Yes, it’s another crowd-pleasing breakfast casserole–a special request from Junior who surprised us with a visit home from university. Though I made this in individual casserole dishes, it can be prepared in a large baking dish, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking time upward a bit. Was Junior happy with his special request? Oh, yes, and those two extra individual casseroles will soon be installed in his dorm room fridge. Go mom!

Sausage Cheese Breakfast Casserole

3 cups milk

12 eggs

1 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

French bread loaf, cubed (about 10 cups)

10 oz fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles (I used Jimmy Dean brand)

1-1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided

 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1) To large mixing bowl add milk, eggs, mustard, black pepper, and salt; whisk to combine

2) To a separate large mixing bowl, add bread cubes, sausage, 1 cup cheese (reserving 1/4 cup), and parsley; pour egg mixture over top and gently mix; cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours (or overnight if you think farther ahead than I do)

3) Heat oven to 350 degrees

4) Lightly oil 6 individual casserole dishes; divide egg-bread mixture between casserole dishes and bake in oven 40 minutes until golden brown and just firm in center; scatter reserved 1/4 cup cheese over casseroles and bake additional 3-5 minutes until cheese melts; remove from oven and dig in!

Servings: 6-8


Junior requested this tasty, protein-rich sandwich as he staggered out of bed. Junior Too seconded the motion. Fortunately, it’s fairy easy to put together. Good eats!

Egg-Ham-Cheese Waffle Sandwich

4 frozen waffles (I used buttermilk but, believe it or not, blueberry tastes good too)

2 eggs

Dijon mustard, to taste

1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese (the busy-busy me often stoops to buying pre-grated)

2 slices provolone

2 slices ham (not too thick)

dash of salt

1) Pop waffles in toaster and toast until lightly browned; set aside

2) In skillet heated to medium, crack eggs and cook until whites firm up (about 2 minutes); flip with spatula (Note: if you’re not into runny egg, gently press down on egg with spatula until yolk breaks free of the white and begins to cook)

3) Top each egg with a swirl of Dijon mustard (to taste), cheddar cheese, a slice of provolone, and a slice of ham; turn with spatula (this allows cheese to melt between layers of ham and egg); cook 1-2 minutes until cheese melts; add a dash of salt

4) Slide egg/cheese/ham onto toasted waffle, top with another waffle, and serve to your bleary-eyed, soon-to-be-chipper young ‘uns 🙂

Serves: 2

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/11/12


These Parmesan Burgers can be served on a bun or off, but I prefer the non-bun option for the sake of my waistline. Either way, they’re tasty. Thumbs up from my guys (even minus the bun).

Burger with Parmesan Crisp

1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

1 lb ground beef

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach

2 roma tomatoes, sliced thick

1) Heat large skillet over medium; using 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (reserving 3/4 cup), form 4 mounds in skillet, spacing them 1″-2″ apart, and cook until melted; with a spatula, transfer Parmesan crisps to a plate and set aside

2) In medium-sized bowl, mix ground beef, reserved 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper; shape into 4 patties

3) Heat large grill pan (or grill out of doors) over medium-high; add burger patties to skillet and cook 4-5 minutes each side or until done to your preference; remove from heat

4) Divide spinach and tomatoes between 4 plates; top with burgers, followed by Parmesan crisp; serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4


This recipe started off as Ree Drummond’s Cowgirl Quiche, but veered sharply off the page once I started considering the ingredients and my family’s likes and dislikes. So, I suppose I should claim this recipe as my own. It’s delicious and the texture is wonderful. Enjoy!

Novelist QuicheNovelist Quiche 2

1 deep dish ready-made pie shell (I like Marie Callender’s brand)

8 oz white mushrooms, cleaned, sliced thin, and chopped

5 slices turkey bacon chopped

1 tbsp butter

4 slices thin ham, chopped

1/2 bunch scallions (4-5 stalks), sliced thin

5 eggs

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees; prick pie shell on bottom and sides and bake pie shell 8-10 minutes

2) Spread mushrooms on baking sheet and bake in oven 10-15 minutes until golden brown; remove from oven and set aside

3) While mushrooms are baking, in large skillet over medium-high heat, fry bacon pieces until just beginning to crisp; reduce heat to medium, add butter and, when melted, toss in ham and scallions; cook 4-5 minutes; remove from heat and set aside

4) Add eggs and half-and-half to a medium bowl and whisk to combine; stir in mushrooms, bacon-ham-scallion mixture, Swiss and Mozzarella cheeses, and salt and pepper

5) Pour egg mixture into prepared pie shell; to prevent quiche from getting too brown, loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over top (I forgot to do this) and bake at 400 degrees 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (if you use aluminum foil, remove during last 10 minutes of baking for a lightly browned top)

6) Allow quiche to set 10 minutes before serving (makes it easier to cut)

Servings: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 04/03/12


I know dips are usually reserved for appetizers, but from time to time our family enjoys making a meal of chips and dip. Though our favorite remains Cream Cheese Black Bean Dip, this Black Bean-Bacon Dip is a contender. The only complaint was from Junior Too: “It could be spicier.” In which case, you can always substitute hot salsa.

Black Bean-Bacon Dip

6 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon; if you use regular fatty bacon, you probably won’t need the olive oil)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped fine

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped very fine

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1-1/2 cup salsa (I used medium)

2-15 oz cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and coarsely mashed (leave some beans intact)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup grated Colby-Monterey Jack blend, divided (cheddar is good too)

2 tbsp taco seasoning

tortilla chips

1) In large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until just crisp; remove from heat and chop; set aside

2) Add olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high; add onions and jalapeno and, stirring often, cook 5 minutes until veggies soften; reduce heat to medium and stir in cilantro (reserving 2 tbsp for topping), salsa, mashed black beans, sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese (reserving 1/4 cup for topping), bacon (reserving 2 tbsp for topping), and taco seasoning; cook, stirring often, 10 minutes until heated through; remove from heat

3) Pour bean dip into medium-sized serving dish, top with reserved cheese, bacon, and cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips

Servings: 10-12 (appetizer), 4-6 (entree)


Obviously, cheese plays a starring role in my family’s diet, so what better way to pay tribute to the ooey gooey delight than to decorate this moist and fluffy egg casserole with diamonds of cheese? Best of all, it’s as tasty as it is lovely.

Checkered Egg Souffle Casserole

6 large eggs

1 tsp dry ground mustard

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3-1/2 cups milk

1-1/2 cups ham, sliced thin and chopped

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, sliced thin

10 slices white bread, crusts removed and sliced into 1″ squares

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese (square log), sliced into 10 pieces

4 oz white cheddar cheese (square log), sliced into 10 pieces

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) In large bowl, beat eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, and milk; stir in ham, grated cheddar cheese, red bell pepper, and green onions; gently mix in bread

3) Pour egg/bread mixture into lightly oiled 9×13″ baking pan and bake 60-70 minutes until egg mixture sets

4) Remove casserole from oven and arrange sharp and white cheddar cheese squares in diamond pattern as pictured; return casserole to oven and bake 5-8 minutes until cheese melts; serve it up

Serves: 6-8

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/11/12.


More cold weather food! This easy to make casserole features a variety of canned, fresh, and frozen ingredients that culminate in a supremely tasty dish. Enjoy!

1 lb lean ground beef

2-15 oz cans chili with beans (Vietta brand is tasty)

1-10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with Lime Juice and Cilantro

1-4.5 oz can diced green chiles

1 tsp sea salt

3 cups frozen hashbrowns, thawed

olive oil spray

1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

4 strips cooked bacon, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) Lightly oil 4 individual-sized casserole dishes (or you can use one large casserole dish)

3) In skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink; drain fat; add chili with beans, Rotel tomatoes, green chiles, and sea salt; cook 3-4 minutes until heated through

4) Divide chili mixture between 4 casserole dishes; top each with 3/4 cup hashbrowns and lightly spray with olive oil; cover casserole dishes with lids (or aluminum foil if you don’t have lids); bake in oven 25 minutes; uncover casserole dishes and bake an additional 10-12 minutes to allow hashbrowns to turn golden and crisp; sprinkle with cheese and bacon; bake additional 5 minutes; serve to your guys!

Servings: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 06/20/12.