Chicken Cordon Bleu, Stuffed Chicken with Ham and Cheese

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This one of my favorite ways for making chicken breasts when wanting a fancy presentation or having extra time for preparation. The extra effort is well worth it, as family or guests always express "oohs and ahhs."

The flavors of chicken, ham and Swiss cheese offer mouth watering goodness.

Large breasts are best for stuffing. I find that one stuffed breast is huge, enough to serve two people - just cut in half width-wise.  A 6 ounce breast stuffed with ham an cheese amounts to 10 ounces, and cut in half provides an ample 5 ounce serving.

I make 4, and for the two of us bake one, then freeze the rest to have on hand for another meal.

I've done Cordon Bleu two ways: pounding chicken breasts, topping with ham and cheese, then rolling up; or making a slit or pocket into the breast, then rolling up ham around cheese and stuffing them. This rolling up method is the best, as none of the stuffing seeps out of the  pocket.  It stays inside.

Leftover ham on hand is always on hand in my freezer,  but not deli ham.  I always have deli turkey on hand, so decided to roll diced ham and strips of cheese in the deli turkey for this recipe.

Cordon Bleu photo null_zps9c12fd04.jpgChicken Cordon Bleu
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 5 to 6 oz.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced Swiss cheese or shredded Swiss cheese
  • 8 oz. thinly sliced ham or
  •      thinly sliced deli turkey and 8 oz.diced ham
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tabs. olive oil, butter or butter spray.
With a sharp paring knife, make about a 2-3-inch long slit into the breast to form a deep pocket inside the chicken breast starting on the thick side. Work the knife into and slice towards the back and sides, being careful not to poke or slice into back or sides.  The idea is to make a deep pocket to stuff, but keeping the entry slice small enough so while cooking ingredients don't fall out. Salt and pepper and set aside.

Cordon Bleu photo null_zpsed3b8bb2.jpgCordon Bleu photo null_zpse04acec3.jpgTo stuff the chicken, lay 8 deli ham slices flat and top with 1 oz. of cheese and roll up tightly or take deli turkey and top with cheese and divided diced ham and roll up tightly.
  • Stuff each breast with 2 rolls. Insert first one length-wise and push to back of pocket, then insert second roll, slightly pinch opening closed. Transfer chicken to plate, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 20 minutes or more.
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    Prepare Coating:  Place one dish with flour, one with beaten eggs, and one with season bread crumbs. One at a time, coat chicken lightly with flour, dip into egg mixture, then coat with crumbs, pressing chicken into crumbs so they adhere all over.  They can then be refrigerated until ready to bake, or baked immediately.

    Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Brush or spray tops and sides with olive oil, butter or spray coating.  Bake on middle rack golden brown about 30 to 35 minutes.. Internal temperature should be 160 degrees. Transfer to cutting board or plate and cover.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Cut in half. Serves 8.

    Estimated cost: $9.00 or less; $1.12 a serving or less.

Zingy Tuna Salad

A friend shared this recipe over a decade ago. I like it because of its zingy and crunchy taste. The horseradish and Worcestershire sauce also add an extra special taste.

Now there's nothing wrong with spreading tuna fish salad on basic white bread with some lettuce, or stuffing tomatoes, but to fancy it up, I like to serve on soft roll, or better yet a croissant with fresh summer salad greens. 

My grocery store bakery sells sandwich size croissants at 15 for $5, so I snapped them up and vacuum seal for the freezer.

PhotobucketIt's the type of recipe where you can leave out the seeds or substitute with almonds or other nuts, or leave out the corn flakes, yet still retain the flavors.

This makes an attractive presentation for lunch or light supper.  Can be served with a cup of soup or side of your choice of salad, pasta or greens.

Zingy Tuna Salad
1 small can of tuna, in oil or water, drained
1/4 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted
1/4 cup crush corn flakes
2 tsp. horseradish
1 Tab. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
lettuce greens of choice
salt and pepper to taste
bread, bun or roll of choice

Combine all ingredients and let flavors blend in refrigerator for an hour.  Use for sandwiches, or stuffed tomatoes.  Makes 4 servings.
Estimated cost $1.90 or less; .47 cent a serving or less.

Split Pea & Ham Soup

Split Pea and Ham Soup

Nothing says fall or winter comfort food like Split Pea Soup.  We enjoy it year round.  I make it about once a month, as ham hocks and shanks are readily available for a few dollars at grocery stores.  Of course holiday ham bones are always saved and used.

2 cups of dried peas easily makes just over a 1/2 gallon of delicious soup for lunches or light suppers.  I often serve soup and salad for dinner with bread, rolls, or corn bread.

I buy largest bag of dried peas I can find (bulk buying saves) and use to make on the stove top, but now use an electric *pressure cooker, a real time saver.  This soup also freezes well.

Split Pea and Ham Soup
1 lb. dried split peas (2 cups)
1 meaty ham bone, 2 ham hocks, or shanks, or 1 lb. ham chunks
8 cups water or beef or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced or diced. about a cup
2 celery ribs sliced, or diced, about 1cup
1 1/2 tsps. dried thyme
1 Tab. dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1 cup of milk
sherry wine, optional

Rinse and soak peas overnight in 2-3 cups of water.
In large soup put all ingredients except carrots, butter, milk and sherry. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer 1 and 1/2 hours.  Remove bone and take off and shred meat, returning meat to soup. Add carrots and simmer 1/2 hour more until carrots are tender.  Add butter and milk stirring to blend.  Serve with a splash of sherry.

Note: measurements on the carrots, celery and onions don't have to be exact. Some in my family don't like carrots, so sometimes I've left them out.  I've seen recipes where chopped bacon works well, too, if you don't have ham.

*Pressure Cooker Method:  Put all ingredients in cooker except butter, milk and sherry and process for 15 minutes. Remove bone, take off meat and return it to soup. Stir in milk, butter to blend, then serve with splash of sherry.

Electric Pressure Cookers are very safe these days, and process dried beans of all kinds in under 20 minutes, like magic!

Estimated Cost: $3.00 - $4.00;  .40 cents or less per serving

Cuban Bread, So Easy

Cuban BreadThe fastest, easiest, attractive artisan type bread I've ever discovered!  Saw this recipe online at Cathy's Blog: Bread Experience.Com and had to try.  From start to a "ta-dah" finish takes no more than a mere hour-and-a-half.

Mixing and kneading with mixer takes 15 minutes; the rise 15 to 20 minutes; shaping 5 minutes, then it goes directly into a cold oven with a pan of hot water on bottom shelf; set oven to 400 degrees and bake 50 minutes.  As the oven heats, bread continues to rise and bake.  It couldn't be more simple!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI use active bulk dry instant yeast for about $6 a pound and store in refrigerator.  Jars or packets of yeast can add 50 cents to a dollar per loaf, but bulk yeast costs a mere 4 to 8 cents a loaf. That's quite a savings if making bread often, as I do. Red Star or SAF Instant brands are available on line if your store doesn't carry them, as mine does.

Cuban Bread, So Easy
5-6 cups of bread or all-purpose flour
2 packages or 1 1/2 Tabs. dry yeast, I use SAF Instant
1 Tab. salt
2 Tabs. sugar
2 cups hot water
Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)
Pan filled with about 4 cups of hot water, I used a stir fry pan

Place 4 cups of flour in a mixing bowl with yeast, salt and sugar. Stir until blended. Pour in hot water and beat 100 strong strokes by hand, or three minutes with a mixer flat beater. Gradually work in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky. 

Knead 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook until dough is smooth, elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm (80-100°F) place until double in size, about 15-20 minutes.

Punch down dough, turn out on work surface, and cut into two pieces. Shape each into a round. Place on baking sheet. I used a silicone baking pan, but a lightly greased pan, or parchment paper can be used.  With a sharp knife or razor, slash an  X on each of the loaves about a half inch deep.  Brush or spray with water, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.  I put sesame on one and poppy seeds on the other.

Place baking sheet on middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a large pan of hot water from kitchen tap on shelf below, (or bottom of oven) and turn oven on to 400°F. Loaves will continue to rise while oven is heating and water steams.  Bake about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown. Thump on bottom crusts to test doneness.  Loaves should sound hollow.  If using a digital thermometer, it should be done at 200 degrees.

You'll love the look, texture and taste of these beauties!  
Cool  loaves on a wire rack for about an hour before slicing. Makes 2, (slightly over) 1 pound loaves. Freezes well. 

Estimated cost: $1.25 for two loaves.

Wisconsin Potato Cheese Soup

This recipe came from a family member living in Wisconsin for inclusion in "Our German Family Favorites Cook Book" published in the early 90s. 

It can be made without Gruyere cheese, using only Cheddar.  Ingredients are usually on hand in any cook's kitchen, and offer many tasty servings for very little cost.

Wisconsin Potato Cheese Soup
3 Tabs. butter
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups water  and 3 chicken bullion cubes  (or 3 cups of chicken broth)
2 cups milk
4 cups of cubed potatoes peeled or not
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups sharp, Cheddar cheese, white or yellow - shredded

Melt butter, add carrots, onion, celery and cook over low heat until tender, stirring occasionally.  Add water, bullion and potatoes.  Cover and cook until tender about 15-20 minutes.  Mash vegetables slightly.  Add milk cooking until heated.  Gradually stir in cheeses until melted.  Add salt and pepper.  Garnish with chives, cooked diced bacon or croutons.  Serves 6-8

Estimated Cost $3.00; .50 cents or less per serving.

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I grew up when every Sunday at 1 p.m. I'd heard the words "dinner is ready," either a home, the grandparents, or some other relative's home.

Next to roast beef, roast chicken with mashed potatoes was often the menu.  I see chickens on sale now days already roasted in the deli section of grocery stores for around $5 to $6, which is handy, but they're usually no more than 2 to 3 pounds in size.

For the same price, a 4 to 5 pound chicken can be bought, roasted at home in under 2 hours, with plenty of leftovers for more meals, including chicken soup, chicken salad, pot pies and more.....

Whole chickens seem to go on sale sales near or under a dollar a pound every 4 to 6 weeks, so that's the time to stock up on a few.  I wait until they are under a dollar a pound.  It couldn't be easier: season, put in the oven, and go about enjoying other activities while the chicken cooks, browns and crisps up.  My family likes a golden crispy skin.

Roasting Chicken, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppRoast Chicken
3-5 lb. roasting chicken
3 tsps. minced garlic
2 to 3 Tabs. of mixed rub seasoning of choice (Montreal, Old Bay etc.)
2 tsp. of thyme
1 to 2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
4, 1/4 inch slices of onion
Roasting Chicken, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone Appoil or butter to rub all over chicken
Optional: several lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 425.
Roast Chicken, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppRinse chicken inside and out with water, and pat dry.  Sprinkle inside with salt and pepper.  Stuff with lemon wedges.

Tuck wings under and tie legs together. Brush with butter or oil.  Lift breast skin and rub garlic under skin.  Sprinkle and rub remaining seasonings all over surface of chicken.

Place onion slices flat on bottom of roasting pan and place chicken on top of them.

Roast uncovered a 425 for an hour, then turn oven down to 350 to finish for about another half to one hour depending on size.

Internal temperature probe inserted near thick part of thigh should register 180 degrees, with juices running clear.  Before carving, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Gravy can be made with the drippings, juices, and onions.  If not making gravy, deglaze the pan and save for making soup.
Serves to 4-6

Estimated cost of 5# chicken $5.00 or less; cost per serving $1.00 or less.

Deli Cole Slaw for a Crowd

I always get asked for this recipe when bringing it to a potluck or picnic. It has a sweet and sour taste and looks so fancy.

Deli Cole Slaw
1 large head cabbage
3 to 4 sliced, large onions
1 cup sugar (Splenda can be substituted)
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed.

In a large bowl, alternate layers of thinly shredded cabbage with thinly sliced onions.  Pour 1 cup of sugar over mixture and set aside.  Make a heated sauce by mixing and bringing vinegar, oil, salt, mustard, and celery seed to a boil.  Pour over cabbage and onion mixture and let stand covered at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours.  Mix well before serving.

Note: A German family recipe since the 1950s.  We called it “Tootie’s Cole Slaw.”

Makes about a gallon: enough to serve 1/3 to 1/2  cup servings. Should serve about 35 to 45 people.  Recipe can be halved or doubled depending on number to be served. Keeps well in the refrigerator for weeks. Good for dieting, especially, if using Splenda.

Estimated cost: $5.00 or less; 14 cents a serving or less.

Chili Rellenos

Roasted Anaheim Chili Peppers
Roasted Anaheim Peppers
lA former neighbor showed me how to make Chili Rellenos from scratch 30 years ago with fresh Anaheim Peppers.  The skins needs to be grilled or roasted "off" and the easiest way I discovered was putting in 350-400 oven until slightly charred and blistered.  

Chili Rellenos
I then run them under cold water, keep stem on, peel, partially slit open side to remove seeds and vein; then use in recipes. Some cooks put them in a paper bag to steam and rub together in bag to dislodge skins.

2 Anaheim peppers per person
1/4 cup flour
2-3 eggs, separating whites and yolks
cheese strips to stuff inside of peppers (cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack)
tooth picks
oil for frying

After taking off skin and seeds, stuff lightly with cheese, and hold together with toothpick, if needed.  Dust each side with flour, which will help egg batter stick. Set aside.

Beat whites until stiff and frothy; then fold in beaten egg yolks.
Dip each pepper in frothy batter and fry in a skillet in hot oil (350) until golden brown on one side; then turn over and fry on remaining side.  Drain on paper towels.  Fry two at a time and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Served with salsa, sour cream and hot sauces.  Side dishes: Refried beans, Mexican Rice

These links provide addition information and slide show of the process.

Chili Rellenos Fried Golden Brown

Ruben Rolls

Ruben Roll Ups photo null_zps853f1098.jpgWe love sauerkraut with hot dogs, pork dishes or Ruben Sandwiches. With German backgrounds on both sides of our families, we grew up learning to like dishes which included sauerkraut.

I recent bought thinly sliced deli corned beef as I was craving the taste of a Ruben Sandwich, but we were dieting.  So to cut out the carbs, I made "Ruben Rolls."  

They're all the same ingredients as a Reuben Sandwich, minus the bread.  Two to three of them rolled up with sauerkraut and topped with cheese were very filling, along with a side of extra sauerkraut and a green salad.

These would also make a nice appetizer or addition to a buffet table.

Ruben Rolls
Thinly Sliced Deli Corned Beef, allow two to 3 slices per person
Swiss Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese slices or shredded
Canned Sauerkraut
Thousand Island Dressing ( mixture of ketchup and mayo)
Ruben Roll Ups photo null_zps386b0c26.jpgCreamed Horseradish

Ruben Rolls Ups photo null_zps622eb175.jpgLay slices of corned beef flat, then spread a thin layer of Thousand Island dressing mixed with a bit a horseradish. Spoon sauerkraut down the middle and roll up corned beef slices.

Assemble rolls in a casserole dish and topped each with a 3/4-inch of sliced of Swiss cheese or two to three tablespoons of shredded cheese

Heat in a microwave oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Estimated cost for 4 servings: $5.00 or less.

Corned Beef Dinner

Photo: Tasty Island
March means Corned Beef and Cabbage in our house, as my husband's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day.  So I've been making this delightful meal for decades on his big day.

This recipe calls for cooking it low and slow in the oven, but I've made it other ways: on the stove top, simmering several hours, and in the pressure cooker for an hour. 

I know a 3 pounder serves 4 to 6 people as I entertained 30 people for his birthday 7 years ago and made 7 of them. They shrink when cooking to about half, which allows 5 to 6 ounces cooked per person.

March is the time to watch for corned beef sales prior to the 17th, then stock up for the year!  It's seldom on sale for under $3 a pound any other time of the year.
St. Patrick's Day 2011

This year (2017) I snagged several for around  $3.00 a pound.  The rest of the year we'll enjoy many Reuben sandwiches, more dinners, and corned beef hash for breakfasts.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
3 pound corned beef brisket
1 cup beer
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 Tabs. of minced garlic
2 medium onions, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tabs. pickling spice
4-6 medium cleaned red potatoes
1 large head of cabbage cut into wedges
2 cups of  baby carrots or carrots cut in 2-4 inch pieces
Condiments: mustards and horseradish, vinegar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Rinse corned beef, remove excess fat, and put into a large roasting pan. Most briskets come with spice packet which I rub onto the meat and add extra from my spice cabinet. Add garlic, onions, water, broth, and beer.  Cover and place in the oven. 

Braise 3 hours, turning meat once. At the end of 3 hours, add carrots, cabbage and potatoes.  If small, leave potatoes whole, or may cut in half.  Cover again and return to oven for an additional 2 hours. Remove from the oven, place corned beef on platter, sliced cross grain. Put vegetables in a serving dish with strained juices. Or arrange sliced meat on platter with vegetables surrounding it and pour juices into a gravy boat. Serves 4-6.

We like a splash of vinegar on the cabbage and regular and/or Dijon mustard for the beef.  Serve butter and sour cream for the potatoes. I also make a creamed horseradish sauce which is lighter than raw horseradish.

Estimated cost: $13 or under; $3.25 or less per person.

Hamburger Pie

This is like a hamburger "quiche"  Good for brunch or dinner.  Most often I use cheddar cheese, but have used jalapeno, or pepper jack cheese, even American cheese.  I make this about once a month. A foodie friend on a message board shared the recipe with me several years ago.

Hamburger, or Bacon Cheeseburger Pie!
Hamburger Pie
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onions,
1 lb. hamburger
1 large tomato
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon

Brown hamburger and chopped onion with whatever seasonings you like. Drain.
In a bowl, beat together Bisquick, milk and eggs. Stir in cheese.

Spread hamburger into a greased 9 inch pie plate.  Pour Bisquick mixture over the meat.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Take out of the oven and top with sliced tomatoes, then sprinkle more shredded cheese on top.  Put back in oven until cheese melts. Cool slightly. Serve with Secret Sauce: mayo, ketchup, bit of brown mustard, onion powder and S&P all mixed together.

Cooked chopped bacon can be added, with the ground beef:  it's like a cheese/bacon burger pie! Or crumble cooked chopped bacon on top with the tomatoes and cheese near the end. Serves 4 - 6.

Estimated cost: $5.00 or less.

Buffalo Hot Wings

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I posted this last year and as noted below, I make them for TV Game Day, and also for dinner several times a year. This method cooks them crispy and tender, without deep frying.  For a crowd the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Over the years I've attended numerous buffet parties serving appetizers including Buffalo or Hot Wings, and of course they're scarfed up like crazy! 

I decided to try making them, and didn't realize how easy it was.  After checking several websites I settled on 
Alton Brown's method because it involved baking instead of deep frying.

His recipe: serves 4 - 6 for appetizers, but I make them for dinner, allowing 6 each, then serve a salad and/or another side dish. 

My dollar store sells a 17 oz. bottle of Louisiana Chicken Wing Sauce for $1, which I use for marinades, basting, and hot sauce in a variety of meats, fish, and poultry dishes.

I buy a large sack of 
frozen wings ready to defrost and use, (a timer-saver) and take out what I need for the two of us.  I also make them for TV sport "game day food."

Buffalo Hot Wings

12 chicken wings 
6 Tabs. butter
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Blue Cheese dressing for dipping, optional

Place s
aucepan with steamer basket and 1-inch of water in the bottom, over high heat and bring to a boil. Place wings into steamer basket, cover, reduce heat to medium, and steam for 10 minutes. Remove wings and pat dry.  Lay wings on a cooling rack set on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425. 
 Roast on middle rack of oven for 20 minutes. Turn wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.
While chicken is roasting, melt butter in a small bowl with the garlic. Pour this along with hot sauce and salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine.
Remove wings from oven and toss in bowl with the sauce. Serve warm.

Serves 4-6 for appetizers, or 2 for dinner.

Estimated cost: $2.50 or less; $1.25 per dinner serving.

Beef Pot Roast Dinner

Pot Roast
  • There's nothing like the taste of a good old-fashioned pot roast with onions potatoes and carrots. Because it's oven roasted cooking several hours, the aroma fills the house enticing family to anticipate serving time!

  • Cooking slow and low is the secret for a tender pot roast. I like using the oven, but it may also be cooked on low simmer on the stove top, after searing the meat. 

    Juices can be strained off to make gravy, or if you have a soup/sauce wand, remove meat and vegetables, and blend remaining juices, bits and pieces for a smooth gravy thickened with flour.

    Chuck or rump roasts often go on sale for under $3.00 a pound, and sometimes are offered at "buy one get one free," so watch for sales.  Leftover pot roast can be used in a variety of recipes including soups, stews, tacos, and pot pies. 

    One of my favorites is making  my gram's horseradish gravy which I'll post at a later time. It's basically left over shredded beef, and a gravy and spices with horseradish serviced over biscuits or rolls.
  • Beef Pot Roast Dinner
  • 2 Tabs. bacon grease, or olive oil
  • 3 to 4 pound boneless chuck roast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • one stalk of celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 can of beef broth about a cup and a half
  • Potatoes halved or whole, quartered carrots for 6-8 people
  • Condiments:  horseradish, ketchup
Pot Roast
Preheat oven to 325 degrees 
PhotobucketHeat a  large Dutch oven on stove over medium high heat.  Salt and pepper roast and dredge or rub with flour.

Add bacon grease to pot and sear meat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove meat from pan. Arrange onion, garlic, and bay leafs on bottom of pan. Return meat, to pan, 
add vegetables, and pour in broth.

Pot RoastCook covered for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, until vegetables are tender and meat falls apart or shreds easily. Remove roast to a platter to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.   
    Cut meat into serving sizes and arrange with vegetables on a platter.

    In a cup, take 3 Tabs. of flour and add about 1/3 cup of cold water to make a thick paste, then mix into pan juices and cook on stove top to make a gravy. Serves 6 to 9 depending on size of roast and meat serving size of 4 to 5 oz.

    Estimated cost of dinner: $10 or less; $1.66 per serving or less.

    Overnight Breakfast-Brunch Casserole

    A family favorite for over 40 years, I often make this for holiday morning breakfasts when family and guests are on hand and many servings are needed without a lot of fuss on a hectic morning. It's very much like a quiche.

    Add juice, fruit, and coffee and it makes a perfect breakfast or brunch presentation for minimal cost per serving.  It's delicious any time of year and can easily be halved to serve fewer people, or doubled to feed more.

    Overnight Breakfast-Brunch Casserole
    1 pound pork sausage or link cut into bite size pieces
    2 cups of milk
    6 slices of bread
    6 eggs
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    1 cup of Parmesan cheese saving a handful for topping.
    1/2 tsp. salt
    pepper to taste
    optional: tsp. of mix dry herbs blend such as Italian

    Brown sausage drain and cool. Break bread into small pieces.  In a large bowl beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper and mustard.  Add bread, cheese, and remaining ingredients mixing well.

    Grease 9x12 baking dish, then pour mixture in and top with more cheese. Refrigerate overnight to set.

    Bake at 350 oven for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.  Serves 8-10.

    Note: I've used combinations of other cheeses with the Parmesan, such as mozzarella or cheddar, but for flavor Parmesan is the best.

    Estimated cost: $5.00 or less; .62 cents a serving or less.

    Ham It Up! Leftover Ham Ideas

    Ham and Parsley Potatoes, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
    With the holidays here, I'm republishing my post on ideas of what to do with leftover ham.
    There's so many meals and dishes for using leftover ham. Is there any other meat offering such a big bang for the bucks, especially when on sale for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays?  Right down to the bone and scraps, leftovers fill my freezer for scores of future meals. 

    I package and freeze in pint-size bags: nice-sized slices for more ham dinners and sandwiches, then smaller pieces for soups, casseroles, quiches, or breakfasts.

    Here's links to my blog recipes which can include ham:
    Navy Bean Soup
    Split Pea and Ham Soup
    Mac and Cheese
    Ham Croquettes
    Chicken Cordon Bleu

    Here's other meals I make using ham (no recipes posted yet)
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Chef Salad
    Deviled Ham Salad
    Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich
    Omelets or with Scrambled Eggs

    Here's a link I found on the internet offering even more ideas:
    30 Ideas for Leftover Ham