A Better Breakfast Sausage Choice

Even though I cringe whenever my alarm rings, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Give me pancakes, sausages, and scrambled eggs with a glass of OJ and I’m in heaven.

If you love breakfast sausages but want a healthier alternative, check out al fresco’s chicken sausages. Al fresco chicken sausages have 70% less fat and 40% less sodium than traditional pork sausages. They are also a lot easier to prepare.

I’ve set my smoke alarm off more than once making pork sausage. Al fresco sausages are fully cooked, so they can be microwaved or baked.

There are seven sausage links in each package, which is fine for my family of three. If you have a larger family or are feeding teens, however, you might need to make two packages at once. The sausages seem to reheat fairly well, so I’m sure it would be fine to save any leftovers for another day.

The al fresco chicken sausage links come in three flavors:

  • Apple Maple
  • Wild Blueberry
  • Country Style

If your family normally eats pork sausages, I’d suggest trying the Country Style first. These taste most like the breakfast sausages you’re used to. The Country Style sausages also come as sausage patties, if you want to use them to make breakfast sandwiches instead of stopping at McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin.

The Wild Blueberry sausages are delicious when eaten with blueberry pancakes, although you might have to coax any picky eaters in your family to try them with an open mind. My son was initially not thrilled with the idea of blueberry flavored meat.

Visit the al fresco website to find a store near you that carries al fresco products.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit: al fresco

250 Best Meals in a Mug Makes Cooking for One a Snap

Camilla V. Saulsbury’s 250 Best Meals in a Mug shows you how to make your own homemade microwave meals in just minutes. Ms. Saulsbury is an experienced food writer who has authored over a dozen cookbooks and won top prizes in cooking competitions such as the $100,000 National Chicken Cook-Off and the Food Network’s $25,000 Ultimate Recipe Showdown.

This book would be the perfect for any college students or young singles you know. The recipes are healthier and much cheaper than having them live off TV dinners or make huge batches of food that end up going to waste because they don’t feel like eating the same thing every day of the week.

It would also be a good cookbook to keep on hand if you’re trying to teach your older children how to be more independent. My son still isn’t allowed near the stove, but I’ve been letting him cook a few things in the microwave. 250 Best Meals in a Mug has several recipes he can handle on his own, such as the spaghetti and meatballs, brownies, cheese fondue, and poached eggs.

To cut prep time, the recipes incorporate convenience foods like frozen cooked meatballs, frozen veggies, canned tuna, and ready to use broths.

Types of recipes featured in 250 Best Meals in a Mug include:

  • Recipes with 4 ingredients or less
  • Breakfast
  • Breads and muffins
  • Soups, stews, and chilis
  • Meatless main dishes
  • Meat, poultry and seafood main dishes
  • Past and grains
  • Snacks
  • Desserts

The desserts were some of my favorite recipes in this cookbook, since I tend to overindulge when I make an entire cake. A dessert in a mug satisfies my sweet tooth without unnecessary temptation.

Here’s a sample recipe, reprinted with permission of the publisher.

Double Lemon Cake

A delicious lemony dessert made quickly in a mug in your microwave!


  • Cake
    • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 14 tsp baking powder
    • 18 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
    • 112 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Icing
    • 1 3 cup confectioners (icing) sugar
    • 112 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


For the cake: In the mug, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, beat in egg, sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice until very well blended.

Microwave on High for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (checking at 1 1/2) or until risen and center is just set. Let cool slightly or entirely in mug. Eat directly from mug or gently remove to a small plate.

For the icing: In a small bowl or cup, use a fork to stir confectioners sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Prep Ahead Option: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the mug; cover and store at room temperature. Whisk the egg in a small airtight container, then add sugar, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice; cover and refrigerate. Prepare the icing in a small airtight container; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Tip: Using oil, instead of butter, in this recipe helps to keep the cake extra-moist. You can use 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) lemon extract in place of the lemon zest.

Courtesy 250 Best Meals in a Mug by Camilla V. Saulsbury
2014 Robert Rose Inc.
Reprinted with publisher permission.

Photo credit: 250 Best Meals in a Mug