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Two casseroles help feed holiday guests

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Guests staying for the holidays? No need to live in the kitchen. These two one-dish meals leave more time for schmoozing.

The day after Christmas is one of the busiest days in retail. Shoppers hungry for bargains flood stores to use gift cards and to return all of those presents that were chosen in haste and given out of obligation. A hearty breakfast casserole is just the thing to build the endurance needed for standing in lines that seem to stream from Castleton Square and end somewhere in Cicero.

Baked scrambled eggs
6 slices of bread, buttered and cut into triangles
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. evaporated milk
3 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
2 1/4 c. shredded American cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
dash Tabasco sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking dish and line bottom and sides with bread triangles.

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into bread-lined pan.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until eggs are set and slightly puffed. Serves 6.

Leftover Christmas ham or turkey can be used in the next casserole. Rice makes a nice change from potatoes at this time, and is a grain that allows a little seasoning to go a long way.

Rice casserole
3 c. chopped cooked ham or turkey
3 c. uncooked long-grain rice
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 c. water
3 ribs celery, diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 carrot, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rice, soups and water in 13 x 9 baking pan. Stir in chopped ham or turkey, celery, onions and carrot.

Cover casserole dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Liquid should be absorbed and rice tender. Serves 6 - 8.

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