My husband absolutely loves breakfast sandwiches. So every now and then when I'm feeling like a nice wife, I'll buy the frozen ones for him (which he absolutely loves). You know the ones that come four to a large box and cost approximately 84 dollars? That *might* be a slight
exaggeration, but those suckers are expensive! I knew that I could make them taste just as good and be a lot more cost efficient. Not to mention saving all that packaging waste. And guess what, they're easy. You certainly don't have to make four of them, but I made them on a Monday, stuck them in sandwich bags, and placed them in the freezer. The night before my husband wanted one, I placed it in the fridge. He took it to work the next morning and heated it up for 55 seconds in the microwave.
Guess what, they tasted better than the prepackaged ones. I used American cheese, but I'm thinking cheddar would be great or even pepper jack to give it a little kick! There's so many different ways to play around with this recipe.Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches
Makes 4Print this recipe
4 English muffins4 eggs8 ounces breakfast sausage4 slices cheese
(I used American but cheddar or pepper jack would be great, too)Cut the sausage into 1/2 inch slices and press down into wider patties. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat, flipping halfway through, until cooked through. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
If you want your muffins toasted, toast them. Crack one egg into a small bowl and scramble together with some salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour the mixed egg into the skillet and cook for one minute without stirring. Flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds. Fold the egg into quarters and place on the English muffin. Place the sausage patty on top and add a slice of cheese. Top with the other half of the English muffin. Serve. To eat later, reheat in the microwave for 45-60 seconds or in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes until warm and the cheese has melted. If you want to freeze them, place them in separate bags in the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight before warming.
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And we're back! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday season. My in-laws were visiting us for the past week, and we had a lot of fun. It was nice to be away from the computer for a bit. I love you all, but it's nice to be around "real" people, too. Is anyone else completely confused about what day it is? All day Tuesday I was thinking it was Sunday. My internal calendar is pretty messed up right now.
This meal was planned for Christmas Eve, but I had to change plans for the weather. My husband plows snow, and we had a white Christmas. I didn't want him to miss this meal, so I made it last Saturday instead. This is the second time I've made this (the last time was Christmas Eve 2011), and it's pretty awesome. There's Italian sausage, meatballs, and ribs that are cooked in a hearty sauce. The sauce itself is pretty simple with only a few ingredients but has amazing flavor after you cook all the meat in it. This is one of those recipes where you brown the meat, add the sauce ingredients, and then finish cooking it in the oven for a few hours until the ribs are tender. In 2011 when I made this, I didn't have a pan that I could put in the oven so I did the whole thing on the stove. Low and slow with pretty frequent stirring. It worked really well. This year I did it as the recipe is written in the oven. I've never tried it, but I think you could do this in a Crock Pot, too. You'd have to brown the meat on the stove and make the sauce on the stove, too. Then you could transfer the meat to the Crock Pot and pour the sauce on top. If you wanted this when you got home from work, I think you could do all the prep work the night before and cook it on low during the day while you're at work. Even though I've talked about making this on Christmas Eve twice, it's a great meal for any time of the year. Even on a random weekday when you just want a comforting and hearty meal. Italian Gravy RecipeServes 8-10Print this recipe
For the sauce: 2 tablespoons olive oil1 rack baby back ribs cut into 2-rib sectionsSalt and pepper1 pound Italian sausage links2 onions, diced (about 2 cups)1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano3 tablespoons tomato paste4 garlic cloves, minced2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes2/3 cup beef broth1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leavesFor the meatballs:
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ketchup
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1 pound ground beef1 1/2 pounds linguine or spaghettiAdjust your oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper, and place in the pan (do this in two batches). Brown all sides of the ribs, about 5-7 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs. Brown the sausages on all sides and remove to the plate with the ribs. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and oregano and cook until the onions are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook while stirring until it's very dark, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the cans of tomatoes and the beef broth and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Place the ribs and sausage in the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover and place the pan in the oven for about 2.5 hours or until the ribs are tender. To make the meatballs, get a large bowl. Mix together the
bread crumbs, parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic, onion powder, egg, ketchup, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Once incorporated, mix in the ground beef. Form the mixture into 10 balls and place on a small parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. About 30 minutes before the sauce is done,
place the meatballs in the oven next to the sauce (not in the sauce) and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, transfer them into the sauce and let them finish cooking for about 15 more minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile, boil your pasta until al dente. When everything is finished cooking, mix one cup of the sauce with the drained pasta. Place the pasta on a platter with the meat and serve the extra sauce in a bowl. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
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My grandma was an awesome cook. Unfortunately, for most of my childhood, I was a punk kid who didn't eat anything she made. Unless it was mac and cheese. She knew I was an extremely picky eater, and she made me mac and cheese every time we went to her house for dinner. I swear the woman was a saint in that regard. Or maybe she just didn't want to hear me whine. That is a definite possibility because I was a great whiner! The year before she died, we had a Mexican feast, and she served this pork green chili. I hemmed and hawed and finally tried it...and I fell in love. Oh boy is this good. So I immediately asked her for the recipe and have been making it ever since. The main thing I love about this is that it's not a sauce. It's a chili. You can eat it with some cheese and sour cream along with a tortilla. You certainly can put it on top of a burrito or enchilada, but it's great in a bowl by itself.
My aunt makes this too (although I'm not sure if it's the same recipe). She grew up in southwest Colorado and is a great cook, especially of Mexican foods. She told me that if you cook your onions first and then remove them from the pot while you brown the meat, you'll get greater flavor out of your onions. So now I do that with any recipe where I have to soften an onion. I use canned mild chilis in this, and I think it can get pretty spicy so you may want to be careful about how many red pepper flakes you use if you're not immune to spicy foods. I've also used a huge bag of frozen diced green chilis in this recipe, too. You definitely can adjust the seasonings in this to make it how you like. The other beauty of this is you can make it and have it on the table in a couple of hours. It's a perfect weekend dinner in my opinion...plus, it makes for great leftover lunches all week! Pork Green Chili Recipe
Serves 4Print this recipe
Notes from my grandma: You can use pork chops, pork shoulder roast, or any other lean pork. It also works well in the slow cooker. After you've simmered it for an hour, if it's too thin, you can dissolve some cornstarch in water and add to the pot. Bring to a boil. Fresh roasted chilis are great, too.
1 pound pork, cubed
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Small white onion, diced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans (7 ounces each) mild diced green chilis
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Combine the 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper with the 1/4 cup flour. Dredge the cubed pork through the seasoned flour.
In a large saucepan, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Place the diced onion in the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft. Remove the onion to a bowl. Melt the other tablespoon of butter and add the flour-covered pork to the pan. Let sit for three minutes to brown. Stir and let brown for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add rest of the ingredients and let simmer for one hour. Adjust the seasonings to your preference.
Serve warm with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortillas.
Source: My lovely grandma
Pulled pork is such an easy meal, especially when you can throw it in the Crockpot and forget about it for hours. I've made this twice now, and it's a great recipe. The first time I made it, I did it with a three-pound bone-in pork shoulder. When I went to pull it out of the Crockpot after about 10 hours, it literally was falling off the bone. It was absolutely incredible, and we devoured it. The second time, I used a seven-pound boneless pork shoulder when I made it for the hub's 30th birthday party. I didn't have it in the Crockpot quite long enough so it wasn't as tender, but it still was fantastic. Everyone loved it. As a bonus, I made my own BBQ sauce in four different varieties. It was fun having everyone decide which one to slather on top of their meat. Out of regular, spicy, Jack Daniels, and apricot (because I was too lazy to buy peach preserves when I had apricot), the spicy and Jack Daniels variations were the favorites. One of the best things about the BBQ sauce is that it's no cook, so it takes about 5 minutes to whip up.
Here was some of the birthday spread...pulled pork sandwiches, baked potato bar, corn on the cob, kale chips, buffalo chicken dip, cucumber blueberry salad, caprese puffs, peaches and cream cupcakes, slutty brownies, blueberry pie bars, and cookie cake. Everyone was well fed!
By the way, today I'm participating in Momma's Meals Featured Friday
. She's baking my orange creamsicle cookies
. I sure hope she likes them...I think they're the perfect summer cookie! Go check out Momma's Meals to see her take on them. Pulled Pork Recipe (Crockpot)
Print these recipes
3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups water
1 tablespoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder. Season it with salt and pepper all over and place it in the Crockpot. Pour the water and liquid smoke in the Crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours until very tender. Remove the meat from the Crockpot and shred with two forks. Serve with homemade BBQ sauce (below). Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe (no cook)
Makes about 3 cups
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Store covered in the refrigerator for several weeks. Variations
--Add a few tablespoons of peach or apricot jam for a fruity BBQ sauce
--Add extra hot sauce for a spicy kick
--Add a few tablespoons of Jack Daniels or another whiskey/bourbon for an adult version (just make sure to tell people that it's not cooked)
Pulled pork recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
BBQ sauce recipe from Pink Parsley