Breakfast Sausage

For some reason we don't eat much pork in this house, but when we do, it's usually in the form of sausage or bacon...well, mostly bacon. But we do enjoy sausage with pancakes and on pizza. The problem: store-bought sausage is loaded with ingredients with which I'm not to thrilled, so I make our sausage myself.

I know, I know...it's another crazy thing I make myself, but to me it's worth it to avoid MSG and other nasties. And it's really quite easy!

When I can get my hands on good, pastured pork, I'll buy a pork butt and run it through the meat grinder (long version), or I'll buy ground pork (short version) and mix in this seasoning. I usually make several pounds at a time and freeze it in portions.

The beauty of this seasoning: you can tailor it to your taste! I urge you to give it a try!

(makes 4 pounds)
4 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons rubbed sage
3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and mix with 4 pounds of ground pork and freeze or cook as desired.



Amazingly Easy Pizza Crust

This is our favorite pizza crust recipe, found on allrecipes.com. We like it baked in the oven or even on the grill. I've modified the recipe to use all purpose flour instead of bread flour, simply because I don't keep bread flour on hand anymore, but the crust still comes out wonderful!

We like our pizza fairly thin, and we only use half the dough for one dinner, so you may need to adjust cooking times if you like your pizza with a thicker crust or if you use all the dough for a larger pizza. I freeze the remaining dough in a bag and thaw it in the fridge when I'm ready to use it.

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in flour, salt and oil until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Turn 1/2 the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round about 1/4" thick (this makes a very thin 10" pizza). Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal.

Top as you prefer and bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.