Make-ahead Breakfast Sandwiches!

I made an amazing discovery – did you know that you can freeze and reheat breakfast sandwiches!? So of course I had to try it! I made eight of them and froze six. I just ate the first one and aside from the fact that I over-toasted the top of the muffin it worked out quite will!

This will help to ensure that I have food for the upcoming week. How did I make them?

  1. Caramelized some onions with sage, thyme, and pepper. I didn’t add salt because the bacon and cheese will do that for me later. I poured a dozen eggs (beaten)* on top and baked that whole concoction for about 20 minutes. Who knew that it took such a hot oven (450F) to bake eggs?

*although next time I will use 10 eggs.

2. It takes a slightly lower oven to cook bacon (375 F) but takes about as long. Bake it and put it on a paper towel to drain. That’s what’ll crisp it up. Also, do this on the top rack of your oven for greater success. I had to do some re-arranging mid-way through. You may prefer vegan bacon, (coconut bacon, tempeh bacon), peameal (Canadian), or none at all. All are fine. They’re your sandwiches, after all.

3. Toast your English muffins just a little bit. You can use the lower rack in your oven while you cook the bacon up top.

4. Assembly. Each muffin contains: 1/8th of the onion-egg (is this a frittata?), a slice of bacon broken in half (some got a bit extra) and a couple slices of cheese. Layer in standard sandwich format.
 Sorry for the weird perspective here! (I had to wedge in beside the fridge to take this picture).

Wrap each sandwich individually in tinfoil, put them together in a (clear) bag, and freeze. To reheat them take the tinfoil off and put your muffin on a paper towel. I microwaved it for 90 seconds but I think I’ll try reducing that to 75 or even 60 seconds the next time. I toasted the top half of the muffin in the toasted oven. I thought that I’d like the crunch but the texture was too different. I need to reduce the time there, too.

Pretty delicious, though! And now my breakfast woes are solved!

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Pot Roast: day two

 

 

Now it’s time to add the vegetables!

After cooking all day I added potatoes, carrots, and pearl onions. This is where the weakness of my cookbook was really apparent. I thought that 45 minutes in a slow cooker wasn’t quite long enough for potatoes – and I was right! Both they and the carrots were hard even though I gave them extra time. Veggie fail! In the future I will pre-cook my vegetables. That’s a tip, kids.

At the very end I added peas and corn. The corn needed to be added because it was going bad; I’d gotten 5 corn for a dollar at the grocery store for that reason. The rest will go into the chili that I want to make in the next few days.

This is what it looked like before I added the gravy:

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Ready to eat

And then, with gravy on my plate and ready to go:

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My first attempt at making meat and potatoes!

American Pot Roast

 

For some reason my cookbook differentiates between American pot roast and Italian. The difference seems to come down to pancetta (Italian) vs mirepoix (American – who knew! I thought it was French!) as the main seasoning. So I started it tonight, because pot roasts were 30% off at the grocery store. Which, when you find meat at the store that’s 30% off, you need to cook it post haste. So I started tonight. I’ll finish tomorrow. Thus far it looks like this:

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Would you believe that there’s a pot roast under there?

Thus far you’re looking at a pot roast (hidden underneath the gravy) which after being dredged in flour, salt, and pepper, was browned in butter for ten minutes. Then the mirepoix was cooked in the same browned butter with a teaspoonful of thyme and sage (I love these two!) and a pinch of rosemary. Then more flour as a thickening agent and three cups of veggie broth. I was supposed to use beef broth but I don’t keep that lying around. So that’s the gravy.

Tomorrow it’ll cook for eight or nine hours (can you overcook a roast? I hope not as I have some errands to do) and have pearl onions, potatoes, and peas added to it at the end. Planning ahead for post-work dinners!

Would you believe that I’m about as organised as a real grown up?

Pickled Garlic Scapes

I made pickles. Here’s the finished product:   image

These ones are pickled garlic scapes. It was brought to my attention that some people don’t know what garlic scapes are. They’re green shoots that sprout out from the garlic bulb in early spring. They take energy away from the bulb which, when you’re growing garlic to eat the bulb, is undesirable. They used to be scraped and fed to pigs  (or turned into compost). But they’re really quite yummy.

Some of these jars will be traded for things. I traded for the scapes in the first place and I promised the man who gave them to me a jar of pickles. I’ll also give a jar to my brother-in-law, as he seemed interested. The rest will either become gifts or an incentive for me to make more salads. And caesars. I bet that they’ll be delicious in caesars.

Mexican Casserole

Using the same cookbook, I also made a mexican casserole. This one was very spicy. This might be because I added three jalapeños, which turned out to be a bit much.

Yoghurt-spice sauce

Yoghurt-spice sauce

That’s on top of all of the spices in the yoghurt.

A glass bowl filled with kidney beans, rice, corn, and tomatoes all stirred with a wooden spoon

Filling

This filling really helped me raid my freezer. From it came corn, tomatoes, rice, and beans. The only fresh ingredient was the jalapeño! And I can buy them at the corner store, so it really wasn’t that much of a hardship.

A casserole dish filled with filling, comprising rice, kidney beans, corn, green onions, and tomatoes

Waiting to bake

1/4 of the finished casserole gone

All baked and delicious

This was all eaten in two days. It was pretty delicious!

It turns out that I’m much happier with food in my fridge. Apparently when my fridge is empty I get anxious, upset, and irritable. It’s stressful to think that I don’t have any food! I feel as though there’s a lesson in there.

Stew

Earlier this year Fuzzy bought me a cookbook for my birthday. It’s dedicated to spicy food. It’s one of my favourite cookbooks!

Last week I dedicated myself to raiding my freezer and pantry and making meals for the week. So this is Ethiopian wat (‘wat’ means ‘stew’ according to this book), made vegan. It looked pretty much like this, only with more tomato in it at the end.

Finely chopped onion and cubed tempeh brown in a dutch oven. Shown with wooden stirring spoon.

The beginnings of a stew!

It was pretty great, and I will make it again. Today I got more tempeh so that it’s an option in the future.

Dessert and Sunday Night Breakfast

Today after work I went to my mother’s dessert party. I finished the trifle (as I mentioned the other day) that I started yesterday. Her neighbour made the chocolate bundt cake behind it. This is the best chocolate cake that I’ve ever had. It’s an old recipe, too.

Dessert!

Roasted pear and raspberry trifle. The slivered almonds on top are hard to see!

The trifle was so popular that I was requested to make another one for Thanksgiving (which is in two weeks). I don’t want to make the same one. Perhaps pumpkin? The same neighbour who made the chocolate bundt cake always hosts Thanksgiving, and she requested it. How could I turn her down, when she can bribe me with chocolate cake!?

It was popular!

It was popular!

Once I got home I had to make my breakfast for the week. This week my fridge has lots of raspberries, and I have some bosc pears as well (leftovers from making a pear-raspberry trifle!). So I decided to make slow cooker oatmeal. I haven’t had it for a while, and I have some early mornings and long days coming up. Plus it’s a perfect autumn food (well, really, it’s also perfect in the winter and spring). It reminds me a lot of rice pudding (which I love!), although the grain is different. Here it is waiting for a final stir:

Raw oats floating in their cooking liquid inside of a crockpot, shown with a wooden spoon for stirring them in

Slow cooker oatmeal, pre-cooking.

How do I make my slow cooker oatmeal? Like this!

  • Grease the crockpot, otherwise the final product will stick to it pretty badly! I like using coconut oil because it tastes good. Any other oil or fat would work just as well, like as not.
  • Pour in your liquid. Steel cut oats use a grain:liquid ration of 1:4. So 2 cups steel cut oats requires 8 cups of liquid. I use 6 cups of water and 2 cups of a milk substitute. This is math!
  • You’ll also want to add a bit of sugar (1/4 cup) and stir it in until it’s dissolved. This is unless you prefer to add it to individual portions, of course. I like adding it to the cooking because then I can tell Fuzzy that it’s pre-sweetened and he gets less sugar than he would if he free-handed it.
  • I always forget to integrate my spices properly. I use 1 tsp of vanilla and cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, and either 1/2 tsp either nutmeg or cardamom depending on what I feel like at the time. Which might be why it reminds me so much of rice pudding! If you want to integrate your spices properly (apparently I don’t want to because I always forget to do this) put them (dry) in a cup. Add a spoonful of your water/milk liquid and stir well. You’ll get a form of spice paste. Put that into your 8 cups of liquid and stir it around again.
  • Now add your 2 cups of steel cut oats that I mentioned earlier.
  • Then I cook it on low for 8-9 hours. I’m told not to cook it for longer than 9 hours because it’ll dry out. So usually I make it and then wake up ten minutes early to turn it off and let it cool while I go about my morning routine.
  • I’m not sure how well it freezes, but I put it into containers and put it in my fridge. There! Breakfast for the week!
Breakfast

Breakfast