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Category Archives: Brunch

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

So, among my newly discovered food sensitivities are MSG and nitrates, both of which are ubiquitous in even many “all-natural” products. I did find that the poultry counter at our Amish market has MSG-free sausage links, but I don’t care for it so much. The casings they use are rather slimy.

This week I decided to make my own sausage. I bought a pound of mixed white- and dark-meat ground turkey and did some recipe-searching yesterday. I settled on this one, though I was missing a couple of the ingredients (namely the white pepper and onion powder).

I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter. I didn’t miss the white pepper or onion powder in the final result. The seasoning is very reminiscent of that used in pork sausage, so if you choose to make your own using ground pork, I wouldn’t hesitate to use this spice combination. You wouldn’t need to add the olive oil to the ground pork though. Turkey tends to dry out, which is why adding the oil to the meat and herbs produces a good texture for the patties. I would also cook this sausage loose and add it to pasta sauce or other dishes.

The Haul: In Two Parts Edition

I walked to the open-air farmer’s market this morning and had my hands quite full on the way back with:

  • 2 quarts strawberries
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • white onions
  • scallions
  • a white lavender plant
  • 2 pints honey yogurt
  • spinach
  • caramel rolls (for breakfast tomorrow)

After putting all of that away, I headed back out to the Amish market and got:

  • milk
  • lemonade
  • kettle corn (for a friend, I still can’t eat this anymore, after overdosing on it last year)
  • snack mix
  • more halloumi cheese
  • goat cheese
  • oatmeal
  • apple cider vinegar

Stay tuned for another post on how I used some of these goodies!

Savory Snack: Fried Halloumi and Spinach Bruschetta


I have some halloumi cheese and spinach leftover, so I went searching for recipes. I didn’t want to grill the cheese again because it was so hard to clean the pan. I found this recipe for Fried Halloumi Cheese Toast. Sold!

I fried the cheese slices for a few minutes on each side until they were golden. Then, I placed the cheese on piles of spinach, which I put back in the hot pan, to wilt the spinach a bit. Once that was done, I placed each pile onto a slice of baguette I thawed in the toaster oven.

So good! I could eat fried halloumi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Very Berry Oatmeal Pancakes on a Rainy Morning

Hello, Freezer-Fulligans! I’m back! My aunt was lamenting the lack of recent posts (the result of a foot injury that’s been keeping me off my feet). One does not like to make one’s aunt unhappy, so here is a post to get you all by.

The weather sucks this morning and my normal cold oatmeal breakfast wasn’t going to cut it. But I needed to do penance for dinner last night (deep-fried veggies and a chicken cheesesteak [and possibly tiramisu]). So I decided to make pancakes incorporating the oatmeal and ground flaxseed that I normally eat for breakfast.

Also? It’s March! I’ve made it almost all the way through winter without tapping too much into my frozen fruit stash. I decided to incorporate some blueberries and blackberries into my pancakes as well.

Here’s the recipe:

1 1/3 c. skim milk
1/2 c. oatmeal
2 tbsp. ground flaxseed*
1/2 c. frozen blueberries, rinsed (remember, it’s best to freeze them without rinsing them first so they hold their shape and texture)
3/4 c. frozen blackberries
1 large egg
2 c. Bisquick mix (I used the kind that is trans-fat free)

I poured the milk, oatmeal and flaxseed into a 4-cup measuring cup to let those dry ingredients soak a bit while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. After that mixture had sat for a few moments, I mixed in everything else and stirred until well incorporated.

Then, I ladled the batter onto a hot pan (one ladleful at a time; each made for a large pancake) and cooked as usual.

As you can see, the batter made for quite a few large pancakes! I smeared mine with butter and poured on hot real maple syrup.

* Don’t buy already ground flaxseed — it won’t have nearly as much of the health benefit as if you grind it yourself. I buy the whole seeds and freeze them, grinding them in a coffee grinder by the half-pint and freezing that too. Ground flaxseed needs to be kept away from light and freezing it keeps it as fresh as possible.

My Only Slightly Tipsy Kitchen*: Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins

When left to my own devices on a Friday night, I often bake. And drink wine.

Recently, I had some extra cranberries about to go bad and so I froze them, thinking they would look awesome alongside shredded zucchini in muffins. You know who else had that idea? Martha, as stated in the recipe that I used here (thank you, Ms. Food Librarian).

I made a few changes. Firstly, I didn’t have enough all-purpose flour, so I substituted 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour. While I was inadvertently healthifying these muffins, I threw in a tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Sip of wine. I only halved my cranberries where the Food Librarian had quartered hers. I have to be different, right?

Sip of wine.

I mixed the wet ingredients with the dry and started filling my muffin cups. And then I realized I forgot to add the cranberries. So, I finished ladling one spoonful of batter into each of 11 of the muffin cups on my tray, sprinkled in the cranberries, spooned the rest of the batter pretty unevenly among the cups and then stirred. And prayed. And sprinkled on some turbinado sugar. And put the tray in the oven.

Sip of wine. Rinsed the dishes. Ran the dishwasher.

Waited while the muffins baked. Precariously stacked pots on one half of the stove to make room for hot muffin tray on the other half.

Sip of wine.

Et, voila:

So good!

*Paying homage to My Drunk Kitchen (check out the Taco Episode).

Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread

I remember my mom making this a few times and when I went through her recipes after college, I was sure to write it down. It’s a very dense bread. This latest loaf needed 65 minutes to bake instead of 50.

I didn’t have 12 oz. of regular chocolate chips, so I added enough mini chocolate chips to make up the difference.

Ingredients:

Two sizes of chocolate chips went into my batter.

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. nuts (optional)
3/4 c. sugar
12 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 c. veg. oil
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first five ingredients in large bowl; mix well and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in container of electric mixer (I used a hand mixer) and process at medium speed for 20 seconds; stir into flour mixture. Pour into a greased 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes (or until toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean).

Have a little banana bread with your chocolate chips.

Submitted to Sweet as Sugar Cookie‘s Link Party!

Stuffing Pancake with Bacon and Egg

Inspiration came from this blog. Pretty self-explanatory — I added an egg to the stuffing and mushed it up into balls that I then pressed into a hot pan with melted butter and fried until golden brown. The pancakes didn’t hold their shape that well — I probably should have added another egg. Set two slices of bacon and a fried egg on top — good for any meal of the day. I had it with some leftover Sweet Potato Crunch.

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