When I was little my Dad would make any challenge into a game. He was always being creative and loved to see where it would lead him. Most people would be frustrated with only change in their pocket, but my Dad loved it. I've watched him laugh as he scooped change from a jar and headed out to lunch. He always said he appreciated those times because they were like a game to him. He wanted to be able to use his wits to make do with what he had. He always came back with a funny story.
Since going back to work part-time, I have found myself challenged, especially in the kitchen. Inspired by my Dad, I've turned this challenge into somewhat of a game. I've been rethinking the way I grocery shop and focusing on a well-stocked pantry so that I can create meals all week without running to the grocery store. I've started to notice that I'm saving money and having a lot of fun. I know all of us have days where we are short on time, short on ingredients or short on money. For my family, this happens towards the end of the week, namely Thursday nights. So, I have decided to have a new post every Thursday to chronicle my creative fun in the kitchen! Every Thursday I am going to post a new recipe featuring a staple ingredient from my pantry. These recipes will more than likely be quick, easy and economical. I will also be sharing tips I've learned about keeping a well-stocked pantry. I would love to hear all comments, feedback, and suggestions. All of us have some creative genius hiding inside : ) We could probably start an entire blog on this theme alone.
This week, I am featuring refrigerated biscuit dough as a staple ingredient to keep in your kitchen. These breakfast pies are great for using up leftover ingredients. You can customize the filling to suit your family. I like to make them ahead of time and reheat them in the morning. This recipe makes 10 individual breakfast pies and takes less than 30 minutes. I'm estimating that the cost is around $5.00 for the whole batch, even less if you buy your biscuit dough on sale and use leftover meat and/or veggies.
Breakfast Pies, adapted from All Recipes, Family Favorites
3/4 pound ground pork sausage
1/8 cup minced onion
1/8 cup minced green bell pepper
1 (12 oz) can refrigerated biscuit dough
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine sausage, onion, and green bell pepper. Cook until sausage is evenly browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside. (I used bacon and left out the veggies because my husband and kids are picky)
Separate the dough into 10 individual biscuits. Flatten each biscuit out; line bottom and sides of 10 greased muffin cups. Evenly distribute sausage (or bacon ) mixture between the cups. Mix together the eggs and milk and divide between the cups. Sprinkle tops with shredded cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until filling is set.
Notes/Ideas: This is a great recipe for using up leftovers. Instead of sausage, use leftover meat or veggies. Use up that salsa left in the bottom of the jar and add it as a topping to the pies. Stock up on refrigerator or freezer biscuit dough when it is on sale. Biscuit dough is one of those ingredients that is like a blank canvas, you can do many things with it. A friend told me that she has used regular sandwich bread in place of biscuit dough and also had great success.
As far as my Dad goes, he' ll be 61 next week and he's still making games out of everything. He recently took my step-nephew for a ride one afternoon. They had about $3.00 altogether. They pumped as much as they could in gas, drove as far as they could, and split a candy bar. My step-nephew said it was the most fun he had in awhile : )