Happy Pre-Thankgiving!

impossible pies

Besides bagels, cream cheese and salmon, we served Impossible Ham ‘N’ Swiss Pie (left) and Impossible Green Chile-Cheese pie at our Pre-Thanksgiving. Photo by Laura Groch

We just finished a casual but fun family gathering. What? When Thanksgiving is just around the corner?

Well, yes, because family and friends are often heading to other in-laws’ or other friends’ homes to share this holiday and/or Christmas. So our branch comes together sometimes before Christmas, or in this case, before Thanksgiving, for a get-together.

I’ve heard other folks have christened this idea as “Faux-” or “Fake-giving,” but I prefer “Pre-Thanksgiving.” I thought about doing a turkey dinner, but decided on a simple Sunday morning brunch menu for 10 instead.

We kept things simple but plentiful: My cousin and her family did the bagels, cream cheeses and juice. We put out cured salmon and sliced onion and tomato for the bagels, two breakfast casseroles, two coffeecakes, coffee and tea; and friends brought fruit salad. Yummy and easy!

Bonus One: The house is now cleaned up for the other Thanksgiving. Bonus Two? Leftovers, of course.

For brunch casseroles, I rely on the tried-and-true Impossible Pies from Bisquick, using their Heart-Healthy baking mix. I made a ham and Swiss pie and a green chile-cheddar cheese pie. Very easy to do, and the results are pretty foolproof. You can bake or microwave them that morning. Or if it’s 85 degrees out as it was today, do them the night before, then warm them gradually in the microwave before serving.

These will fill a large (10-inch diameter) pie plate, or you can bake them in an 8-inch square dish. Just ’cause they’re called pies doesn’t mean they have to be round!

Green Chile-Cheese Impossible Pie.

Green Chile-Cheese Impossible Pie is a quick and easy brunch entree. Photo by Laura Groch

Also, if you’re doing two, you can easily double the liquid ingredients and then pour the egg mixture over the two separate dishes holding the different ingredients. And if you’re watching cholesterol, use the equivalent egg amount of a product like Egg Beaters, or just use 3 eggs plus one white.

This recipe is from “The Best of Bisquick from Betty Crocker” (General Mills). It’s since been revised on their website to have fewer eggs and fit into a smaller pie plate. See it here:

IMPOSSIBLE HAM AND SWISS PIE

1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked smoked boneless ham

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 ounces)

1/4 cup chopped green onions or chopped onion

2 cups milk

4 eggs

1 cup Bisquick Heart-Healthy baking mix

1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pie plate, 10 by 1 1/2 inches. Sprinkle ham, cheese and onions in pie plate.

Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1  minutes with electric beater. Pour into  pie plate. Bake until golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out or until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

IMPOSSIBLE GREEN CHILE-CHEESE PIE

2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chiles, drained

4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (Note: I use only 2 cups, which is plenty, as you can see from the photo)

2 cups milk

4 eggs

1 cup Bisquick Heart-Healthy baking mix

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease pie plate, 10 by 1 1/2 inches. Sprinkle chiles and cheese in plate. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

(c) copyright 2015 Laura Groch

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