Life is busy. It’s busy enough with work, church, school, taking care of home, family, etc., but every now and again life gets REALLY busy. Silly, stupid busy. You begin to lose sleep and worry how you’ll meet all your responsibilities. Even the ones you have imposed upon yourself, such as writing a weekly food blog. This has been the plight of Food Flippers as of late. Work for both of us has accelerated exponentially over the past six to eight weeks.
I share that to say I really had to punt in coming up with something to blog and flip this week, as I was in the middle of a huge deadline. As it turns out, I was invited to a baby shower this afternoon and asked to bring something to contribute to the celebration. I always seem to work best if I am given a deadline. In trying to think up what to take to the shower, I accidentally came up with a flip using one of my go-to casserole recipes – breakfast sausage casserole. Probably every cook reading this blog has a breakfast casserole recipe in their arsenal of recipes. Mine is one that we use in our yearly church fundraiser, “Gourmet to Go”. It has three ingredients and you usually want to eat the whole dish right by yourself. A pound of ground sausage cooked and drained, mixed with a block of softened cream cheese and covered by a can of crescent rolls. Bake in the oven until browned and bubbly. That’s it. I even serve this for dinner sometimes.
So I took the premise of this go-to EASY dish and flipped it to something not only delicious but elegant enough to take to a baby shower or any gathering. Here’s what I did:
I always end up adding onions, peppers, and mushrooms to the original recipe because we love that combination in just about anything. I also had some leftover roasted vegetables of potatoes, squash and red peppers so I decided to make some with sausage in the mix and some that are vegetarian for anyone shying away from meat. We couldn’t decide which one we liked best. (If you’re not roasting all your vegetables, do yourself a favor and start doing this. Vegetables truly become the best version of themselves when roasted. It will even make you love vegetables that aren’t always on everyone’s list of favorites, like Brussels sprouts or squash.)
I kept the original cream cheese….I mean why wouldn’t you? You can smother cardboard in cream cheese and it will taste good.
Next, the crescent rolls. Nothing wrong with them at all but for a shower/party gathering, I decided to use puff pastry – another favorite staple in my kitchen. It worked beautifully!
THEN…guess what I served alongside??? Grumpy Man pepper jelly…..a new flavor I picked up this week for the summer…pineapple! M.E.R.C.Y!! I cannot describe how delicious this flavor of Grumpy Man is, you’ll just need to get your own. (Remember, if you are local, The Flower Shop on Church carries GM and Sunflower Grocery in Hattiesburg. If you aren’t local, go to www.grumpymanfoods.com and order some online straight from Grumpy Man.)
Please promise you’ll try these!
The Recipe: Flipped Out Casserole Appetizers
1 pound bulk sausage – hot or mild
1 small onion chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup, sliced fresh mushrooms
1 8oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups grated cheese, your choice
Puff pastry sheets
Roasted vegetables, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. (Regular sized or mini)
- Divide sheet of puff pastry into three equal strips. Cut each strip into a square. Square should be large enough to fit down into cup of muffin tin. If you are using a regular sized tin, square should be about 3’ x 3’ or so. If using mini tins, cut square smaller. Place puff pastry into each little muffin cup. Set aside.
- Brown sausage, onions, mushrooms and peppers until cooked, drain any fat.
- Mix in softened cream cheese until well combined.
- Spoon about 2-3 T of mixture into each muffin cup if using regular sized tin. Less for mini tins. Do not overfill.
- Top each cup with grated cheese of your choice. I used pepper jack.
- Bake in 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes – until puff pastry is golden brown. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then remove from tin to a baking rack to cool slightly.
- Serve with a spoonful of Grumpy Man pepper jelly for dipping.
NOTE: If you are a vegetarian or avoiding meat, roast or sauté your favorite veggies. Mix with the cream cheese when cooked and place in muffin tins as normal.