Ham ‘N Cheese Egg Bake

I’m pretty sure if I looked back in my archives, I would find a post like this every year at about this time.  But I absolutely love the holidays, and I don’t ever get tired of talking about them.  I hope you’ll chime in in the comments because I love hearing about what other families do for their holiday celebrations.

I am absolutely adamant that we thoroughly celebrate Thanksgiving before even a stanza of Christmas music enters our home.  I know the malls are decorated, and some of my design clients even forced me to deck the halls of their blogs with Christmas festivities before the pilgrims and Indians were put away, but in MY house, we put Thanksgiving to bed before we wake up old St. Nick.

I think one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving so much is that I have never had to cook for it.  I make it a policy to always be invited to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving.  This year we will celebrate with my inlaws at my BIL and SIL’s home in a nearby town.  There is never any lack of food or drink at these gatherings.  BIL and SIL know how to throw a party.  The food is always good, with a great combination of conventional and unconventional dishes.  And there is always a houseful of people.  Good times.

Once the turkey is all put away and the pie has been consumed, we are allowed to start our Christmas celebration.  On the years we stay in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, we always get our Christmas tree on Black Friday.  I know this is sacrilege to those of you who like to spend Black Friday hunting for deals and steals on the latest gadgets and gizmos, but I prefer to do my shopping when I don’t run the risk of being caught in a stampede.  So while the rest of you are racing each other to be among the first 100 patrons to enter the store for some fantastic prize, we’re taking a nice leisurely drive out to a remote tree farm and spending the day finding the perfect Christmas tree.

Growing up, due to allergies, we always had fake artificial trees.  Now, I have nothing against fake artificial trees.  Except they’re, you know, fake. Okay, call me crazy, but I like to smell Christmas.  And I’m willing to put up with a few pine needles in my rug to get the full experience.  After I got married, on our very first Christmas, my husband informed me that his family always went out to get their tree the day after Thanksgiving, and that they always cut down a real live tree.  I thought that sounded just grand, and that’s what we’ve done ever since.

This year will be no different, except I have a list of about six Christmas blog designs to install in between sips of eggnog and unpacking Christmas ornaments.

And that reminds me.  Does anyone have a fantabulous eggnog recipe?  Because the carton — it works and all, but it might be nice to make up a batch of the good stuff this year.

So back to Thanksgiving Day.  We aren’t due at BIL and SIL’s until the afternoon, so I am planning a nice family breakfast for the morning.  I’m going to try a new recipe this year.  My friend who sent me this recipe is the breakfast casserole maven, and even though I’ve never tried it, I know it’s going to be worthy of our family Thanksgiving breakfast.  I wish I had a picture, but seeing as how I haven’t made it yet, that’s just not possible.  However, I do have the recipe.

Ham & Cheese Egg Bake
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Jo-Lynne Shane
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
This overnight casserole is great for company because it requires almost no prep the morning you want to serve it.
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 TBLS butter
  • 1-3/4 cups cubed fully cooked ham (or loose sausage)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free flour can be used)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the cheeses; sprinkle into a greased 13×9-inch backing pan. In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, onions, and red pepper in butter and stir in the ham. Spoon this mixture over the cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over the ham mixture. Cover it and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350. 30 minutes before baking, bring the casserole onto the counter to come to room temperature. Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. A knife inserted in the center will come out clean when it’s done. Let it stand 5 minutes before serving.

You’re welcome.

Now then. After we stuff our faces with breakfast and clean up the remains, it will be time to hop into the car to drive to Thanksgiving dinner. Gluttony, anyone? Because nothing says, Thank you God for all of your bountiful provisions like committing one of the seven deadly sins.

I’ve been assigned an appetizer and rolls this year, and I have just the thing. The President® brand has recently released the first and only brie in a log shape. The Brie Log is perfect for slicing to fit perfectly on a cracker. I’m going to attempt to make a clever little appetizer. All you do is place a slice of the brie and a thin wedge of apple on cracker. Then top that with a walnut half and sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Sounds divine, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to try it.

As for the rolls, I have a story about making homemade rolls for the inlaws one Thanksgiving long ago, but that will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say, I’ll be bringing whatever roll is on sale at the grocery store.

So what are your Thanksgiving plans? I’d love to hear what you are planning. Where are you going? What will you be eating? What are you making? And let’s take a few minutes out of the hustle and bustle of the weekend to remember what our forefathers went through to bring us to this great land where we are free to worship according to our convictions. I hope and pray we never lose that freedom.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Join The Conversation

31 Responses

  1. I host Thankgiving every year at my house.. BUT I don’t have to cook.. well except desserts.. I am the dessert Queen. My MIL lives with us so she prepares all the yummy goodiness we eat each year.. So I too have never ever had to make a Turkey.. 🙂

    I love hosting because everyone can come to my home and just kick back, and I get to be in the comfort of my home.. so I can pretty much really relax and just enjoy..

    And one of my treasured new tradition with my family is in about two weeks we all go at night, after we have a HUGE cup of hot chocolate in hand and head out to find a real Christmas tree.. I love the smell of Christmas too..

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!!!!

  2. Unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete Thanksgiving traditions. We travel to either side of the family, alternating each year. This year, we’re going to my brother’s house, which will be loads of fun! We’re actually going across the street to his neighbor, Buddy’s house for thanksgiving dinner, where we will actually have “Buddy Q” (aka Buddy’s awesome barbecue) from his smoker in the driveway. I know.. I know sacrilege! And I promise it won’t be a scene from “My Name is Earl,” It’s all very Yuppy- in a redneck sort of way! This is the first year we’ve strayed from the traditional turkey, but it’ll be fun. I’m hoping to produce a documentary on my FLIP this week: “The making of the BuddyQ” or something equally as cheesy.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  3. Wow, that’s alot in one post!

    Let’s see… hosting Thanksgiving for the FIRST time this year. (small group, so it’s okay…)

    I also do not like to do ANYTHING Christmasy until T-Day is over.

    Destest Black Friday, will shop after thanks. I don’t need a deal that bad (plus I used to work retail and so never want to be in the stores that day again!)

    Can’t have that big of a breakfast on T-Day b/c I am saving room for pie, but that breakfast thingy sounds yummy. Will make another day! : )

    Hope you and your family have a blessed and yummy day!

  4. Since this will be our last year in TX before moving back to SC, we have decided to spend all major holidays at home with friends. Of course, our family is welcome to fly out to join us, but with budgets tight this year, we’re not expecting any surprise company. So friends will come over tomorrow (they also joined us last year) for Thanksgiving. My husband will fry a turkey and I’ll get busy later today prepping for all the sides that we’ll have to go along – oyster pie, sweet potato casserole, asparagus, green beans, my MIL’s biscuits made by my husband, and broccoli salad. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  5. I am making my first ever complete Thanksgiving meal BY MYSELF this year! Say a little prayer for me, will ya? The anxiety attacks are off and on!LOL!
    The day after Thanksgiving we always go to our local Christmas tree farm and chop our tree down! Then spend the rest of the afternoon eating leftovers and decorating the tree!
    I won’t be shopping on Black Friday…The anxiety attacks, remember?LOL!
    And the Breakfast Casserole sounds yummy! I make a variation of it, but my husband is so plain that I can’t add all the goodness you do!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. We swap holidays each year between his family/my family. This year is his family for Thanksgiving/my family for Christmas. His family is here so we’ll travel all of 10 minutes! It’s being hosted at his oldest brother’s home this year and I have only been asked contribute a side (broccoli salad – ew! but it was assigned to me!), a dessert (my daughter & I will make a pumpkin cake roll) & tea (store bought, ’cause that’s how I roll).

    For breakfast I’ll make chocolate chip pumpkin muffins & sausage cheese balls. We’ll watch the parade and then make our way over to the BIL’s house in time to watch the Titans game.

    I’m like you in regards to Christmas. Though I’ve done a little cheating this year, I’m still holding out on putting up decor and playing Christmas music until after Thanksgiving is over! (Which is hard b/c I bought Sheryl Crow’s Christmas CD at Hallmark the other night & and dying to listen to it!) We do an artificial tree because we had too many mishaps with real trees in the early days of our marriage. It was a truce!

  7. Several things. First, I’ve never cooked a turkey, either. I’m freaking out a little bit because I’m on my own this year. At least I have a restaurant-career husband. Maybe I’ll get him to do it.

    I ABSOLUTELY agree about celebrating Thanksgiving in full BEFORE we pull out the Christmas tinsel. My mom instilled that in me. 🙂

    I HAVE to have a real tree. Andy grew up with a *fake* one but I will have none of that.

    And, eggnog. The best, BEST I’ve ever had was the store-bought eggnog (Mayfield’s or whatever’s good) with a box of vanilla ice cream melted in it and enough ground nutmeg to make it spicy. Y-U-M. You’ll have to try it. You can add a little spirit but usually we don’t b/c we share with the babes.

  8. Oh my word we are soooo alike! I have only hosted Tday ONCE and even then Dh did the turkey! I love being with family and friends, but just the thought of getting the house perfect and all that food on the table just wears.me.out. So off to someone elses house we go!

  9. We’re hosting but it will be very low-key – just us and my inlaws. I’m making a honey-brined turkey breast this year instead of the entire bird. Simplify is my mantra plus no one really cares for the turkey legs. The only thing I wish it came with is a wishbone. I’ll make a yummy mac n cheese, glazed carrots and sauteed green beans, rolls, apple crips and a pumpkin mousse pie. We hope to get our tree this weekend too. Enjoy your day – sounds like fun!

  10. We always have a family breakfast with a yummy overnight french toast. We talk about what we are thankful for.
    After breakfast we watch Macy’s parade, the two youngest boys are going bowling with their father and grandfather while I read the paper.
    Then this year we are going to my parents’ home for the big meal.
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  11. Big Mama has an eggnog recipe on her blog. The link isn’t working for me right now, but still. She can give you the whatfor.

    We’re hosting for 12 on Thursday, but all I have to make is the cranberry salad and tea. I’m struggling for a breakfast idea since we won’t eat The Big Meal till 4, and this casserole sounds mighty good…

    So. Our menu: fried turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy, cornbread casserole, green beans, sweet potato something-or-other, broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin bread, cranberry salad, cranberry-apple cobbler, and every kind of pie.

  12. I really thought I was the only Mom out there who doesn’t cook on Thanksgiving. I am not alone! My FIL cooks our Thanksgiving meal and since DH and I were married FIL has been teaching him how to do it so I don’t think I will ever have to cook a turkey. YAH! I am in charge or rolls (store bought) and sweet potatoes with marshmellows on top DON’t FORGET the marshmellows I have been warned. Friday we are off the the Wine Country to see my family. One of the things I am looking forward to – Sat my 90 yr old Grandma, my Mom, my 5 yr old daughter and I will all be going to see High School Musical 3 together. Yah I think Nana the Great thinks Troy is hot.

  13. I have had that appetizer and it is delicious!

    We are going to SIL’s house. I am looking forward to spending time with family.

    Have a nice holiday!

  14. We are celebrating at our house this year since it is also hubby’s b-day!

    BUT, my Mom will be cooking the turkey. APPARENTLY NO ONE wants me to cook it….imagine that!

    Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we too will be putting the tree up. Our FAKE tree, hahahaha. No really. Who has time to water the real thing, and sometimes I like to leave it up well into January!

  15. I host at my house every other year or thereabouts. While I love cooking and entertaining, my kitchen is not conducive to 12 people hanging out and cooking in it. It is chaos to say the least. Joyful chaos, but still crazy.

    This year, we opted out of all family and friends gatherings. Weird I know, but it just worked out that all of our family were schedule to spend this Thanksgiving with other respective in laws and such.

    We were invited but decided to have a quiet restful time at home.

    And not one Christmas twinkle shows itself until well after Thanksgiving is away.

  16. my husband should be walking through the door any minute with my two girls and his mom! We wil have dinner here tomorrow and decorate for Christmas on the weekend! It is surely going to be fun but long weekend. Daddy does the turkey and I do everything EVERYTHING else…but mostly I enjoy it! I really do, I am not whining!!!!


  17. I don’t have any Thanksgiving traditions either, except for two huge family gatherings every time a holiday comes around. But they already happened this year (since Thanksgiving is earlier in Canada). This is the first year I’ve missed Canadian Thanksgiving. But I’m about to have an American/Philipino Thanksgiving. I’m excited about that.

    And I agree. The tree doesn’t go up until December. Besides, it’s only three feet tall, and we don’t have any decorations for it (yet).

  18. OH and my tree HAS TO BE REAL. Must, no exceptions. Even though I am alergic, break out in hives and sneeze the whole month of December. It has to be real. I love it.

  19. Great looking blog!

    I have started a new blog focused on the funny and often thought provoking things kids say using their own set of “logic” and thought.

    It is called http://www.logicalkid.com.

    I am reaching out to blogs like yours and inviting you to share some of your own fun stories where kids say and express themselves.

    I will, of course, link back to your blog.

    To submit – just comment on any post or send me an email to
    [email protected]

    Thanks and I hope to hear from you!

    Dad S

    ps – I voted for you in the Blogger Choice Awards!

  20. We’ll be hosting at our place this year. Never done that before, and I’m pretty geeked about it. I’m hoping it won’t be a huge disaster, but I planned it all out so it should be good to go (yes, I even made a spreadsheet…. I’m a nerd).

    BTW, I don’t make it out in the blog world much these days, but I’m really digging your design.

  21. Our Thanksgiving day plans include going to some family friends’ house. I am bringing my Grandmother’s Pea Casserole (it has been a staple at this particular Thanksgiving for almost 45 years). Then, on Black Friday, we, too, are skipping the broohaha of the malls and going to the King Tut Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. Then, on Saturday, we’ll just hang out with the family and probably take our son to see “Bolt”.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    PS I hope you find the “perfect” tree!

  22. I’m thankful that tomorrow I don’t have to cook either! My MIL is hosting so we will be going there in the afternoon. I did make homemade croissants to take and while I was at it made some chocolate filled ones for my family to have for breakfast. I can’t wait to enjoy one with my hot coffee while watching the Macy’s parade in my pj’s from my couch. Ahhh. Just thinking about it makes me happy!

    As far as greeting Santa…gotta admit that XM Holly has been playing all week and the other day we sprayed snow on our windows and doors in anticipation. We’re going to get decorating tomorrow and the tree on Friday or Sunday. I do like fighting everybody on Black Friday so we’ll see.

    I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  23. Somehow I always do a lot of cooking, and I have 18 people coming tomorrow! It would be less stressful if I didnt have sick kids…. Anyway, here’s our Thanksgiving day tradition: after the big meal is eaten and cleaned up, my mom and I help my kids put together a gingerbread house. It’s the first “Christmas” thing we do, and it’s a nice relaxing activity after all the eating. It’s not a big thing, but we always look forward to it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  24. i am hosting Thanksgiving this year, i love it! this is our 3rd year hosting and there will be 38 of us here so lots of laughs and yummy food. my specialty is the sweet potatoes, a juicy tukey, and some delicious jalepeno poppers. although i do cook about 5 million dishes

  25. Thanks for the recipe! We will have our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow because all of my girls and my son spend it with their spouse/girlfriend’s family.
    And I’ve had to cook for so long I don’t remember not cooking! My mom passed away 19 ago and my dad 21 years ago. My twin lives too far away for us all to travel there and they can’t all travel here! BUT we all get together before Christmas for a family party and dinner!
    I don’t do the mob shopping tomorrow either. And getting a tree would be a great idea!

  26. Christmas cannot start in this house whether it be shirts, music, decorations, etc until Santa has arrived in the Macy’s day parade. I don’t care what the rest of the world is doing. That’s how we roll.

    He arrived yesterday at 11:45am and so now its on…. let the festivities begin!!!!

    And I like to be invited to other’s homes as well. Everyone is so used to me being orphaned and not cooking that I had about 6 invites for T-Day dinner and I turned them all down. Of course in years past, we would just float from home to home and eat our way around town… 😀

    Glad you had a good one.., now it’s time to get back to work… 😀

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