Birthday Biscuits

I do not want another second to go by without letting you know that after years of major hint-dropping on Andy’s part — much of it public (see #65) — you’ll be happy to hear that the DALShouse is finally home to a brand new 2-speed TurboBlend Vitamix 1782. I’ll let my husband go deep on this in a few days, but I will say that every morning since unwrapping the blender for his birthday last week, Andy has entered the kitchen, assembled his fruit, yogurt, ice, and exotic juices, then flipped the switch while summoning all of us to stop what we are doing. “LISTEN TO THAT!” he’ll shout, as if we would be able to listen to anything BUT the Vitamix whinnying at full tilt. On another afternoon while Andy was at work, I texted him a picture of the apple-papaya-pineapple-ginger juice I made in the Vitamix, noting to my astonishment that it absolutely pulverized a 1-inch knob of ginger beyond recognition. His response? “Tell me more.” The point is: I nailed the birthday present this year. Not even Abby calling from upstairs “Mom! Help me bring down the blender so Daddy can open it!” could have detracted from this long-awaited moment of smoothie-phile euphoria.

Compelling though it may be, the Vitamix was not supposed to be the story here. (How did that just happen?) The story is supposed to be what we had alongside the Vitamix-engineered smoothie that morning: The beautiful sausage-egg-and-cheese biscuit you’re looking at up top. Somewhere along the way, gift opening (which is every bit as exciting for the kids when they’re not even doing the opening) started to take place during breakfast hour in our house. It’s almost like Christmas — as though they just can’t fathom waiting until the afternoon or dinner…or even til their parents are officially caffeinated to tear into the loot. Which is all fine, but it just felt wrong not to connect all this flying giftwrap and screaming to some kind of food ritual. For a weekday birthday that usually means chocolate chips tucked into toaster waffle divets, a candle sticking out of a pancake, a piece of heart-shaped toast – but God help us if the birthday falls on a weekend.  The celebration automatically escalates to a bonafide sit-down affair  with things like French toast and almond-spiked freshly whipped cream. Or, in last week’s case, these sausage-egg-and-cheese biscuits, which we didn’t mean to make entirely from scratch (including the sausages!) but…well, did we tell you how we feel about birthdays? (Why wouldn’t we go all out?) The best thing about the sandwich, besides how buttery and delicious it is, and besides the fact that it’s one of Andy’s most favorite morning treats? We woke up to Phoebe forming and frying the sausage patties with her own two hands. At 7:00 AM, she was already way ahead of us.

Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit
I didn’t initially set out to make my own biscuits, but when I opened the freezer and realized those Trader Joe’s frozen heat-n-serve numbers were gone, I had no choice but to search for a quick recipe. Which is tougher than it sounds when you don’t have buttermilk (and when you short-circuit at the sight of the word “knead”). The sausage recipe is adapted from one in Rozanne Gold’s Kids Cook 1-2-3 which remains our favorite children’s cookbook ever.  And regarding the cheese: only drippy, fakey American will do.

For Biscuits [OR just pick up some storebought biscuits]

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a baking sheet or line with a silpat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork, combine the butter and flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Slowly add the milk, stirring with a fork, to the desired consistency.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and gently knead just to bring the dough together. Roll out the dough about 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or sturdy glass, cut about 12 biscuits, rerolling any scraps or just smushing a few flat with your hands as I did. Place on the baking sheet. Bake the biscuits for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

For Sausage Patties:

1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 small garlic clove, pressed or very finely minced

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix using a fork. Using your hands, form 6 flat patties. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Repeat on the flip side. (If patties are too thick, slice horizontally.) Freeze any leftovers.

For Egg

Add butter or olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Whisk together 3 eggs with a little salt and black pepper and pour into heated pan like a very large pancake. Heat until underside is cooked, about 1 minute. Try to flip all in one piece (you may need two spatulas for this) and cook the other side for an additional minute. Turn egg pancake onto a clean surface and, using the top of a glass (similar in size to the one you used for your biscuits), cut out three or four “egg discs.”

For sandwich:

Place one sausage patty and one egg disk on a biscuit and drape a slice of American cheese on top. (You might want to trim the slice slightly.) Heat under the broiler for one minute, or until the cheese melts. Top with another biscuit.

OK, here’s a quick shot of the Vitamix in action. (“Now that’s what a smoothie should look like!”) More on this later — you can be sure of it.

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Love that you gave a shout out to good old American cheese! It’s true, sometime it’s the only way to go.


No need to fear a dearth of buttermilk. One of my all-time favorite cooking tips (that I think I learned from Cook’s Illustrated) is that you can easily make buttermilk using whole milk and vinegar or lemon juice. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk. Stir together and let sit at room temp for about 10 minutes. I haven’t bought buttermilk in about three years.


I cannot EVER resist commenting when Vitamix is involved… CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I’ve had my own for 7 years and it is THE kitchen thing I would not do without. Smoothies, nut butters, soup and various other things that work better in it than a food processor. I use mine 1-4 times daily.

The breakfast biscuit sandwich looks wonderful, the birthday excitement sounds wonderful.

Happy Day to all.


Late happy birthday, Andy! So glad you fixed your blender issue.

I adore this site and your book. It makes me smile on a regular basis.

Oh, and I, too lamented the passing of WordPerfect, pack every drink with as much ice as possible and leave the upper cabinet doors open all the time. Why not? I will likely need something from them again.during the cooking process, right?


Yes please — more about the Vitamix and recipes! My husband & I bought each other a Vitamix for Christmas and are loving it! My kids favorite green smoothie is this one, but with spinach instead of romaine:


Is April Vitamix month? I just bought one last weekend and they seem to be everywhere lately :) Have to say we are so happy we finally did it-been wanting one for years and the smoothies and juices are just awesome! Big hit with the kids too. Happy Birthday & Congratulations!


Thanks for the biscuit recipe. I can’t find the ready mix in Europe, so good to the dough is not too difficult to make at home. I got curious now about Vitamix. Do you think its better than Kitchen Aid blender?

Lynn BB

I got a Vitamix for Christmas and make a batch of smoothies every morning for the family. Try adding kale, you don’t taste it and it’s a way to sneak in the greens! I usually do greek yogurt, milk, banana, apple, clementine, kale and frozen berries. With frozen berries, you don’t need ice.


OMG I got my vitamix earlier this year and love it. Make a green smoothie everyday. Nothing beats a Vitamix


I can’t stop myself re Vitamix…

re smoothies – so many have milk or juice as the base liquid. I typically use an herbal tea – my favorite is a hibiscus coconut blend. The herbal teas have various good stuff and zero calories. I like to add a little flax seed oil and/or flax seeds and would rather spend the calories there. Smoothies can easily go high on calories even when you are getting a lot of nutrition. I add a little yogurt or protein powder if I want extra protein.


I’ve substituted plain yogurt for buttermilk in my biscuits with fantastic results. In case you find yourself in that situation again :)


The one and only thing I willingly eat from McDonalds is the Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit… maybe I wouldn’t feel so guilty if I started making it at home once in a while? I appreciate the biscuit recipe.


A Vitamix “whinnying at full tilt.” I loved it. Never thought I’d hear that phrase. Thank you for your honesty and good dinner ideas. And for the sometimes hilarious documenting. :)


Congrats on your Vitamix! I’m getting mine for my birthday this month, too. Can’t wait! I’m so excited to see how you use yours and what you post about it. Happy birthday Andy! Also — we just made your yogurt chicken for the first time and it is fabulous. Don’t even get me started on your pork ragu. YUM!


Hi Jenny, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and it’s because I’ve enjoyed it that I wanted to let you know that I’m getting turned off by the materialism. A blender for more than 350? A refrigerator just for wine? Believe me, I get the importance of buying quality. I’m glad you can take pleasure in luxuries. It’s just that it seems like you might need a reminder that some of us can’t splurge that way. We get bombarded by messages of materialism wherever we go, so it’s a bummer to encounter it so much on a blog committed to bringing families together.
I don’t mean to be a grump. but I know you care about your blog so I thought I’d share why I’ve been tuning out.


I c an’t wait to hear more about the vitamix. I have been dropping some hints too. I leave the William Sonoma catalog open to the page and once you do a write up I will have to leave that on my iPad. Can’t wait!


personally I think “soured milk” is better in baking than buttermilk. I can’t remember the last time I even bought buttermilk.


It use a lot of your ideas and incorporate them into my own cooking, but it’s not very often that I see a recipe and use it exactly….however these breakfast sandwiches look DIVINE. We would be having them tomorrow morning if I had encountered this post before midnight, unfortunately they’ll have to wait for next weekend but I can’t wait to try them – homemade biscuits and everything (homemade is SO much better than the premade dougth at the store IMO).


I love these birthday rituals. In our home, the birthday girl/boy gets to request their favourite meal, the ONLY time I ask my kids what they want to eat, lol!