power of breakfast

copycat dunkin power breakfast sandwich

this is a great make ahead freezer breakfast for moms on the go. i’ve been in a rut with either eating something quick and unhealthy for breakfast, or not eating anything at all because usually by the time i sit down, the kids are screaming at me. i love the breakfast power sandwich from dunkin, but obviously can’t go there every day, plus i’m always tempted by their pumpkin coffee and we’ve been trying to cut out some sugar and eat more whole foods. this was a good compromise!

ingredients

4 eggs and 4 egg whites
6 turkey breakfast sausage patties – either premade patties or make them yourself
6 slices of cheddar cheese
6 arnold sandwich thins – i went with the multigrain
one red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
1/4 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 – 2 cups of fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard

instructions

preheat your oven to 350 degrees. mince the peppers and onions (and garlic, if you don’t use pre-minced like me, because i’m lazy), and chop the spinach pretty finely. heat a large skillet to medium, add the olive oil, and sauté the peppers and onions until they start to get soft, about 5-8 minutes. meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, and dry mustard. mix the the chopped spinach into the eggs. add the garlic to the skillet after the peppers and onions have softened and cook for one more minute then remove this from the heat. line a sheet pan (i recommend 9×13) with parchment paper, then spray it with cooking spray to make sure the eggs don’t stick. spread the pepper and onion mixture evenly across the bottom of the sheet pan, and pour the egg and spinach mixture over this. use a spatula to make sure the spinach is evenly distributed and then bake this for 12-15 minutes, until the eggs are completely set.

while the eggs are baking, fry the sausage patties in a skillet over medium-high heat until they are completely cooked through. i made my patties pretty large and thin to try to make them the same size as the bread. they still ended up shrinking a lot during cooking. once the eggs are done, let them cool enough to handle, then remove the parchment from the pan and slice the egg into six squares, big enough to fit the sandwiches. you could also use a large round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter if you want them to fit perfectly! assemble each sandwich by placing egg, sausage, then cheese and wrap each one individually in foil for freezing. to reheat, just place a wrapped sandwich in a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until everything is heated through. you can also wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it.

perfect pastries

savory mushroom and leek hand pies

clearly i’m on a mushroom kick… these savory hand pies are great as an app or paired with a salad or veg for a meal. fresh thyme and sage pair so well with the mushrooms and leeks. these would also be great with a little grated fontina or gruyere, but we didn’t have any cheese sitting around and they still turned out amazing. plus, they’re vegetarian! enjoy!

ingredients

8 oz white button mushrooms
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms
2 leeks – white and light green parts only
1 cup white wine – i’ve been loving this prophecy sauv blanc
1 cup vegetable broth – i used better than boullion… so flavorful
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves stripped off the stem
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil, separated
2 tbsp flour
*1 tsp sugar (if you use a sweeter wine, you may not need to add, but the wine i used was very dry so this helped offset the acidity)
salt & pepper to taste
2 packages frozen puff pastry dough
1 egg + 1 tbsp cold water for egg wash

instructions

start by slicing the leeks thinly, and placing them in a large bowl of cold water to rinse. you’ll want to separate all the layers to make sure there is no sand. remove them from the water and place on a sheet pan or plate with a paper towel to dry. cut all the mushrooms in a small dice, then heat a large skillet or dutch oven to medium heat, add the butter and olive oil and saute the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated and they start to brown. remove mushrooms and place in a separate bowl. add additional tablespoon of olive oil and add the leeks to the pan. saute over medium heat until they soften, about 5-6 minutes. add the mushrooms back in, along with the chopped sage, thyme, garlic, and pepper. cook this mixture together for about 2-3 minutes, or until you can smell the garlic. sprinkle the two tablespoons of flour over this mixture and continue to cook until the flour is absorbed, and at this point add the wine and vegetable broth. add your sugar, and salt to taste. bring this to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.

let the filling cool completely, and as it cools it will continue to thicken and reduce. while the filling is cooling you can thaw out the puff pastry according to the directions on the package. to bake the pastries, preheat your oven to 400. whisk the egg with one tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. on a floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry and slice the square into four smaller squares. put about 2-3 tablespoons of filling (depending on how big your squares are) onto half the puff pastry square, leaving space on the edge to seal it. use your finger to put a little egg wash around the edge, fold it over to make a triangle and crimp the edges with a fork. brush the egg wash over the top of the pastries, and then use a paring knife to cut a small slit in the top to vent. bake them for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. this recipe will make about 15-16 large hand pies, so definitely halve it if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd.


sandwich love

two cheese veggie panini

a vegetarian panini that hits the spot with herby balsamic mushrooms, roasted peppers and onions, spicy arugala and 2x the cheese. you could definitely add some rotisserie chicken, but with everything going on here you won’t miss the meat!

ingredients

herbed balsamic mushrooms
baby bella mushrooms, sliced
olive oil
fresh thyme, about 1 tsp of leaves stripped off the stem
1 clove minced garlic
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

roasted peppers and onions
1-2 red or yellow bell peppers
1/2 yellow or sweet onion sliced thinly
olive oil
salt & pepper

sandwich
crusty panini bread – i like this one from aldi, but you can use anything!
herbed balsamic mushrooms
roasted peppers and onions
goat cheese
muenster cheese
baby arugala
sliced tomato
butter

instructions
for the roasted peppers and onions, preheat your oven to 415. thinly slice onions and peppers and lay flat on a sheet pan covered with foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. toss to evenly coat everything then bake for 10 minutes. remove them from the oven, toss and return for 5-7 more minutes until onions start to brown. for the mushrooms, heat a large skillet to medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. add in the mushrooms, thyme, and some salt and pepper to taste, and saute until the mushrooms release all their liquid. once the liquid begins to evaporate, add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until most of the liquid is gone. add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. arrange your sandwich by buttering both slices of bread on the outside, stack up the goat cheese, mushrooms, onions and peppers, tomato, arugala and finish with the muenster. press in a panini press or grill over medium heat in a skillet until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted. enjoy 🙂

perfect fall salad

arugala salad with roasted sweet potatoes and maple balsamic viniagrette

it’s been a while! we’re currently staying with my parents in maryland until ryan gets back from deployment so my mom typically does most of the cooking while we’re here. i can’t complain! i made this salad a few times last year and was craving it again with the crisp, cool fall weather brought on by october. it’s definitely my favorite time of year in maryland, and this is one of my favorite salads.

ingredients

salad
baby arugala
peeled sweet potato, cut into rounds
goat cheese
toasted pecans*
craisins
corn starch
olive oil
salt & pepper

dressing
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 clove of minced garlic
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

instructions

preheat your oven to 415. place sweet potato rounds on a sheet pan covered with foil. sprinkle generously with corn starch and then salt and pepper. sprinkle with olive oil (about 1-2 tbsp), and toss together until there is no more dry corn starch, and all the sweet potatoes are evenly coated. roast for 10 minutes, then turn the sweet potatoes and return to the oven for five more minutes. some pieces will start to brown around the edges, i love the crispy ones! *if you are toasting your own pecans, spread them evenly on a sheet pan and toast in the 415 degree oven for about 2-3 minutes or just until you start to smell them. for the dressing, combine all ingredients in a mason jar or small bowl, and shake or whisk together until combined. combine all the salad ingredients in a large salad or pasta bowl, toss with the dressing and enjoy! pomegranate seeds could also be substituted for the craisins and i think that would be delicious as well.