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Monday, January 31, 2011

Hash Brown Casserole

My niece, Samantha, is getting married soon. 

Samantha - the gorgeous bride-to-be

Of course, a wedding comes with all of the attendant festivities.  Showers, bridesmaids luncheons, rehearsal dinners etc.  Sam is absolutely looking to the future since she's got everything necessary to entertain our whole family on her wish list.  Ok, registration.  Wish list just sounds so much more fun.  Registration is so, ummm, businesslike.  Since I can't (according to Mrs. Manners, aka Mom) do a shower, I volunteered to do the bridesmaid's luncheon. 

Mom aka Mrs Manners or Mrs Grammar Person - take your pick, she's still wonderful!

As long as gifts aren't involved, it's kosher.  Saturdays are spent at the office - most of them meeting with clients who've come in from out of town or who just can't get away from work on a workday.  That leaves Sundays for the festivities.  Now, being the football fan that I am AND hoping my Colts would somehow miraculously recover from a litany of injuries to advance in the playoffs, I asked if it was ok to have the party on January 30th.  And, since I love, love, love brunch, I suggested a brunch.  Deal.

Heres' the menu:
Mimosa's (It would not be a MOPS celebration without Mimosa's)
Fruit platter (gotta have something healthy here)

Ham and cheese quiche

Hashbrown casserole
Grape Pickers casserole (great name, eh? More on this later)
Lemon lavender blueberry muffins

Banana bread

Pumpkin yeast rolls with FARM Bloomington apple butter

Assorted sausages from Klaus' Haus

Sam's colors for the wedding are yellow and grey.  I know, that was my reaction too.  Interesting.  Then, my sister-in-law, Pam, explained the bridesmaid's dresses are a tweed that looks grey.  AHHHH, I get it. 

Pam - lucky me to have such an awesome sister-in-law!!

We got some yellow and some grey ribbon and tied it on the champagne glasses.  Connie did the napkins - grey - in a fleur de lis fold with a spray of yellow flowers tucked in each.  He made sure he was out of the house before it was filled with twelve women - all chattering at the same time, or so it seemed :-)

I kind of hesitated before including the hashbrown casserole in the mix.  It's not your typical ladies who lunch dish.  It's VERY rich.  But, OMG is it ever good.  I have no clue where the recipe came from but it's noted, "Excellent! 7-85."  We had a bit of it leftover with our after theatre dinner tonight and Connie gave it a "Big FAT Five!"  He rarely gives those out.  Now, I've seen the hashbrown casserole recipe with the cream of chicken soup.  But, I've never tried it because this is so daggone good that I don't want to mess with perfection.

Hashbrown Casserole

serves 12-20 depending on the portion size

16 oz frozen, shredded hashbrowns
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1/2 stick of butter (the original recipe calls for a whole stick.  Believe me, you do NOT need it!)
16 oz Velveeta
2 c mayonnaise (the real stuff, NOT salad dressing)
1/2 - 1 lb bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp (how much depends on how decadent you're feeling)

Take the hash browns out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you put this dish together.  Saute the onion in the butter until it's nice and softened.  Add the garlic and the Velveeta.  Stir until the Velveeta melts.  Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the mayonnaise.  Break the hash browns apart and stir them in.  Once the whole deal is nice and gloppy, pour it into a 9x13 baking dish.  Top with the bacon pieces.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until browned. 


briarrose said...

What beautiful pictures. Everything looks just wonderful.

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

Makes me wish I was there! Hash Brown Casserole - love it. I love any kind of casserole so this is just perfect. Congratulations to your niece as well!!

Rosy said...

I love hash brown casserole. You can never have too many versions. Great job.

Charissa said...

Ooh, love brunch! Breakfast is the best meal of the day in my opinion! Love the fruit salad pic!

Monet said...

What a beautiful brunch menu! I am hosting my sister's bridal shower, and I would love to serve this casserole at her brunch. It looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing with me, my sweet friend. I hope you are staying safe and warm. It is even too cold in my part of the country...and I'm in Austin!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

This looks like such a lovely party (I love how you did the napkins). And I'm willing to bet every party would be more festive with the addition of this hash brown casserole!

Lizzy said...

Looks like the perfect bridesmaids luncheon! You sure know how to entertain...delicious food and beautiful table :)

Cakewalker said...

I agree, the pictures do look beautiful, but from my vantage point, I was fixated on the casserole... Yum!

Lo-mo said...

Nice looking menu! I've seen hashbrown casseroles before and they are always different...I do love the velveeta cheese!mmmmm You are a wonderful Aunt to do all this for your neice! All my best to the bride to be!

Belinda @zomppa said...

This is definitely a crowd pleaser!! Congratulations!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Wow! What a casserole!! You put out such a wonderful spread, I'm sure everyone had a wonderful day. Nicely done! I'm looking forward to the grape dish coming up.... curious!

Sandra said...

I love Ham and cheese quiche..looks so tasty, and this recipe is wonderful too "hash brown casserole"
I am making something similar for dinner-kids order, and I wish I looked at your post earlier! Love your photos!

The Mom Chef said...

How much fun was reading this post! It took me back to our wedding, which was just 10 years ago. Wow, I loved all the preparations, joy and excitement leading up to the event (which was one of the funnest days of my life).

This casserole looks fantastic. I love hash browns...any breakfast food. Saving this one to make some morning.