable and dishwasher safe--woohoo!

2.  My Ipod Touch
I'm not fancy enough for an iphone or ipad, but I adore my ipod touch!  From being able to check my email or google something in bed (we have a no tv or computer in the bedroom rule) to storing pictures, and most importantly, to holding tons of music to play while I'm at work, I love this little guy!  I literally cannot work without music.  I've tried and I can't concentrate and I get all agitated.  So I keep my ipod plugged into the work computer and play to my heart's content!

3.  Potato soup

After having one of my wisdom teeth pulled, I am currently living on this.  Filling and delicious, and I don't have to chew.  perfect :).  I did puree my potatoes this time so there are no lumps to chew through.

4.  Scentsy Mayflowers scent

I adore this spring scent--it smells like roses and makes me so happy!  My favorite so far, and it's pink!

5.  Lortab

Okay...maybe something is wrong with me since I sometimes list pharmaceuticals as my favorites...but  these are really helping after the wisdom tooth removal.  It actually went very smoothly and I think that having them pulled rather than cut out is definitely the way to go!  They were only able to pull one, so I have to do this 3 more times, but it was over in about 15 minutes.  The worse part was that due to my tiny mouth, it took him a while to even get to an angle where he could get a good hold of the tooth...and then the crunching sound as it detached.  *shudder*  Oh well, they drugged me up and now I'm resting for a few days. (oh yeah, i've managed to have a cfs flare up at the same time with swollen lymph nodes and fever and all, so that is no fun either)

What made your week fabulous?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TWD: apple apple bread pudding

For this week's assignment, Elizabeth of Cake or Death? (who i adore by the way) chose the Apple-Apple Bread pudding from pages 408-409 of BFMHTY.

I also adore bread pudding!  I wasn't a huge fan as a child, but I always remember my dearest mommy getting it at restaurants and talking about it.  The first recipe that I ever formulated myself was my eggnog bread pudding which I always love during the holidays, despite the fact that I don't like eggnog!  There is just something comforting about it.  Not too sweet, warms you from the inside...I often eat it for breakfast when I have some sitting in the house (I mean, it's basically the same as baked french toast!) 

I was super excited about baking this recipe.  Also, b/c I have had 5 lonely little granny smith apples hanging out in my crisper for way to long.  I finally got to use them up!

This recipe is fairly involved...toasting, "apple-buttering" and slicing the bread; caramelizing the butter and sugar and cooking the apples; boiling the milk and cream and seperating the eggs (thankfully i had a bunch of yolks in the fridge from a recent white cake).  It just takes time and dishes, but oh is it worth it!  I burnt my first bit of sugar b/c I hadn't finished chopping the apples and was trying to add and chop, but thankfully I still had the time and ingredients to try that again (only used a tiny bit of apple to see if it was ruined).  Everything else came together pretty easily. 

The best part of the night is that my mommy came to visit me!  We had such a special time together.  While I was finishing up the pudding she came and sat on the stool in my kitchen, and ate one of my leftover tres leches cupcakes.  It's funny b/c it was like when I was a kid sitting on the stool in her kitchen while she was cooking :)  Then we watched the Duggars  (my parents remind me so much of Jim Bob and Michelle) while waiting for it to bake and had a wonderful time talking and laughing and looking at things on Etsy.  When it was time for her to leave I loaded her up with cupcakes, a fourth of the bread pudding, and cookie dough to feed my brother and sister who have recently moved back in after college.  I like to take care of her after all the years of her taking care of me :)

After she left I broke my "no eating after 8 pm" rule and had a little ramekin full of the bread pudding...and then is so delicious!  I am debating on taking it to work or saving the rest for myself this weekend...I think the pudding will be a nice soft treat/breakfast after I get one of my wisdom teeth pulled on I guess it's staying here.  sorry guys!

Thanks so much to Elizabeth for picking this fabulous recipe, and check out the TWD leave-your-link post to see who baked along this week!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

MSC Tres Leches Cupcakes

For this month's pick in the Martha Stewart Cupcakes Club, Lisa of Smiley's Sweets & Creations chose the Tres Leches Cupcakes from p. 48 of Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook. 

Procrastinator that I am, I baked these early this afternoon and "frosted" and photographed them immediately before sitting down to type this post.  I baked about a third of the recipe and came up with 6 cupcakes.  I need to not have so many sweets in the house!  It's killing me! 

I taste-tested half of one (they are VERY rich) and plan to send the rest home with my mom tomorrow since my younger sis and brother have moved back home from their respective dorm/college town and they are young and skinny ;)  

I thought these were pretty good...not out of this world.  The cake seemed a bit too eggy to me, and I should have only used a fourth of the "tres leches" mixture b/c they were so wet that they basically needed to be eaten with a spoon!  I was worried that I would not have enough cream to top all the cupcakes but I had the exact right amount :)

Thanks for the pick Lisa, and don't forget to check out the MSC blogroll to see how the other members did!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fab 5 Friday!

Yay for Friday once again!  I'm joining Emily and the gang to post a list of five things that made our week fabulous, here goes!

1.  the Beater Blade for my Kitchenaid Mixer!

 I have been lusting after these ever since I discovered them...if you bake much you know how annoying it can be to have to stop your mixer to scrape down the sides...and that hump in the bottom of the KA bowls drives me crazy!  Well, weep no more my friend!  The Beater Blade is here!  It scrapes down the sides of my bowl as I mix so there is no more stopping or unmixed bits at the bottom.  I am in love. :)  Thanks to my super-sweet mother in law for a birthday giftcertificate that paid for this baby! 

2.  My Bears. 

So I told you that I have been knitting up a storm lately, and this is one of my projects.  I have made 4 little brown bears in the past 2 weeks.  I found the free pattern at Hobby Lobby and decided it would be cute for my sister in law who is pregnant with twins. I made 2 bears before I came to a conclusion about size and whether or not to do a lining (i did line them, and was excited to use old t-shirt scraps that I had saved in my hoarding-ness), and then I had to learn how to knit w/more than one color (super easy).  The bears in the picture are the final result, and knit with the first initials of each of the twins.  My sis loved them too :)  I'm also excited about this new world of stuffed toys--i'm gonna use up my yarn making little toys!

3.  My new bag

(butch was interested...)
My super fun bloggy friend Danae (aka: The Busty Baker) made this bag for a recent giveaway, and I won it!  I have been using it all week for emergency grocery trips and to carry my knitting projects.  I adore the little cupcake!  Thanks so much Danae!

4.  It's Complicated

One of the few movies that hubs and I have gone to see in the theaters (we're cheap...) we bought it on blueray once it came out a last week.  LOVE this!  It is so funny and sweet at the same time...and I want to BE Meryl Streep's character (minus the divorce...)  I adore her bakery and her house and the way she dresses...I swear I must be older than 26...

5.  Longhorn Steakhouse
Hubs and I are routine kind of people, I will not lie. We keep trying to go to a new restaurant but we can never seem to stray from our favorite!  It is the one place that we are NEVER disappointed...and we always get the same thing: hubs gets the Renegade steak with garlic mashed potatoes and cinnamon apples; I get the Longhorn salmon (which is so much better than Red Lobster's) with rice pilaf and a baked sweet potato.  The bread is delicious and we both save half our meal and have it the next day!  It's a great little routine and I love it. 

What made your week fabulous?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD...just the wrong week

I had all the intentions of making the lovely Quick Classic Berry Tart chosen for this week's TWD challenge by Cristine of Cooking with Cristine...but sadly, once again, I was sidelined by illness.  I don't know what is going on, but it seems like right about every 3 weeks I get sick with a fever.  It is probably just related to my CFS/fibro/broken body, but it is annoying.  My house was crying out to be cleaned but I accomplished NOTHING all weekend.  Didn't even get to cook or make dessert for mothers day!  I did pry myself out of bed to go see my mom, and thankfully had some leftover casserole that I was able to scoop into a smaller dish and reheat... And I had the leftover ice cream from last week's TWD which I never posted about!  So here is my ice cream post...a week late. 

When I saw the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream (chosen by Becky of Project Domestication) I was SO excited because it was going to be my first time making ice cream...and with my new kitchenaid ice cream attachment!  Woohoo!  (and it was my birthday, which is also fun (; )  Being the ice cream virgin that I am, on Monday night I got all my ingredients out and ready and then grabbed the ice cream attachment..still in the box...out of my cabinet.  I started reading the instructions...Ohhh...the ice cream attachment has to be frozen for...15 hours!!!...before you can use it...hmmm....looks like there will not be any ice cream tonight.  So into the freezer my ice cream bowl went, and back into the refrigerator went all the ingredients.

Now, I had wanted to make it the night before so I would have time to post on Tuesday because, of course, Tuesday was my birthday and I had dinner plans with my parents (stupid hubs had a game to film.  boo.) But obviously that didn't work and I decided that I would make and post the ice cream on Tuesday night.  (you see how I don't understand ice cream?  it needs time)

So after my wonderful Mexican birthday dinner where I stuffed my face with chimichangas and mexican mush (and talked about some super exciting things that I will be able to reveal in about 3 weeks) I came home, spent a bit more time with my mom and then started on the ice cream.  Again. 

Just like Dorie says, the caramel mixture seized up like crazy and it actually took me a while to get it to smooth out--probably because I was using a pan that was way too small.  When I would stir the "custard" things would slosh and slur and then fizzle on my burners.  bah.  I also had my trusty instant-read thermometer out but the mixture really did not thicken like I think it should have.  It reached the required temperature, and in my impatience I decided to go ahead and pull it off the stove. 

Now I was ready to churn some ice cream! 

Oh wait...

The mixture has to cool?!?!?  After I've just spent all that time getting it up to 170 but not over 180 degrees?  BOO!!

So I stick the mixture into the fridge, and my ice cream bowl back into the freezer.  and wait.

30 minutes...still warm to the touch.

45 minutes...still slightly warm...

60 minutes.  Forget it.  I'm making ice cream!!

Well.  That didn't really work.  I poured it into the ice cream container and churned for at least 30 minutes but all it did was get cold and maybe a tiny tiny bit thick.  But hey, anything liquid will freeze right?  So I stuck it in a container in the freezer anyway hoping that magic would happen overnight.  

But it wasn't magic.  The next day I basically had sweetened frozen cream.  Very icy texture.  It still tasted good though.  

I spent a few days scraping bits of ice milk out of the container before I had the genius idea to put it in the fridge to let it melt and then (since it would be cold, right?) try to churn it and make ice cream.  

And guess what?  

It worked!!!!   

I made real, honest-to-goodness, Ice Cream!!!   I could tell that it was going better since it really thickened up as it was churning and I was so excited!

So even though I was too sick to make anything for Mother's Day, I had for real homemade ice cream that we ate over toasted croissants with sliced strawberries.  And it was quite lovely if I do say so myself :)

(oh...with the whole impatience thing...I didn't let my caramel cook long enough so I didn't get quite the depth of flavor that some of the TWD-ers got, but I think this suited the people I was feeding quite well.)

little kitty friend was very interested in the ice cream...

I don't know why I was such an impatient person with this challenge because I am normally very patient and don't mind waiting for things, but ice cream brings it out in me I guess!  Well, thanks so much to Betty for choosing this recipe, and sorry to Cristine that I didn't get to the berry tart--hope to do that soon!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day! A tribute to my wonderful mother :)

Yeah, yeah, you think you're mom is great...but that's just because you don't know my mom.  She is the most amazing wonderful mother that anyone could ever ask for!

my parents...B.C. (before children...)

I am my parents' first child and was born with a perforated intestine.  My dear sweet mother (and father) spent countless hours at the hospital while I underwent several surgeries and recoveries during the first few months of my life.  On her very first Mother's Day when their church asked all the mothers to stand up and be recognized, she stood up in tears while her new baby daughter was in the NICU.

in the hospital wearing a face mask in order to care for her newborn daughter (me!)

My mother has been self-sacrificing from the very beginning!  She stayed home with all her children so that she could raise us in a godly manner.  She home schooled us for periods of time, taught us a love of reading, how to be frugal, the joy of being a hostess, and exemplified what it means to be a loving wife and mother.  She has joyfully opened her home for nearly 30 years to college students who need a "mom" while at school.  She has served innumerable meals to hungry teenagers and college students, made treats to minister to her children's teachers, and blessed everyone with her gift of hospitality.  She is one of the few people that I know who truly has a servants heart. 

So many people joke about becoming their mothers, but I can honestly say that I aspire to be just like her--when people say that we are similar I take that as such a complement!  (and it is true...just look in our houses--they are even decorated the same!)

our family Christmas picture last year--mom is so beautiful!

Mommy, I love you so much.  Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to teach us to love the Lord and be good stewards of what we have been blessed with.  You are truly one of my very best friends and I adore this season of life that we are in right now.  I'm thankful that I can encourage you and "love-on" you now, even it it's only a fraction of what you have done for all of us over the years.  Thank you for modeling a godly marriage to me, it is so rare these days.  You are a woman of God and I am so blessed to have you!  I love you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a brunch for special ladies

Sorry that I have been MIA for a has been ca-razy.  I will update more on this later, but here in Bowling Green, KY we've also had some of the horrible flooding that has affected the midsouth lately, and it was my birthday, and I have some developments coming up in the next few months that I will tell you at the beginning of June,  and my house is a mess!

Before I post about recent happenings, I decided that I would like to give you some yummy yummy recipes that would be perfect if you want to have a mother's day brunch.  I will be having a family cookout, but I made these yesterday for some other very special ladies--Nurses!  That's right, today is Nurse Appreciation day--so get out there and hug a nurse or bring her (or him...there are male nurses, just not at my office) some goodies!
 some of our lovely nurses in front of their breakfast table

the spread :)

And now for the recipes...

So this coffee cake...when I saw it in one of my holiday baking magazines (you know...when i freak out and spend all my money...) I had to make it.  However, I did not need one this big for me and hubs (i'm already too fat...).  So I made it for my sister-in-law and her girls.  It got rave reviews...but I hadn't gotten to try it!  So when I started planning on what to make for Nurse Appreciation breakfast I couldn't get this one out of my head.  I actually scoured the rest of my recipes for an easier overnight coffee cake, but nothing looked this delicious, so at 8:50 pm I began to make the cake...not even my butter was softened!  I generally go to bed right around 10 and, needless to say, that didn't happen last night.  But I think it was worth it!


Cinnamon-roll coffee cake
Cuisine at home Holiday baking 2009

For the Caramel Topping:
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • pinch table salt
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
For the Streusel:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used regular sour cream)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350* F.  Coat a 9 inch round, 2 inch deep cake pan w/nonstick spray (i did not have this size pan, and used a 10 in. round springform pana bit of the filling leaked out of the bottom, so if you go that route I would recommend lining your springform pan w/parchement, or at the very least, set it on top of a baking sheet--which i did)

Stir together the 3/4 cup brown sugar, cream, and a pinch of salt for the caramel topping in a measuring cup (not sure why the measuring cup is "necessary").  Pour caramel into the prepared pan, spreading to coat bottom of the pan. Sprinkle pecans over caramel.  Also, I was a bit "off my game" last night and measured this out backwards at first...1/4 cup brown sugar to 3/4 cup cream.  Then I realized it was WAY too liquidy...anyone know a recipe that calls for that mixture that has already been combined??

Process the 1/2 cup born sugar, 1/3 cup flour, the 1/2 stick butter, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. salt fo rthe streusel in a food processor, pulsing until the mixture is sandy but without clumps; set streusel aside.

Whisk the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. table salt for the cake in a bowl; set dry ingredients aside.

Whisk together buttermilk, yogurt (or sour cream), and eggs in a measuring cup with a pouring spout (pouring spout is helpful here...); set aside.

Using a hand mixer (?? I used my kitchenaid), cream together the 1 stick butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a bowl, only until combined.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the creamed mixture, strating and ending with dry ingredients.  Blend only enough to incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter.

Spread half of the batter over teh caramel in the cake pan, then sprinkle w/half the streusel.  Carefully spread remaining batter over streusel in cake pan; top w/the remaining streusel. Okay, I don't think the seperation of the streusel is necessary.  Half of what I had on the bottom just made a mess and fell off, so when I make this again I will at least do 3/4 in the middle, maybe all of it.

Bake coffee cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.  Cool cake for 5 minutes on a rack, then run a paring knife around the sides to loosen cak.  Invert onto a serving platter while hot.  Let cake cool slightly before serving. 

Next is an overnight sausage breakfast casserole, a la Sarah!  I got some basic guidelines from and then threw together a dish based on what I had on hand.  Here it is!

Overnight Sausage Breakfast Casserole
  • 1--1 1/2 pkg. Kings Hawaiian Bread 
  • 1 lb. pork sausage, cooked and drained
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk (or one cup skim milk + one cup cream)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cup fiesta blend shredded cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (i really just eyeball the amount of cheese...) 
Tear Hawaiian bread into bits and layer across the bottom of a greased 9x13" pan 
Layer half the sausage over bread, followed by half of the cheese.  Then repeat layers.
Whisk together eggs, milk, and spices until combined.  
Pour over bread/sausage/cheese mixture, pressing down on the top of the solid ingredients to make sure that egg mixture reaches the top.
Refrigerate overnight if desired.
When time to bake,  preheat oven to 350* F.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until set.
**I also think this would be GREAT with veggies mixed in...peppers, onion, mushrooms, etc...but there are some picky eaters at my office so I stuck to meat and cheese ;)