Breakfast Skillet (Wok)

I woke up this morning wanting something hearty for breakfast. I decided I would make a breakfast skillet – but, I decided to use my cast iron wok.

The dish consisted of russet potatoes, an onion, 1/2 rope of smoked sausage, parmesan cheese and seasonings. I used salt, pepper umami seasoning, Italian seasoning and fresh basil.

I started by dicing the potatoes and onions – obviously, the smaller you chop your vegetables, the quicker it will cook. I actually cut my potatoes a little larger – which allowed for a ‘bite’ to them when the dish was done. It was delicious!

Then I sliced up half of a rope of smoked sausage – feel free to add more if you like more protein in your meal. In hindsight, I almost wish I had used the whole thing – not for me, but I think my family would have enjoyed it more with a bit more protein.

I put the potatoes in the wok and added about 1/3 cup of water (I know that seems odd, but I thought I’d try to cook the potatoes a bit before adding everything else and it worked out well). Basically, I tossed the potatoes around until the water had evaporated. About half way through, I added 1 tbsp of butter and allowed it to melt through. I also added the salt, pepper and umami seasoning at this time.

After cooking the potatoes for about 10 minutes, I removed them from the pan. I then added in 1 tbsp of butter and let it melt.

I then added in the onions and cooked them until they started to soften.

The next thing to go in the wok were the sliced pieces of sausage. The sausage is done, so I just cooked enough to warm through.

I then added the potatoes back in the wok and cooked, stirring frequently, for another 15 minutes. I turned the flame off at this time.

Finally I topped the mixture with grated parmesan cheese and allowed the cheese to melt, as well as a little bit of fresh basil. Even though the flame is off, with my cast iron wok, it was more than warm enough for the cheese to melt.

Breakfast Skillet (Wok) – serves 4

4 russet potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 rope smoked sausage
1/2 tbsp umami seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup water
fresh basil to garnish

  • Chop potatoes and onion
  • Slice sausage
  • In hot skillet, add water and then the potatoes – cook until potatoes are fork tender, at end add 1 tbsp butter, salt, pepper and umami seasoning and stir through
  • Remove potatoes from pan
  • Add remainging tbsp of butter and let melt
  • Add in onions and cook until they start to soften
  • Add in the sausages and warm through
  • Add the potatoes back into the wok
  • Season with the Italian seasoning and cook for about 15 mintues – stirring frequently
  • Turn off flame and then top the hash with parmesan cheese and allow to melt
  • Finish with fresh basil, if desired

Chocolate Puff Pastry

I was looking for something sweet, but not too sweet – chocolate was preferable. I had some chocolate chips in the pantry and some puff pastry in the freezer – it was a perfect marriage!

I used some of the flour to roll out the pastry

After letting the puff pastry thaw (it takes about 30-40 minutes at room temperature), I rolled it out a bit and cut it into rectangles.

For each rectangle, I added a few chocolate chips and rolled the pastry up.

I placed the rolled pastries on parchment paper on a sheet pan. I put a simple egg wash on the pastries and baked them in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.

After taking them out of oven, I sifted some powdered sugar over top. They were very similar to a chocolate croissant.

This couldn’t be an easier, or more tasty, quick dessert or snack!

Caramel Apple Pinwheels

I’ve mentioned the delicious seasonal spreadable cheeses from Alouette that I’ve found at Aldi. One of them, and perhaps my favorite, is the caramel apple flavor.

I decided to make a quick breakfast for my daughter this morning, using the spreadable cheese, apple and puff pastry – enter Caramel Apple Pinwheels.

No real recipe here – but, just take your thawed puff pastry and lay it out flat.

Spread some of the caramel apple spreadable cheese on top of the pastry.

I wanted to add some very thinly sliced apples to the pastry, so I used my mandolin to ensure that I got thin slices.

I added the apples on top of the caramel apple cheese spread and sprinkled with a little cinnamon.

Then rolled the pastry. This is why you want thinly sliced apples, so that it isn’t too difficult to roll up.

Then slice it into 9 rolls.

Bake in a 425 degree oven (my oven runs a little cooler, so you may want to do 400 degrees) for 23 minutes.

Once the pinwheels were done, I drizzled on some melted Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Bun Spread over top.


Fried Apple Hand Pies

I made an apple and pumpkin spice strudel the other day and I had some apple mixture left over. So I decided to make some fried apple hand pies.

I started with some canned biscuits and the leftover apple mixture. I also used a little bit of oil to fry the pies.

I just rolled the biscuits out until they were large enough to put the mixture in and fold over. I did kind of an oval shape.

I then put a little bit of the apple mixture in the middle (don’t overfill it, or the edges won’t stay closed – I know this from experience – you can tell from the pictures). I, then, crimped the edges with a fork.

In a small amount of oil, I fried the pies in a skillet on the stove.

After letting the oil drain a little, I enjoyed my little (imperfect) hand pie!

Apple and Pumpkin Spice Strudel

A week or so ago, I found the Pumpkin Spice Alouette Spreadable Cheese in my local Aldi. Since then, I’ve been trying to think of how I might use this cheese in recipe – did I want to try for something savory (the cheese is sweet on it’s own) or do a dessert of sweet dish.

This morning, I decided – sweet – and I wanted to pair it with apples. Yes, yes, I know – I’ve been on a huge apple kick lately – my oldest child reminded me of this – but, it is apple season, after all! I have no shame about it, at all!

I started by slicing 4 -5 small apples (I combined a couple honey crisp with whatever ‘baking apples’ that Walmart had on sale, in a bag, last week), thinly.

In a large bowl, I combined the apples with cinnamon, white sugar, brown sugar and flour.

After mixing well, I let the apple mixture sit while I prepped the rest of the strudel.

I used a store bought, refrigerated, pie crust. I just rolled it out on parchment paper, then added 2 tbsp of the Alouette Pumpkin Spice Spreadable Cheese to the center of the pie crust.

I topped the cheese, with the apple mixture.

Then, I closed up the strudel. You can do a full closure by just folding over the pie crust (and put a couple slits to vent the strudel) – or do what I did, and do small slices on either side of the apples and the overlap the slices, in the center.

I then topped the strudel with an egg wash and sprinkled on some sugar. I placed the strudel (with the parchment paper) onto a baking pan and baked in a 425 degree oven, for approximately 30 minutes. Once your pie crust is golden brown, you’ll know you’re good to go!

After removing the strudel from the oven, I let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, I topped it with melted Cinnamon Bun Spread from Trader Joe’s.

Easy Apple and Pumpkin Spice Strudel

1 refrigerated pie crust
3-4 apples (sliced thin)
2 tbsp Pumpkin Spice Alouette Cheese
1/4 cup sugar (+ 1/2 tbsp for top of strudel)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
Juice of 1 small lemon (or 1/2 larger lemon)
2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Bun Spread

  • Slice apples thin
  • Mix apples with sugars, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice – set aside
  • Roll out room temperature pie crust
  • Put room temperature Pumpkin Spice Alouette Cheese onto middle of pie crust
  • Top Alouette Cheese with apple mixture
  • Close pie crust, as you wish (I did small slices on each side and tried to overlap them at the center – I left the ends open, for a more rustic appearance)
  • Brush top of strudel with an egg wash
  • Sprinkle sugar over top
  • Bake in 425 degree oven, for 30 minutes (or until the pie crust is golden brown)
  • In microwave, melt 2 tbsp of the Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Bun Spread and drizzle over top of strudel, prior to serving.