Dark Days Challenge Wrap Up

It’s hard to believe, but this will be my last Dark Days Challenge post for the winter. How quickly did that go? For our last meal, all participants were asked to seek out a SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) breakfast. Easy pea-sy lemon squeezy. We’ve been doing local breakfast around this place for quite some time.

Lately I’ve been into combining all of my favorite breakfast foods into a sandwich. The kitchen partner makes two of his special Whole Grain Milling pancakes between which I slam a local fried egg, a slice of cheese, and either breakfast sausage or bacon. Then I lightly drizzle it in maple syrup. Just because I can.

It represents what’s best about most of the Dark Days meals I made this winter: they may be simple, but they are filled with the best. We don’t have access to a ton of fresh ingredients in Minnesota outside of June, July and August. It takes careful planning to preserve and extend as much of that season into the colder months so complicated dishes don’t always make the cut. But because our meals are made up of quality ingredients with as few additives and preservatives as possible, the flavors and tastes make up for it. Dark Days has taught me that there are at least 100 different combinations to make a local taco, it’s all in how you mix up the choices. Dark Days has taught me the power of a good bowl of soup, even if there’s only 4 ingredients. It even introduced me to my crock pot and let me cook in a few others’ kitchens. Most of all, it’s made me excited for all the good things to eat during Minnesota summers. They really don’t call it the Dark Days of Winter for nothing!!

In case you missed any of the Dark Days Challenge meals, here’s a list of all the dishes since November 27th:

Dark Days Introduction
Pork with Mashed Celeriac Root
Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Italian Sausage
Warm Broccoli-Corn Cheese Spread
Black Bean Burgers
Chicken Pot Pie
Slow Cooker Split-Pea Soup
Bratwurst Pizza
Cream of Carrot Soup
Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheddar and Bacon
Vegetable Soup with Millet
Maple Sugar Candy
Chicken and Dumplings
Honey Shortbread with Strawberries
Nacho Grilled Cheese
Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

and today’s final recipe…

Pancake Breakfast Sandwich


2 eggs
2 pancakes
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices crisp bacon or 1 pork sausage link sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1. Cook eggs over-easy until they reach preferred doneness. Prepare pancakes according to package direction or favorite recipe.
2. Stack egg and cheese on first pancake. Top with meat and second pancake. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm.

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