Category Archives: Recipes

Breakfast pie

This is a recipe that we originally got from our friends, the Pences. We don’t tend to get together with them any more, but every time I make breakfast pie, I think of them and say a prayer for their family.

I have modified the recipe quite a bit over the years to account for my family’s preferences, but the basic framework is still the same recipe that they gave to us more than 10 years ago.

2 tubes of Pillsbury reduced fat crescent rolls (16 rolls)

1 whole egg

4 egg whites

1 package Jimmy Dean turkey sausage links (12 links)

8 oz 2% milk shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 green pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Unroll the first tube of crescent roll dough and press it into the bottom of an ungreased 13×9 glass baking pan, then layer the second tube of dough on top of it.
  3. Slice the green pepper into rings and layer them on top of the dough
  4. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top
  5. Blend all five eggs along with the oregano and black pepper in a separate bowl with a whisk
  6. Drizzle the egg mixture on top of the shredded cheese
  7. Slice the sausage links into small dimes and sprinkle on top of the whole pie
  8. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown slightly

Even with the focus on lower-calorie ingredients (reduced fat rolls, turkey sausage, egg whites, reduced fat cheese) this is still a relatively high-calorie breakfast. It’s dense, though, and very filling. A little bit goes a long way.

If you slice the pie into 12 pieces, then each piece will have about 225 calories (100 from fat) in a 115g serving size, yielding a calorie density of 2.0 calories per gram.

I actually make two different pies for my family, one for the kids and one for the adults. I modify the above recipe slightly for each one. Here is how I have adapted it:

Kids’ pie: I use 4 whole eggs instead of the egg white mixture quoted above, and I use closer to 10 oz of cheese (about 1 and 1/3 package). I don’t put green pepper or oregano on the kids’ pie, and I only slice up 3 links of sausage and sprinkle them on 1/2 of the pie, leaving the other 1/2 bare.

Adults’ pie: I use the remainder of the cheese (about 2/3 package or 6 oz.) on the adults’ pie. I also use the remainder of the sausage package: 9 links.

Here is a picture of the two variants that I make:


– danBhentschel

Baked pumpkin seeds

Happy Halloween! My family just got finished carving our jack-o-lantern. What fun!

Timmy and Nora playing with pumpkin guts
Timmy and Nora playing with pumpkin guts

Every year, we save the seeds so that I can bake them. This year, they came out wonderful.

Beth and Marlene setting aside the pumpkin seeds
Beth and Marlene setting aside the pumpkin seeds

Here is the recipe that I use for our pumpkin seeds:

  • 1 – 2 cups rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 275℉. Put all the ingredients into a gallon Ziploc bag, and massage / shake until the seeds are completely coated. Spread the seeds in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and put in the oven. After 30 minutes, take the sheet out and stir the seeds with a spatula. Bake for another 15 minutes and stir again, then bake again for a final 15 minutes.

I tend to spray the cookie sheet with a very thin coat of cooking spray before laying out the seeds, and then again each time I stir them. It keeps them from sticking and getting too dry.

Not all the kids like eating pumpkin seeds. They’re pretty tough to chew, but they sure are tasty, and pretty good for you too.

– danBhentschel

Cheesy scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs with cheese has been a long-standing staple for our Saturday morning breakfasts. Here is my recipe for cheesy scrambled eggs as it looked about 2 years ago:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 c 1% milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 slices American cheese

Assuming 8 servings, this recipe yields about 145 calories per serving, 100 of which come from fat. If I apply concepts of volumetrics to the recipe, I calculate approximately 1.8 cal / g. That’s not terrible, but I decided to experiment a bit to see if I could improve on this without noticeably sacrificing flavor.

Here’s how my cheesy scrambled eggs recipe looks today:

  • 7 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 c skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp butter seasoning
  • 3 slices fat-free American cheese
  • 1 slice 2% milk American cheese

To cook this, mix all ingredients except the cheese in a bowl with a whisk. Cook in a frying pan on low-to-medium heat, stirring occasionally until the eggs are solid. Then turn the burner down to low and mix in the cheese.

According to my calculations, still assuming 8 servings, this yields 95 calories per serving, 15 calories from fat, and a calorie density of 0.7 cal / g.

Quite the marked improvement, and yet it still tastes great. I make a double-batch (18 eggs) almost every Saturday morning as a part of our breakfast, and there’s rarely anything left after the family leaves the table.

– danBhentschel