Category Archives: Breakfast

Not Your Ordinary Breakfast Sausage Sandwich

sausagesandwichTHIS is a sausage sandwich to die for.

Start with pasture-raised and/or artisan quality pork, eggs, bread, and cheese.  Use the recipe below (or create your own seasoning mix) to make the sausage patties.  Then make a few batches of patties to pop in the freezer and  you will have all the convenience of those coffee shop affairs, but oh, such better flavor.

For the record, this sandwich was made with bread from Mamadou’s Artisan
Bakery, eggs from Copicut Farms, ground pork from Lilac Hedge Farm, and cheese from West River Creamery, all vendors at the Wakefield Farmers Market in Wakefield MA, USA.

Making the sandwich itself is, of course, easy enough. Cook up a sausage patty, melt some cheese on some bread, scramble up an egg, and put it all together.  For the sausage patty, you can buy pre-made patties, preferably from a local pasture-raising farm, or purchase ground pork and season it yourself.  Here is how I do it:

Breakfast Sausage Patties

To make enough for 3 lbs ground pork:

1 Tbsp powered sage
1 scant Tbsp freshly ground black pepper (or pre-ground)
2 tsp powered garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or powdered nutmeg)
1/8 tsp powdered cloves
1/8 tsp fennel pollen (or powdered fennel seed)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
A few dashes of maple syrup (optional)

Mix all the spices, then mix in the brown sugar.  Use 2 Tbsp per pound of ground pork and mix in by hand thoroughly, along with the maple syrup, if using. Store any remaining seasoning mix in an airtight jar.

Form 2 ounce patties (8 per pound) and flatten on a foil-lined baking sheet to about 3 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4-1/3″  thick.  Bake at 400 degrees (350 convection) for about 20 minutes, turning at least once. Broil at end for extra browning, if desired.

To freeze: Line a baking sheet or pan with wax paper, foil, or the like,  flatten the patties onto the sheet, and freeze.  Once frozen, peel the patties off the liner and place them in a freezer bag.  Take out as needed and bake at 400 for about 20 minutes – maybe a bit more if cooking directly from the freezer. Note: For thicker rounder patties, don’t flatten as much before cooking.  But flatten as directed for the perfect fit for a sausage and egg sandwich.

Enjoy!

A Simple, Delicious, and Healthy Breakfast or Dessert – by Steve!

This morning, I was asking Steve about breakfast since I am stuck on crutches and having to keep my foot elevated for another week or so.  (Kind of fun in one sense:   Honey, what’s for breakfast??  A turn of events since it has become habit for me to do most of the cooking, etc. at our home.)

WELL, I think I should ask him to be in in charge of more meals even when I am better.  Check out what appeared when I asked for a dish of yogurt:

This was a lovely surprise. Thank you, honey! And a big thank you to Paul Faler for letting me come pick blueberries the day before my surgery. Those blueberries were hand-picked by me in Wakefield MA!

Steve is keeping the stove cleaner than I do, too.  Hmmm.  I’m liking this!  Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune when it has been close to the two months on crutches and the situation wears on the patience of us both.  But, in the meantime, this is turning into an opportunity in which we are both being remind of, or are discovering new things we appreciate about each other.  For example, he has been commenting often as to the time it takes to keep up with just the day-to-day chores that I usually do, and I am delighted by his attention to detail when preparing and serving meals and snacks. There are also Breton Electric-related issues that have come up and my needing help with volunteer committments I made before the surgery was scheduled.  Steve has been very patient and gracious about everything.

The best news is that we have been finding a lot to laugh about during what could be a very trying situation.  Thanks, Steve. I think I’ll keep ya.  So…what’s for dinner?  <smile>

Granola – Quicker and easier than I thought

You’d think that someone who lived at least 10 years of her life as an ultra “crunchy granola” type (vegan for a while, even) would have made granola before.  No pun intended.  🙂

But, I had not until this morning.  Why not until now? I think the idea of heating up the oven and having to stir something rather spill-able on cookie sheets  gave me the second thoughts.

Why now?  Let’ see…Steve will eat oatmeal, but he really likes to put all kinds of stuff in it, which means breakfast featuring oatmeal was turning into a big procedure, with having to keep in stock and set out each time all the nut, seed, and dried fruit “condiments.”   I griped, and Steve suggested granola.  “Good idea,”  I thought, but then remembered that most store-bought granolas are high in fat, include high-fructose corn syrup, and can have scary-sounding ingredients in them.  Time to make my own!

I looked around online and found a few recipes to use as guidelines, made sure I had enough rolled oats, and picked up some more nuts and dried fruit.   But I kept putting off making it.  It was the picture of granola spilling all over my oven as I stirred it during the toasting process.  But then…

Lorna Sass to the rescue!  Specifically, her granola recipe in her delightful cookbook, Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen, by Lorna J. Sass.  You will find it verbatim  at the end of this post, including her comments at the beginning of the recipe.

Here is why I like it:  She gives directions to toast the granola in a skillet rather than in the oven!  Okay, so I did spill on the stove-top while stirring, but that is ever so much easier to clean up than if granola falls into the bottom of an oven.  And, as she notes, it is more energy efficient to use a burner for a few minutes rather than heating up the oven for 1/2 an hour.  Plus, the recipe is low in fat.

I used Lorna’s recipe for the general idea of proportions, but I used all oats and a handful beyond the three cups, 1/2 cup each of chopped walnuts and almonds, and a cup of dried fruit – a mix of pineapple, cranberry, and raisins. I added a tad extra oil and used 1/2 cup of maple syrup since I was using more dried goods than called for in the original recipe.

before toasting

I love my old cast iron “fryer.” I really need to season it because I have used it quite a bit for stews, especially tomato-based, acidic dishes, and have not keep up with proper cleaning and seasoning methods.  But, it is great for keeping most of the granola in the pan!

just about fully toasted

heat turned off and fruit added

Cooling off. Note mess on stove top 🙂

I did have a slight mishap when stirring the granola as it cooled and opted to finish the cooling in big bowl.

This is a great recipe.  I just had some with yogurt and I think it has just the right balance of sweetness, crunch, and chewiness.  So, there it is.  🙂

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[Here is the original recipe from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen, by Lorna J. Sass.]

Triple Grain Granola     Makes about 4 cups

The advantage of making your own granola is that you can control the amount oil and sweetness and, ideally, use all organic ingredients. (Although touted as healthful foods, many commercial granola mixes are loaded with sugar and fat.) Of course, it’s much cheaper to make granola yourself-and very simple.

The possibilities are endless, but here is one to begin with.  Unless you are heating up the oven for another purpose, the most fuel-efficient way to prepare granola is to pan-toast it. Make up a big batch and refrigerate it for up to 1 month or store it in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Skillet: 5 to 7 minutes
Oven: 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees

  • 1 cup each old-fashioned oatmeal (rolled oats), wheat flakes, and rye
    flakes, or 3 cups oatmeal
  • ½ cup walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped if desired
  • ¼ cup unhulled sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup safflower or light sesame oil
  • 1/3 to ½ cup (depending upon desired sweetness) maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup raisins or currants (optional)
  1. In a 10-inch (or larger) cast-iron skillet, combine the grains, nuts, sesame seeds, and cinnamon.
  2. In a measuring cup, combine the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, and pour over the dry ingredients while stirring. Mix well to blend.
  3. To pan-toast: Toast over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until oats and nuts become crispy and brown, the sesame seeds begin to pop, and the maple syrup emits a burned-sugar aroma, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in the raisins (if using). Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer to a tightly sealed storage container.

Cook’s Notes: If your skillet is smaller than 10 inches, pan-toast the granola in batches.

To oven roast: Combine the oat-nut mixture and the rest of the ingredients (except for the dried fruit) in 1 large or 2 small cast-iron skillets or spread on 1 large jelly-roll pan. (Cookie sheets can also be used, but be careful to avoid spills when stirring.) Bake at 375 degrees (the oven doesn’t have to be preheated), stirring every 5 to 7 minutes, until grains are dry and crisp, about 20 to 30 minutes. Follow steps 4 and 5.

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