November 14, 2016
Recently, we had the privilege of traveling to the Blue Grass state of Kentucky. What a picturesque place! We were in the Lexington area where the landscapes were amazing. There were brilliant blue skies with fluffy Bob Ross clouds at every angle.
The thoroughbred horse farms with their spectacular barns and perfectly manicured grasses were a remarkable sight indeed. And the horses---what magnificent animals! Just watching them stroll around the grounds was thrilling but watching them race at Keeneland was exhilarating indeed!
While in Lexington, we visited with Cousin Jennifer, and her husband, Walter. They are lovely hosts and it was a trip to remember. They served us brunch on Saturday that included fresh Danishes, sausage casserole, and all manner of fresh fruit along with fresh juices and the best coffee ever! We ate while enjoying lively conversation with the hosts and other cousins and guests as well as enjoying a view of the local golf course that seemed to be an extension of their backyard. What a pleasure!
One of the things us cousins like to talk about when we get together is our moms. Our moms were sisters. I was rummaging around an old family photo album a few days before leaving on the trip and ran across a couple of interesting photos of our moms. It seems that they got together from time to time to take photos for our dads. After consulting with Cousin Jennifer, we decided that the photo below is of my mom and her mom.
The photo is lovely, and our moms look so pristine. Mine is the mom on the right and Jennifer’s is the mom on the left. We think that is Jennifer in her mom’s arms but we are not sure who the other little girl is. It was fun to try to figure out where they were and what they were doing before the photo was taken. It was what I found on back of that photo that startled me. It seems that our moms were a bit more spicy than we suspected! Our dads were in for a treat. See for yourselves— Scandalous!
Back to the recipe--the sausage casserole Cousin Jennifer served is not a new recipe. She shared the recipe with me years ago and it is perfect as is. I will give you the original recipe and my take on it. Both are delicious! Cousin Jennifer served the original version and, needless to say, there was none left!
This recipe is a universal pleaser. It’s great for brunch with fruit or with salad for dinner. It also serves nicely all on its own as a late night snack. It’s quick, easy and clean up is a breeze. Here’s the original recipe:
Cousin Jennifer’s Sausage Casserole
Here’s my version:
Preheat oven to 350o F. Use a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
6 Slices Bread (Day old is better, but fresh works too) – Cousin Jennifer used brioche (delish!) but I used plain sliced white in mine.
6 Large Eggs
½ tsp. Salt
1 13.5-oz. Can Coconut Milk (Don’t use the kind in the carton, it’s too thin.) (You can use 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk if you don't have any coconut milk.)
1 Pound Hot Sausage
8 oz. Grated Cheese (I usually grate my cheese but today I want a bit of variety so I am using ready-grated Mexican three cheese blend.)
4 oz. Cream Cheese
Spray the 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and line it with 6 slices of bread of your choice.
Crack the 6 eggs into a bowl, add the ½ tsp. of salt, and the coconut milk. You can mix it with a whisk or use a hand mixer. Only a real chef would break out the big stand mixer for this job.
Pour this luxurious egg mixture over the bread slices and lift up the slices a bit so it gets underneath. Let the bread-egg mixture soak while you brown the sausage.
Brown the sausage. Now this takes a few minutes so I enjoyed a cup of coffee, diced the cream cheese and rinsed the fruit while this was happening. All women can multitask. It’s a fact.
Pour the browned sausage over the bread-egg mixture (it doesn’t have to be cool) and dot the top with the pieces of cream cheese.
Put the grated cheese over the top and bake at 350o F for 25 – 30 minutes or until it is puffed and beautiful. The cream cheese rises to the top—Yum! Here’s what it looks like when it’s oven ready:
Here’s what it looks like when it’s done. It’s tempting to slice it right away but I caution you to wait because if you slice it too soon it become a runny mess. I waited about 20 difficult, hungry minutes before I sliced it this morning.
**Remember our most important safety rule: always use pot holders when placing or removing any dish into or out of the oven.**
Pour a nice hot cup of coffee or a glass of orange juice and enjoy a slice with fresh fruit!
Here's to our moms~