My All-Time Favorite Egg Casserole

EggsYou could tell it was a holiday at our house yesterday – there was an egg casserole on the table!

And not just any egg casserole – but my all-time favorite “this is what I mean when I say egg casserole” egg casserole.

Seriously – this is my gold standard for egg casseroles.

My sister Sandy brought the original recipe home many years ago after spending a week helping a friend do VBS at her church.

It was the first time I had ever tasted an egg casserole and loved it immediately. The cream of mushroom soup on top makes it deliciously creamy!

Egg Casserole

8 slices of cubed soft bread (day old works well) about 8 cups
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound pork sausage, browned and drained, (or 2 cups of chopped ham or fried and crumbled bacon)
6 eggs
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup of milk

Layer the bread cubes, cheese, and sausage in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

In separate bowl, mix the eggs, 2 cups milk, and dry mustard. Pour over the bread, cheese and sausage. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Before baking – mix the cream of mushroom soup with the remaining 3/4 cup milk.  Pour over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Enjoy!

Bruno Burgers: Spamburgers Dressed Up

Spam Burgers

I grew up with Spam.

I actually kind of like Spam.  (Please don’t think too badly of me – my tastes have become slightly more refined as I’ve matured.)

One of my favorite Spam dishes is Spamburgers. They were always such a treat at home! Chopped Spam mixed with Velveeta cheese and toasted on a bun – what’s not to like?!

Soon after we were married, my husband was horrified when I mentioned my plan to make them. Spam was not in his vocabulary. (Hey – what can I say – I obviously married up! But I do like to remind him that his ancestors were the ones who brought the world Lutefisk – ‘nuf said!)

It took me awhile to figure out how to dress up this childhood favorite to appease even my wonderful yet “I’m not eating Spam” husband.

It was so simple – I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before! Chopped ham and cheddar cheese. Perfect!

We named them Bruno Burgers after Bruno’s deli on Busytown (my son’s favorite show at the time!)

Bruno Burgers
or Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Chop some ham in a food processor.
Chop an onion (or part of an onion) in the same food processor.
Add some cheddar cheese.
Add some ketchup and milk to bind them together.

That’s all! (It’s a very exact recipe – as you can tell!)

Open up some buns on a cookie sheet – or you can use bread.

Spread the bruno burger on the buns and bake at 400 degrees until they are bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Don’t want to run the oven- heat them in the microwave until the cheese melts.

These are a perfect way to use up some of that extra Easter ham. They are also great to feed a hungry youth group!

The ham mixture freezes well so it can be made ahead.

It’s still comfort food – just  little dressed up.

How Do We Iron Chef?

We’ve just returned from a fun week-end with my family. We traveled four hours north to my parent’s home where we met the rest of my siblings and their families for our annual spring “Remix.” Since distance and weather have made it difficult for us to get together during the winter months, we meet in early spring for a whirlwind weekend of food and fun.

One of our traditions during the Remix is our very own “Iron Chef” competition. Inspired by the show on FOOD Network, we choose a “Secret Ingredient”. Speculation and rumors start circulating months before the competition about what secret ingredient will be chosen!

When the officials (usually a group of grandchildren under Grandma’s watchful eye) have made the decision, they send word via email a few weeks before the event. This gives everyone time to think and come up with creative and amazing ideas. All family member’s are encouraged to bring an entry to the Remix using that ingredient.

Then during the remix we have our “competition” when all the entires are labeled and laid out on a table. We choose 2 or 3 family members to be judges. I even found chef jackets at a thrift store for the judges to wear so they look more “official”!

After the judges have tasted everything, they go off to deliberate while we sample all the goodies. Then each entry is given a creative prize title.

This year our secret ingredient was cheese. We had everything from a castle sculpted from cheese to Velveeta cheese fudge. There was the traditional entries, such as a cheesecake baked by my nine-year-old nephew. But we also had the silly entries, like the cheese popcorn that my brother in law took from the package and labeled “moon pebbles”.

There was a snowman cheese ball, cheesecake brownies, cheese straws, Red Lobster cheese biscuits, pain d’ fromage, artichoke cheese fondue, and even, believe it or not, Velveeta cheese truffles. (Which were not a hit!)

All ages participated, from the youngest grandchild (2 years old, with Mom’s help) to grandpa, whose Greek mozzarella bread won the prize for the best use of ethnic ingredients.

It’s a family tradition that combines creativity, laughter, and food, three things that define our family and every family gathering!

What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!