pancakes and sausage on a stick

Back in March when I was doing all of my meal prep, I realized that Mother’s Day would happen soon after I gave birth! It was a wild realization that I’d suddenly be an honoree of the day and I obviously immediately got the urge to cry and be emotional. I imagined my perfect Mother’s Day with a newborn (which is different than my perfect Mother’s Day with, say, a 6-year-old because by that time I can expect some super cute breakfast in bed, right?!) and what I imagined was holding a little nugget in one hand and eating my special brunch in another. A brunch on a stick. And one of my favorite brunches ever, pancakes and sausage! I mean, a bouquet of flowers would be nice but a bouquet of pancakes and sausage on a stick would be nice and tasty. So here we are, I made my own Mother’s Day brunch and it’s in the freezer now waiting to be microwaved. Lol. Pressure’s off, Eggboy! 

Pancakes and sausage on a stick were one of my faaaavorite breakfasts growing up. We’d get them in bulk from Market Day at school (does Market Day still exist?! Omg, it does!) and I’d have them before early morning ice skating practices. These days I can’t walk by them in the freezer section of the Super Target without seriously considering buying them every single time but then I look at the ingredients and have to put them down. So with this homemade version, even though they’re a totally fried breakfast version of a corn dog, I feel a little better about eating them because I can use my fave sausages (I like Applegate’s natural chicken sausages) and then also add some oat flour to the batter. More oats = more boob milk! Yeah! And the oats add a nice nuttiness to the pancake.

So here’s a big batch that you can make, freeze, and nuke for breakfast in a snap and Mother’s Day with a newborn and the like! 


Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick

Makes 18

Ingredients

1/2 c (65g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c (65g) oat flour, or more all-purpose flour

2 tb sugar

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 large egg

2 tb flavorless oil

1/2 c (120g) buttermilk

18 pre-cooked breakfast sausages (if frozen, heat them a little just until they’re soft enough to insert with lollipop sticks)

Flavorless oil, for frying

Maple syrup, optional, for serving

Clues

Fill a large heavy pot or high sided skillet fitted with a thermometer with 1” of oil and heat over medium high heat to 360º F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg, oil, and buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the batter to a tall skinny glass or measuring cup (this step isn’t completely necessary, but it will make coating the sausages easier). Working in batches of 3 or 4 sausages at a time, insert popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks into the sausages, pat off any excess moisture with a paper towel, and dip them into the pancake batter to fully coat, scraping off excess. It doesn’t need to be a very thick coating as the batter will puff up when frying. Carefully lower the entire thing (stick included) into the hot oil and fry until golden, 1 1/2-2 minutes. Use tongs to transfer to a paper towel or wire rack. Repeat with the remaining sausages. Cool slightly before serving. 

To freeze, cool completely and then store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, wrap loosely in a paper towel and microwave for about 40 seconds, or until heated through. Let cool slightly and enjoy!


spring veggie white matzo lasagna

I am so curious to see what our opinions are re: matzo after Passover is over this year because since last year’s Passover, we have basically kept the itsy bitsy Kosher section of our grocery store in business with our aggressive year-round matzo eating habit. I ate an insane amount of it while I was pregnant, with peanut butter and jelly, with Kewpie mayo and sliced cheese, and in extra shallot-y matzo brei covered in ketchup. Matzo was my go-to 3am snack, in bed. I am pretty sure Bernie is 1/3 made of matzo. Eating matzo is different when you have the option to eat bread though, right? Which is why we never got sick of it. This week without the option though, I’m afraid we’ll get sick of it and I’ll have to find another easy 3am snack. What a dramatic life we lead! 

When it came to baby meal prep, I was told over and over to make lasagna! So a matzo lasagna, one big enough to provide enough leftovers for a few good days, was an obvious choice for Passover. And I wanted to make sure it was veggie packed, so I converted my spring vegetable quinoa hotdish in Molly on the Range to a freezer-friendly layered situation. The matzo pieces get nice and soft with the white sauce, and the flavors of leeks, chives, ricotta, and peas whisper spring! Even though it’s totally loaded up with cheese and milk, the ricotta and bright flavors add a nice sense of airiness. And there’s layers upon layers of spinach in this. So go ahead, have seconds!

Thanks to Our Family for partnering on this post and providing all of the cheese for this delicious Passover supper!


Spring Veggie White Matzo Lasagna

Makes one 9” x 13” casserole

Ingredients

Sauce

1/4 c (57g) unsalted butter

2 large leeks, chopped

4 scallions or ramps, chopped, white and green parts separated

Kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 tb matzo meal

3 c (720g) whole or 2% milk

1 c (236g) vegetable stock

1/4 c (75g) chopped chives

1/2 c (55g) fresh or frozen peas

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp onion powder

Black pepper

Hot sauce, to taste

Filling

1 large egg

1 (15oz) container our family part skim ricotta

3/4 c (3oz) our family shredded parmesan cheese

2 c (8oz) our family shredded mozzarella

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 c (5-6oz) fresh spinach

9 sheets matzo (I use lightly salted matzo)

Directions

If planning to bake immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If prepping ahead, see directions below.

To make the sauce, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the leeks, the white parts of the scallions or ramps, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, and then stir in the matzo meal and cook for another minute. Add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring until thickened after each. Add the vegetable stock and continue to stir until thickened. Stir in the green parts of the scallions or ramps, the chives (reserving a small handful for the topping), peas, nutmeg, onion powder, a few turns of black pepper, hot sauce, and salt to taste. Remove from heat.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl, mix together the egg, ricotta, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, and the salt.

To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9” x 13” casserole pan (see specifics below on type of pan you should use if you’re planning to freeze). Layer in the following: 2 sheets of matzo, a third of the cheese filling dolloped all over, 1 cup of spinach, a layer of sauce, 2 sheets of matzo, another third of the cheese filling, 1 cup of spinach, a layer of sauce, 2 sheets of matzo, the remaining cheese filling, 1 cup of spinach, remaining sauce, and then sprinkle the top with the remaining 3 sheets of matzo broken into pieces, and the reserved parmesan, mozzarella, chives, and a few turns of pepper.

Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes, and then for an additional 15 minutes uncovered, or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!

To freeze: I’d recommend using a foil pan that you can place directly in the oven from the freezer. Otherwise, you can use glass or enameled cast iron pan, but it would be best to defrost it in the fridge overnight before baking to avoid cracking the pan. Once the lasagna is assembled, let it cool slightly and wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake at 350ºf covered in foil for 1 hour 30 minutes, and then uncovered for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and heated through. Enjoy!


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

this recipe was created in partnership with our family!

Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

Frozen cookie dough is an essential part of baby meal prep!!!! And just because Passover is around the corner doesn’t make this any different. Well, it actually kind of makes it easier because these cookies are, like, stupidly simple to make. One-bowl, three-minute simple. Remember this Passover cookie cake from a few years ago? Magic, right?! So chewy, delicious, and satisfying, and easy enough that some people asked if there was a typo and if there should have been more steps (no typo!). So these chocolate chip cookies are just hand-held versions of that cake that kind of take on a new life of their own because when they’re in this smaller shape and rolled in sugar, they get a crisp crunchy shell but stay so amazingly chewy inside. And also, you can keep this dough in the freezer and bake off only one or two cookies at a time as needed, so the convenience is real. And the flavor is awesome too, thanks to a tasty nut flour base. If you’d like to change things up and add dried fruit or M&M’s or other candy or chopped nuts, you can totally do that with these. Happy almost Passover! 


Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 12

ingredients 

1 c (112g) almond flour

1 c (112g) hazelnut flour, or 1 more cup almond flour

1/2 c (100g) lightly packed light brown sugar 

1/2 c (100g) sugar 

3/4 tsp kosher salt 

1 large egg 

1 tb vanilla extract 

1/2 tsp almond extract 

3 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (any kind!)

Coarse sanding sugar or turbinado sugar

Clues

If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If preparing for the freezer, see below for directions. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, and salt. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond and stir to combine and then stir in the chocolate. The whole mixture might seem dry at first, but keep on stirring and it will come together. Roll balls that are slightly larger than golf balls and roll them in sanding sugar. Flatten them slightly and then place them on the baking sheet, 1” apart.

If baking immediately, bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.

If preparing to freeze, stick the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is frozen, about an hour or so, and then transfer to a ziploc bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake cookies 1” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment at 350ºf for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.


spinach and artichoke chicken and biscuits

My quest to fill every inch of all of our freezers continues this week with a mashup of two great things: chicken and biscuits and spinach and artichoke dip. The chicken and biscuits part is inspired by one of the first dinner recipes (after mac and cheese) that I remember making with my mom, the chicken and biscuits from Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures. We used that book all the time growing up! And I remember that in the process of learning to make their chicken and biscuits, I learned that a roux can be used to thicken milk for purposes other than making mac and cheese. This was mind blowing to me! So rather than adding a bunch of cheese and noodles to the sauce, we added chicken, herbs, and veggies, and then topped it with biscuits and baked it all so that the tops of the biscuits got golden and the bottoms soaked up all of the delicious creamy sauce. It was the best. Especially during long dark homework-saturated Chicago suburban winters. A marked up version of this recipe is in the homemade cookbook that my mom made me awhile ago for Valentine’s day, and it is one of my favorite nostalgic things to make.

When it comes to meal prep for Poppy Seed’s arrival, I was advised early on to bring on the comfort foods, so chicken and biscuits jumped to the top of my list. But I also wanted to sneak in vegetables, which is where the spinach and artichokes come in. Spinach and artichoke dip is the best form of balance, no? You get vegetables but they’re blanketed with creaminess and cheese, so yes, I’m all about this. I typically don’t love chicken and cheese together but cream cheese is different, it’s milder and adds its signature subtle tang, so I’m letting it be a part of this. The result is really reeeeeeally good. It’s heavy on the comfort, carbs, and veggies, three things I plan to load up on during Poppy Seed’s first days, and dairy milk adds to the nutrition factor. 

The hardest part about this recipe is opening the can of store-bought biscuits, which remains the scariest kitchen task of all time. It’s so loud! And unpredictable! But I’ve opted to go this route in the interest of convenience since I still have a bazillion things to do before my due date. You can, of course, use homemade biscuits.

I’m so pleased to have partnered with Milk Life on this recipe! Dairy milk has always played a starring role in my kitchen and also in my most cherished memories with family and friends. I can’t wait to make new memories with Poppy Seed and these chicken and biscuits!!


Spinach and Artichoke Chicken and Biscuits

Makes 8 individual servings

Ingredients

3 tb unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c (33g) all-purpose flour

2 c (472g) 2% or whole milk

2 tsp chicken soup bouillon (just the bouillon itself, not diluted in water)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast, chopped into 1/2”-3/4” pieces

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Black pepper

1 (8 oz) block light cream cheese

1 (10 oz) block frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 (14 oz) can artichokes, drained and chopped

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Hot sauce

8 store-bought flaky buttermilk biscuits (or homemade biscuits)

Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a splash of water

Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Clues

If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 400ºf. If planning to freeze, see freezer directions below.

In a large skillet or pot set over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour so that it gets evenly distributed and cook for an additional minute (it’s ok if the pan looks dry at this point). Add half the milk, stirring continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon until thickened, and then repeat with the other half of the milk. You’ll know it’s thick enough if it coats the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the chicken soup bouillon and then add the chicken, thyme, and a few turns of pepper and simmer, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Add the cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, parsley, a few good shakes of hot sauce, and a few turns of black pepper. Stir until the cream cheese is melted. Taste and adjust as desired.

If baking immediately: divide into eight 8-oz oven-safe ramekins or foil containers and top each with a biscuit (squish the biscuits a little bit so that they’re wide enough to cover the whole top). Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with black pepper and flaky salt. Place on a baking sheet (in case any of the mixture overflows) and bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

To freeze: let the mixture cool slightly. Divide into eight 8-oz oven-safe freezer-safe ramekins or foil containers and top each with a biscuit (squish the biscuits a little bit so that they’re wide enough to cover the whole top). Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with black pepper and flaky salt. Cover with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place it on a baking sheet, and bake at 400ºf covered for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake for about another 15 minutes, until the biscuits are browned and the whole thing is heated through. Let cool slightly and enjoy!


-Yeh!

Thank you, Milk Life, for sponsoring this post!

Photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen.