Paula Deen is not the model Chef of healthy cooking...at least I hope not. (LOL) No one in their right mind (hence the word "right") would model their daily, every day cooking habits on Paula Deen's recipes. I would say however that if you were looking for some old fashioned yummy comfort food for a dinner party or fancy brunch ~ go for it! When you're entertaining, people expect the food to be special and higher in fat and calories than an everyday fare. There is nothing worse than going to a dinner party and the cook announces "Everything on the menu is made with low fat ingredients.", and to add insult to injury it REALLY tastes low fat. BORING...to say the least! I cook that way every day for health reasons, but every once in a while I like to indulge. Sometimes I want to hear my belly say thank you, and purr like a kitten. Meow...
January 17, 2012, Paula Deen publicly announced that she has type II diabetes. Her diagnosis has turned the spotlight toward the cooking she's famous for, which often contains rich, fatty foods loaded with butter and sugar. Paula Deen says her diagnosis is not a death sentence and won't change how she cooks, but diabetes has caused her to make some lifestyle changes. We'll see what the future holds for the Queen of Bubbling Butter. While it is true that most of her recipes aren't diabetic friendly, heart healthy, or low calorie that doesn't mean to say they can't be.
Last Thursday, I made one of Paula Deen's recipes for my bible study group's fellowship day. I adapted it by adding less fatty substitutes, and it was if I must say so myself...Delicious! This creamy hash brown casserole can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. I meant to take a pic of the casserole right after it came out of the oven looking all pretty. However, I plum forgot trying to hurry to class. I did mange to get a pic of what was left over, and also before my teenage son demolished the rest. The ladies really ♥'ed it! If you get a chance try it out, I promise it won't disappoint!
Creamy Hash Brown Casserole
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen ~ adapted by Sonya M. Jones
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, chopped ~ (I only used half)
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream ~ (I used light sour cream)
1 (10 1/2 -ounce) can cream of celery soup ~ (I used low fat cream of mushroom. Trust me cream of mushroom makes it taste a lot better)
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend ~(I never skimp on the cheese...lol)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed ~ (I used diced potatoes. Only because I picked up the wrong package.)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 cups crushed potato chips for the topping ~ (*DEFINITELY NOT ~ I used extra cheese instead, sprinkle how much you want)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a casserole dish. (I used spray canola oil)
In a small skillet, melt 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Add the sour cream of celery soup, cheese, garlic powder, hash browns, and salt and pepper. Combine until well blended.
Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Top evenly with shredded cheese during the last 15min of baking. serves 8 - 10