Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Meet Alexander James!

Hi everybody! I'm not sure if you've noticed my absence at all but I have a good excuse this time. As I announced to my facebook fans, I'm proud to let you know that my baby boy has finally arrived!

I'll be back in due time with new recipes but in the meantime, meet little Alexander James!

Who has time to blog when there's that cutie waiting to be cuddled??  Hope you'll excuse me while I disappear for awhile :).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Copycat McDonald's Sausage Egg McMuffins

Is anyone else a fan of breakfast?  How about Sausage Egg McMuffins from McDonald's?  I hardly ever eat at McDonald's but I LOVE their Sausage Egg McMuffins.  If I'm feeling really good, I'll even splurge on some hashbrowns.

When it came time to round-out my freezer stash with some breakfasts, I knew I wanted to try to make my own version at home.  What is about to follow is a copycat recipe but honestly, it's such an easy thing to make that I use the term "recipe" loosely.  If you want, you could also leave out the sausage or substitute Canadian bacon or regular bacon.

The hardest part was figuring out how to make a round egg "patty" like they do...because I'm anal and like everything to be round and match.  For that, I used what I had on hand and that was canning bands.  They were slightly smaller than the English muffins but close enough.  I experimented a bit on whether it was better to put them with the thread-side up or down.  In the end, threads up seemed to work better in terms of getting a better spray and containing the eggs (the picture below is from one of my earlier runs but I got better at avoiding spillage over time!).  If you greased your rings well, the eggs should fall out pretty easily but some of them required a little more oomph.  I just separated the crusty parts that stuck to the rings then pushed them out gently with my fingers.

These are totally yummy and I am so grateful to have about 2 1/2 dozen of them stashed away in the freezer. Having a good (and fast, one-handed) breakfast is the key to starting your day off right!

One Years Ago: BLT Corn Salad Wrap
Two Years Ago: Jerk Chicken with Mango Cilantro Relish

Copycat McDonald's Sausage Egg McMuffins

Copycat McDonald's Sausage Egg McMuffins

  • 12 English muffins
  • 12 slices American cheese
  • 12 fully cooked frozen sausage patties
  • 12 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Place canning bands with thread side up into a skillet over medium-high heat (or if you have them or want to buy something fancy you can use something like these egg ring rounds).  Spray pan and inside of bands generously with cooking spray.

  2. Crack an egg into each band and sprinkle each with salt and pepper.  Use a knife to gently break each yolk so that it spreads out.  Don't worry if the egg spills out of the rings, if you're a perfectionist, you can peel or cut them off later.  Cover and cook through.  When eggs are done, remove the egg-filled ring using tongs and gently push the eggs out of the rings.  Set aside for assembly.

  3. Meanwhile, split your English muffin and place a slice of cheese on the top of each muffin half.  If desired, fold over each cheese corner so that it is the same size as the muffin.  Place a frozen sausage patty on the bottom of each muffin then top with a cooked egg round.  Put the two halves together to form the sandwich.
  4. Wrap each sandwich in square of deli paper wrap (or just use parchment paper).  
  5. To enjoy now: Microwave sandwich until sausage patty is cooked through, about 45 seconds to a minute.  To enjoy later: Place wrapped sandwiches into gallon sized freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as possible.  When ready to eat, microwave from frozen until heated through, about one minute to 90 seconds.  Flip the sandwich halfway through cooking for more even heating.
Source: Christine's Kitchen Chronicles as inspired by McDonald's

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

This is it my friends.  The final week of pregnancy...at least according to my estimated due date!  Of course, we all know that baby will make his appearance when he's good and ready so he could stick around another two weeks before my OB would consider intervening.  Good thing I'm not *too* uncomfortable yet.

I've been spending the past couple weeks filling my freezer with all sorts of goodies so that we won't starve after baby arrives.  It takes me a little longer than normal to prep things because I need to take frequent breaks and my feet/ankles look gigantic (my sister affectionately calls them "fat kid feet") once I'm done but I know it will all be worth it in the end.  As long as baby stays put, I'll continue to grow my freezer meal stash!

Last week I posted a teaser pic of these pepperoni pizza puffs and had more than one request for the recipe.  I had actually made these for my friends Kristen and Sig when they had their little boy but apparently I never got to blogging about them so here they are now!

They're a bit like cheesy dough puffs (reminding me of the Brazilian cheese bread pao de queijo for those familiar) filled with pepperoni and then served with pizza sauce for dipping.  Of course feel free to substitute whatever pizza toppings you enjoy.  I freeze them on a baking sheet first so they don't clump together and then dump them into a plastic freezer bag.  To reheat, I just pop them in the microwave.  Easy peasy one-handed eating and kid-friendly, too!

One Year Ago: Creamed Corn and Watermelon Slush
Two Years Ago: Five-Minute Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream (one of my favorite treats anytime but especially during pregnancy!)
Four Years Ago: Grands! Taco Melts aka Homemade Hot Pockets (I haven't tried it before but I bet this would also make a great freezer lunch if you fully prepared it and then followed a similar freezing method as in these pizza puffs!)

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz (about 1 cup) pepperoni, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a 24-cup mini muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and Italian seasoning.  Add the milk and egg.  Finally, stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni and then let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Give the batter a stir then divide evenly among the mini muffin cups.  Bake until puffed and golden, about 20-25 minutes.  If you intend to freeze them, remove the puffs from the pan while still warm and then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze.  Once frozen, transfer to a ziploc freezer bag, removing as much extra air as possible.
  4. When ready to serve, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through, then stir in basil.  Serve warm puffs with pizza sauce for dipping.
Source: Barely modified from Noble Pig