Homemade Pork Sausage with Colcannon

IMG_9314It’s fun to change things up a bit and have dinner themes. And so, although there is not a drop of Irish blood in me, I went fully Irish this past St. Patrick’s day. In fact, this is the second year in a row I have made a complete Irish menu, and it is quite fun. This year I got a Irish cook book from the library, Rachel’s Irish Family Food, it was so fun looking through I added it to my cook book wish list. So many yummy recipes to try from desserts to main course. I kept the pork sausage recipe the same, but I did cheat a bit with the colcannon. Instead of buying a big head of cabbage and shredding it myself I went with the pre shredded coleslaw bag. This made our colcannon quite colourful, as it had green and red cabbage, and some carrots. I loved it. The recipe below reflects this oh so small change. Serve with Applesauce.

  • Sausages:
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper – to taste, we used quite a bit to add a lot of flavour.
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Colcannon:
  • 3 lbs. potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter- divided
  • 1 (450 g) bag shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix, with no dressing)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

1. Combine pork with bread crumbs, egg, garlic, parsley and salt and pepper. Shape into ovals about the size of your thumb. Heat olive oil in large skillet and fry sausages until browned and no longer pink through the middle. Drain.

2. While your sausages are cooking start your potatoes. Cover potatoes with water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain 3/4 of the water. Continue to cook until tender. This will take about 20 more minutes. If there is any water left in the pot, drain. Mash with 1/4 cup of the butter and salt and pepper.

3. Heat remaining 1/4 cup butter in large skillet with the 2 Tbsp. water. Fry coleslaw mix for about 5 minutes until cabbage is tender. Stir in mashed potatoes, and parsley. Add milk a bit at a time until you get your desired consistency. ( I didn’t quite use all the milk).

4. Serve sausages on top of potatoes.

5. Eat and enjoy!

Coconut Muffins

IMG_9375A while back we took our kids to a breakfast buffet. They loved it. Still talk about it. So when we decided to have a brunch style birthday party with our good friends this past weekend I decided to make it buffet style. A buffet means a lot of options, and I let my kids make their own plates. Much happier when they are deciding what to eat. We had hot options, healthy options, a yogurt parfait station, and carbs. No breakfast buffet is complete without carbs. So along with Cinnamon Buns and toast with assorted jams I made a batch of these delightful coconut muffins. They were the perfect addition, plus as an added bonus all of the ingredients I generally keep in the house. So I can whip up a batch whenever I chose!

Recipe from Allrecipes- Makes 10 Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup flaked toasted coconut
  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flaked toasted coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Place 10 paper liners in muffin tin.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In separate small bowl whisk together egg, milk, oil and extract. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in coconut. Divide batter equally between muffin cups.

3. Mix all topping ingredients together until crumbly. Sprinkle over uncooked dough.

4. Place muffins in a 400 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Eat and enjoy!

Applesauce

IMG_9301I’ll tell you something that I learned this week. Homemade applesauce is really easy to make, and way, way tastier than store-bought. I am usually an avid user of my timer. I set it every time I cook. That way even if I get distracted I have a little bell to remind me that I am supposed to be paying attention to something in the kitchen. I don’t like burnt food. Except for toast, but that is another story. So I didn’t actually set the timer while making the applesauce. I fiddle-faddled around completely forgetting about the sauce,when it finally struck me that I was supposed to be stirring so I came back and gave it a stir. It was fine, thank goodness. Didn’t set the timer, again,and started reading. After who knows how long, I leaped off the couch and stirred, again, the simmering apples. Again they were fine. This stuff is fool-proof, and the kids, they loved it. It was the only part of our St. Patrick’s day feast that had no leftovers.

Recipe slightly adapted from Rachel’s Irish Family Food

  • 6 small apples -I used spartan
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • 6 Tbsp.sugar

1. Peel and core apples. Cut into small cubes.

2. Place in saucepan with water. Cover and cook over low heat until they start to turn to mush. Stir once in a while.

3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar.

4. Eat and enjoy!

Stuffed Pizza Pretzels

IMG_9271Our littlest daughter chose pizza pretzels for her “pick of the month”. After looking at three different grocery stores, I was ready to give up. She suggested looking for a recipe to make them homemade. Smart little monkey, I have. So we headed on over to pinterest and found this recipe over at A Duck’s Oven. So I headed to the kitchen to get these started. This was not a throw together, easy recipe. It was quite a bit of work! I even took the easy route and used store-bought tomato sauce. But they were delicious, and the family was impressed at my super awesome pretzel making abilities. So in the end all that time I spent was well worth the effort.

Dough:
  • ¾ cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1½ tsp instant active yeast
  • 2½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp flour

Water for boiling:

  • 6 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda
Stuffing:
  • 1 cup mozzarella, diced
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 10 pieces of pepperoni, diced into small chunks
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
Topping:
  • 1 egg
  • Grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning

1. Place first 3 ingredients in bowl of stand mixer. Let sit for 10 minutes until frothy. Add salt, butter and 2 cups of flour. Mix with dough hook for 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl. Turn over once so both sides have been greased. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm spot for 1 hour.

2. Divide into 5 equal portions. (or 4, we had 5 eating). Roll each into a 16 inch rope. Place remaining 2 Tbsp on counter and spread out. Roll rope flat.

3. Toss together first 4 ingredients of stuffing. Sprinkle each rolled flat doing strip with garlic powder and Italian seasonings. Divide stuffing evenly between them, spooning down the middle. Bring dough together pinching edges to seal in cheese. Bend making a pretzel shape and pinch edges so they stay together.

4. Boil your 6 cups of water with baking soda. Boil each pretzel for 30 minutes. Drain and place on well-greased cookie sheet. Beat egg. Brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Italian seasonings.

5. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Serve with warmed up tomato sauce as dip.

6. Eat and enjoy!IMG_9252IMG_9254