Recipes from our Suburban Chef, Kia Crittenden

Breakfast Casserole


1 tablespoon butter, softened

10 (3/4-ounce) slices yellow or white American cheese

1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated hash brown potatoes

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage

1/4 cup half & half

1 Roma tomato, seeded, chopped (optional)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)

  1. 1.    Heat oven to 425°F. Brush butter over bottom and up sides of 8- or 9-inch square glass baking dish.
  1. 2.    Stack cheese slices. Cut into thin strips; coarsely chop. Combine potatoes, 1 1/2 cups chopped cheese, 1 egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in medium bowl; mix well. Press potato mixture onto bottom and up sides of buttered dish. Bake 10 minutes.
  1. 3.     Meanwhile, crumble sausage into nonstick skillet. Cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until browned and no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, place cooked sausage into potato crust.
  1. 4.    Combine remaining 5 eggs and half & half in medium bowl; beat with wire whisk until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over sausage. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until eggs are almost set. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; continue baking for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
  1. 5.    Cut into squares; top each serving with chopped tomato and fresh basil (optional).

High Heel Cupcakes

Basic Shoe Instructions

12 graham crackers

12 vanilla or chocolate cookie sticks (Pirouettes, Oreo Fun Stix)

1½ cups white or cocoa candy melting wafers

1 cup decorating sugar, color coordinated to match shoe style

2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting, color-coordinated to match shoe style

Food coloring, color-coordinated to match shoe style

24 cupcakes baked in liner style of your choice, 2 cupcakes per style

  1. 1.   For the soles, place a graham cracker on a work surface. Using a small serrated knife, cut the graham cracker in half crosswise. Remove a corner, angled to ¾ inch, on both sides of each cracker half to make the tapered sole. Repeat with the remaining graham crackers. Cut the cookie sticks in half crosswise into two 2¾-inch lengths. Cut one end at an angle.
  1. 2.   Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place the candy melting wafers in a glass bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds, stir, and repeat until the candies are melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Dip one side of the cut crackers into the melted candy, one at a time, to cover, allowing the excess candy to drip back into the bowl and smooth with an offset spatula. Transfer the coated cracker, candy side up, to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining crackers and candy. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Save the excess candy melts to attach the heels.

Place the decorating sugar (use the color to match the shoe style) in a shallow bowl. Spoon ½ cup of the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting with the food coloring (use the color to match the shoe style). Spoon ½ cup of the tinted frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bags. Spread the tinted frosting on top of the cupcakes, mounding it slightly. Roll the tops of the cupcakes in the decorating sugar to cover completely. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, mark a 1-inch-deep semicircle from the edge of a sugared cupcake. Remove the semicircle of cake and frosting with a small knife. For open-toed shoes, make a ½-inch semicircle cut on the opposite side of the cupcake from the first cut. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. Snip a small (1 ⁄8-inch) corner from the bags with the vanilla and tinted