Hi everyone,

New Year’s Eve tomorrow and if you are having a buffet on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day here is an excellent make-ahead dish for your table.

The great thing about the Layered Salad is the basic recipe and you can personalize to fit with what you have on hand or for your family and guest’s preferences. The measurements for the lettuce should stay the same unless you are using a very deep bowl. Then increase accordingly.
Layered Salad

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Posted by admin, filed under Healthy Food, Judy's Resources, Make-Ahead Dishes. Date: December 30, 2008, 10:52 am | 1 Comment »

Hi everyone,

Christmas Day is almost here and it will be a white (and cold) one here in Minnesota.

A tradition in our home for Christmas morning is breakfast casserole. Besides the fact that is an easy and delicious dish, you must make it ahead of time.

Christmas Eve afternoon, I assemble the dish and then into the refrigerator to wait for Christmas morning. So easy and so good and the best part is you aren’t limited to my ingredients. Be creative and add what is a favorite for your family.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 dish with butter spray.

10 – 12 slices bread crusts removed and cut in cubes. Use your favorite bread – sourdough, whole grain, or whole wheat white.
8 – 10 medium eggs (Egg substitute is okay).
4 cups milk (Low-fat is fine to use).
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese. I sometimes use a combo of cheddar, mozzarella, and a mexican blend.
1/4 tsp. dry mustard (regular is not a substitute).
Salt and pepper
Optional ingredients (see listing below)
Any of the following ingredients can be added:
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup diced cooked ham or Canadian bacon
1/2 lb. cooked sausage, drained well
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/8 – 1/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup diced black olives
Comment: I would not consider diced tomatoes unless they are seeded and all moisture is removed. They can make the casserole soggy and can lengthen cooking time.

1. Place bread cubes on bottom of the greased casserole pan.
2. Beat the eggs, add the milk and stir to blend.
3. Add the cheese and any optional ingredients. Blend well.
4. Pour over bread cubes.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Christmas morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator. Take off the plastic wrap and place the casserole in the preheated 325 degree oven. The casserole will take 45 mins to 1 hour to cook. It is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

If you have really hungry folks, you can adjust the oven temp to 350 degrees, but watch the cooking time and check at about 35 minutes for the degree of doneness.

I serve the casserole with fresh fruit. Salsa is a favorite topping in our home.

One year I brought the pre-assembled casserole as a Christmas gift to the family that hosted a Christmas Eve dinner. Nice and easy for her the next morning after her efforts for Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas,
Judy Ferril
Local Food Connections

Posted by admin, filed under Judy's Resources. Date: December 23, 2008, 10:14 am | 4 Comments »

Hi everyone,

December 2 already – where did the year go?

Now we turn to the holidays and gift giving. This year everyone is feeling the pinch and so it is a good time to think about giving the gift for the meaning rather than just because it is a gift.

Gift cards have become the norm and can be a well thought out gift if the card fits the person. Here are some ideas for gift cards for the favorite foodie on your list.
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Posted by admin, filed under Judy's Resources, Local Food Resources, Local Shopping Opportunities. Date: December 2, 2008, 2:43 pm | 3 Comments »