The Breakfast Casserole That Took A Hundred Hours

The theme of my Learning Project this week: breakfast.


Photo credit: Riverside 

So far in my Learning Project, I have mainly learned how to make different main course meals like shepherd’s pie, vegetarian lasagna, beef and broccoli stir-fry, and spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs. I’ve also done a bit of baking. However, after Shania commented on one of my blog posts, I thought I’d branch out and learn how to make different breakfast foods. I wanted to try two different recipes this week, but I only ended up making one (but more on that later). The breakfast recipe that I did make was a sausage, egg, and hash-brown breakfast casserole. The recipe that I used I found on Pinterest, but it was originally posted on Gimme Some Oven — a food blog created by Ali Ebright. You can check it out here.

This casserole was delicious — it combines the yummy breakfasts foods that we all love into one, warm, cheesy dish. How can you go wrong? Both my brother and my mom said that it was my best dish so far. It was also quite inexpensive to make. I was able to make a 11×7 casserole dish for only $12.64 — under my $25/meal budget, plus we had leftovers! Here’s the breakdown of how much I spend on the ingredients:

Cost For Ingredients:

  • Italian sausage, hot – $5.99 for 1 lb
  • White onion – $0.98 for 1
  • Minced garlic – $0 (had at home)
  • Red bell pepper – $2.10 for 1
  • Eggs – $1.60 (I bought a carton of 18 for $4.82 and I used 6)
  • Milk – $0 (had at home)
  • Hash-browns – $1.97 for a bag
  • Shredded cheese – $0 (had at home)
  • Black pepper – $0 (had at home)

Total = $12.64

This week, I also decided to demonstrate my learning in a new way — rather than taking before and after pictures, I created a video that shows the process of me actually making the breakfast casserole.  I tried to model my video after the Tasty videos made by BuzzFeed. I’m not an expert videographer by any means, but I’m pretty proud of how the video turned out:


Here’s the thing: although the recipe was fantastic, the process was a nightmare. This recipe should have taken 50 minutes — 15 minutes for prep, and 35 minutes of cooking time. However, it took me over 3 hours to make this dish because of the videotaping! Like I said, I’m not an expert videographer. Because I was modelling it after the Tasty videos, I had to pause before and after each individual step to take a video so that I could piece them afterwards. I also often had to retake the videos because I messed up a step, or because someone coughed in the background, or because my cat decided that he wanted to make an appearance in the frame. It was very frustrating, and it took the fun out of cooking .

After I finally finished making the casserole and had shot all of the videos, I had to figure out a way to piece it all together to make one, complete video. This was also a disaster. I should clarify — I have never created a video on my own before using a video editing tool/app. We had talked about different video editing programs in class, so I first decided to try YouTube Editor. That was a mistake. First, I had to download all of the videos from my phone onto my laptop which took almost 45 minutes in itself. Then, sadly, I discovered that you have to upload every video individually to YouTube first before you can use YouTube Editor. Needless to say, I quickly nixed that idea and instead decided to try iMovie. I don’t have the program on my laptop, but my mom has it on her iPad. So, I had to send all of the videos from my phone to my mom’s iPad, save all the videos individually to her iPad, and finally, two hours later, I could begin the editing process.  iMovie was actually quite easy to figure out and use once I got the hang of it (and thanks to a few tutorial videos like this one). I’m sure it would have been easier on a computer, but I think the final product turned out well considering. My only criticism is the size and shape of the video — I took all of the videos while my phone was vertical, not realize how it would impact the final product. This is something that I can fix next time, though.

My plan was to also learn how to make homemade buttermilk waffles, but after this video-making gong show, I decided to save that for another week. Does anyone have experience making videos using video editing programs like YouTube Editor or iMovie? Do you have any tips/suggestions? I’d like to try making more videos, but I want to simplify the process.