SOURCE: Eggland's Best Eggs

November 22, 2010 09:00 ET

Five Tips to Simplify the Season

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - November 22, 2010) - (Family Features) Food Network celebrity chef, Claire Robinson, knows what it takes to make a great holiday meal, with just five ingredients or less. "When it comes to the holidays, no one wants to spend hours preparing meals when they can be with friends and family," says Robinson. "I think simple and delicious dishes are the best."

In keeping with that spirit, here are five easy things you can do to enjoy great food and a great holiday season:

1. Make a meal plan. When you plan out your meals, even the larger holiday ones, you can simplify the shopping and avoid the "what's for dinner tonight?" stress.

2. Stock the shelves. Make sure to keep your kitchen stocked with the basics like sugar, flour and eggs to avoid running back and forth between home and the grocery store multiple times. "In particular," says Robinson, "I like Eggland's Best eggs because they are nutritional all-stars with four times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and more than three times the omega 3 compared to ordinary eggs. Not to mention, they taste great!"

3. Try batch cooking. Take a little extra time to cook a double batch of spaghetti or make a larger casserole, so you can freeze the rest for another meal later in the week. After a busy day of running holiday errands, simply take leftovers out of the freezer and re-heat for dinner.

4. Plan a potluck. Make holiday get-togethers easier by hosting a potluck dinner. Assign a different dish to each guest so that everyone can bring something they love to make. If you don't have enough plates or utensils, have guests bring those as well. When everybody helps, the party burden is lighter and the fun factor is higher.

5. Keep desserts easy. Holiday sweets are fun to have, but can be time-consuming. Make extra cookie dough and keep it in the freezer. When you need a few cookies -- or a few dozen -- you'll be ready to bake and enjoy with ease.

For more easy holiday recipes, like this delicious Baked Egg Casserole, please visit www.egglandsbest.com.

Baked Egg Casserole 
Makes 4 Servings (or double the recipe and freeze the rest for later) 
Total Time 45 Minutes 
 
6   Ounces hot maple flavored pork sausage (Southern style), crumbled
3   Cups water
1   Cup half-and-half
    Kosher salt
1   Cup stone-ground grits or course polenta
    Freshly cracked black pepper
4   Ounces grated Gruyere
4   Eggland's Best eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.

Remove the sausage to a paper towel to drain.

Use the rendered sausage fat to grease 4 large individual ramekins, (gratin dishes or individual cast iron pots work too) and arrange them on a rimmed sheet tray.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring the water and half-and-half to a boil and season with salt, to taste. Rapidly whisk in the grits. Continue whisking while returning to a boil, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick and creamy, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and more salt if needed.

Divide the cooked grits between the prepared baking dishes and top each with cooked sausage and grated cheese. Make a divot with the back of a spoon into the cheese and sausage topped grits.

Crack eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl and top the ramekins with the eggs. Bake until the egg whites are fully set, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Courtesy Food Network Chef and host of "Five Ingredient Fix," Claire Robinson, 2010

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