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after school snack

Appetizers Beef Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork

Back to School Sausage Rolls

Cuisinart Back to School Sausage Rolls 5

“After school is my favorite part of the day Mom”. This is what my youngest daughter used to tell me when she was little.  I once asked why it was her favorite part of the day and she replied “because when I open the front door it smells like home”.   Tell me that wouldn’t melt your heart into a giant puddle?!

After melting into that giant puddle I asked “what smells like home?”  My daughter said “it smells like delicious food”.

I didn’t always work from home so on those days I’d try to have something tasty (and mostly healthy) in the fridge to warm up or on the counter in the treat bin.  Because after that heart melting statement, how could I not have an after school snack for my little gal who obviously cherished that one moment every day?

Back to School Sausage Rolls with your favorite sausage, cheese and puff pastry // Karista's Kitchen

Making these sausage rolls is a snap. I first learned of these tasty little treats from my friend Suzie, who is from the UK.  

She used to bring them to elementary school for events or teacher appreciation day.  I must have been the one adult to eat my weight in these delectable bite sized nibbles.  So when Cuisinart sent me the Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven to review, I thought these savory baked sausage rolls would be a perfect first recipe to prepare and test out this fabulous piece of kitchen equipment.

Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven // Karista's Kitchen

I’m not one to load my kitchen with lots of equipment but I have to tell you this toaster oven has gotten a lot of use since it’s arrival.  During the hot summer I cooked everything in it.  From salmon filets and burgers to flatbread pizza, blueberry crisp and brownies.  It was so hot this summer I didn’t want to turn on my oven and grilling outside often seemed way too much effort in the scorching heat.

The Cuisinart convection feature is perfect for quickly cooking and searing in juices of fish, poultry, pork and meat and it cooked salmon burgers and stuffed portabella mushrooms perfectly.  My family thoroughly enjoys the toaster oven feature. It makes preparing flatbread or pizza and warming up leftover macaroni and cheese simple and quick.  It’s also easy to clean and just the right size so it doesn’t take up too much counter space.

These tasty sausage rolls keep well in the fridge and can be warmed up in the toaster oven as well.  But I have to admit, they are pretty darn delicious right out of the oven.

Wishing you a happy and safe school year and a most fabulous Autumn season!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


Back to School Sausage Rolls

6-12 depending on the size of the sausages

Back to School Sausage Rolls


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 9-12 small sausages or hot dogs, if using sausages gently cut the casing and slide the sausage out of the casing. (I used chicken apple breakfast sausages)
  • 3-4 slices cheddar cheese (or your favorite cheese)
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
  • Yellow Mustard, Honey Mustard or Maple Syrup for dipping
  • Serve with assorted cut or sliced veggies for a delicious and healthy snack


  • This recipe makes 6-12 sausage rolls depending on the size of your sausages. I used smaller chicken apple breakfast sausages, removed from the casing and then cut in half.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F and place a piece of parchment on the baking tray.
  • Roll out the puff pastry and cut three even strips.
  • Depending on the size of your sausages, divide each strip of puff pastry into thirds or half. Cut the cheese slices into halves or thirds.
  • Whisk the egg with the water for the egg wash.
  • At one end of a square of puff pastry, brush with a little egg wash and then place a strip of cheese and then a piece of sausage on the end of the pastry square. Roll up the pastry to enclose the sausage, pinching the seam a bit to keep the pastry closed and then place it seam side down on the baking tray. Repeat the process for each piece of pastry.
  • Once the rolls are done, score the top of each sausage roll with a knife and then brush with the remaining egg wash.
  • Place them in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown and the sausages look done.
  • Let them cool for about 5 minutes before serving. The sausage will be very hot! I like to serve these with honey mustard, yellow mustard or maple syrup for dipping.
  • Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Notes

    To serve these for a party, I also like to serve them with tomato jam or chutney.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Cubano Sliders – Small Plate Entertaining

    Cubano Sliders with Marinated Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Pickles and Mustard on Sweet Slider Buns // Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve always had a love affair with the Cubano sandwich.  What’s not to love?  These Cubano Sliders are packed with so much flavor and texture, it makes me happy just to look at one sitting on my plate.

    I’ve dined on many Cubano’s, some good, but some so spectacular it’s all I could think about for days after dining on the sandwich.   Which is what happened after watching the movie “Chef“.  I stayed up late one evening, waiting for my teenager to arrive home by curfew, (because I can’t sleep until I know she’s home safe and sound) so I decided to watch the movie “Chef”.  I like the cast of actors and of course the premise for the movie intrigued me. 😉

    I laughed, I cried, I empathized, I cheered… and then I was hungry.

    The movie reminded me why I’m so passionate about cooking.  Why I love food and why I love to feed people.  Why I stick with a career that can be both physically and mentally demanding but completely creative and rewarding at the same time.

    Guess what was on the menu a few days later?  Cubano Sliders.

    Not long after my Cubano weekend, I was creating menu ideas for one of my clients “small plates” themed issues and I realized how much fun these Cubano Sliders would be for a small plates dinner party.  

    I couldn’t let the summer slip by without sharing these little lovelies with you.  These Cubano Sliders are perfect for entertaining or dinner or even and after school snack.  Personally, I could eat them any time of the day or night.

    A festive and delicious way to end the summer season and begin the new school year.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


    Cubano Sliders

    Serving Size: 8-10

    Cubano Sliders


    • 1 pork tenderloin, about ¾ - 1lb
      For the Marinade
    • 1 cup orange juice
    • 1 cup pineapple juice
    • 1 small onion sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic smashed
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground all-spice
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
      For the Slider
    • Marinated pork tenderloin
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground all-spice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ lb sliced baked ham
    • 1 small jar of sliced pickles
    • 10 slices Swiss cheese
    • Yellow mustard
    • Slider Buns


  • To marinate the pork, place the tenderloin in a non-reactive or glass dish. Mix together the orange juice, pineapple juice, sliced onion, garlic, cumin, all-spice cinnamon stick, cilantro and salt. Pour this mixture over the tenderloin and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator and let it marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • To prepare the pork, preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the marinade. Paper towel dry the pork and then rub it with one tablespoon of olive oil. Mix together the salt, pepper and the all-spice and rub it onto the pork. Place the pork in a baking dish and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145F.
  • Remove the pork from the oven and let it cool. Once the pork has cooled, thinly slice the pork and set aside.
  • Turn the oven down to 350F.
  • Slice the slider buns in half and place them on a baking sheet. Add a slice of Swiss cheese to both the top and bottom of each slider bun. Then add a dash of mustard on top of the cheese on both the bottom and top of each slider bun.
  • Place thin sliced pork tenderloin, thin sliced pickles and thin sliced baked ham on the bottom slider buns. Place the tops of the buns (with just the cheese and mustard) over the pork and pickles and the press down slightly to keep the sliders in tact.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and let them warm until the cheese begins to melt, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove the sliders from the oven and serve.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for Home By Design Magazine August/September 2015 issue.

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