Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Saintly Day, Tasty Tuesday, and Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Greetings Everyone, and Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated in Europe (most especially in Germany), and it is the day when the beloved saint rides on his white horse into the towns and villages to leave gifts and treats in the shoes of the children who have been good during the past year.  To those children who were not so good, he leaves a lump or two of coal.  I am guessing, though, that the ratio of coal given is quite low to the amount of happy gifts given.

And it is Tasty Tuesday Today!

As I am still focusing on holiday preparations and general busyness, I am sharing a recipe for a meal that is simple and satisfying and does not take long to prepare.  It is an excellent winter meal, great comfort food.  It is not so much a health food, though you can modify it by adding foods with additional nutritional value.  I actually do this myself.  I will let you know what I add to this recipe at the end of the Ingredients list.

Sausage and Potato Casserole (or Hotdish as we say in Minnesota)


1 pound bulk pork sausage or ground pork
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (do not add water)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp, salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cups sliced potatoes
1/2 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
1 and 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

What I add to this (optional): 
1/2 cup carrots, sliced thin or chopped small and sauteed in butter for about 2 minutes.
1/2 cup celery, chopped small and sauteed in butter for about 2 minutes (can do this with the carrots).
1/2 can of whole kernel corn, drained, OR 1/2 cup of frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained.

If you do add extra ingredients, you may want to add a bit more milk for moistness (it's up to you).


1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

2)  Spray 1 and 1/2- quart casserole with non-stick cooking spray.  Use 2-quart casserole if you are adding the optional ingredients listed above in addition to the regular ingredients.

3)  Brown sausage or ground pork in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to separate meat into small chunks.  Brown meat until no longer pink.  Drain fat.

4)  Stir together soup, milk, onion, salt, and pepper in mixing bowl (if you are adding in additional ingredients, add them to the bowl as well).

5)  Place half of potatoes in prepared casserole dish.  Top with half of soup mixture and half of sausage or ground pork.  Repeat layers, ending with sausage.

6) Dot with butter.

7)  Cover casserole with tin foil.  Bake 1 and 1/4 to 1 and 1/2 hours until potatoes are tender.  

8)  Uncover; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes 6 servings.

I hope you enjoy this casserole meal.  It is perfect on a cold, blustery day.

And speaking of, Old Man Winter blew in today like a shock.  I know I should have been more than ready for it since I am in Minnesota, and Winter is what we do.  Still, the first big blast of cold wind sends the shivers to the bone.  I confess that on days like this it can be hard to keep my energy up; all I want to do is wear jammies, snuggle under the covers, and read a book.  But the cats are the ones who get to do that, except for the book part.  

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