Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches

The main things I craved while I was pregnant with the minion were fruit and breakfast sandwiches.  The fruit was easy, but the breakfast sandwiches made me feel guilty every time we stopped at a fast food restaurant.  So I started making my own.  Recently I decided I should try to freeze them so on rushed mornings, I can still have a yummy breakfast.  The first time I made them, I tried to do the eggs in a pan, the way I normally cook fried eggs.  But these needed to be sandwich shaped, so the second time, I baked them.

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Breakfast Sandwiches for Freezing

12 eggs

12 English muffins

12 slices of cheese (Swiss works well, cheddar gets really greasy)

12 pieces of ham/bacon/sausage if desired

Crack eggs into a 9×13 pan and scramble.  Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes.  Let cool at least a little bit.  Cut up eggs into 12 rectangles.  Assemble sandwiches with one rectangle of eggs, one slice of cheese, and meat if desired.  Wrap in wax paper and store sandwiches in the plastic bags the English muffins came in.  Freeze.

To reheat, take one sandwich out of bag, no need to unwrap, microwave for 4 minutes at 50% power.  Let sit for about a minute and enjoy!

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You can add a lot of things to the eggs, I’ve done paprika so far, but I have the idea to do about anything that you can put in an omelet, mushrooms, tomatoes, parsley, avocado, hot peppers.    Also after you’ve cooked it, you can add fresh veggies.  I’m thinking tomatoes and sprouts.  What would you add to yours?

Seasonal Produce: January

  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • lime
  • tangerine
  • carrot
  • parsnips
  • beets
  • turnips
  • potatoes
  • chestnuts
  • celery
  • butternut squash
  • cranberries
  • quince
  • pomegranate
  • pineapples
  • rhubarb
  • lychee
  • mango
  • mushrooms
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • onions
  • garlic

Did I forget anything?

Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Apparently there’s this thing called vanilla sugar.  And I could’ve been baking with it all these years!  It’s used in a lot of European cookie recipes and things like that.  But I made it for some chai mix.  It’s really easy to make and I have heard that it’s really expensive if you buy it from a store.  It’s really just regular white sugar and vanilla extract.  Be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not vanilla flavoring, or imitation vanilla.

I needed three cups for my recipe so I made that much, but this recipe can easily be scaled either up or down.  The vanilla sugar will also keep, just store it the same way you store white sugar.

Vanilla Sugar

3 cups sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix the sugar and vanilla extract together as much as you can.  I found it helped to use the back of a spoon to mush out the lumps in it.

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Leave the bowl lightly covered overnight.  I used a Pyrex and just placed the lid on top, but didn’t fully put it on.  When you come back to it, it will be hard and stiff.  Just stir it back up and break up any more lumps.  Use in whatever yummy recipe you’re making!

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In the recipe, I had to pulse the mix in a food processor, so I didn’t really stir it up after I let it sit overnight.  I just dumped it in with the rest of the ingredients and let the food processor stir it for me.

Also, It makes your kitchen smell amazing!

Anyone got any other good recipes to use this in?

Seasonal Produce: December

  • oranges
  • lemons
  • limes
  • grapefruit
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • kale
  • turnips
  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • onions
  • carrots
  • beets
  • brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • chestnuts
  • apples
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • cranberries
  • kiwi
  • fennel
  • pears
  • persimmons
  • pomegranates
  • leeks
  • sweet potatoes
  • radish
  • winter squash
  • tangerines
  • pumpkins
  • quince
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • horseradish
  • parsnip

Did I miss anything?

Egg Salad Without Mayo

I really don’t like mayonnaise, but I do like egg salad.  Here’s my version that doesn’t use mayo along with my serving suggestion of a sandwich.

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Egg Salad Sandwiches

6 hard boiled or baked eggs

3/4 cup dill pickles (we made these from cucumbers from the garden last summer)

1 1/2 cup cottage cheese

6 or so leaves of arugula lettuce (about the only thing that sprouted in our garden this winter)

12 slices of sandwich bread (bonus points for homemade bread)

Chop the eggs and pickles into small chunks and then mix them and the cottage cheese together in a big bowl.  You can play around with the ratios to taste.  Make 6 sandwiches with a scoop of the egg salad and a layer of arugula leaf.

I think it turned out really well.  My dad, who doesn’t like egg salad, even said it was “alright”.  Since his highest endorsement is “pretty good”, I’ll take that as a compliment.

Cooking with Turnips Successfully

When I bought the turnip, the guy at the store was rather skeptical about me cooking it.  He told me he’d only heard of people shredding it and making slaw.  But I think doing it in the slow cooker was a total success.  I am also starting to fall in love with my slow cooker.

Turnip, Potato, and Carrot Stew

1 peeled turnip

4 carrots

3 russet potatoes

1 small red onion

1 tetrapack or can cream of mushroom soup

rosemary

parsley

water

green onions

Chop up the turnip, carrots, potatoes, and onion and throw them in the slow cooker.  Put the cream of mushroom soup in and then add water until you’ve basically covered all the vegetables.  Sprinkle in a bit of rosemary and parsley, I used dried, but if you have fresh, I’m sure that’s much better.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  Serve with chopped green onions on top.

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If I made it again, I’d probably add more carrots, but it was pretty good.  It could’ve used a bit more flavor but I’m not sure what I should’ve added.  I would’ve liked more mushrooms than just the few in the soup, but the hero isn’t a huge mushroom fan.  Any suggestions on what I should add next time?

A Rainbow Birthday Party Without Food Dyes

A while ago I posted about these great cupcakes that my friend had made for her son’s birthday.  She had made the caterpillar from the Eric Carle book and used mint leaves and strawberries for the colors.  Well, the minion recently celebrated her first birthday and we had a rainbow themed party.  This created a few hurdles where the food was concerned.  I wanted to have rainbow snacks with no food dyes.

We ended up going with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies and some blue corn chips.  We also threw in some humus for good measure.

Red – cherry tomatoes

Orange – baby carrots

Yellow – pineapple chunks

Green – bell pepper slices (the last of the pepper harvest from our garden)

Blue – blue corn chips

Violet – purple grapes

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We didn’t want the minion stuffing her face with a really sugary and unhealthy cake so we made her a watermelon cake.  It was a small watermelon that the hero cut into a circular cake shape with a dip on the top that I filled with organic yogurt and decorated with fruit.   We also did lemon cupcakes for everyone else with the same fruits on them.

Red – watermelon

Orange – mango

Yellow – pineapple

Green – kiwi

Blue – blueberries (that my grandmother had frozen from her harvest this summer because she’s awesome)

Violet – beautyberries (that I foraged without knowing what I was going to do with them)

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We had an amazing time and the minion loved seeing her friends and family, tearing the wrapping paper, and messing up her cute birthday outfit with yogurt!

Seasonal Produce: November

  • apples
  • collard greens
  • sweet potatoes
  • pecans
  • turnips
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • garlic
  • onions
  • beets
  • brussel sprouts
  • cranberry
  • chard
  • cabbage
  • horseradish
  • pomegranate
  • pumpkin
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • parsnip
  • avacado
  • bok choy
  • celery
  • kiwi
  • pears
  • persimmons
  • lemons
  • oranges
  • rutabaga
  • winter squash
  • potatoes

Did I miss anything?

Seasonal Produce: Series Introduction

Eating in season produce is a good idea whether it be from your own backyard, a farmer’s market or the grocery store.  If you’re growing it, seasonal certainly makes sense, it’s much easier.  If you’re buying it, seasonal produce is cheaper.  You know, because it’s easier for the actual farmers to grow it and it doesn’t have to be trucked in from quite so far away.

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I saw this great sign in the produce section of a local grocery store, but I know not every grocery store or market has something like this.  Therefore, I’m starting a series where I’ll list what’s in season for each month.  It’ll be slow-moving, after all it’ll take a year, but eventually, we’ll have a list for each month.  Keep in mind though that my list will be for Georgia, USA.  Depending on where you live, your seasonal produce might differ from mine.  Look for my November’s list coming soon!

Everybody knows that fresh produce is the healthiest form of produce for you.  I don’t mean potatoes over french fries, but fresh versus frozen of canned.  But at your typical grocery store, everybody might actually be wrong.  Lots of produce, especially out of season produce, is picked too early so that it will look ripe when it finally gets to the store from the far away farm.

Canned food has added salt and sometimes oils and fats.  But frozen food, straight frozen produce, not prepared meals, are actually healthier than out of season produce.  Frozen produce is frozen sometimes as soon as a few hours after being picked at the peak of freshness.

Just something to keep in mind when you have a craving for broccoli in the middle of summer.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December