Recipes

Cheesy Sausage & Hash Brown Casserole

Waking up on Christmas morning is easily one of the most exciting feelings. The only thing to make that feeling even better is waking up to the smell of cheesy sausage & hash brown casserole baking away in the oven. This recipe is super simple & can easily be made ahead of time so you don’t have to wake up any earlier on Christmas morning to make breakfast! You can assemble the whole casserole a day or two in advance & just pop it in the oven in the morning!

Cheese Sausage & Hash Brown Casserole

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 2 20oz bags refrigerated hash browns
  • salt
  • 12 eggs, scrambled & seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large onion, medium diced
  • 1lb breakfast sausage
  • 6oz shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees & prepare a baking dish by spraying it with nonstick spray, then set aside.
  2. Cook the hash browns according to package & season with 1 teaspoon salt. As the hash browns begin to brown remove them to a large bowl. Once all the hash browns have browned & are moved to the bowl, begin cooking the onions.
  3. Sauté the onions in 2 teaspoons of oil, over medium heat, in the same skillet where you cooked the hash browns. Season the onions with ½ teaspoon of salt & cook until translucent & soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the onions are finished cooking, place them in the bowl with the hash browns & stir to combine.
  5. Return the pan to the heat & cook the sausage over medium heat until browned & cooked through. Make sure to break up the sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  6. Once the sausage has cooked through it’s time to assemble the casserole. 
  7. Begin by laying down the hash brown & onion mixture. Then scoop on the sausage using a slotted spoon to leave off any excess oil. 
  8. Pour over the scrambled eggs & tilt the pan around to ensure the eggs are evenly distributed.
  9. Finally, sprinkle the top with cheese* & bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Then bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 

Notes:

*This is the point where you can refrigerate or freeze the casserole if not serving right away. Wrap the dish, tightly, in plastic wrap & foil, then place in the fridge or freezer. Once you’re ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge & let it come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes before baking. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before baking. 

Recipes

Hearty Mushroom Stuffing

Thanksgiving can be a really difficult time for people who don’t eat meat. Most thanksgiving dishes appear to be vegetarian but in fact are not. Stuffing is a great example of that. Most stuffing recipes call for sausage or bacon, and almost every stuffing recipe calls for chicken broth. This Hearty Mushroom Stuffing replaces sausage with mushrooms and calls for vegetable broth instead of chicken. Stuffing is arguably the most delicious dish on the Thanksgiving table so I wanted to create a recipe that allows diners of every diet to enjoy! A vegan alternative to this recipe is coming soon as well! This stuffing is savory, filling, and even meaty! This is the perfect dish to bring to thanksgiving whether you’re dining with vegetarians or meat eaters!

There are a few key components to making a great stuffing. The first is the bread. You want to use a really delicious bread because this makes up a good portion of the dish. I like using French bread or ciabatta! The bread also needs to be fairly dried out so it absorbs the liquid. without getting mushy. Lastly, you need a very large bowl to mix all the stuffing ingredients well. Once you have all of these covered, you’re ready to make stuffing.

Hearty Mushroom Stuffing

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1lb French bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1lb Crimini mushrooms
  • ½ stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 6-8 celery stalks, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2-2 ½c vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13 baking dish.
  2. Begin by drying out the bread. This can either be done by leaving the bread cubes uncovered overnight or they can be toasted in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes until they have dried out. Once the bread cubes have been dried out, set them aside in a large bowl.
  3. Clean the mushrooms by wiping the caps down with a wet paper towel or dish rag until all the dirt is removed. Remove the stems and roughly chop the mushrooms.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms, dry (no fat in the pan) until they have released all of their moisture, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to stir every few minutes so nothing sticks to the pan.
  5. Remove the mushrooms once they have completely released all of their moisture and set aside in the bowl with the bread cubes.
  6. Return the pan to medium heat and melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the veggies on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and slightly browned. 
  7. Once the veggies have become soft, raise the heat to high and add the wine. It will sizzle and start to bubble. Use your spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, removing and browned bits that have formed. 
  8. Let the wine reduce slightly for 2 minutes then add the herbs. Stir to combine then set aside in the pan to cool slightly.
  9. In a medium sized bowl or measuring cup, scramble the eggs and add 1 ½ cups of broth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  10. Add the veggies to the bowl with bread and mushroom and stir to combine. 
  11. Slowly add the egg broth mixture to the bowl of bread and veggies, stirring gently to make sure everything is incorporating evenly. Keep adding the egg broth mixture until the bread has completely absorbed it. The amount of liquid you will need will depend on how dry your bread is and how much liquid it is absorbing. You want the bread to be completely moist to the touch without too much excess liquid in the bowl. Once all the egg mixture has been added, you can continue adding broth until the bread has reached the proper consistency. It will be anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup of extra broth. I only used an extra ½ cup of broth once the egg mixture was added.
  12. Pour the whole bread and veggie mixture into your prepared baking dish, cover it with foil and bake it in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  13. After the first 30-35 minutes, raise the heat to 425 degrees and remove the foil. Bake the stuffing for another 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and browned. 
  14. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy! 
Recipes

Lamb Dogs with Tomato Cucumber Slaw

I’m hitting you guys with one last grilling recipe before Fall officially hits! Living in California, the transition from Fall to Summer is always an interesting one because it’s usually still hot & sunny well into October. Since the rest of the world has actual seasons, I promise Fall recipes are on their way! But in the meantime, let’s grill up some Lamb Dogs while we still can!

This recipe can be altered to use beef or regular store bought hotdogs if lamb isn’t something you enjoy or are able to get your hands on. Whatever meat you decide to use, its about a pound for 4 dogs. The hardest part about this recipe is forming the dogs, so once that part is done this dish comes together very quickly!

These dogs are a really nice balance between savory, hot, meat (LOL) & a cool, crunchy slaw topping. To prep the slaw, small dice the cucumber & tomatoes (seeds removed). Top with olive oil, Vinegar, salt & pepper. Stir to combine & leave in the fridge until serving time! The longer the slaw sits, the more the flavors will develop so definitely prep the slaw before anything else!

Next, prep the dogs. If you can find lamb sausages that would be a fantastic substitute but I couldn’t find any at my local grocery stores so I used ground lamb & formed my own. Divide the ground lamb into 4 equal portions & form into long round sausage shapes. They will shrink on the grill so make sure to form them a little larger than you want the finished dogs to be. Season generously with salt & pepper & let them sit at room temperature while the grill heats up.

Preheat your grill to medium high heat with one side of the grill set to a lower heat. These can also be cooked in a skillet indoors if you don’t have access to a grill or grilling weather. When the grill is ready, spray it with nonstick spray & lay down the dogs on the hotter side. Cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes, until a nice crust forms on the surface. Once the dogs are seared on both sides, transfer to the cooler side & cook with the grill closed until they reach an internal temp of 160 degrees. About 10 more minutes.

Once the dogs are cooked through, remove them from the grill & set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes while you prep the buns. Grill the buns for a few minutes until they are nice & toasted. Spread each bun with 1 tablespoon of red pepper spread & top with a dog.

Next, pile on the tomato & cucumber slaw & finish with feta cheese. Voila! Dogs are ready!

Lamb Dogs with Tomato Cucumber Slaw

Makes: 4 dogs

Ingredients:

  • Half a large hot house cucumber, small diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded & small diced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • 4 bakery style hot dog buns (I used brioche buns found at Whole Foods)
  • 1/4 cup red pepper spread
  • 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Recipes

Greek Burgers

Summer is in full swing which means I’m outside grilling as many meals as possible! Burgers are a super easy lunch or dinner to throw together while everyone’s hanging out by the pool, drinking & working on their tans! Us millennials don’t always want to spend all day in the kitchen but we want good food & we want it fast! I know when my friends are over & we’re hanging by the pool, I don’t like being in the kitchen for too long trying to whip up a yummy lunch or dinner. That’s why I rely on pre-formed burger patties. They’re super simple to just throw on the grill when you’re hungry & they can be found at just about any grocery store, in just about any quantity!

Starting with a good quality patty & soft burger bun, the possibilities are endless. Your friends & family can customize their burgers with whatever toppings they like & everyone’s happy! Sounds like a recipe for a great afternoon if you ask me!

I bought my ingredients for these burgers from Trader Joes but everything in this recipe can be found at any local grocery store. This recipe is also a great starting point & can be altered to fit your needs & desired flavor profile!

These burgers have just three simple toppings & one delicious spread, all of which can be prepped ahead of time & kept in the fridge so when the hunger hits, you & your guests can be eating in no time!

You are more than welcome to roast your own red peppers, they’re delicious when made at home, but in my opinion they are just as delicious when pulled out of a jar. Summertime meals are all about convienience in my house (especially on pool days) so I used jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe. To prep the peppers, drain them of excess liquid & slice into thin ribbons. Next are the cucumbers, which are sliced very thinly on a mandolin but can easily be done using a sharp knife. Lastly the cheese, which is clearly the most important ingredient on any burger. This recipe calls for feta which is a very dry, salty cheese that’s generally sold in a big block & for this recipe, I just crumbled it. If you’re not a feta fan, goat cheese or even Monterey Jack cheese would be delicious.

To grill the burgers, preheat your grill to medium high heat & spray with cooking spray to ensure nothing sticks. You want your grill to be hot enough to create a good sear on the burger, but not too hot that it chars the burger completely before cooking it through. Before the burgers go on the grill, season with salt & pepper on both sides. Everyone likes their burgers cooked to different doneness so this part will depend on whether you like your burgers on the rare side or the more well done side. I prefer my burgers to be medium (a little pink in the middle) so I cooked them for about 4-5 minutes on each side. This part will also depend on the thickness of your burger, but if you’re unsure, an instant read thermometer is a great tool!

When the burgers have just a few minutes left, it’s a great time to throw the buns on the grill to toast so everything finishes around the same time.

Assembly time! Once the buns are off the grill, spread on your red pepper spread (or other spread). Top with the burger patty & immediately top with cheese so it begins to soften from the heat of the patty. Next, dress up your burger with red peppers & cucumbers. Top with the other bun & voila! Burgers are ready! Can you believe how easy this was?? Perfect summer dish if you ask me!

Greek Burgers

Makes: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 4 pre-formed hamburger patties
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • oil or cooking spray, for the grill
  • 4 bakery style hamburger buns
  • 1/2 cup red pepper spread (or red pepper hummus)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced thin
  • half a large cucumber, sliced thin
  • 6oz feta cheese, crumbled

Recipes · Uncategorized

Classic Blue Cheese Dressing

Makes: about 1 1/2- 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 6oz blue cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, reserving 2oz of the blue cheese, using a whisk.
  2. Add remaining blue cheese & gently mix into dressing.
  3. Store dressing in a container in the fridge for up to a week.

 

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