Comfort Foods for a Winter Wonderland

Not sure about you, but here at the Drummer, we are ready for some winter comfort food. 

A new year means new ideas and new menu plans.  Hope these recipes jump start that idea for your family!

Herbalicious Breakfast Casserole


Level: Easy 

Total: 1 hr 25 min 

Yield: 12 servings


8 T. salted butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

8 store-bought onion rolls

1/4 C.  sliced roasted red peppers

8 oz. cream cheese 

1 C. grated mozzarella 

2 C. milk 

3 heaping T. basil pesto 

1 T. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano 

1/2 tsp. kosher salt 

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 

10 lg. eggs 


Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Tear the onion rolls into chunks and place them in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the roasted peppers on top, then tear the cream cheese over the peppers. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, then cut the butter into pats and scatter over the top.

Mix together the milk, pesto, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and eggs in a large bowl and pour slowly over the top of the dish, making sure to get it all around and into the crevices. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.

To cook from frozen: Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Remove the foil and plastic wrap, then re-cover the casserole with the foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until firm and set, about 10 minutes more. Portion and serve immediately.

To cook from thawed: The evening before serving, remove the casserole from the freezer and thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Remove the foil and plastic wrap, then re-cover the casserole with the foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then raise the temperature to 350° F, remove the foil and continue baking until firm and set, 10 to 15 minutes. Portion and serve immediately.


Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese


8-10 servings


3 T. olive oil, divided, plus more for baking dish/cast iron skillet

1 lb. cavatappi or other short pasta

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 lg. yellow onion, thinly sliced

Salt and ground black pepper

1 C. extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 tsp. mustard powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

1-1/2 C. panko breadcrumbs

1/2 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Heat 2 T. oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add cauliflower, garlic, and onion. Season with salt. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add 4 C. water and simmer until vegetables are very soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 C. cooking liquid; let cool slightly.

Combine vegetables, Cheddar, Parmesan, mustard powder, and cayenne in a blender (depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches). Purée, adding just enough reserved cooking liquid to get mixture moving, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish or cast-iron skillet. Toss together panko, parsley, and remaining tablespoon oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.


Emergency Chicken


Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 15 mins


1 T. butter

2/3 C. barbeque sauce

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2/3 tsp. garlic powder

1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken pieces - cut into 1/2-inch strips


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir barbeque sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder together with the melted butter. Stir chicken into the sauce mixture to coat. 

Place cover on saucepan and simmer until the chicken pieces are cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove cover and spoon sauce over chicken pieces; continue cooking until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes more. 


Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake


1 (16 oz.) pkg. spaghetti

2 (10.75 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup

2 (8 oz.) packages Velveeta® cheese, cubed

1 C. low-sodium chicken broth

1 (1.5 oz.) pkg. dry ranch mix

3 C. cooked chicken, shredded or cubed

1/3 C. bacon bits

2 C.  sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and ground pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

Combine chicken soup, Velveeta® and chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted and smooth. Whisk in ranch dry mix and salt and pepper.

Place drained pasta and shredded chicken in greased baking dish and pour cheese sauce over the top. Toss together until everything is evenly coated, then top with cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

Place baking dish in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly, and dish is heated through.


Pork Marsala


Prep Time: 10 mins 

Cook Time: 20 mins 

Total Time: 30 mins

Servings: 4


1/3 C. all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1lb. boneless pork loin chops, pounded thin

3 T. butter

1/4 C. olive oil

2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 C. Marsala wine


Mix flour, salt, garlic salt, garlic powder, and oregano together in a medium bowl. Add pork chops and toss until well coated.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place pork in skillet in a single layer, and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on both sides. Add mushrooms and minced garlic; cook and stir briefly.

Stir in wine, scraping the skillet to loosen any brown bits. Cover and simmer over medium heat until pork is tender and sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. If sauce is too thick, adjust by stirring in a small amount of wine.


Million Dollar Dip


Prep: 5 min

Servings: 6

Submitted by:  Karie Bruder Drummer Test Kitchen


1-1/2 C. Mayonnaise

1 C. Shredded cheddar cheese

4 green onions, chopped small

1/2 C. precooked bacon bits

1/2 C. slivered almonds

1 tsp.  fresh minced garlic

Tortilla chips/crackers for dipping


In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, green onions, bacon bits, slivered almonds and garlic. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix all ingredients together.

Chill and Serve dip with tortilla chips/crackers for dipping.


Easy Boston Cream Pie

Cookie Bites


Prep: 15 min

Cook time: 15 min

Total time: 30 min

36 cookie bites

Submitted by: Karie Bruder Drummer Test Kitchen


Cookie cup

1 box yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 C. butter (softened)


Homemade whipped cream

1 (3.25 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding

1 C. heavy whipping cream

1/2 C. milk


Chocolate Ganache

2 T. Semi sweet baking chips

2 T. heavy whipping cream


Cookie Cups: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare mini muffin pan by spraying each cup with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour yellow cake mix into a medium bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. Add softened butter and eggs to the cake mix and combine with a handheld mixer until dough is thick and sticky.  Using a small cookie scoop (or 1/2 T) put a mound of cookie dough into each muffin cup.  Using your fingers, go back and press the mound of dough down to create a level cookie. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately take an offset spatula or knife and run it around the edge of each cookie to release it from the pan. Once cooked, go back and use a tart shaper (or end of a wooden spoon) to press middle of cookie down and create an indentation. Move cookies to cooling rack and let them cool completely.

Vanilla Cream: In a medium bowl combine instant vanilla pudding mix, heavy cream and milk. Using a mixer (or whisk) incorporate ingredients until the mixture is thick and has stiff peaks. Move vanilla cream to a pastry bag and pipe a generous amount of cream into each cookie indention. 

Chocolate Ganache: In a microwave safe bowl combine heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 20 seconds and whisk. If you get silky and smooth consistency, then you are finished. If not, you need to add 10 second increments until you do. Spoon and 1/4-1/2 tsp. of ganache onto the top of each cookie cup. Refrigerate until the ganache is set and serve.

Notes: Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


Quote of the Week:

“The very serious function of racism…is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” 

~Toni Morrison


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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