Tag: sausage

Breakfast Rice Bowls with Sausage and Fried Eggs

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It was 5:35pm, and I knew my husband and oldest son would be getting home from karate just after 6:00pm. I had mild Italian sausage (no casing), thawed on the counter. Like usual, I had no idea what to make. And like usual, I made something up on the fly. Unlike usual, it worked. It was a quick and super delicious meal. I decided to make rice bowls, with sausage patties and fried eggs. This was delicious at dinner, but would be incredible for breakfast, as well.

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You won’t be disappointed, if you try this.

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Breakfast Rice Bowls with Sausage and Fried Eggs

1 lb mild Italian sausage, without the casing (if it is in the casing, just squeeze it out)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 C bread crumbs (I used gluten free)

S&P

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Jasmine rice, cooked as directed

Eggs

Scallions

Red pepper flakes

*any other spices you want can be added in*

*this would be good with almost any vegetable mixed in, or any type of ground meat*

Mix all the above ingredients together. Form into patties and pan fry (I used a mixture of peanut and olive oil). Once seared on both sides, add some water to your pan and cover. This will cook the inside of the sausage patties.

While those are cooking, make your rice. Lastly, make your egg. You can cook it however you want, but for me, a fried egg is magical. The way that the yolk coats everything…incredible.

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I hope that you enjoy this as much as we did!

Kristin

Annnnd, one more gratuitous yolk picture…

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Chicken & Sausage Paella with Turmeric Rice

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“Dinner.” “What the bleep do I make?” “Those people are going to be hungry.” “I should let them fend for themselves, but I’m sure I’d regret that.” “It doesn’t matter what I make, they’re going to complain about it anyways.” “Arguments will occur. Feelings [mine] will be hurt.” “Maybe I’m just too sensitive.” “Yes, that’s right, sensitive, but with the palate of a world-renowned food taster. Those little sh*ts don’t know what they’re missing.”

Do those thoughts run through your head, too? It can’t just be me.

I’ve started meal planning [attempted to, if we’re honest] as a way to eliminate some of those inner thoughts. The complaining, however, often still occurs. That I can’t seem to help. So here is a meal to add to your plan, complaining not withheld.

Chicken & Sausage Paella with Turmeric Rice

Recipe adapted from: Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, 75th Anniversary Edition

Serves: 8 (maybe more)

3 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

4-5 links of turkey sausage (I used mild Italian turkey sausage)

1 large onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic powder, or garlic from the tube)

1 T fresh or dried thyme (the original recipe called for more, but I’m not overly fond of thyme)

S&P

14 oz chicken stock

saffron or turmeric

Cooking white wine

2 C chopped tomatoes

2 medium or 4 small bell peppers, chopped

frozen peas

rice

Place your chicken (mine was partially frozen) in the crock pot. Place your sausage (also partially frozen) on top of the chicken. Place the sliced onion, thyme, S&P, and chicken stock on top of the meat. Set on HIGH for 4-6 hours or LOW for 8 ish hours. At the very end, while you are cooking your rice, add your chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, and frozen peas (we also added corn and jalapeno).

Make your rice as directed. Add a few shakes of turmeric and a few splashes of cooking wine. I didn’t have any saffron and I like to use turmeric because it is good for digestion.

Serve crock mixture over the rice.

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B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

I made dinner with a recipe. I almost never do that. When it comes to dinner, my family is just lucky to get a cooked, warm meal. I am a baker, what can I say!

So, I happened upon a sausage recipe on the same day I was thawing sausage (without a direction to go in). It was kismet, meant to be.

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I had all the ingredients too (which almost never happens)…or so I thought.

Here’s the recipe I found:

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/09/19/quick-weeknight-dinners-hot-sausage-tomatoes-fried-polenta/

The only changes I made was the type of sausage (not spicy) and that I added a whole chopped red bell pepper. Oh, and oops, I didn’t add fresh basil (had dried) and no sun dried tomatoes (those aren’t my thing). Okay, so LOTS of changes, but it was pretty much the same. It was DELICOUS! I could drink that red-wine infused sauce all day long.

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I went to go make my polenta and ran into a bit of a problem (as oft I do). What I thought was polenta in my cupboard was really ground white maize (cornmeal).

Whatever.

Luckily, I had quick cooking brown rice on hand.

Doesn’t even matter. That sausage and sauce would have been good on an old shoe.

Try it.

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In addition to that semi-successful meal, I also made something else that worked out! A few weeks ago, we went to a park birthday playdate. At that playdate, the Birthday Boy’s Mom, also my friend, brought the most delicious black bean and corn dip I’d ever had. I tried my best to recreate it.

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I knew it had black beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado. I mixed all that together and also added tomatoes.

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It was really good!

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kernel corn drained and rinsed

small handful of grape tomatoes,

1 ripe avocado

1 lime, squeezed

1 bunch of cilantro (or cilantro from that tube in the refrigerated section in produce)

Yummo.

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I put mine over lettuce that my big brother grew in his garden.

This one is a winner of a recipe and feels so summery. I know a lot of this country is not particularly enjoying their snowy weather, but WE have been experiencing (and mostly enjoying) what feels like summer weather, where we live. We spend a lot of time outside, usually at the parks. But in between parks, we spend time in our own yard, where the boys like to pretend mow.

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And blow bubbles, we do a LOT of bubbles.

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Bigs was pretending to be a goat yesterday.

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Baaaa

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It’s going to be a great summer. I can feel it.

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Smalls running and playing while waiting for Bigs to get out of class

Last night, we went to Bigs’ school’s Spring Fling, where they showcased the kids’ renditions of classical art. I was very impressed with my little artist’s talent!

Artsy Fartsy Bigs

Mondrian, Monet, Eric Carle…and Bigs!

And today was Rainforest Animal day in Bigs’ class. I went with a gorilla theme.

Gorilla Themed Preschool Lunch

I made a gorilla shaped PB&J made the crusts (aka branches) green. I also made a little fruit salad of grapes, strawberries, and pineapple. And for dessert, he got some animal crackers and some chocolate covered bananas (that’s what gorillas eat for dessert, you know). For snack, I gave him a spinach and banana muffin with a string cheese.

And naturally, he had to wear I had to put him in his gorilla shirt.

Gorilla Time

Me Tarzan.

Oh! I almost forgot, have you seen these?

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Apple fries? We went on a field trip this week with Bigs’ class and got these as a treat – gluten free to boot! They were awesome. Cinnamon-sugar coated apple “fries”. SO GOOD.

Hope you have a day that is just top banana!

Kristin

A Berry Good Day

Today has been a berry, berry good day! Yesterday’s gloomy, overcasty clouds burned off to reveal a blue-skied, clear, gorgeous day. It was a perfect backdrop for strawberry picking. We started our day with our usual Saturday Pancakes.

Pancakes Bacon and Sausage

This time, I added little sausages with our bacon, and brûléed bananas.

Pancake Breakfast

After our hearty breakfast, we were off! The strawberry fields were about a half hour away and we got there just as they opened.

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The boys were SO excited! To them, it must have looked like miles upon miles of strawberries! Bigs did a great job of picking the plump, ruby red, ripe berries. Smalls did a great job of eating any berry he could find, whether it be from the ground (half-eaten by some vermin or squashed by an unknown stranger shoe) or plucked from the plant itself.

Smalls Eating

Just about every time I turned around, Smalls was stuffing a berry into his mouth. His little baby hands were stained red within minutes. When I picked him up to give him a snuggle, his little breath and skin smelled so sweet of ripe, juicy berries. I just held him forever, burying my face in his curly hair and neck, inhaling his sweetness. And he let me, instead of squirming away. It was magical. I could have breathed in his scent forever.

Smalls and Strawberries

The boys had a wonderful time. It was great to show Bigs food-sourcing. He couldn’t wait to get home, wash these sweeties, and eat them – the ones HE picked! Snack-time was wonderful – a bowl of freshly picked berries!

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I love this one of Husband, Bigs, and Smalls, in succession <3

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It was such a happy morning, with the blue, clear skies, the sweet smell of berries in the air, and surrounded by my three, very special boys. My heart is so full!

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Our bounty, washed and drying

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Beautiful, ruby red jewels

From the strawberry field, we went to a Farmer’s Market. We walked around, munching on kettle corn (it’s always best made right in front of you!).

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Each boy got their own little bag. Smalls dumped his out on accident.

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We smelled the produce and plants for sale (this one was a spectacular chocolate mint plant!!).

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We watched an Amtrak train pull into the station and take off again. We sat there gawking at it like tourists. It was great. Smalls talked about for the rest of the day, in his own little 19 month old way, “Choo choo?? Wooo wooooooo!!”, “Choo choo!!!!”. Those boys love their trains.

And, we also walked through the rows and rows of gorgeous flowers for sale. These are the most lovely hydrangeas. I love hydrangeas.

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Spring has most certainly sprung around these parts – a fresh promise of growth and renewal, and a reminder of life’s beautiful, cyclical nature.

It was indeed a gorgeous and perfect morning for our little family! We ended our day (after all the non-event middle day stuff) with frozen yogurt.

Froyo

The boys are now tucked into bed, I am not far behind. I love when I am pooped from doing things that made me happy.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

I am so blessed by these three boys! They give me the hope for a new day and they fill my heart with love. My cup truly runneth over.

Have a very blessed night, yourself,

Kristin

Just call me butter, baby…

…’cause I’m on a roll!

Call Me Butter

Or a croissant…

Croissant

Doesn’t that look incredible? My Mom is a master baker. She’ll deny it, but she is. And she made these. AND the Chocolate Pear Jam (am I the only one that thinks of Pearl Jam when I see ‘pear jam’? I love 90’s grunge, what can I say!) next to it. I know. I’m wicked blessed (for many reasons other than the buttery pastry and jam).

It’s good to be back in some routine (as you might recall I’m a fan of), although now my Husband is sick. Seriously. I thought we were done with this! I just hope the cycle ends with him. Once and for all. Seriously. Go away, Sickness!

Despite that, we’ve been doing great at focusing on the Simple Things.

Game Night

We had a Game Night, where we played Disney Candyland. It is always a fun game, but was made more special with popcorn. Bigs goes ape poop for popcorn. He always has.

Game Night 2

It was pretty fun except Smalls kept sweeping his hand through all the player pieces and cards. And the popcorn. 18 month olds aren’t good at playing games.

Art Night

We had an Art Night, where we got out this huge pad and everyone drew on it. It was great. We love doing that.

Art

I cannot even handle how much I love Bigs’ happy face drawings (bottom right, middle of page). He’s just the coolest. Literally The Coolest.

Know what else is cool? Pretzels. Homemade pretzels. I made some. Sure they ended up looking like chicken wings. But chicken wings are cool too, right?

Pretzel Dough

The dough was really easy to make and came together well.

It was sticky though. And that didn’t make for very clean pretzel forming. But that’s okay. It’s not like they ever had the destiny to LOOK good. They were supposed to be like pretzel nuggets but since the dough was too sticky for me (and I had two crazy boys running amok), I just sort of cut it and some had tails and looked like sea monkeys and some were cute and others were wonky. And I didn’t score any but one (the one that made me make the decision not to score the rest). They went into their baking soda hot tub and floated to the top.

No Eggwash Then Eggwash

I piled those suckers up and added an egg wash. Okay, not an egg wash, but just a beaten egg (before EGG above, after egg below). Oops. They stunk a bit when baking.

No Butter Then Butter

They baked up beautifully though, and the eggy smell went away. I brushed melted butter on them after they were done baking (before butter above, after butter below).

They were just like “real” soft pretzels! Crunchy(ish) outside, delicious and chewy inside.

Upclose Buttery Pretzels

They look like those Snyder’s Honey Mustard pretzels here. They aren’t.

Buttery Pretzels

Some I tossed with Kosher salt.

Side View Buttery Pretzels

Don’t they look like the best ever chicken wings? Well, they’re not.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

The other half of them I added cinnamon sugar to.

Upclose Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

That was more of a hit. But I like pretzels in any flavor.

Super Upclose Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

Look at all those glistening, delicious pretzel nuggets.

I also made some delicious roasted sweet potatoes for dinner. I had both white and orange sweet potatoes (The black ones appear to be purple sweet potatoes, but they’re not. They burned. But I did that ON PURPOSE because my husband loves burned stuff. Works for me.).

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I had about a million sweet potatoes that I needed to use (they were sprouting). I made mashed sweet potatoes the night before.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I served those with sausages and fruit.

And lastly, to round out this very wonky post, today was Fireman day at Bigs’ school.

Fireman Themed Preschool Lunch

Here is his cool lunch. It’s a PB&J (duh), with “F I R E   D E P T” stamped on it and red, orange, and yellow outlining to represent fire. I made a little construction paper fire for him with directions on it, saying, “Put this fire out with your pretzel “hoses””. I also gave him a few more red tortilla chips. And lastly, he had cherry yogurt raisins, orange yogurt raisins, and some dried pineapples and bananas (all keeping with my red, orange, and yellow theme).

And naturally I had to send him in matching clothes. It’s how I [stop, drop, and] roll.

Cutie Fireman

I can’t help myself. It’s some sort of a sickness.

I hope you all have had a great Thursday. It’s one step closer to Friday – woohoo!

Remember…stop, drop, and roll!

Kristin

Busy as a Bzzzzz!

Busy as a bee

We have been so busy. School is back in (yesssss! I love having BOTH my boys around, but when Bigs is in school for a few hours a week, I am really able to find time to get stuff done.) and sometimes getting back to an old schedule takes a little adjusting. Sure my kids never slept in during winter break, but we still had to move a little more quickly to get places.

For Bigs’ first day back at school yesterday, I did a transportation themed lunch.

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Mind you, I’m a bit rusty from not doing any special school lunches since December 12th. I made a choo-choo and race car shaped PB&J, I put some dried fruit, nut and raisin mix in there with some orange yogurt raisins, some pretzel sticks and an applesauce squeezy fruit. He said he really enjoyed the train sandwich!

And dinner was even mostly successful.

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I roasted zucchini and squash (in a tian fashion, without the cheese or breading).

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I cut the up the veggies and tossed them in olive oil and Montreal steak seasoning and baked them for about 40 minutes.

I served them with sun-dried tomato, garlic and herb chicken sausage and green bell pepper tossed in a homemade tomato sauce.

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Everyone (all the adults – we had a friend over for dinner) ate it and there were no leftovers.

Did I mention that I am on a self-imposed diet? I am. It’s a dessert on weekends only diet. AUGH! I am three days into it and have stuck with it so far. It’s going to be hard when I start baking again.

Well, since today is Wednesday and there is no school, I decided to TRY to start a new tradition – Special Breakfast Wednesday. During the school days, we just don’t have enough time to MAKE a breakfast (that isn’t cereal, toast, etc.). So this morning I made pancakes from scratch. Snickerdoodle Pancakes. And they were HEALTHY. And let me tell you, they were some of the best pancakes I’ve eaten in my whole life. Bigs ate 10 small ones. Smalls ate about 4. And that’s a lot for him.

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I used a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. She does healthy desserts and breakfasts. I’ve made her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip before and it was wonderful. These particular pancakes have a very small amount of sugar and no fat at all (or eggs)!!

They browned up quickly and beautifully.

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Like every other time I make pancakes, I get better at making them as I go through batches. The last batch is always the best. Works out for me since I always give the first batches of pancakes to the boys and my husband first. 😉

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There, that’s better. Golden brown.

Anyways, they were DIVINE. I am not exaggerating. They were so wonderful. I still smell the cinnamon in my house. I will be making these again and again. And I can easily make them gluten and dairy free. They were made even better with real maple syrup.

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Real maple syrup can make anything better.

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These are a great “work-around” to my no dessert during the week diet!

Here is the recipe:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/12/snickerdoodle-pancakes/

TRY THEM!!!

Anyways, off to ready the house for my bestie! She is up from where she now lives, four hours away from me (waaaaaaah) and we are going to spend some time together this morning with our kids.

Have a blessed day!

Kristin