Pizza Soup

SoupaWith yet another snow storm expected tonight – I guess winter isn’t quite done with us yet!

There’s still time to put  some hearty and warming soup on the menu.

One of our favorites is this very easy pizza soup.

Just a few ingredients to stir together and heat up, either on the stove top or in the crock pot.

It’s warm, satisfying, and really yummy.

We love it with a green salad, fresh rolls, Italian bread sticks, or even grilled cheese sandwiches.

Pizza Soup

1 pound ground beef or sausage
2 cans (26 ounces each) condensed tomato soup
6-1/2 cup water
1 jar (28 ounce) spaghetti sauce (I use one quart of homemade)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1- 16 ounce bag rotini noodles
2 cups cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef or sausage. Drain the grease.  Add to soup kettle or Dutch oven with the tomato soup, water, spaghetti sauce, and Italian seasoning.

Bring to boil. Add the package of rotini noodles. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until tender, about 15 minutes,  stirring often.

Stir in the cheddar cheese.

Serve warm with additional cheese to garnish.

You can make this soup in the crock pot – just add the browned meat, tomato soup, water, spaghetti sauce and Italian seasonings to the crock pot. Cook on high for three hours. Then you can either add the noodles and cook for another 30 minutes, or just cook the noodles on the stove and stir them in just before serving.

To spice things up – add some pepperoni, a can of mushrooms, or some  Canadian bacon pieces. Or throw some diced onion and green pepper into the meat while it’s browning.

Need it gluten free? Use your favorite gluten free pasta or omit it altogether and add extra meat or veggies.

It’s as flexible and versatile as pizza!

Enjoy!

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!

“Chwistmas” Sausage

MeatI was in the midst of Christmas preparations Saturday afternoon when I heard a timid knock at the door.

I opened it to discover two adorable Amish children on my step, a little girl about seven and her five year old brother.

All rosy cheeked with big eyes – I decided that they must be from Herman’s, our southern neighbors, since the youngest ones to the north are all boys.

I couldn’t help but smile at their cuteness as I said, ” Well hello. How can I help you?”

The adorable little Amish girl looked terrified as she handed me a plastic grocery bag, “This is for you.”

I smile again and said, “Oh, thank you!”

My response must have given her courage, because she gave me a tentative little smile and added, “It’s ‘fwesh’ sausage.”

Then I understood – Herman’s had butchered that week and the older ones were all busy helping, so the younger ones were given the task of delivering a gift of sausage to the neighbor lady -me!

I gave them an even bigger smile and said, “Oh – that sounds yummy!”

She smiled a little bigger and said eagerly, “It’s ‘alweady’ salted and peppered!”

“Oh , so all I need to do is cook it and eat it?” I ask.

She’s nodded and added, “It’s for your Chwistmas!”

“Oh, Christmas sausage! That’s the best kind!” I say.

I’m rewarded with two very big, very relieved smiles.

“You stay right there!” I tell them – and walk into the kitchen and find two of the most sprinkle-covered sugar cookies.

Their eyes got big and they grinned from ear-to-ear as I put one in each of their mitten-covered hands.

“Thank you!” was their heart-felt response as they turned and started the half- mile walk home.

I smiled as I watched them go.

“Chwistmas” sausage, indeed!