Eric and I are always arguing about the lights in our house. (It has nothing to do with the electricity bill, which is what my parents were always yelling at me about.) I like to be able to see what I’m doing. Eric likes ambiance, which means lamplight only. This is great if you have lots of lamps. Bring on the ambiance, I say, if you have enough lamps.
But we don’t. So I always get into trouble when I walk into the kitchen and flip the lights on (to see what I’m doing) and I’m always moaning to Eric that I feel like I live in the 14th century or something.
The addition of the Christmas tree has decreased contention in our home considerably. Eric loves the extra ambiance. I love Christmas. (It makes me feel more goodwill toward men, i.e., less likely to complain about living in a cave.) It’s a win-win.
I think the moral of the story here is that Christmas solves all problems.
Let me introduce you to my favorite breakfast casserole of all time. I used to think that I liked most breakfast casseroles, and that they are kind of hard to mess up. Wrong. I’ve tried quite a few ones over the past couple years and they were all failures. But this one is a gem. It hasn’t got any surprises in it, just your basic potatoes-eggs-ham. Perfect. Plus you can do it overnight, so this is a golden recipe for the non-morning person who hates strata (like me.) This is a great recipe for Christmas morning.
Easy Breakfast Casserole
Makes 12 servings
1 package (30 oz) frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
1-1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups cubed black forest ham*, 2 thick slices (a regular ham steak works too)
1 cup evaporated milk, or cream
3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
salt and pepper to taste
In a greased 9×13 inch pan, layer potatoes. Pour melted butter over potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Layer ham and cheeses over potatoes. Whisk together eggs, cream or evaporated milk, and salt; pour on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cover with foil if eggs get too brown.
In a greased 9×13 inch pan, layer potatoes. Pour melted butter over potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Layer ham and cheeses over potatoes. Whisk together eggs, cream or evaporated milk, and salt; pour on top. (If you know time is going to be tight in the morning, shred all the cheese, cube the ham, and whisk together the eggs the night before and refrigerate it. That way you can just layer and bake.) Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cover with foil if eggs get too brown.
*You can substitute cooked bacon or sausage. I would guess about a half pound on the sausage; bacon will probably be about 6-7 slices.