Breakfast time: Huevos Rancheros

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  What I have for you this week are worth getting out of bed with time to eat.  During the week, I don’t have time to make anything extravagant for breakfast – toast, yogurt and cereal, or sometimes even a fried egg sandwich – so on Saturday mornings my husband and I make an event out of breakfast, which often becomes brunch because it’s our only day to sleep in.  Cooking together is one of our favorite things, it encourages family bonding.

My version of huevos rancheros is so easy I couldn’t believe it the first time I heard the recipe.  It was a dish I had heard of, but didn’t know what it was until a friend made it.  I asked her for the recipe and said, “That’s all?”  I wondered where it had been all my life.  I hope to pass the same joy on to you.

Huevos Rancheros


  • 1 can diced tomatos
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • ½ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • As well as:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar


In a saucepan on high heat, cook the onion and garlic until golden, then add tomatoes, tomato paste and spices.  Turn down to simmer.

In a skillet on medium heat, fold each tortilla in half and fill with cheese, after two minutes turn over – quesadillas are so easy.  Load onto a plate cover to keep warm.  With the skillet now empty, crack in the eggs, and fry to the desired done-ness.  Carefully (we don’t want to break those yolks!) place the eggs on top of the quesadillas, then cover in sauce.

These pumpkin muffins I originally found on Pinterest labeled as donut holes.  Upon reading through the recipe, I found that what that writer had meant by “donut hole” was actually a mini-muffin.  I’m not sure why, I can’t justify buying a mini-muffin pan.  Why eat half a dozen mini-muffins when you can eat two real muffins and be just as filled?  So I made these into normal muffin size, made the spices a bit stronger – they were in such small amounts I was worried they’d get drowned out.  They came out beautifully, in with a donut’s density and all the flavor of a well-made pumpkin pie.  If I had planned to serve them right away, I would have topped them with powdered sugar, but instead I threw them in the freezer to heat up during the week for breakfast.  A few minutes in the toaster oven, and they were ready to go.  They’d also do well with cream cheese frosting, but personally I don’t like to start off my morning with a sugar buzz.

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1¾ cups All Purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 1/3 cup veggie oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup milk


Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin tin.

Into a large bowl, sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Add oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, milk and pumpkin.  Don’t over mix.  Fill muffin cups halfway, then bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test.

Perhaps it’s the German heritage in us screaming to get out of my husband and I that makes home brewing and sausage making so fascinating to us.  We never say no to a good serving of sausage or beer, and we love making out own.  He and I have made it before, but hadn’t until this time gotten our hands on sausage casings, so this time was a new kitchen adventure.  It doesn’t complicate the process, just adds an extra step at the end.

Breakfast Sausage

  • 1 lb. pork
  • 1 tsp. non-iodized salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. sage
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. thyme
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3′ sheep casing (if making links)

Grind pork through 3/16” plate. To skip this step, you may you ground pork, but the fat content must be 30 percent at least.  Mix seasonings in a separate bowl, then mix into ground meat.  Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.  Grind mixture through 1/4” plate.  At this point, if you prefer sausage patties, refrigerate until ready to use.

If making links chill in freezer for 30 more minutes.  While the meat is chilling, soak 3′ of casings in cold water to bring back precious elasticity.  Take the grinding plate out of your food grinder, and replace with a stuffing tube.  When casings have loosened up, gently load completely onto the stuffing tube, as to not run any holes in it, and unrolling any twists in the casings as you go.  Send meat mixture through the grinder one more time to stuff into 3′ of sheep casings. Hang in a dry, cool place for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until ready to cook.

Tip of the week:  Run out of allspice? It can easily be replaced by equal parts cinnamon and cloves.