I lost my dad 20 years ago, on July 8, 1992. I remember sitting by his bed side with him, holding his hand as he took his last breath. I believe it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I hope he knew how much I loved him and still do. He was my step father, but he is the only person that I call my dad. He loved me unconditionally even through we were not blood. I miss him terribly. The kids and I would visit him every Sunday after church in his later years and I’d take him his smokes. He was the hardest working man I ever knew. I love you dad.
In honor of my dad, I thought I would share a Sunday brunch recipe he would have loved. He loved his eggs and was a meat and potatoes man so I’ll share an easy egg casserole with you in his honor for Father's Day.
First Dad will need a pot of coffee, so get on the coffee pot.
Ham & Egg Casserole
1 12 ounce bags frozen, shredded hash browns, thawed overnight in fridge
2 cup diced cubed ham (I like to buy this pre-packaged in the meat department)
1 ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
2 chopped green onions
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup cream
1 tsp. onion powder
Squeeze the moisture out of the thawed hash brown potatoes by putting them in a cloth kitchen towel and ring it out. Put the well drained potatoes in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over the potatoes, add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix. Press the potato mixture in the bottom of a large casserole dish for a crust. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes until potatoes are just turning brown. Remove dish from oven and set aside.
Mix eggs, ham, green onions, onion powder, 1 cup of cheese, cream and salt and pepper in the bowl. Pour the mix on top of your crust. Bake the casserole in a the preheated oven at 425 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and top with ½ cup additional cheese and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the cheese melts and browns.
I also make this with sausage in place of the ham. If I use sausage, I also add a 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage. The sage and sausage seem to go hand in hand.
You can also make these in individual portions by putting your hashed brown potatoes and butter in large muffin tins and brown and then add your egg mixture. Make sure you cut your baking times in half or until golden brown.
Serve it with big Texas toast, pour the coffee and you have a man's size meal my dad would love.
Wishing all fathers a happy Father’s Day. Be happy and may God bless you and yours.
Back row from right to left: My dad, Donald Wiebenga, mom, Tony
2nd row from left to right: me, Charmayne, Dion
Front row from right to left: Wendy, Steve, Doris and Dona (1956)