I just went to a Christmas party that revived my love of the breakfast casserole. It is so GOOD!  Also, It is so easy. You can pre-make it and put it in the fridge or freezer until it's just about time to eat. 

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This is the perfect meal for Christmas morning. Just pop it in the oven and spend all the time with your family. ♥

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This recipe serves approx. 10 people

Ingredients:

1 lb Sausage ( ground crumbles or chopped up links)
1/2 yellow onion diced and sautéed
1/2 red bell pepper diced and sautéed
As many cloves of minced garlic your heart tells you to add (I add at least 5)
1 dozen large eggs
1/2 cup milk ( I usually don't like adding milk to my eggs but this makes it mix well and keeps it moist.)
3 cups frozen tater tots
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
2 teaspoons real salt
2 teaspoons of dried or fresh oregano
2 green onions chopped to sprinkle on top

Instructions:

Brown up the sausage over medium heat and then Sautee the onion and pepper until tender.
Add the garlic and cover for about 2 mins.
Throw the eggs and milk in a large bowl and whisk together.
Set 1 cup of cheese and the green onions aside.
Add all of the other ingredients together and put in an oven safe dish.
Add the remaining cheese to the top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 mins.
Add the green onions and cook for 10 more minutes or until golden brown on top.

You can add bacon or diced potatoes instead and omit the peppers if you don't dig those. Enjoy!

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Aaronee LOVES the country lifestyle. She has a great little farm with Alpacas, goats, dogs, cats and chickens! So yes, some.....stuff on her boots. ;) Aaronee's playlist has everything from Reba & Brooks & Dunn to Rascal Flatts & Garth to Miranda Lambert & Laney Wilson to Kane Brown & Morgan Wallen. She loves them all. ♥ Get her some chips and salsa or tater tots and a root beer float and she is set. She loves chatting on social media so make sure to hit her up on the Cat Country Utah Facebook page!

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A lot of times when there is a top ten list of amazing places in the state, Southern Utah is a little overlooked. This time we have 2 Steakhouses in the top 10!

A great steak is all about the perfect combination of quality, preparation, and personal taste. If it all comes together it's amazing. When you can visit a business that can serve it to you, even better. LET'S GO SOUTHERN UTAH!

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Here are the Southern Utah steakhouses that scored in the top 10 on the Best Things UT website!

Anasazi Steakhouse, St. George, UT

"Offering different steaks at a variety of prices, Anasazi Steakhouse in St. George uses what are called “hot stones” to cook their meet. Essentially, slabs of volcanic rock are heated in a special oven for 6-8 hours before they are delivered to your table with your entrée selection. There, you have ultimate control over the cooking of your meat. Taking a unique approach to steak, the restaurant is a must-do for meat lovers."

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Rusty’s Ranch House, Cedar City, UT

"Cedar City is one of those places you go when you want to get away from it all without actually getting away from any modern conveniences. In accordance with that vibe, Rusty’s Ranch House makes you feel like you’re really at a “Ranch House,” enjoying the freshest, down-home cooking possible. Offering four different steaks from $19 to $27, the restaurant is famous for attracting meat-a-holics from across Utah."

You can check out the complete list here: https://bestthingsut.com/steakhouses/

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How do you get the perfect steak? Let's break it down.

Firstly, the cut matters a lot. Different cuts offer various flavors and textures. For instance, a ribeye boasts marbling that melts during cooking, making it tender and flavorful. Filet mignon is leaner but incredibly tender. Then there's the New York strip with a balanced fat-to-meat ratio.

Next, quality is key. Opt for well-marbled steaks as the marbling—those fine streaks of fat throughout the meat—ensures juiciness and adds flavor when cooked. Fat = flavor.

The cooking method is crucial too. Whether you're grilling, pan-searing, or broiling, getting that perfect sear on the outside while maintaining the desired doneness inside is the goal. And speaking of doneness, everyone has their preference—ranging from rare to well-done—so ensuring the steak reaches the ideal temperature for your liking is essential.

Seasoning plays a vital role. Salt and pepper are the classics, but experimenting with different rubs or marinades can elevate the taste. Some prefer the simplicity of just salt and pepper to let the natural flavor of the meat shine, while others enjoy the complexity of various seasonings.

Lastly, resting the steak after cooking is often overlooked but equally important. Letting it sit for a few minutes allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier steak when you cut into it.

Ultimately, a great steak is a balance of quality, preparation, and personal taste preferences that make it a delightful experience to savor and enjoy!

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In Utah a lot of homes have food storage that needs rotating. This simple pantry hack will help you put together delicious chili that you will fool your guests into thinking it's made from scratch. 

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Ingredients:
2 cans of whatever chili you have in your pantry/food storage (I used Nalley Turkey Chili)
8oz of salsa (I used medium homemade salsa cause I still had some on hand)
Heat, stir and serve. Fast and yummy!
If you have time, you can up the anti and start with sautéing
¼ diced yellow onion
2 cloves minced garlic
Then adding in the chili and salsa.
Don't forget the toppings like cheese & sour cream and the chips to scoop it all up.
Everyone will think you have been slaving all day on your delicious chili dinner.
Enjoy!
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Karen Dutson
Karen Dutson
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We've already had some snowfall across Utah, but what is to come? When will we get dumped on? Lots of rain, snow and balmy temperatures are forecasted this winter because it's an El Nino year.

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It's expected to be seasonally stormy through December with rain and snow on and off but, the bigger amounts of snow come in January & February 2024

Here is what is What the Farmers Almanac has forecasted for Utah:

Southwest -Forecast for Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah: An El Niño could lead to "copious amounts of rain and snow across the entire Southwest," the Almanac forecasts. The Pacific Coast can expect a "stormy, snowy, and wet" second week of January followed, in the first week of February, by "heavy mountain snows" that will cover the western U.S., it forecasts.- Famers' Advance

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When will winter end? Winter temps and precipitation may hold on till early spring, with a possibility of snow during the first part of April. (We'll have to see what the groundhog has to say.)

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I'm so excited because it's time for holiday parties! I love getting together with friends and family and eating good eats. Cheese balls are a staple at holiday parties and you can always have the perfect appetizer ready to go with this easy make-and-store recipe.

(All of these photos are what you get when using AI. hahahahah)

What the prompt? photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party....not quite
What the AI prompt?
'photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party'....not quite
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I make enough for 3 small cheeseballs at a time so I can have a couple on hand for last minute appetizers.

What the prompt? photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party....so weird
What the AI prompt?
'photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party'....so weird. What's with the hair too?
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Recipe:
2 blocks of your favorite cream cheese
8oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 packet of dried onion soup mix
mix well and form into balls
What the prompt? photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party....OH MY GOSH HAHAHAHHAH
What the AI prompt?
'photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party'....OH MY GOSH HAHAHAHHAH
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That's it!
Now, I spruce it up by rolling it in chopped nuts or bacon, chopped green onions and different spices so it looks all fancy, but you don't have too. Put whatever you want in it to make it yours. Oooo hot sauce is good too.
Storing:
You can store wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for a week or so, or you can put it in the freezer wrapped and put in a freezer bag, for a little over a month. Just let it thaw out in the fridge a day or so before you need it. Do not roll it in the toppings until you are ready to serve it.
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Finding the best holiday treats in Utah can be a delightful experience, as the state offers a variety of bakeries, confectioneries, and specialty shops that cater to festive cravings. Here are some places in Utah where you can find delicious holiday treats:

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  • Gourmandise - The Bakery:
    • Located in Salt Lake City, Gourmandise is known for its delectable pastries, cakes, and desserts. During the holiday season, they often feature special treats and festive-themed baked goods.
  • RubySnap Fresh Cookies:
    • This cookie shop in Salt Lake City is famous for its unique and flavorful cookies. Check out their seasonal offerings for holiday-inspired treats.
  • Harmons Grocery:
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  • The Sweet Tooth Fairy:
    • With locations in various cities, The Sweet Tooth Fairy is a bakery known for its cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. They usually have festive options during the holiday season.
  • Muddy Bees Bakery:
    • Located in Hurricane, Each baked good that they make comes from recipes handed down, and tried and true. They may have special holiday treats and desserts for you to enjoy.
  • The Chocolate Conspiracy:
    • For those who love artisanal chocolates, The Chocolate Conspiracy in Salt Lake City offers handcrafted, organic, and ethically sourced chocolates. Look out for their seasonal selections.
  • Mrs. Call’s Candy Company:
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  • Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread:
    • In Logan, Crumb Brothers is renowned for its artisan bread, pastries, and desserts. Check their holiday offerings for a taste of festive delights.
  • Schmidt's Pastry Cottage:
    • Located in downtown Salt Lake City, Schmidt's Pastry Cottage is a long-established bakery known for its cakes, pastries, and cookies. They may have seasonal treats for the holidays.
  • Farmstead Bakery:
    • Situated in downtown St. George. Farmstead is a local European-style bakery/patisserie. They have sandwiches, pastries and decadent doughnuts. Keep an eye out for their holiday specials.
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    Before visiting, it's a good idea to check the websites or social media pages of these establishments for information on holiday menus and seasonal offerings. Additionally, check your local farmers' markets and holiday festivals as they also feature vendors with unique and delicious treats.

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