Homemade Sausage Patties for Breakfast and Brunch

 homemade sausage patties

DIY sausage patties are easy and tasty for brunch and breakfast.

Serve these easy, do-it-yourself pork sausage patties for breakfast, dinner or at your next brunch. The basic seasonings in these skillet sausages mimics the flavor of traditional patties, but you can customize them with any favorite blend of spices, herbs and seasonings. Maybe you’d like them with all Italian-style seasonings. Or Cajun, Moroccan or Latino with chili peppers, cumin and lime zest. Or smoky with chipotle chili pepper or smoked paprika. You can even add a little finely chopped apple or bell pepper.

Nutrition perks include plenty of filling protein from the lean pork, along with B-vitamins and potassium. Even better, these homemade patties mean less sodium than store-bought versions, because you get to control the sodium.


DIY Sausage Patties
Prep time
Cook time
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Make homemade sausage patties when you want to customize the seasonings, keep tabs on the sodium and dazzle your brunch guests.
Recipe type: breakfast, dinner, brunch
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 patties
  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds, skillet toasted, then crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon ground sage
  • ½ teaspoon crushed thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  1. Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring or shaking constantly, until seeds are fragrant and toasted, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Crush seeds with mortar and pestle.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk crushed fennel with remaining nine seasonings until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl, combine ground pork with spice mixture, blending with wooden spoon or hands. (Avoid over-working mixture as patties will be tough.)
  4. Shape into 8 patties, 3-inches in diameter.
  5. Heat an extra-large skillet (12-inch) over medium heat until hot. Add patties and cook until patties reach 160°F in the center, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  6. Serve immediately.

No mortar and pestle to crush those fennel seeds? No worries. Just put the seeds in a zippered plastic bag and pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Toasting those before crushing really brings out their flavor, so don’t skip that step!

Why Your Kids Need Family Meals Together

Family Meals Matter

Want to give your kids a boost in life? Then sit down at the table and eat together as a family more often. At least three family meals together every week provides benefits that will last a lifetime. That’s right – just three. You don’t even need to eat together every single day like my childhood friends did – they grew up on farms and daily family dinners were as much a priority as feeding the cows and pigs. Three ways your kids get a boost:


  1. Better Behavior and Development

*Higher grades and better academic performance

*Higher self-esteem and greater resilience

*Greater sense of security and connection within the family

*Have a closer relationship to parents and siblings

*Greater understanding and acknowledgment of boundaries and expectations set by parents

*More likely to follow those boundaries and expectations

*More likely to exhibit positive social behaviors such as respect, sharing and fairness

*Less likely to show symptoms of depression, violence and suicide

*Better able to resist negative peer pressure

*Decrease in high-risk behaviors such as drug use, smoking, sexual activity and delinquent acts

*Lower risk of teen pregnancy

*Less likely to develop disordered eating behaviors

Frequent family meals provides connection and fosters emotional balance with your children and teenagers. Three family meals every week is all it takes – the benefits increase even more with each additional family meal.


  1. Healthier Eating Habits

*Healthier eating patterns overall

*Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables

*Higher intake of nutrients needed for proper growth such as protein, calcium and numerous vitamins and minerals.

*More likely to maintain a healthier weight/weight range

*Less likely to have eating disorders and disordered eating

Every meal your family eats together is an opportunity for your kids to learn from YOU – their role model for lifelong food habits – about the importance of regular meals and balanced choices. You can teach them how to have a positive and loving relationship with food, rather than a negative and fear-filled one. You can teach them table manners, too, like napkins on your lap, not chewing with your mouth open and not talking with food in your mouth. You KNOW those will serve them well down the road in social situations.


  1. Conversation Skills

*Greater ability to be an active listener and participant in meaningful conversations

*Enhanced language development

*More likely to have expanded vocabulary

*Better able to express their own opinions and have active voice within the family

In spite of all the technology today, your kids still need to learn how to actually carry a conversation. Meaningfully. Longer than just one sentence. Sitting at the dinner table together gives them this opportunity.

Notice I said sitting at the table. Sitting on the couch or floor in the living room every night with the TV blaring – even as a family – is not the type of togetherness that creates positive outcomes with behavior and conversation.  A calm and pleasant environment is best, so smart phones and mobile devices should be off, too.

Sample “conversation starters:”

*What’s the funniest/strangest/best thing that happened to you today?

*What’s your perfect day? What would you do and who would be with you?
*Name two places you’d like to go for family summer/winter vacation and why.

*What famous person(s) do you respect and admire? And why?

*If you were principal of your school, what would you do different?

family meals, three family meals together, eating together


How to Get Started Eating More Family Meals

*Decide you value eating meals together.

*Make it a family priority.

*Every Sunday, discuss which three meals that week you’ll all eat together. Yes, we’re all crazy busy with work, school, after-school activities, volunteer and community activities. But if you value this family time, you’ll figure out what days and times work. It can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. My childhood farmer friends also enjoyed big Sunday midday meals with extended family. Friends, too. That’s how I know about their tradition!

*Get input from everyone on what to eat/serve. Always include foods you know your kids like, but also be adventurous with new foods.

*Create fun theme nights, like Italian, Mexican, Asian, pasta, soup + salad, cheesy comfort food night. Maybe even breakfast for dinner night with eggs, bacon, sausage and biscuits. Or my favorite – leftovers night. Great way to teach how to enjoy leftovers and cut down on food waste.

*Get everyone involved in shopping, meal prep and clean-up. Even more lifelong skills and lessons plus expanded family time.

*Never lose sight of the fact that family meals are one of the best things you can do to help your kids grow into healthy, happy adults.

Disclosure: As a proud supporter of Indiana Agriculture and Farmers, I’m happy to mention this is a sponsored post for The Glass Barn. All content/opinions created solely by me. The Glass Barn is a physical and online resource providing educational materials on Indiana farming to educators and students; it’s funded by the soybean checkoff. You can visit the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

 Resources for scientific research and statistics supporting family meals: American College of Pediatricians, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Cornell University Food & Brand Lab, Food Marketing Institute, Bell Institute of Health & Wellness, Numerous University Extension Agencies and the Journal of Pediatric Health)



3 Reasons Canned Foods Fill My Pantry

Kim's Canned Fruit SaladWhite Bean Bruschetta
1. Budget-friendly and nutrient-rich.
Not only are canned foods one of the most affordable ways to meet the Dietary Guidelines goals on MyPlate, they contain comparable nutrients to fresh, frozen and dried forms. Think about it. They are picked at their peak and packed immediately which means valuable nutrients are retained. In some cases, however, canned choices may have even more nutrients than their fresh counterpart. Peaches are my favorite example. Research shows that canned peaches have 4 times more vitamin C and 10 times more folate than fresh peaches.

2. Convenient and versatile.
Buy. Place in Pantry. Open. Pour. Maybe a draining step in there, too, but look how convenient! Real time-saving ingredients for recipes – something we all appreciate when time-pressed. Canned foods work in all kinds of recipes, too, and that’s the versatility part. Oh sure, canned tuna salad is a staple and favorite in most of our recipe repertories, but Bruschetta?! Who would ever guess an appetizer so easy, elegant and upscale came from canned beans and jarred sundried tomatoes! Try this White Bean Bruschetta.

3. Earth-friendly packaging.
Cans are highly sustainable food packaging. In fact canned foods are packed in the most recycled food and beverage container – steel cans. Steel cans contain a minimum of 25% recycled content. And the steel industry is a leader in recycling. Find statistics and more facts about this sustainable packaging at

Kim’s Favorite Fruit Salad
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, drained*
2 cans (15 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
1 large red apple, chopped
1½ cups red grapes
2 medium bananas, sliced and halved

Combine mandarin oranges, pineapple, peaches, apple and grapes in a large bowl. Stir in bananas right before serving. *Reserve a couple tablespoons juice if desired and stir into fruit salad.
Makes about 8 cups (16 servings of ½ cup each)
Recipe created by Kim Galeaz, RDN CD

White Bean Bruschetta
1 French baguette, cut in 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato juliennes* in oil, drained
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, halved
*Juliennes are matchstick strips.

Heat oven to 400°F. Brush one side of each bread slice with the olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, oil-side up. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Meanwhile, mix beans, sun-dried tomatoes and basil in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork and mix well. Season with salt. Rub the cut sides of garlic over the tops of the toasts. Cover each toast slice with 1 tablespoon bean spread. Serve immediately.
Makes 16 servings
Recipe from www.Mealtime.org

Running with Scones

Ginger Pumpkin Scones MIHThat’s right – run with a scone. As in when you’re running out the door first thing in the morning and you haven’t even eaten breakfast yet, grab a scone and keep on running!  Eat it along the way or once you get to school or work. Have it with a glass of low-fat milk, a piece of fruit or a glass of 100% fruit juice and you’ve given yourself a nutrient-rich, balanced breakfast. You’ll stay fueled until a mid-morning snack or lunch.

 Scone benefits:
*100% whole grain – from the white whole-wheat flour and oats

*Cinnamon antioxidants

*Omega-3’s from the walnuts

*Potassium and other vitamins & minerals from the banana

*Lots of fiber and whole grain goodness

 These whole-grain scones are simple to make and can be stored in a huge zippered plastic bag at room temp for a couple days. Or wrap each one individually and store all in a freezer plastic bag and freeze…just grab and thaw!

Shopping tip: Saigon cinnamon is available in jars right along side the regular cinnamon in the spice aisle. Saigon cinnamon is a premium cinnamon with strong intense flavor. Raw sugar, also known as turbinado sugar, is found right near all the other sugars in the baking aisle.  It’s a tannish, coarse sugar that is perfect for crunchy toppings. (Please thank Dale H. for suggesting I include this useful info!)

 Banana Walnut Scones

2 cups white whole wheat flour (suggest King Arthur Brand)

1/3 cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 large, very ripe banana, completely mashed

1 large egg

½ cup whole milk, plus extra for glazing

Raw sugar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray large baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter with fork, fingers or pastry cutter until no pieces are larger than small peas. Stir in walnuts. Mix mashed banana, egg and milk together in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture and stir with fork just until combined, about 30 strokes. There will be some unincorporated flour, so form mixture into a ball in bowl and gather up all the loose flour. Knead with hands about 8 to 10 times to incorporate, but don’t over-mix. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and pat into ¾-inch circle. Brush circle with a little milk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cut into 8 wedges and place on large baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack. Store in tightly covered container, zippered plastic bag or freeze.

Makes 8 large scones.

Game Day Strategy: Fiber Before Four

Is anyone giving any thought about what they’ll eat BEFORE the big game tomorrow?! After all, most Super Bowl parties don’t begin until 4 pm, and by that time, most of us “should” have eaten breakfast and lunch.

 No skipping, either. You may “think” avoiding breakfast and lunch will save calories overall, but meal-skippers usually end up eating too many calories. Why? You’re famished, starving, and ravenous when 4 pm rolls around….and end up stuffing yourself, eating far more than if you had been fueled.

So my suggestion is to “Fiber up before Four!”  Four p.m. that is. Fiber-filled foods create a feeling of fullness and satisfaction for a longer period of time after eating. Great for keeping hunger pangs at bay prior to the big party.

 Consider Apple Pecan Oven Pancake or Better Bran Muffins. Both are filled with hearty whole-grains and lots of satisfying fiber. You’ll probably have leftovers – perfect for a hectic Monday morning!

Apple Pecan Oven-Baked Pancake

1 cup white whole wheat flour (suggest King Arthur Brand)

1 ¾ cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup ground flax seed

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

½ teaspoon apple pie spice

3 large eggs

1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup canola oil

2 cups finely diced, peeled apples

2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

 Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk eggs, milk and oil together in a separate smaller bowl; stir into dry ingredients with spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix. Lightly stir in apples and pecans. Spread in 10×15-inch jelly roll pan coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 14 to 17 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into 18 squares and serve immediately.

 Serves 4 to 6 (3 to 4 squares each).

Best Bran Muffins*

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups dry All-Bran ® cereal (original type)

1¼ cups 1% low fat milk

1 large egg

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened natural applesauce

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray each cup in a standard 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine cereal and milk; let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg, oil and applesauce and stir well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until all ingredients are combined. Divide batter between cups. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out with only a couple crumbs. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

 *Adapted from The Original All-Bran Muffin recipe from Kellogg’s.

One Big Pancake

PancakePanApple Pancake

While I definitely didn’t make time to write about it, I sure did spend a lot of time this summer cooking, grilling and baking. Highlights:

2 new Baked Bean Recipes – Chipotle Lime Baked Beans & Cocoa Spiked Baked Beans with Apple

5 new desserts, including Cherry Cobbler, Whole Grain Cinnamon Shortcakes & Strawberries, Key Lime Pie, Shortbread Cookies and Apple Nut Cake with Maple Topping

1 new Pasta Salad – Antipasto Pasta Salad

1 new Fish recipe – Grilled Marinated Salmon with Tropical Mango Salsa

1 new Breakfast recipe – Oven-Baked Pancake (3 versions)

1 Smoothie and 1 Trail/Snack Mix

Plus, I tweaked several old favorites until I got ‘em just right: Corn Lime Cilantro Sauce for Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Basil Pesto, Apple Egg Cheese Breakfast Casserole and Whole Grain Oatmeal Bars with Raisins & Dates.

 And in between whisking, whipping, stirring and tasting, I power-walked, weight trained and swam my way to staying in shape. Swimming is new and only because Jeff and I moved into a new place in late July. The pool is within walking distance, making early morning and late evening swims realistic and enjoyable.  

Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall with my newest – and third – version of this Oven Baked Pancake. First version was just plain – no fruit or nuts. Then came the plethora of summer blueberries. Finally, this fall version with apples and pecans.

 It’s 100% whole grain from the white whole wheat flour, oats and flax seed and filled with lots of heart-healthy and immune-boosting nutrients from those grains plus the apples and pecans.

Serve with 100% orange juice, slices of skillet sautéed Canadian bacon or ham and a fruit salad made from any fresh, frozen and/or canned in natural juice fruits.

This oven-baked pancake is easy, fast and best of all, tasty.


Apple Pecan Oven-Baked Pancake                                                


 1 cup white whole wheat flour (suggest King Arthur Brand)

1 ¾ cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup ground flax seed

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon

½ teaspoon apple pie spice

3 large eggs

1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup canola oil

2 cups finely diced, peeled apples

2/3 cup finely chopped pecans


 Preheat oven to 425°F.

  1. Whisk all dry ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Whisk eggs, milk and oil together in a separate smaller bowl; stir into dry ingredients with spoon until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  3. Lightly stir in apples and pecans.
  4. Spread batter in 10×15-inch jelly roll pan coated with vegetable cooking spray.
  5. Bake 13 to 15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, but not overly dry.
  6. Cut into 18 squares and serve immediately with Maple Syrup.

 Serves 4 to 6 (3 to 4 squares each).

Blueberry Version: omit apple pie spice and add 2 cups fresh blueberries and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest.

Plain version: omit blueberries, apples and pecans.

Create your own version: add any fruit or nut!