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a breakfast believer

I don’t understand people who don’t eat breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. Nothing makes me happier than to sit down, still in my pjs, with a pot of hot coffee and nothing on my mind besides deciding what I want for breakfast. There is a refreshing calm that comes to me in the mornings. Other hours of the day I find myself stressed or tired, but not in the mornings. Lately, I’ve been feeling rather ragged and war torn. School, work, politics, economy… It’s enough to wear you down. So when I look to breakfast, I look to be revived. Nothing has gotten me down yet; it’s a fresh slate. It’s also a good thing to get your system going after a long night fueled by Halloween candy and alcoholic beverages… Just saying…

It’s also my favorite meal because of the food. I could live off pancakes, muffins, scones, omelets, etc. I tend to make breakfast for dinner because I can’t get enough of these breakfast staples. Even as a kid, I was a big breakfast eater. I hated going to school with an empty stomach, and more importantly, I hated hearing my stomach grumble loud in class, with heads turning in my direction wondering why I was full of sound effects.

My go-to breakfast treat as a kid was Pop Tarts. Sick, I know, but from my mom’s view point, they did the job. Quick and filling, I’d eat my little Strawberry Pop Tart while watching my mom do her hair or if I was lucky, I could watch some cartoons. After polishing off the last crumbs, I’d swig down a glass of OJ and be out of the house before my mom could start the car. 

I never knew that NOT eating breakfast was an option until I moved out on my own. My roomate, a firm night owl, never ate breakfast. She claimed she was never hungry, couldn’t eat because she’d get sick, blah blah blah. I think she was plain lazy and preferred to wait to lunch but whatever. All I know is that on those sunday mornings whne we’d both be slightly hung over, we’d grill up some pancakes or eggs and laugh over last night’s escapades. I look back at those breakfasts shared in our small apartment and smile because it was the one of the rare times when we actually enjoyed each other’s company and issues like boyfriends and temper tantrums hadn’t come up yet. 

Nowadays, I look forward to breakfast the minute I get in to bed the night before. Freakish, I know, but your first meal of the day should be your best meal of the day. At least that’s what I think. This potato and sausage hash came about while I perused my new library find Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. If you haven’t heard of this book, well, where have you been?! It’s only one of the best vegetarian cookbooks around. First of all, it’s huge. Secondly, it has a recipe for almost every kind of vegetable known to man. It’s like the Bible, but non meat-eaters. I like to wear my vegetarian hat every now and then, and on this past Saturday morning, I fell upon this easy friend potato recipe that had my name written all over it.

I had a batch of small purple potatoes left over from a farmers market trip and they were waiting to be eaten. A quick boil and chop, and these potatoes were ready to be cooked. I recently purchased these delicious chicken apple sausages from Trader Joes that are OUT OF THIS WORLD. Get thee to a TJ STAT. The small chunks of apple mixed in with the salty chicken will make you wish you’d gotten these babies weeks  ago. If you don’t eat chicken sausage, you can omit it or sub in something else.

I adapted this recipe from the above mentioned cookbook, and the potatoes fried up really well. Next time, I’d let mine fry up a tad bit longer as I like the outsides a little crispier. Pre-boiling the potatoes also helps speed up the frying process so don’t skip that step. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I don’t peel the skins of the potatoes. Call it laziness or a bad habit, but I like the skin. It’s rough, and full of vitamins, right? Did I make that up? Who knows… Anyways, this is a pretty basic recipe that begs to be played around with. The next time you think about skipping breakfast, stop. Why wouldn’t you start your morning off with a nice refreshing breakfast? I know what I’ll be eating this Wednesday morning too, after a long night watching election coverage filled with celebratory chamgpagne or sorrowful beers. Are you ready? It’s gonna be a long night…

Golden Pan-fried Potatoes with Eggs & Sausage
Origin: Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
● 2 links chicken apple sausage, (I bought mine from Trader Joes, but feel free to subsitute or emit)
● 1 lb. red or white boiling potatoes
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 2 ounces of pre-sliced mushrooms
● salt and pepper
● 4 large eggs

Directions:
Cover the potatoes with cold water, boil until nearly tender, then drain. When cool, cut into 1/4-inch chunks.
Cut the sausage and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a few pinches of salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet- cast iron is fine- over high heat. Add the sausage and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly golden. Add in pre-sliced mushrooms, and let cook for 2 minutes, until mushrooms are slightly cooked. Add the potatoes and fry without disturbing them until they being to color on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn them over and fry on the second side until the potatoes are golden and tender, about 15 minutes in all.
Lower heat to medium, and add in the egg mixture. Stir and scramble eggs until cooked.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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November 2, 2008 - 3:44 pm

Erin - Love the hearty breakfast — especially the Obama shout-out :)

November 2, 2008 - 4:18 pm

liz2024 - Breakfast is a definite, and even if it consists of strawberry poptarts (the frosting is SOOO GOOD.) Crispy potatoes and sausage look delish! and yes the skins definitely have nutritional benefit!

- Elizabeth
http://strawberriesinparis.wordpress.com

November 2, 2008 - 7:22 pm

Dana - I’m obsessed with breakfast — as my latest “breakfast series” will attest. I also love TJ’s apple chicken sausages! I often make them for dinner…yummmm…

November 3, 2008 - 2:18 am

Vanessa - i think
you are fabulous

November 3, 2008 - 5:04 am

My First Kitchen - I’ll join your breakfast club. HA. Didn’t even mean for that to be a joke. We don’t have a TJ within an hour’s drive, and it breaks my heart on a regular basis. This looks so good, and I’m all about the potato skins. And they do have vitamins, so spout it with confidence!!

November 3, 2008 - 12:36 pm

megan - what a great breakfast recipe! i’m more into scones, pancakes, waffles, and oatmeal for breakfast (i’ve never been a fan of eggs-weird!) but i certainly share your thoughts about breakfast all day, everyday!

November 3, 2008 - 12:36 pm

snookydoodle - Nice recipe, I really enjoy having breakfast. Pity I only have breakfast in the weekend where I can relax and really enjoy it . perhaps with some panckaes with nutella nad peanut butter and i ll be in heaven :-) on weekdays I have to leave at 6 and at that time surely i don t have time for breakfast.

November 3, 2008 - 1:23 pm

Robin - I love breakfast too – when I wake up early enough! I should really start doing that more… This looks fantastic. Totally my kind of breakfast.

Also, your site looks lovely. The little added touches are great. I meant to email you to tell you I got stumped on the CSS but then my hectic life got in the way (I know you know how that feels!) So glad you got it figured out! :)

November 3, 2008 - 1:25 pm

lauren - yum! and I see your ‘vote for change’ back there…I’m so excited for tomorrow!

November 3, 2008 - 1:35 pm

Amanda - Thanks for the help Robin. I buckled down one day and just reformatted a different theme. But I appreciate your help :)

November 3, 2008 - 7:30 pm

Cakespy - I’m obsessed with breakfast too–it’s my favorite meal of the day! And this looks like a new favorite dish!

November 3, 2008 - 7:42 pm

Melanie - Just came across your blog and spent quite a while perusing and salivating! Will definitely be back lots..not to mention trying out some of your recipes here! Thanks for the great read!

November 4, 2008 - 9:47 am

cindy - i love to have breakfast for dinner.

and i am with you on celebratory champagne or (gulp) sorrowful beers.

November 4, 2008 - 12:52 pm

Charmian Christie - For me, I don’t eat breakfast because the thought of food — any food — makes me nauseated until I’ve been up for a good two hours. I can drink coffee, but anything beyond that won’t go down.

That said, your breakfast looks lovely. I’d just eat it for lunch. Or a late morning snack. Or an early afternoon snack. Or dinner even. Just not for breakfast.

November 6, 2008 - 10:36 am

maris - I love breakfast on the weekends! Monday through Friday breakfast is on the go or at my desk so I always like to have something good on weekends. Sometimes even cold cereal with fresh fruit does the trick, since you can’t exactly eat that on the bus while you’re commuting! :)

November 11, 2008 - 8:43 am

Nancy - I want a Trader Joes!!! I lived in CA several years ago and LOVED TJs! Every time we visit CA we have to make at least ONE trip there, but I don’t get to bring back all the things I’d like to! Unfortunately, I now live in the Midwest and the closet store is in St. Louis!! I send a location request for one in KC as often as possible through the website, but until then I just have to sit through reading posts like this and dreaming of the day that I’ll live near a Trader Joe’s again!

February 16, 2009 - 10:07 am

the incredible egg « Slow Like Honey - [...] the spotlight on another classic: the incredible egg. You could say that I inherited my love for eggs, and that I was practically raised on eggs. Omelets and scrambled eggs were the few things my mom [...]

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