Breakfast


My mom’s been making this pie as long as I can remember. Over time, she started adding sausage, which only made something great even more so. With that in mind, I wanted to add a bit of onion and red bell pepper to keep it on an upward track of deliciousness. That’s exactly what this is! See if you don’t love it as much as we do–it’s a total keeper!

CHEESY SPINACH SAUSAGE PIE
6 oz. bag of baby spinach
2 hot sausage links, removed from casing, cooked and crumbled
1/4 large sweet onion, diced
1/3 to 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 oz. container full-fat ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
heaping tablespoon Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half & half)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Butter a 12-inch pie plate. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large frying pan coated with oil, cook peppers and onions. Add sausage, breaking into pieces as it cooks.

Steam spinach, then squeeze to remove liquid. Chop spinach (run a knife through it in a grid pattern). Set aside.

Whisk together melted butter, ricotta, cheddar, Pecorino Romano, eggs, cream and nutmeg. Add spinach, sausage, peppers, onions; mix well.

Pour into buttered pie plate. Bake for 30 minutes or till slightly brown at edges and filling is set. Enjoy! #quichemeyoufool

Kattys Kitchen biscuits n gravy

I grew up in an S.O.S. family. Yup, that’s $#*+ on a shingle. Uncle Al was a Marine, and if Sunday breakfast wasn’t pancakes or waffles, S.O.S just might be on the menu. I’m guessing it was nostalgic for him.

I always did enjoy creamed chipped beef on toast. Then, as I got older, I discovered biscuits and gravy–a serious level up on both components. First, tender, homemade buttermilk biscuits. Right there, the fight is already won. But topped with a rich, spicy sausage gravy? It’s a TKO with the proud winner, B&G!

BISCUITS ‘N SAUSAGE GRAVY

Kattys Kitchen biskies

First, here’s a handy link to my favorite biscuits.

Now, let’s work on the gravy.

1 pound breakfast sausage (I like Jimmy Dean Bold)
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
about a teaspoon, minced fresh rosemary
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk

In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add sausage. Break into small pieces as it cooks. When sausage is cooked halfway or so, add minced rosemary and sprinkle of cayenne.

Once sausage is just about finished cooking, sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over pan; stir to coat evenly. This is a good time to bring the temp closer to medium so nothing burns. You’ll want to get the flour cooked about a minute or so before you add the milk. Then stir and stir till it thickens.

For the full experience, I add a layer of cheesy eggs. To serve, slice biscuits in half. Top with cheesy eggs (cooked low and slow with cheddar in my kitchen), then generously ladle gravy over the top. Pass black pepper at the table if you like.

Last night when I made this for dinner, my mom said, “If this was on the menu, they’d be lined up out the door.” Her comment puzzled me. “Who is they?” I asked. “The people coming to the restaurant.” 🙂 Maybe someday. Till then, at least you can make your own.

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For the longest time, my friend and neighbor, Sharen, told me about the yogurt she buys from a farm the next town over. Finally, she said, “C’mon! We’re going for a ride. I’ll show you where it is!” And off we went to Deerfield Farm–just down the way from us, off Route 68 in Durham, Connecticut.

Deerfield Farm barn

Their self-service farm store is stocked with creamy, European-style yogurt (plain or vanilla) that’s perfect to top with homemade granola and fresh fruit. And, though I’ve not yet tried it, they also offer raw Jersey milk (chocolate, too!), eggs, and two items high on my gotta-try list: ricotta and a soft, creamy, fresh cheese called Brianna.

Deerfield Farm prices

Sometimes you’ll find people along with the cows and cats in the barn, but the payment system is simple and old-fashioned. So be sure to bring cash and exact change.

Deerfield Farm honor system
Now that you know what prompted me to make granola, let me show you how–so easy, so delicious. You’re gonna love it!

KATTY’S GOOD MORNING GRANOLA

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients
3 cups rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill–they’re great!)
1 cup shredded coconut (Baker’s is my fave)
3/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons golden flaxseed
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (30 seconds in the microwave did the trick for me)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Ready for how easy this is? Combine dry ingredients well. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then spread out evenly over a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir, then bake 15 minutes more. Let cool, then store. Or enjoy right away over your favorite yogurt. Or gelato. Or however you like to enjoy–just by the spoonful works, too!

 

 

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Ever notice it’s hard to find good corned beef hash out? Me, too. Sometimes, when you crave one of your favorite things, it’s best to start in your own kitchen. So, today, I made my own. It’s less of a recipe, more of a concept, so let’s go through the steps together.

CORNED BEEF HASH/EGG IN A HASH HOLE

Everything you chop should be about the same size–the badadas, pepper, onions and corned beef.
2 good-sized red potatoes, skins on, cut into cubes
1 red pepper (I used half red, half orange), chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
about 3/4 pound corned beef (ask for a thick slice at the deli), cut into cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Cook the potatoes in salted water till tender. You can do this a day before to save time on hash day.

Next, chop, chop, chop. The corned beef, too.

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Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add peppers and onion.

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Cook about 5-7 minutes till onions are golden and beginning to lightly brown.

Add potatoes and stir. They should begin to brown in 5-7 minutes. At that point, stir in two tablespoons of heavy cream to form a nice crispy crust.

I’m just cooking for me today, so I transferred my portion of hash to a smaller pan, made an indentation, cracked an egg in and covered, cooking on low for about 5 minutes.

You could make several hash holes in the larger pan if you have company.

hash done

And there you have it. Egg in a hash hole. Don’t like eggs? Hash stands just fine on its own and is a meal unto itself. Enjoy!

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I woke up this morning and found a message wishing me a happy anniversary. It’s been four years–162 posts!–of food and tasty beverages! Time flies when you’re having fun.

The past month, I’ve been on a frozen cheese blintz kick. It’s nice ‘n’ easy to throw a blintz in a pan with some butter and oil, then top it with homemade blackberry syrup and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. In fact, it’s so easy to make, I made the syrup today as my blintz was sizzling. Of course, it would be delish on pancakes or waffles, too. Or  ice cream. But who eats ice cream for breakfast?

BLACKBERRY SYRUP FOR BLINTZES

6 oz. container of blackberries
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Ready for how easy this is? Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As the berries get soft, you can use a potato masher just to break them up a bit.

Let cool and store in the fridge. Enjoy a sweet start to your day! And remember this sage advice from our friend Frank: Nice ‘n’ easy does it every time. Snap. Snap. Snap.

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Looking for a sweet ‘n easy way to start your day? Apricot almond bread pudding coming right up! Ultra-almond-y, custard-y inside, with a toasted almond, slightly crunchy sugar top! I adapted this from my favorite, tried and true chocolate bread pudding recipe.

ALMOND APRICOT BREAD PUDDING

1 baguette, sliced into 1-inch cubes (2 mini baguettes = 12 oz. in today’s batch)
canned apricots, slice each half in three slices
1.5 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup (½ stick) of butter
½ cup sugar (I used ½ light brown, half Sugar in the Raw)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds for top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange half the bread in a buttered 8 x 8″ baking dish. Distribute sliced apricots evenly across the bread so each serving will have a few pieces.

Heat the cream, milk and butter. Add to the eggs, sugar and almond extract you’ve beaten in a separate bowl.

Pour this mixture over the bread. Sprinkle evenly with almonds and 2 teaspoons sugar in the raw.

Place this pan into a larger (9 x 13″) pan filled with an inch or so of hot water. The water should come no higher than two thirds of the way up the side of the pudding pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge of the pan comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold–it was breakfast today, but would be a great dessert! To take it over the top, pour a little heavy cream over the top. 🙂 Or add whippy cream. Whatever you do, enjoy!

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My workplace is hosting a “Fun Fridays” event tomorrow with yogurt parfaits. We WAH (work at home) folk were invited to join in the fun by making our own parfaits and submitting recipes. Hmm. What would be a real Katty’s Kitchen twist on yogurt parfaits? It hadn’t crossed my mind till this recipe challenge, but then it hit me: Why is there no such thing as almond yogurt? There should be and now there is.

This tasty little parfait got my day off to a very filling and healthy start this morning. It would also make a satisfying afternoon snack. It takes just a couple of quick minutes to put together. Wait till you see how easy!

JOYFUL ALMOND CRUNCH PARFAIT
1 7 oz. container Fage Total 2% Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon shredded coconut (I use Baker’s Angel Flake sweetened coconut)
1 teaspoon sliced almonds
1-2 teaspoons crushed corn flakes
1 Valrhona dark chocolate feve, chopped (a small square of your favorite dark chocolate, chopped, or 1 teaspoon of semi-sweet chocolate morsels will work, too)

Remember, antioxidants are important, so by all means, feel good or even downright joyful about the healthy treat you’re about to prepare.

Stir almond extract, brown sugar and coconut into yogurt. You can also sweeten with honey, if you prefer.

Top with sliced almonds, coconut, chopped chocolate and corn flakes. Add a couple of extra flakes of coconut on top to garnish.

You could be fancy and layer it into a martini glass at home, but what’s not to love about a bowl you just throw away and don’t have to wash? C’est parfait!

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How about a little lovin’ from the oven on a Sunday morning? This Pillsbury classic is an old favorite of mine. I’ve been making these for so long, they feel like my own recipe, though I think I must have found them in a magazine or on the label of a Pillsbury crescent roll can once upon a time.

The original recipe is doubled. I rarely feel the need to be surrounded by 8 danish, so here’s the recipe as I always make it: one can of crescents yields four yummy cream rolls.

ALMOND CREAM ROLLS
4 oz. cream cheese (I use reduced fat Neufchatel–nothing is lost in translation)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
sliced almonds for the tops
1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls
cinnamon to sprinkle over the inner cream layer

Egg wash
1 egg white + 1 teaspoon water

Glaze
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 to 2 teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, almond extract and powdered sugar.

Separate crescents into four rectangles. Use your fingers to seal the dotted line that runs diagonally across each rectangle. Spread each rectangle with a quarter of the cream cheese filling to within a quarter inch of the edges. Sprinkle cinnamon over cream cheese. Starting at the longer side, roll up each rectangle into a long roll of dough. Gently stretch each long roll to approximately 10 inches long. Then coil each roll into a spiral with the seam on the inside. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

In small bowl, whisk together egg white and water, brush over roll. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake at 350 degrees F for 17 to 23 minutes.

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Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Enjoy your breakfast!

I’ve been loving cat head biscuits, as taught to me by Cook’s Country, since I first made them earlier this year. But biscuits big as a cat’s head are, well, BIG. Half a cup of dough BIG. That’s a lotta biscuit! I, for one, prefer something a bit smaller. Especially since I have a desk job and am not busily working on the railroad, as did those who ate real cat head biscuits back in the day!

The original recipe calls for unsalted butter, which, till now, I’ve dutifully purchased expressly for biscuit-making. When I do buy unsalted butter, by the way, I love Kate’s. But today, I’ve adapted these fine biscuits from cat head to katty head–just 1/3 cup of dough instead of 1/2–and adjusted the amount of salt so I can use salted butter, which I ALWAYS have in the fridge or freezer. HOORAY! Shall I show you the way?

KATTY HEAD (CAT HEAD) BISCUITS
adapted from Cook’s Country

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3/8 teaspoon salt*
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted* butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and softened
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into ½-inch pieces
1¼ cups buttermilk (I’ve been buying Organic Valley lowfat cultured buttermilk)**

*If you do use unsalted butter, use 1 teaspoon of salt instead of 3/8 teaspoon.
**Powdered buttermilk also works like a charm here. To sub, that’s 5 tablespoons of powdered buttermilk in the dry ingredients, and 1¼ cups cold water when it’s time to add the buttermilk below. OK? 🙂

Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat to 425 degrees. Meantime, butter a 10-inch round baking dish or cake pan. I just happen to have a covered baking dish, perfect for both baking (uncovered, of course!) then storing the katty heads!

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Rub butter and shortening into flour mixture with your fingers until it’s the consistency of cornmeal or slightly wet sand. Give yourself a little time to do this; it’s a rather zen-like task. Stir in buttermilk just till combined.

Now, it just so happens my ice cream scoop is a 1/3 cup measure, but you could use a measuring cup if your ice cream scoop isn’t the same size. Scoop dough into prepared pan. In a 10″ dish, nine (9) scoops will go around the perimeter, with three (3) scoops in the middle. Like this!

Bake until puffed and golden brown. In my oven, that’s exactly 25 minutes, but check at 20 minutes in case it takes less time at your house.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Eat and enjoy!

“What kinda biscuits did you say these are, Mama?”

These biscuits are quite tasty with your favorite preserves. But my favorite, favorite way to enjoy them is as a sausage biscuit sandwich–with or without a slice of Land O’Lakes new 4 Cheese Italian Blend–Italian-American–just like me! HA HA HA!

Cook’s Country says the biscuits can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two days, but for sure, I’ve stored them that way for longer. And I wouldn’t even say my covered baking dish is entirely airtight. They heat up beautifully with a quick ride around the microwave, too.

We sure do love these biscuits a Casa Katty–hope you do, too!

Why not go green with a tasty ABC smoothie: almond, banana, coconut…and kale! I know it sounds bizarre, but one of my nice neighbors brought this smoothie to me for lunch one day. Kale? I don’t even like kale in and of itself, but it’s a lovely secret ingredient–doesn’t add any particular taste, just the goodness of fresh, leafy greens. It tasted great and kept me full till dinner.

These smoothies sell for $7 down at our local farmers’ market. SEVEN DOLLARS? How hard could it be to replicate at home? Not hard at all if you have a blender–so let’s shake it up!

ABC SMOOTHIE: ALMOND, BANANA, COCONUT…AND KALE!
adapted from The New York Times

1 banana, sliced and frozen
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coconut
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 stalk kale, ripped up into smaller pieces

Ready for how easy as ABC this is? Add all ingredients to your blender, put on the lid and blend! Serve with a bendy straw for additional fun and satisfaction.

See, Kermit the Frog was wrong. It IS that easy being green after all.

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