Weekends around here are not always the days we have the most time to spend together. But this weekend is completely open, meaning more time for proper meals. The day began – after a little relaxation – with loaded omelets.

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I crisped thick-cut hickory bacon in a pan, then sautéed criminis, scallions, tomato and spinach in the flavorful grease and set aside. Lightly-beaten eggs into the pan to cook until just set, topping with grated smoked cheddar and the mushroom mixture in the last minute. A few dashes of Tabasco on top finished the omelets, avocado slices and crossword puzzles on the side.

A few hours later [I’d like to say I was working on my project], we ate a much simplified Ploughman’s lunch – transformed into warm and gooey paninis. Using the last of our homemade sourdough bread dressed on either side with Dijon and a drizzle of 25-year balsamic, bright leaves of spinach are tucked between thin slices of aged Dubliner cheddar and crisp Gala apple. Surprisingly good – next time I could imagine a Dijon-balsamic dipping sauce, and maybe swapping in a horseradish Dijon for added oomph. Leftover roasted corn and pepper salad went along nicely.

We had a long and tasty piece of boudin blanc sausage in the freezer, screaming at us from behind the custard every time we opened the door. The huge ring of boudin was a bargain at Port A Seafood Co. when my parents were here – how could we resist?!

But then it gets you to wondering: what to do with all that delicious sausage? I tweaked this recipe by cooking the boudin in with the spicy ratatouille, and then ladled it all over the polenta.

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With grated Pecorino Romano and a California Pinot Noir, this hit the spot.

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