Overnight Breakfast Casserole

I attended a Library department/branch manager meeting this morning, chaired by our new director. By a unanimous vote, the library board of control confirmed Donald as our new director. Donald and I have worked together since 1998, and I am ecstatic, although surely there is no one happier than Donald is.

Yesterday, I suggested to Melissa, my friend, co-worker, and fellow blogger, and Dianne, the library’s administrative assistant, that we should do something in celebration after the appointment was made. Granted, none of us knew that Donald would be appointed, but we were optimistic. As today’s meeting was already scheduled, we decided upon a celebratory breakfast. We tossed around a few food suggestions and then Melissa suggested her mother’s breakfast casserole. Now, I have met Ms. Rita; not only is she a character, but she is also an excellent cook, and I knew this would be a winner. Melissa decided that she would make a fruit salad with a minted yogurt and agave dressing, and we would both bring biscuits.

Melissa gave me the recipe for the casserole, and after the meeting last night, I stopped off at the market. I arrived home at 8:45 pm, unloaded the groceries, kicked off my shoes, tied on an apron, and starting cleaning and chopping mushrooms! I was a whirlwind of happiness & adrenaline, and by 9:58 pm, I had assembled the casserole, cleaned the kitchen, showered, and was climbing into bed.

Both the casserole and the fruit salad were hits with the staff this morning, and everyone clamored for the recipes.

Overnight Breakfast Casserole
6 jumbo eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup unsalted butter
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ onions, diced
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ lbs breakfast sausage (combination of Jimmy Dean hot and breakfast sausage)
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2-5 oz packages herb-seasoned croutons

Spray a 13×9 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
Place croutons in prepared dish and set aside.
Clean and slice mushrooms, dice onions, and finely chop garlic.
Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the butter.  Cook over medium-high heat until mushrooms and onions have caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from saucepan, and spoon mixture over croutons.
Distribute shredded cheese over crouton and mushroom mixture.
Using the same pan, cook sausage until browned and cooked through; set aside and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, cream, soup, and dry mustard until frothy.
Pour egg mixture over cheese, crouton, and mushroom layers.
Once the sausage is cooled, evenly distribute over the top of the casserole, pressing sausage into the egg mixture.
Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, remove casserole from refrigerator, and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean.



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