Do you have that extra something special? Do we all have it? I am sure we all do somewhere, but some of us use it in our day-to-day life with flair while it lies dormant in others. What is that something special? GRIT. No, not those grits served in southern kitchens at breakfast. I am talking about good old-fashioned grit. The kind that means you are not afraid of getting dirty, are driven, ambitious, resilient, and unstoppable. It is how some people make so much happen in their life.
How do we see grit in others? How does grit make some stand out more than others? It is the way someone goes the extra mile, adds the special touch, or takes it to the next level. It means doing way more than the minimum, and demands excellence that leads to the wow factor. It often means being willing to do things that might be unfavorable or not fun in order to get to your finish line.
Someone with grit is in it for the long haul. They see how hard it is to get to their goal and they are going to do whatever they can to make it happen. They are not afraid of hard work, rarely procrastinate, and are probably competitive. The underdog can have grit and so can the MVP and top performer. Not all that are successful have grit. It is an attitude. I read an article yesterday about a 570 pound man attempting to run a 5k every month in 2015 who has lost a lot of weight as a result. That takes grit.
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. I could have it any time of day. So, yes, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Often instead of going on a date night, we do a date brunch. A meal we love, it is easy, quick and since it is on the weekend, I am more rested and focused on Chris. A win-win all around. Typically one weekend morning we go out to brunch and Chris makes something at home on the other weekend morning (or often afternoon by the time we get to brunch).
Which is why we constantly are on the lookout for yummy and different options to make for breakfast. This is by far one of the best recipes we have made in months. It has a little bit of everything. Eggs, sausage, hash browns, kale, cheese. What more can you ask for? I could not stop at one piece. The sausage is I believe what makes this recipe. I am not usually a big fan of sausage, and you will usually never see me eat a sausage patty, but crumbled up pieces in this dish is heavenly. It just will not be the same if you remove the sausage. If you do not like kale, do not leave it out, you do not even know it is there.
Serves: 6-8 (nutrition info is for 1 of 8 servings)
12 ounces ground sausage
½ cup milk
1½ teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound raw shredded potatoes (we just bought refrigerated uncooked hashbrowns)
1 cup shredded cheese (we used a combo of Swiss and Gruyère)
2 cups shredded kale
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pan with oil.
Brown the sausage until completely cooked and crumbled. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs, milk, herbes de provence, and salt and pepper.
Add the hash browns, ⅔ cup cheese, kale, and sausage from step one. Mix it all together.
Transfer to the pie pan and top with remaining cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until set. Remove foil, turn heat to 400 or 450, and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown on top. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow excess moisture absorb. Slice and serve.
We tried it. Being vegan. We could not do it. While I could probably give up meat, it was impossible to give up cheese and eggs. I love both way too much, and the fake vegan version of cheese just does not compare. I am my father’s daughter. My dad was all about cheese (even if he probably at the time was not “cultured” in his cheese knowledge — no pun intended). With that all in mind, I love finding recipes, especially desserts that have the core of the ingredients inclusive of coconut milk and creme because it is so much better for you. This recipe is vegan and almost gluten-free, (if you can find a substitute for the flour). Maybe I will try to recreate into a gluten-free version. These cupcakes were good, and super moist (ugh I hate that word, but it is true). The frosting was not that sweet which is just the way I like it.
Cupcakes: 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (we used dark chocolate cocoa powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces coconut cream, chilled overnight*
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
Whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, and coconut oil until incorporated. It you are making it in the summer you might need to slightly warm the coconut oil (depending on where you live). Since it is warm here, no need to do so as my coconut oil is not solid right now. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the coconut milk mixture in the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are just incorporated (do not overmix).
Spoon into liners, filling each with a scant 1/4 cup of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
For whipped coconut cream, spoon solid coconut out of can, discarding any remaining liquid in the bottom (or reserve for another use). Place in a chilled mixing bowl (keeping it cold is key here!) and beat on high-speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and holds soft peaks. It won’t firm up quite like whipped cream. Return to refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up slightly.
Frost cupcakes with a thin layer of coconut cream. It’s pretty lose, so it won’t hold huge swirls like buttercream. Dollop a bit of frosting on top of the cupcake, then dip top in a bowl of shredded coconut. The coconut will help hold the frosting in place.
Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days.
Note: We did not read early enough that the coconut cream needs to be chilled overnight. So we made the cupcakes at night and finished the frosting the next morning. Breakfast anyone?
*You can also use full fat coconut milk but will need twice as much. Refrigerate at least 24 hours until thoroughly chilled. When you open the can, spoon off the solid layer of coconut at the top; this is what you will use to make the frosting. Any liquid at the bottom of the can can be discarded or reserved for another use. Note that if you use full-fat coconut milk instead of coconut cream, you may need 2 cans to get enough cream for the frosting.
Sometimes you need an easy recipe to make and devour. My favorite part about this recipe is how easy it is, but also how it made the house smell so good. The moment that they started baking in the oven the smell filled the house. I am a bit addicted to cinnamon and anything with that warm spice, such as chai, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, oh and nutmeg.
This recipe from Mix and Match Mama’s blog – for Cinnamon Roll Cups. Since I did not have time to get approval to post the entirety of the recipe from her blog, you will have to click the link to read the full post. Just know you will need a few basic ingredients and a can of refrigerated biscuits. It makes 12 muffin sized cinnamon roll cups. Much easier than using yeast when you quickly want that cinnamon roll goodness.
Although I did tell Chris that they are very close to just purchasing the cinnamon roll refrigerated can. Much better, but similar. Will we make them again? Maybe. Total time to make is about 20 minutes. You just have to make sure you have cream cheese (for the frosting) and a can of refrigerated biscuits on hand. While they were baking you can make the frosting.
They are an easy dessert, midnight snack, or breakfast treat. Enjoy!
“I don’t know.” My nephew used to always say this. I would ask him a question and his response would be: “I don’t know.” On Monday, Labor Day, a part of our three-day weekend I asked Chris what he wanted to do. His response: “I don’t know. Just stay in bed. Have breakfast.” That’s all I got from him. So, what did we end up doing? A plethora of randomness. Yes, just like this blog: random olio. That is what we did on our Labor Day. We still stayed in bed. Of course we had breakfast too. But, without any clarity over any other ideas, we ended up doing…
A random hodgepodge of things:
posted a bunch of items on ebay
purged old paperwork and files
posted a bookshelf on Craigslist
caught up on emails… lots of emails
caught up on a stack of articles that I have wanted to read
ran 8 miles
our breakfast was yummy
got back on track with catching up on “Breaking Bad” (can you believe we are still on season 1?)
I think that Chris will think differently when I ask him what he wants to do, and no longer say: “I don’t know.” Smirk. Smirk. Now he just might have an answer for me. I would like to x, y, and z. I would not like to do anything having to do with Craigslist or ebay, or emails, or the Internet. I would like to not have to do anything productive. I would like to watch movies all day, or be outside and explore. Or, he could say: “I would like to do whatever you would like to do.” Ha. Often that is what happens, and we then end up in some project that somehow is a puking of a closet, or in the garage, that always takes longer than you think.