Kayla's Breakfast Casserole


We just spent a wonderful weekend in LA. Lower Arkansas. We were there for a Lauterbach Family Reunion. My mom comes from a good size family - four brothers and three sisters. And everybody had some kids and those kids had some kids.  This weekend there were just over fifty of us at the Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center.



Aunt Mary


Being there with my mom and siblings was pretty great. Being there with aunts and uncles and cousins was icing on the cake - scrumptious cream cheese icing on a very sweet, rich, delicious cake. Somebody said family is like really good fudge - sweet with a few nuts. I have to agree. (I'm looking at you, Aunt Gail.) That's family. This group is pretty wonderful. I'm pretty sure that everybody had their stuff they're dealing with back home. And I'm pretty sure that we don't all agree on matters political. I know that we're all very different people who live very different lives. But anytime we get together, we all feel the same way. We all feel completely, unconditionally surrounded by love and support. I don't think there's a sweeter group of folks anywhere. But then again, I'm a little biased.



Uncle Jack
A few days before the reunion I called my mom to let her know what our plans were: We would fly to Little Rock Friday and rent a car to drive to the reunion. She expressed a little concern: "I was hoping that y'all would bring some of that good breakfast casserole that you make." "Well, we can't bring it on the plane, but there's no reason that we can't stop along and buy everything we need to make it, and then we'll make it at the Grandview Lodge." So that's what we did. Once we got to Hope, we went directly to Barry's Grocery where I worked all through high school and bought everything we needed there.

The breakfast casserole is good, but it's no magic secret be-all-end-all kind of thing. Still, my nephew Rex's wife Kayla was pretty happy with it. "That's the best thing I've ever eaten" she said. Come to think of it, I've heard her say that about a lot of food. Girl can eat. Anyway, she asked me to share the recipe. There are variations of this on every recipe website. Here's the way we made it this weekend. This recipe will make two very full rectangular pans, and you can make it ahead of time and freeze it, so you can just wake up and pop it in the oven.

Mr. Beers and Kayla at Grandview.

Kayla's Favorite Breakfast Casserole
(fills two  9 x 13 rectangular baking dishes)

Ingredients:
1 loaf of bread (white or sourdough seems to work best)
1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
2 pounds ground pork sausage
2 pounds shredded cheddar cheese
18 eggs
1/2 gallon milk
4 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:
Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and place in your rectangular baking dish.
Saute the onion and brown the sausage with the onion.
Put the sausage and onion on the bread. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.
In a large container mix the rest of the ingredients. Stir or whisk vigorously until everything is mixed well. Pour the mixture over the bread, sausage, and cheese. Cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.
Bake (covered) for about 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Check to see if it's cooked all the way through. (Mine usually takes closer to an hour.)
Eat and enjoy!



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