Sunday, December 14, 2014

Too Damned Easy Sausage Gravy

     I wasn't always a fan of biscuits and gravy. In fact, I didn't even know it existed until I went to college and they served it at the cafeteria. Biscuit and gravy day was one of the few weekdays I would get up early. Now I make it at home and don't have to get up early to do it. I don't even have to wear pants. This particular recipe has some heat, as I use plenty of seasoning. It's good on biscuits, crescent rolls, eggs, hash browns, or just about anything breakfasty. It's super fast and easy to make and really dresses up a tube of store-bought biscuit dough.

Too Damned Easy Sausage Gravy

  • 1 pound country sausage
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 
  1. In a medium saucepan, brown sausage. Do not drain the grease.
  2. Lower the heat to low and add all the other ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are totally incorporated into the milk. Adjust the milk/flour ratios if the consistency needs work. Just remember you may have to adjust the seasonings to account for increased flour and/or milk. 
  3. Once it's the consistency you like, take it off the heat and get it on some biscuits!
Good times!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sour Cream Cranberry Coffee Cake

     Coffee cake holds a bit of nostalgia for me. When my mom would have company over, she'd eventually ask if anybody wanted "coffeeanne." At least that's what I heard as a child. What she was talking about was a spot of dessert. She was serving coffee and a light dessert. That dessert was usually a coffee cake. The coffee cakes were almost always the packaged Entenmann's ones. I can't have coffee cake without thinking of a group of adults at the kitchen table, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee while eating coffee cake. Nostalgia aside, this is a moist and tasty coffee cake. The cranberries give it a hell of a zing. I would be happy to serve this with my next coffeeanne. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Sour Cream Cranberry Coffee Cake
via Taste of Home Everyday Light Meals

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (we used sweetened, since it's all we had in the house)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (I figure vegetable oil is close enough. That's what I used, anyways)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (The Wife suggested we use the frozen cranberries lurking in the back of the freezer before they achieved sentience and attempted to take over the house)
  • Topping
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the egg, sour cream, applesauce, oil and vanilla (why did they specify these ingredients and not just say "the next five ingredients? Do they think we're stupid? Probably. Screw these people.) Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in berries. Pour into a 9-inch square baking pan (we used a 9"x13" Pyrex dish) coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. For topping, in a bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter. 
  3. Bake at 350F (180C Gasmark 4) for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (ours took the full 45 minutes).
Good times!