Classic Sausage Breakfast Casserole

I love making Jimmy Dean’s sausage breakfast casserole – its so easy and delicious.  I don’t let mine sit overnight, but you certainly can.  It was funny because Hannah’s bedroom is right off the kitchen.  She said she could hear me start to brown the sausage and had a thought to get up and help me, but then decided if she fell back asleep when she woke up again it would be done and ready to eat!

Jimmy Dean’s Sausage Casserole

  • 1 tube of Sage Jimmy Dean sausage
  • 6 cups mixed bread, cut into chunks (I had some stale bread that was perfect)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Brown the sausage.  In a large bowl, mix the eggs and milk together.  Toss in the bread and press down to make sure all the bread gets the egg mixture.  Toss in the cooked sausage and mix well.  Place in a large casserole dish.  Top with shredded cheese and bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Hannah bought me the mother load of hot sauces!  12 in all – one for every month in 2012!

I started with this one – it was really good!

My piece of heaven:

The weather wasn’t too bad for Chicago – it was in the low 40’s, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a whole lot of wind.  Hannah and I ended up going on a 45 minute walk – so refreshing!  This is us trying to say “Merry Christmas!”

Tony felt like he might be up for eating something more substantial for Christmas dinner.  Hannah and I went to the Fresh Market and I was walking back and forth trying to decide what to make.  I didn’t want to do any type of red meat, I thought it might be too heavy for Tony after eating such bland food.

I ended up buying a roasting chicken and decided to grill it.  I made baked potatoes on the side and it was perfect.  I brined my chicken the day before and then just put a dry rub on the chicken – it had a bit too much spice for Tony – lots of peppercorns!

Doesn't everyone have a snowman apron? 😀

The chicken turned out perfect – super juicy and tender.  And its going to make a mean chicken noodle soup today!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Hannah and I are going to hit up the gym this afternoon when she gets home from work.  And we may end up in the hot tub! 😀

Make it a great day!

 

Winners! Super Crunchy Granola

Hope everyone is set for Christmas by now!  This year is a weird one for me – no one is coming over, Tony is still eating bland food and its weird not to be spending most of the day in my kitchen making a big feast!  Pretty sure I am not going to be making a crown roast for one, so I may just have a bowl of leftover chicken noodle soup and some crunchy bread.

I am making a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning, it would feel like Christmas without it. 😀

Now onto the winners of the Chobani!  I used random.org, and it chose these numbers:

13 – Amanda at Getting to Goal

15 – Joanne (blog reader) 😀

54 – Marie at Feeding Five (you need to check out her 2011 Christmas card – so cute!)

Congrats!  Send me your mailing address to mybizzykitchen@gmail.com and I’ll forward it to Chobani.

I knew I wasn’t going to have time to make my boss granola before I was off for the long weekend.  She tends to like really crunchy granola, but I hadn’t been too successful.

I decided to toss the granola in a sugar syrup before baking and it worked!

Supa Crunchy Granola

  • each 2/3 cup serving is 7 PointsPlus

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Combine everything but the water and 3/4 cup brown sugar and chocolate chips in a large bowl.  Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Put the water and brown sugar in a pan and bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, stir occassionally for about 5 minutes – you want to make sure the sugar has all dissolved.

Pour the hot sugar mixture over the granola and mix really well.  Divide the granola between two jelly rimmed pans, and bake for 40 minutes, mixing the granola and switching the pans.  Once cool, add the chocolate chips and store in an air tight container.

This is the only granola I’ve made that’s stayed crunchy – usually its crunchy when its cooled, but when I’ve put it in a container before, it just gets soft again. Success!

I am going to make a similar version today, but with pumpkin and slivered almonds. 😀

I probably won’t post again until Monday – I just want to thank everyone who takes the time to stop by my little corner of the world, your emails, support and comments are much appreciated!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Happy Anniversary Tony!

Yep, today marks our 11 year anniversary!  It’s hard to believe I’ve spent 1/4 of my life with Tony!  We’ve had our ups and downs, medical scares, unemployment, etc., but we have survived it all and have lived to celebrate another year together.

We have a doctor appointment this morning, so this is going to be quick, so quick I stole the pictures from last years post, but maybe there are some new readers who haven’t seen them yet.

We got married on a beach in Naples, Florida – near where Tony’s parents lived.  The only people in attendance was my Mom, Tony’s parents and our kids were the best man and maid of honor.  It was perfect!

My dress cost $19 at Filene’s basement – it was obviousy winter in Chicago so it was a summer dress that was marked down 90%.

This picture was from a trip we made to Florida – we were at a winery that made the worst wine we’ve ever tasted – um, should have read the pamphlet  – it was all moscoto wine – super sweet!

And we are still as goofy as the day we met 😀

We had decided to have our anniversary dinner at Ruth’s Chris, but obviously we’ll have to take a raincheck on that – I don’t think Tony can go from eating bananas and applesauce to a 28 ounce ribeye!

So why not have a giveaway to celebrate?!  The find folks at Choboni want you to enjoy a giant 3-pack of yogurt – check it out:

These are three, 32 ounce containers!  It’s funny, because as I was taking them out of the box, I saw this and thought they sent me cornbread flavored yogurt!  Um, turns out it was just a recipe for cornbread!

THREE lucky winners will receive a case of yogurt, one of each 32 oz container.
For a chance to win, simply leave a comment here and tell me how many years you’ve been married, or if you aren’t married, where you would like to go on your honeymoon.  If you tweet the giveaway, leave a second comment for two tries to win.
Giveaway ends Saturday, December 24h.  Winners will be chosen by random.org. Good luck!!

Make it a great day!

Stories

UPDATE:  Um, for all you bloggers out there, you have to push “publish” for people to actually see what you wrote!

I love hearing peoples stories.  Everyone has stories to tell.  When Tony was in the hospital, two nights before he left he got a roommate that he actually clicked with – his roommate had been diagnosed with lymphoma, was about to start chemo, and they two of them connected in a way that reassured them both – Tony described his colon cancer scare, surgery and recovery earlier in the year, which I think helped his roommate realize that the word “cancer” doesn’t necessarily equal “death.”

Tony is still slowly coming around – I feel bad because I either do too much or too little and I can’t seem to find a happy medium to help him. 😦   Today is my last day at work so I’ll be home for the next four days – hopefully his appetite will come back too – he’s only had bread, bananas and applesauce the last week!

We had my office Christmas luncheon yesterday, but it didn’t start until 2:00.  For breakfast I had another hash – 4 ounce potato, egg, this time chicken sausage (60 calories for the whole link!) and baby spinach with a super juicy orange from my PIL.  I ate half the orange with breakfast and other half around noon.

I was kind of in charge of our holiday party – I had a budget, my boss and I selected the apps and menu, and I thought it went really well.  Here are two ways to save money at a holiday party at the restaurant:

1.   See if they have a corking fee.  We wanted to offer wine and beer.  The least expensive wine they offered started at $32 a bottle.  I called and found out that they had a $10 cork fee – so I could bring in wine at a significant discount.  If you are a member at World Market you already get a 10% discount right off the top on all their wines, and if you buy more than 4 bottles, you get an additional 10% off.

I was able to buy 3 bottles of Cupcake Chardonnay for $6.99 a bottle, and 3 bottles of Cupcake Merlot for $7.99 a bottle, even with the corking fee we were still saving rougly 50% over the restaurant wine bottle prices. 😀

They also wanted to charge $8 per person for dessert.  I ended up buying these cute holiday Chinese boxes and I made the cookies myself – between the cost of the boxes (only .99 cents at Michaels!), and the cost of the ingredients for the cookies I made, I got dessert covered for $3 per person.  I just handed them out at the end of our meal.

I hadn’t planned on eating any appetizers, but I was really hungry by 2:30 in the afternoon.  I had four fried dill pickles (holy yum!) and a slice of pear, goat cheese flat bread which was really good.

And because it was nearly 3:45 by the time we ate, I knew this would be my lunch and dinner, so splurged on their signature Monk Burger – rare burger (love that they do rare burgers!) with Tillamook cheddar cheese and hand cut fries.  I ate 3/4 of the burger and maybe 10 fries.

Their burgers are so flavorful and juicy – worth the splurge!  I ended up snacking on a bit of Chex mix later in the night, so all in all it wasn’t too bad of a food day.  Maybe just lacking some veggies and fruit!

Does everyone have a four day weekend?  I assume everyone has the Friday and Monday off for Christmas, that is unless you work retail!  I will have a five day weekend – hoping to be a better nurse for Tony during my time off!

Make it a great day!

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Deck the Halls! And the Best 2 Point Stir Fry Sauce

When my alarm went off at 6:30 yesterday morning, Tony was already awake and watching the morning news.  Every ounce of my being wanted to just stay in bed and snuggle, but I knew I had planned to get a workout done before work.  So up I got. 😀

30 Day Shred is no longer on demand, and I am so not techinical enough to figure out how to work the dvd player in the back room, so I picked something called “Athletic Agility.”  I basically picked it because it was a perfect 35 minute routine.  Other than the fact that instructor kept saying “Boom, there it is!” after showing you what to do, it was really hard and non-stop.  I was sweaty and our heat hadn’t even kicked on yet for our day time setting. 😀

I prepped my meals on Sunday pretty much for the week – well, at least breakfast and lunches.  Tony is still just eating bread, applesauce, etc. – his appetite has not come back as of yet, even though I try expanding his requests with more fruit!

Breakfast was 3.75 baked potato, chopped, 1 egg, 2 ounces deli ham and baby spinach with a side of fresh fruit – it comes in at only 5 WW points.

Work was so busy – I was pulled in lots of different directions, so before I knew it, it was 1:15!  I was hungry, so I was more than ready for lunch – an Italian stuffed pepper for one.

  • 1 large green pepper
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 ounces raw Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 ounce cheddar cheese

Microwave the pepper whole on the “fresh vegetable” setting.  Meanwhile, brown the Italian sausage in a medium pot – once almost cooked, pour out any grease and add remaining ingredients except for the cheese.

Once the pepper is cool enough to touch, cut off the top, and stuff the tomato sausage mixture into the pepper, topping it with the cheddar cheese.  You can bake at 350 for 15 minutes, and then finish it off under the broiler for a couple minutes.  Since I knew I was going to reheat this at work, I skipped that step and nuked it for 3 minutes.

Once at my desk I cut it all up and while it looks like dog food, it was spicy and delicious! 😀  The pepper is 9 WW points and the 1 oz. of bread makes lunch 11 points.

Since it was just me for dinner, I decided to make myself a stir fry – its been ages since I’ve had one!  Only problem is I was out of stir fry sauce 😦   So being the Queen of condiments, I came up with my own sauce.

Spicy basil lime stirfry sauce for one:  2 WW points

  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Thai Kitchen Red Chile paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Mix it all together and set aside.  Heat a wok on high.  When it starts to smoke, add 1 tsp. coconut oil (or oil of choice – just not olive oil!) and add meat.  I had 3 ounces of super thin sliced pork.  Cook for barely a minute and remove.  Add in 3 cups of mixed veggies – I had broccoli, broccoli slaw, carrots and bean sprouts.  Add to the wok, add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth and put the lid on for 2 minutes.

Stir the veggies, then add the stir fry sauce and pork back in.  Cook for 1 additional minute – on this high heat it doesn’t take long and I like tender crisp veggies.  Garnish with 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.  All together this big bowl comes in at 11 WW points.

Ha – love that the cord to my coffee maker was trying to get in the picture!  I loved this sauce – just enough heat, brightness of the lime juice and just a hint of sweetness from the honey.

Stats for Monday (they are back!)

  • 27 WW points
  • 35 minute kickboxing
  • no walk at lunch – too busy 😦
  • average blood sugar 147

Tony is still having a hard time getting around – I feel so bad for him. 😦  I probably should have stayed home with him yesterday – but I only have today and tomorrow and then doctor day with him on Thursday, then I am off for the long holiday weekend.

I don’t have any awkward family Christmas photo today, but this video makes me smile and feel the Christmas spirit!  My SIL posted it on her FB page – thanks Laura!