Tag Archives: scrambled eggs

Holiday Weekends are Meant for Homemade Breakfasts

We don’t get to spend enough time together as it is, so trying to take advantage of the holiday weekend and spend time with each other is a premium for us. This particularly involves any meals that we may have. As it is with most families, it’s pretty rare when all 3 of us can sit down together and actually have breakfast at the same time. So when it does happen, I try to make it something special. This was the case yesterday when I decided we were going to have a completely homemade breakfast. It’s much simpler than it sounds and you can easily do any of these things in moments. I kept it even simpler by just sticking with scrambled eggs, homemade sausage, and home fries. We added in a couple of store-bought items as well, including Taylor ham and English muffins.

Easy Scrambled Eggs

8 large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the pan. Add the eggs and cook while gently pushing, lifting, and folding them from one side of the pan to the other until they are nicely clumped, shiny, and wet, about 2 minutes. Remove the cooked eggs from the pan quickly.

I know it seems kind of ridiculous to actually have a recipe for scrambled eggs since it’s a fairly basic recipe, but I think it’s actually pretty easy to mess these up. Michelle actually makes much better scrambled eggs that I do; her eggs seem to come out fluffier and taste better and I think it’s because she follows this method exactly. Having a hot pan to start with is a key and you also want to be sure that you fold your eggs and push them instead of stirring them. Stirring them keeps them from getting as fluffy as they could be. Naturally, there are many things that you could add in to scrambled eggs if you choose to, such as onions, herbs, various cheeses, hot sauce, ham, bacon – the list seems to go on and on. Make them how you feel most comfortable.

Next up is a very simple recipe for some homemade breakfast sausage. Now there are few ways you can do this, and if you want to make it a little differently you could certainly grind your own pork. It will take you more time to do it that way but if that’s what you’re looking for then you should go right ahead. I chose to just use already ground pork and keep things simple.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons of vegetable oil

Spread the pork out in a large bowl and sprinkle with the syrup, garlic, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and cayenne. Using your hands, gently fold the flavorings into the pork, then portion and shape each into sixteen 2-ounce patties (about 1/4 cup each).

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add half of the patties and cook until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, return the pan to medium heat until shimmering, and cook the remaining patties.

Of course if you’re going to grind your own pork and maybe you even have your own sausage casings you can make breakfast links instead of breakfast patties. It really depends on how ambitious you happen to feel, but this seems to be the simplest way to do it. You could also easily freeze some of the patties between wax paper and have them portioned out for use at another time. Then it is simply a matter of placing them in a hot skillet with a little bit of butter to get them started and then add a little bit of water and cover the pan so they steam first to help them cook, remove the cover, turn the heat up and cook the patties until they are browned. You could also make this with ground turkey instead of ground pork. I actually have a turkey sausage patty recipe that I will post at another time which is a great breakfast alternative.

I also made some home fries to help round out the meal. Home fries are really easy to make, and if you happen to have some leftover potatoes already done you can easily use them as well. You have a lot of options here when it comes to what you want to use. Even if you have a can of diced potatoes around you could use that as well. This recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen, actually recommends that you microwave your potatoes first to help get some of the starch out of them before you do any of the frying. This helps to build up the better crust on the potatoes.

Home Fries

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (4 medium), scrubbed and cut into one half-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the bowl without removing the plastic to re-distribute the potatoes every 3 minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap, transfer the potatoes to a colander, and drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet and, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, distribute them evenly over the pan. Cook undisturbed until the potatoes are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes to ensure even browning and add the onion to the skillet. Continue cooking, turning the potato and onion mixture every few minutes, until the potatoes are well browned and the onion is softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Again, there are other things you could add to the potatoes if you want to get a little bit of a different flavor. I actually added a little bit of orange bell pepper and some paprika to my recipe and I think they tasted great. I know they do sell frozen diced potatoes, but I think if you’re planning to use them you need to make sure that you thaw them and that they are dried very well to remove as much of the moisture as possible if you want them to cook well. Otherwise they will just steam in the liquid and not get crispy.

While I didn’t make any bacon with our breakfast, I have found that making the bacon in the oven has worked much better and gives the bacon a chance to cook and crisp up much more evenly than it does when you cook it in the pan. You can also cook a lot more of it all at once if you are making breakfast for a large crowd, which is an advantage.

Oven Bacon

1 pound bacon (16 slices), thin or thick-cut

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400°. Arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet (the slices can overlap just slightly) and bacon until crisp and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and let the excess fat drain off before serving.

If you’re going to cook it this way, you could also consider using a wire rack set inside the rimmed baking sheet so it keeps the bacon from sitting in the fat and allows the air to circulate around it, making it a little more crisp. As I said, I did make Taylor ham with the breakfast because it is one of Michelle’s favorites. It seems to be mostly a Northeast thing, and even more particularly a New Jersey thing to have Taylor ham with breakfast. It is basically a pork roll that you slice and fry for a minute or 2 on each side just to get it crisp. I didn’t have time to make any homemade biscuits or anything like that, but they would be great to go with a traditional home breakfast. Of course I had coffee with mine, and you could certainly have homemade orange juice if you have a juicer or whichever store-bought juice you prefer.

The important thing with the breakfast like this is that it actually brings everyone to the table all at the same time. It doesn’t really matter what you make; you could just each have bowls of oatmeal or bagels and coffee if that’s all you really want as long as you’re enjoying some time together.

That’s all there is for today. Check back again later on in the week and I’ll have some new recipes to share, including a pound cake, oatmeal cookies, a black bean salad, and I do have a few other things planned in for dinner this week including baby back ribs, meatloaf and chicken so check back and see what comes along. Until then, enjoy the rest of your 3 day weekend, and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Breakfast, Cooking, Eggs, Holidays, Potatoes, Sausage


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Time for Breakfast (for Dinner)!

It’s in the sixties in January here in Harriman, which is unheard of for this time of year, but I’ll take it! Today there were two great articles that are food-related in the New York Times. The first, written by Leslie Kaufman, closely relates to what I am trying to do at home and here on the blog. She has her sons cook one meal a week, which includes the planning of the meal, detailing ingredients and doing the cooking. Her sons are 14 and  10 and do the actual cooking with a parent within earshot, but this is something I have been working on doing with Sean for a while. It’s a great way to get kids involved in the meals, gives them some responsibility, let’s them know what you have to go through every day to cook for them, and makes them more interested in doing things in the kitchen. I think it’s a great article, so take a look at it if you get the chance.

The second article is written by Mark Bittman, the author of ‘How to Cook Everything.” It’s a good article on how the Department of Agriculture is making schools change up their lunch menus to make things better for our kids. It gives you a good look as to what the changes are going to be, and while there may still be work to do on this, it’s a step in the right direction.

Now on to our meal for the day. Today is Michelle’s choice, but it also one of Sean’s favorites. We all love breakfast for dinner nights, actually. It gives us a chance to eat the breakfast food we love but don’t always have time to make during weekday mornings when things can be a bit hectic. We are making this meal our meat-free meal for the week as well, which disappoints Sean since that means no bacon or sausage tonight, but we’ll still have a great meal with Pancakes, Hash Browns and maybe an egg or two. Since a vegetable doesn’t really go too well this meal, we are going to opt for a fruit salad instead.

Pancakes are pretty easy to make, whether it is from scratch or from a box. We often use Bisquick ourselves when you need something done in a pinch. It tastes good and it’s quick, but today I am going to post a recipe for some homemade pancakes. The recipe I am using calls for buttermilk, but if you don’t have any on hand, whisk 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with two cups of milk and set it aside for a few minutes to thicken, and voila, you have buttermilk. This type of buttermilk is fine for cooked applications, but I wouldn’t use it for raw recipes like the ranch dressing we made yesterday.


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups buttermilk

1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Set a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, and then the buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the buttermilk mixture into the well, and whisk very gently until the buttermilk mixture is just incorporated (a few lumps should remain). Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Brush the bottom of the pan with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Using 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, add the batter to the skillet (only 2 or 3 pancakes will fit at a time) and cook until large bubbles begin to appear, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Spread the pancakes out over the wire rack on the baking sheet (they shouldn’t overlap) and hold in the warm oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the skillet with oil as needed between batches.

If you have any leftover pancakes (which we usually do) let them cool to room temperature, then wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze. They will keep for up to a week while still maintaining most of their original flavor and texture. Defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then heat in a 350 degree oven until warm, about 5 minutes. I usually leave a couple on the fridge for the next day and my buddy Liam and I have them for breakfast.

Of course, there are a lot of things you can add to pancakes or top them with. I love adding bananas or blueberries; once you add the batter to the skillet, just sprinkle a few slices of banana or a few blueberries over each pancake, or just top the pancakes with the fruit after they are cooked.

We decided to make some hash browns tonight to go with our pancakes. Hash browns go great with bacon or sausage, and we’ll do that another time I am sure, but they are fun to have any time. They don’t take long to make, and I use the food processor to grate the potatoes, sparing my knuckles the use of the box grater.

Hash Browns

1 pound russet potatoes (2 medium) peeled

2 tablespoons grated onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Grate the potatoes using either the large holes of a box grater (watch your fingers!) or the shredder attachment of a food processor (you should have about 1 1/2 cups when your done grating). Wrap the grated potatoes in a kitchen towel and squeeze thoroughly of excess moisture, then toss with the onion, parsley (if using) salt and pepper.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to brown, swirling to coat the pan. Scatter the potatoes evenly in the skillet and press firmly into a cake. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until dark golden brown and crisp on the first side, about 8 minutes. When the first side has browned, slide the potatoes onto a large plate. Carefully cover the plate with another large plate, and flip so that the potatoes are on the plate, browned-side up. Melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, then slide the potatoes back into the skillet, browned-side up, and continue to cook over medium heat until the second side is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes longer. Slide the hash brown cake onto a plate or cutting board and cut into wedges.

There’s nothing like hash browns with some eggs. I prefer a fried egg or an egg over easy, but for tonight we’ll just whip up some scrambled eggs and save the fried egg for another time, maybe for a nice egg sandwich with some sausage or bacon.

Scrambled Eggs

8 large eggs

1/4 cup half and half (you can use milk instead, but the eggs are creamier with half and half)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the pan. Add the eggs and cook while gently pushing, lifting and folding them from one side of the pan to the other, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until they are nicely clumped, shiny and wet, about 2 minutes. Remove the cooked eggs from the pan quickly and serve.

We’ll get more into eggs another time when we’re using some meat with breakfast, but you can always add cheese, chives, onions, thyme or countless other herbs to add some flavor.

We’re finishing off with a simple fruit salad of what we have on hand – bananas, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and mandarin oranges, sprinkled with a little sugar and lemon juice. Of course, you can always use whatever fruits you like, are in season and taste the best to you.

Boy, for such a simple meal, I did a lot of writing today! There are lots of different variations you can do when doing breakfast for dinner. I’d love to hear what other people do when they make this for a meal. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them and I’ll try to comment as quickly as I can. Tomorrow is a leftovers night for dinner, but I have decided to write about some good ideas for Super Bowl snacking, since the game is Sunday and you want to be prepared. Let me know if you have any snacks or recipes you’d like to see to use for the big game. Have a great day!






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