Thursdays Are (Still) For Cooking!

| February 10, 2022

Baby red potatoes

This one is something I posted a while back, but it’s still a good dish if you’re in a hurry and have a crowd to feed. I’m looking for things like this casserole that will stretch your budget and keep your people happy and full. Also, it’s easy enough to make this and other dishes like it. In winter, we all want good, hot food when we come in from the triumphant ending of a Snowball War in the Front Yard Zone, don’t we?

Some of the ingredients, such as bacon and the hash browns, can be prepped the night before and stored covered in the fridge.  Now, obviously, you’ll be putting other dishes on the table or buffet, so you only need to decide what, and how much, needs to be added. Keep the bread fresh in the fridge for toasting in the morning, and throw in some of your favorite biscuits while you’re at it.

If this doesn’t keep the little bacon pickers happy, nothing will.


1 lb bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)

1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup milk

12 eggs

1 package (2 lb) frozen hash browns, thawed

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 oz)

  • In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Using slotted spoon. Remove from pan to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Drain drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in pan. Add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms; cook 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in mustard, salt and pepper. In large bowl, beat milk and eggs with wire whisk.
  • Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of hash browns in baking dish. Spread onion mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Spread remaining hash browns over top. Pour egg mixture on top. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • Heat oven to 325°F. Uncover; bake 50 to 60 minutes or until thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese and the bacon. Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean, top is puffed and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes.

Use Monterey Jack, Colby or Swiss for the Cheddar cheese.

Serve with assorted breads and fresh fruit.

Category: Cooking, Economy

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Mmmmmm, bacon.
Thanks, Ex.


“…keep the little bacon pickers happy…” Talking about me again, Mi’Lady? Guilty as charged! Lubs me some bacon, and lubs me this dish. I do have to leave out the onyum and belled peppers (I can use the powdered version of both for the flavor and throw in a good portion of Mrs. Dash). I believe that I have everything I need to make this in my inventory. And a pan of biscuits since the oven is gonna be on.

Tanks Matey…Let’s eat!

The Stranger

Nah, let’s do some creamed corned beef over biscuits!


Always gots room for sausage gravy & biscuits, Mi’Lady. You do realize, of course, that will bring out Commander Pink Robe and he will want more than his fair share. Jus’ saying.

On the lard question, yes it is made by rendering the fatty pieces of the porked beast, on very low heat, melting the fat away from the meat (creating liquid lard and cracklins). Fat from the back and belly (bacon) is where most of the lard comes from, with the purest coming from the area around the kidney. I well remember hog butchering time when a lad, right when the first freeze hit. As the porkers were processed, large pieces were placed in the big cast iron kettles for rendering as the hams, shoulders, loins, ribs,ect, were strung up in the smoke house. Good times! Modern porkers are raised to be so lean that the total fat content is less than 10%. Another good reason to buy your beasts from a local producer.


Suggestion for another possible cheddar cheese substitute – Gorgonzola.

Thanks Ex. Definitely going to make this for the Missus when she’s back.

On my dinner menu tonight – Home-made Turkey pie. Made with my Grandma’s pie pastry recipe(w/lard not-the shortening).

Good bread, good meat; good grief!
Let’s eat!!


Umm, you could but Grandma generally bought it from the grocery store But same as yourself – we save our grease too – great to cook/fry up eggs or add to a lot of other recipes, like I used half a teaspoon of to cook up and make the turkey and ultimately, thick turkey stew(mixed in w/ carrots, peas, onions, asparagus-tips) for my Turkey pie. Nope. Grandma used to say ‘got to use up everything in ‘ol porky that’s found between the nose and tail including the oink and squeal’. On average, our old-school-glass-top one quart mason jar of accrued bacon fat runs somewhere between two thirds to almost full. It’s always been a part of our daily kitchen.

‘Nishnawb cooking hit – a tablespoon an a bit of some of that saved bacon grease, dropped in when your cooking oil is heating up and when your oil is up to heat and your ready to drop that dough in, your gonna end up make some of the best Fry Bread ya ever made. Grew up on it


A pound of bacon, 12 eggs. 2 lbs of hash browns, 2 cups of shredded Cheddar…

When there are only two under a roof: A meal for dinner/supper…when we get up in the morning..Voila..Breakfast! Any leftovers can be lunch or brunch..

Thank You, Ex, for another great recipe!

Well, gitarcarver…can this be an Instant Pot meal? 😉😎


What? No Bisquick? 🙂


I was just kidding, but thanks for playing along 🙂


As we are repeating and going off in a different route…..

For those who like to cook under pressure…..

Creamy Chicken Rigatoni


  • 1/2 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 1 pound chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • 24 oz marinara sauce keep jar to fill half way with water
  • 2 bell peppers cut into large pieces
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional


  1. Heat Instant Pot to Saute. Add olive oil. Once pot says HOT, add chicken. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and then let cook till brown on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Stir and make sure no chicken pieces are sticking to the bottom. Hit cancel.
  2. Add peppers and onions on top of the chicken. Add pasta. Add marinara sauce and then fill jar halfway and add water, about 1 cup. Push any noodles that are above the sauce into it.
  3. Put lid on the Instant Pot and turn to sealed. Use the manual function and change the timer to 5 minutes. Let cook. Once finished, do a quick release then add the half and half and parmesan cheese. Stir to distribute. Add additional seasonings to taste. Add basil and serve.

You can always fry and add bacon with this recipe.

I would never just use water. Water and some wine adds more depth of flavor.


It just doesn’t get easier than this.


PS I always like more cheese on these recipes. I would add mozzarella or an Italian blend type thing.

To me, with Italian-ish food, more cheese is better.