I escaped this weekend.
Away from putting everyone’s needs ahead of my own.
Away from early mornings and constant chaos.
Away from checking off my list of a hundred things to do.
Away to just be me - with a bunch of positive, intelligent, crazy-fun, supportive gals.
This weekend was my book club’s first ever overnight getaway. We met up at a gorgeous cabin in the mountains, surrounded by snow, and right next to a gorgeous serene lake. We played games, discussed life, drank a tad, and ate a whole bunch.
(It was heaven.)
That’s where this recipe comes in. I was partially in charge of our breakfast Sunday morning, and I was really excited to find this casserole that fit the bill for the food sensitivities in the group. Plus I was relieved to see how easy it was – since I still get very nervous cooking in front of and for other people besides my family (and I wanted to be sure I could still make it if I was, um, perhaps a tad ‘under the weather’ in the morning).
It was exactly what I was looking for.
Impossibly Easy Breakfast Bake (Gluten Free*), adapted from BettyCrocker.com
2 packages (10 oz each) pre-cooked all natural sausage (gluten-free)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 c frozen hash brown potatoes (gluten-free)
10 oz shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 c Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
*You can only guarantee a full gluten-free meal if all ingredients are gluten-free.*
Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 13×9 inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
In skillet, cook bell pepper and onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When onions begin to turn translucent, add sausage. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Mix sausage mixture, potatoes and 1 1/2 c of the cheese in baking dish.
In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, eggs, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over sausage mixture in baking dish.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake another 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Half the fun of making this meal was the conversations had while actually cooking. One of my friends was my sous-chef, and she chopped up the veggies while I worked on some of the other (minimal) prep work. We just chatted away while doing our parts of the recipe. This only confirmed my belief that cooking can really bring people together when they’re in the kitchen, helping each other out.
I did have a minor mess up (from skimming, of course!), and I added the frozen hashbrowns to the egg mixture, but alas, all turned out well.
I was so busy chatting, cooking, and serving that I really didn’t take any good pictures. So here is the one from the Betty Crocker website. (Mine looked exactly like it. Well, pretty close at least.)
I finally remembered to take a picture at the very end of the meal.
If this picture tells any story, it would be that the casserole was pretty darn tasty. It was a typical egg/sausage bake – but I loved the sweet red bell peppers throughout. I got several compliments which made me feel good – and I was glad that it was truly gluten-free this time (unlike my attempt at gluten-free cookies in December).
Besides the good food, friends, and fun, the best part was how refreshed I felt returning home. I was so happy to see my family and ready to tackle whatever comes my way.
Now I just gotta figure out how to plan a weekend away more often.