Archive for the ‘Breakfasts’ Category

Bacon, love it…the taste, the smell it’s just the wonder food.  I wonder how many know that they can make their own bacon quite easily from their own homes without needing to subject themselves to all the preservatives and additives thrown into commercial bacon found on the store shelves.

Many are afraid to attempt making bacon at home. The element of needing to either hang it for months or put it in a smoker filled with wood chips sets the fear in so many individuals they avoid it.  You don’t need either of these to make your own bacon, your kitchen oven works just fine and even the apartment dweller can make it.

Bacon does not need to be made only from the stomach of the pig either, pig jowls make excellent, and, in my opinion, flavorful bacon.

To make your own bacon you need the following ingredients:

Pork belly or Pork Jowls.  (See your butcher)

2 oz kosher salt

2 tsp pink salt  (often sold online or some butchers carry this also)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup maple sugar

2 tbsp liquid smoke

Combine ingredients in a bowl and pour over your pork inside a Ziploc baggie.  Rotate to coat well and place baggy in your refrigerator.  Turn it three times daily, (when you get up, get home from work, before you go to bed) for a total of seven days.

On the seventh day, remove your bacon and place on cookie rack atop a cookie sheet and bake in oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.  (You will need a meat thermometer, these are cheap and can be found in most grocery stores).

That’s it….when ready to use simply thick cut (or thin if you are talented enough to) your bacon and fry as you would normally.  Enjoy!

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After a day of Science Fair projects with a sick boy, and a girl wanting to be entertained endlessly, I just was not up to making a major dinner.  The strawberries are starting to ripen, so they were the focus for tonight’s dinner, with both kids wanting pancakes and sausage it was easy to go from there.

First, take your sausage (one per person or half for smaller children), using either patties or ground fry in a pan on stove.  I prefer to make my sausage from scratch into patties.  This lets me monitor, and fake out the mind, on how much sausage is actually being consumed. I then use the spatula to return the patties into a rough ground stage once more.  In this way, my son who usually asks for two or more sausage patties finds he’s content with a single patty.  After browned, set to side on paper towels to drain.

Next make the strawberry pancakes, just mix up your favorite pancake mix or better yet, make up your own mix. Cut up 3/4 cup of strawberries into small cubes and add to the batter and prepare as you would traditional pancakes.

Place your bottom pancake on plate, add layer of sausage and top with your top pancake. Finish with maple syrup or honey,  sliced berries and dollop of whipped cream if you so desire.  Easy peasy.

**If you want to avoid the sausage all together, a nice layer of cream cheese between layers also is delicious**

My daughter offered her seal of approval on the meal, and a lap quilt I had whipped up from scraps.  She looks so angelic.

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We all seen them in the store, and odds are we all have at some time purchased them also, especially if we have children.  French Toast sticks are so easy to make and freeze it is outlandish the prices they ask for a box of them.  To make them at home is super easy, all you need is to make french toast and cut it into sticks, flash freeze, then bag up.  When ready to use them, take a few out, put them in oven, toaster oven, microwave or even toaster and you have yourself a breakfast or snack.  I truly hope that rather then spend money on additives, preservatives and useless filler sugars and starches, you will stock your freezer with some healthy and homemade foods for you and yours.

Freezer French Toast Sticks.

8 slices bread (Texas, French, White, Wheat)

1/4 cup melted butter

4 eggs

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2/3 cup milk

3/4 tsp vanilla

Heat skillet on stove top, prepare with PAM cooking spray or a small pat of butter.

In bowl mix together butter, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and milk.  Beat well to combine.

Dip bread slices into milk/egg mixture (do NOT do more then 2 at time or the rest will get soggy).

Lay slices two at time in skillet and fry golden on one side, then flip and do same on other. Set on cookie sheet side by side.

Do remaining slices in same fashion.

Let cool roughly five minutes before cutting.  Cut each piece into 3 pieces to create 3 sticks.

Place cookie sheet in freezer to flash freeze, then bag or put in Glad style container.  Pull out as many pieces as you need and simply reheat to serve.   Serve with honey, syrup or fruit syrup of choice.

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This week is time to replenish the freezer breakfast meals. Earlier this week I made a double batch of bread just for this occasion as French Toast Sticks and French Toast Bars were first on the order.   These are so simple to make and so easy to reheat in microwave.  They freeze nicely but also are delicious fresh from oven.  I’ve taken them to brunches, used them for desert dishes as well as for quick breakfasts around there.  They are not overly sweet, the sweetness is given from the bites of fruit more then from sugars and additives. You can choose to serve them as are, using powdered sugar, maple syrup or a fruit sauce poured over top.  These particular ones are blueberry and cream cheese, but you might also choose peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, insertion of coconut or nuts.  Again options truly are endless so long as you know the basic construction.

Fruited French Toast Bars

9×9 cake pan

2 cups bread, cubed  (You can remove crust if you want, I don’t.)

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

4 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 bar cream cheese, softened and cubed

1 cup fruit of choice

1/2 cup additions (nuts, coconut)

Prepare your pan, you can choose to butter it (what I do) or use Pam style cooking spray.

Put your bread cubes in a bowl, add the cream cheese cubes and stir to combine.  In a second bowl add your eggs, beat well.  Then milk, maple syrup and spices.  Stir well and pour over the bread cubes.  Let bread sit in the liquid for 15 -30 minutes to absorb.

Pour the entire contents into your prepared pan.  Sprinkle/or lay pieces of your fruit of choice on top, same with your additions.  Bake  uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes or until it no longer wiggles in center.

Remove and let sit for 10 minutes to set before cutting and serving.

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My children love, love, love sausage in a pancake.  Mom does not love, love, love the store price for these little breakfast luxuries. So, what do we do? Make them at home of course.  They really are not that difficult and it helps that my children just take the stick out anyways before eating, so I don’t even bother with that little piece of silliness.  So what if the children (and you) get some syrup on your fingers?  Half the fun is getting to lick the sticky sweetness off. As you can see from my son’s plate, he really likes them good and sticky, and swimming in syrup.

I make these up in large batches, flash freezing and then packing between layers of parchment to store in freezer.  When I want to use them, I simply pull them out and put in oven at 375 degrees for 12 -14 minutes…or microwave them…depending on how rushed I am.

Breakfast Pigs In A Blanket

Pork Sausage Links – as many as you want to make.

Pancake Batter – (thick style for this, if wanting to make pancakes, thin with milk)

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tbsp maple syrup

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

3 tbsp butter, melted

2 cups oil – for frying

To make.

1.) Fry your sausages and pat dry between paper towels.

2.) Mix up your pancake batter.

3.) Heat your oil in skillet for frying

4.) Put four sausages in batter and coat well, drop in hot oil and fry on one side until golden, flip and fry other side to golden.  Drain on paper towel.

5.) Serve or place on cookie sheet in freezer to flash freeze for 20 minutes, then store in baggies or containers.





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