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snowday for breakfast

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Playing in freshly fallen snow can work up quite the appetite. But hunger is no match for this hearty casserole, which can be prepared the night before and simply popped in the oven come morning. And if all the neighborhood kids tend to congregate at your house, know this recipe doubles easily.

Serves 6.

1 pound sausage, cooked and drained
4-6 slices white bread, cubed with crusts removed
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Place cubed bread in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Layer with half of the sausage and half of the cheese. Repeat. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Pour egg mixture over casserole. Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350° until the casserole is cooked through. If the top starts to get too brown before the eggs are fully cooked, cover with foil.

Note: If preparing the casserole ahead of time to bake the next morning, put it in the refrigerator overnight. Count on it to take a little bit longer to cook since it will be cold going into the oven.

Hot Chocolate

Serves 1.

3 heaping tablespoons freshly grated dark chocolate
1 ½ – 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 – 1 tablespoon water
Dash of salt
Whole milk, a mugful
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cinnamon stick or mini marshmallows (optional)

Grate 3 heaping tablespoons of the dark chocolate and put in a saucepan with the sugar, water, and dash of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat long enough for the chocolate and sugar to melt. Grab the mug you’ll be drinking out of and fill it with milk, pouring it into the chocolate mixture and whisking slowly until the milk is hot, but not boiling. Whisk in the vanilla until there is a nice froth atop the chocolate, and pour into your mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or mini marshmallows if desired.

Basic Pancake Batter

Serves 4.

1 ½ cups whole wheat or unbleached white flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon honey, molasses, or sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons oil

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add milk, sweetener, eggs, and oil. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop batter by large spoonfuls on to a buttered skillet and cook until golden on each side.

snowday for supper

Bell’s Chili

There are many great ways to prepare chili, but on a bitter cold day, you need a recipe that can really bring the heat. Give this chili some time in the slow cooker, and it’ll be there waiting to warm you up once you return home.

Serves 8-10.

1 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 pound ground mild sausage (Use hot sausage for an extra kick.)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion
2 green peppers
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cumin
6 teaspoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 16-ounce cans kidney beans
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
Dash of cayenne, black pepper and ground cloves
4-6 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño (leave seeds for spicier chili)

Place a large pan on medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil to pan. Brown the ground turkey and sausage. Drain, but leave a few tablespoons of juice. Sauté onion with remaining juice from the meat. In a slow cooker, add meat, sautéed onion and the following ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on medium for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup

This soup’s simplicity and versatility makes it a go-to comfort food for many at the Our State office. Make enough of it, and its freeze-easy leftovers will keep even after the snow melts.

Serves 4.

3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1-1 ½ cans water
1 jar of your favorite salsa
Garlic, cumin, and red pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Jalapeño (optional)
Tortilla chips

Place a large pot over medium-high heat. Add water, beans, salsa, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the soup to a simmer for at least 20 minutes. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, and fresh jalapeños. Serve with tortilla chips.

snowday for dessert

Cheerwine Snow Cream Float

How could snow cream possibly get more southern, you ask? Just add Cheerwine, of course. Some recommend not to eat the first snow. (Why is that, anyway?) Given how precious the occasional snowfall is in North Carolina, we simply suggest making just enough to eat in one sitting. Snow cream doesn’t keep well.

Serves 8.

Large mixing bowl of snow
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2-liter bottle Cheerwine

In large bowl of snow, add condensed milk and vanilla extract. Stir. In individual drinking glasses, add snow cream. Pour desired amount of Cheerwine into each glass. Serve with straws and spoons.

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