Sunday, June 17, 2012

Homemade Sausage Patties

I recently spent a month with the grandson that has all the severe food allergies (See In Search of Real Food). He absolutely loves sausage but he hasn't been able to have any due to all the nitrates and other preservatives that is so prevalent in commercial sausage. So I perused the internet and came up with a basic recipe which after much tweaking ended up with this one. Keep in mind that sausage varies wildly with the individual's preference so you may prefer yours more spicy or less. Experiment with these. They are great formed into patties and frozen with waxed paper in between them so you can pull just one or two out to cook. Keep the heat lower if cooking frozen ones and cook longer.


2 pounds of pastured pork, ground
2 teaspoons of ground sage, slightly more if you use leaves rather than powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp 5-pepper blend
2 Tbl organic maple syrup or honey

Mix the meat with the spices and syrup. If your  meat is very lean, you may want to add a couple tablespoons of water to the mix. Form into patties keeping in mind that they will shrink about 30%.

Brown quickly on the first side and turn. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

These are incredibly easy and taste so much better than commerical sausage that I doubt I'll every buy it again. Enjoy!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, a site that a friend of mine turned me onto that has some truly fabulous recipes. I was looking for a pineapple upside down cake that used fresh pineapple rather than the canned version because fresh pineapple seems to be a fruit that cruisers have on their boat frequently and I happen to love it. This recipe is great because it uses a pre-cooked caramel on the top (or bottom if you're making it) and it makes all the difference in the world with the fresh pineapple. Just ask the group of The Assembled here at the marina - the cake is already gone before it even cooled completely.


1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced or use the Pineapple Slicer
3/4 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

Prepare the pineapple and set aside.

If you have a cast iron skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar in it till bubbly and smooth, about 4 minutes.

Arrange the pineapple slices in the caramel sauce.
If you don't have a skillet, do this in a separate pan and transfer to 9" round baking pan or 8 x 8" pan and arrange the pineapple.


1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl dark rum
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 Tbl dark rum for sprinkling over cake

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl with a whisk. Set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. I don't have an electric mixer on board so I do everything with a whisk. Don't be intimidated by this. It just takes a little more muscle.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla and rum. Mix well.

Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and beat till creamy. It will be thick.

Add the pineapple juice and mix well again. The batter will look slightly curdled at this point. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix well.

Pour over pineapple and caramel and spread gently so as not to disturb the pineapple.

Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool on rack for 5 minutes. Put plate on top of pan or skillet, and holding both together firmly, turn over. Let sit for a minute to allow caramel to drain onto cake.

Lift off pan and scrape any pineapple that stick off and replace to cake. Sprinkle with remaining rum. Allow to cool till just warm and serve with dollops of whipped cream or chill and serve with ice cream.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Perfect Iced Coffee

I'm an avid coffee drinker, but because I like my coffee piping hot, in the summer my coffee consumption drops dramatically just because of the heat. A while back my son-in-law got me hooked on iced coffee, a perfect compromise for summers in St. Louis. I'm also including a link to my reviews blog so you can read about the Thermos mug in the picture.  Enjoy!

Iced Coffee

3/4 Cup of coffee grounds, flavor of your choice.
10 Cups of filtered water
16 drops of Stevia extract or sugar or honey of your choice
1 Tbl vanilla extract
Full fat milk or some cream and some milk.

Brew the coffee and let cool completely. If you like really strong coffee, just put the grounds in the water and bring to boiling on the stove, turn off the heat, and let it steep for a while then just run it through a coffee filter or fine wire mesh basket to remove the grounds. Add the vanilla and Stevia. You can use sugar, but I try to stay away from sugar as much as possible so I use Stevia a lot. 

Pour coffee to about 1/2 or 2/3 of a glass / cup / mug. Add your milk or cream to your liking. Sorry no amounts here because this is totally personal preference. Some like it more creamy, some more coffee. Add ice. Enjoy. I keep the coffee / vanilla / Stevia  mixture in a quart jar in the fridge and add the cream or milk right before drinking. You'll see organic milk in my picture. If you've never had it, I can't stress the difference it makes in this recipe.  Pure delight.