Cheesy Grits with Bacon and a Fried Egg

There is something comforting about a big bowl of grits. Most southerners love grits. My hubby who did not grow up in the South, not so much. You either love them or don’t care for them. They can be very bland if not done right. It takes some love, but isn’t that what a lot of our food is about. Add some butter, salt, pepper, cheese and bacon, then top it with a fried egg…… you have true happiness in a bowl.

This is what you need:

*grits ( I used the quick cooking kind)

*salt, to taste

*butter

*white pepper , to taste ( I like using the white pepper rather than black pepper, but use what you prefer)

*shredded cheese ( I used a Colby Jack Cheddar blend)

*bacon

*canola oil

*egg

*cracked pepper

Cook bacon then crumble, set aside.

Prepare grits according to package directions.

While grits cook, heat a small skillet to medium high heat; add oil. When the oil is hot add the egg, salt and pepper to taste.

When grits are done cooking, add salt, white pepper to taste. Stir in butter and cheese. Transfer grits to a bowl. Add bacon on top of grits. There was supposed to be a nice picture of the crumbled bacon on the grits, but needless to say, I was hungry and it was early morning and I forgot to take the picture. So image the nice, crispy bacon nestled on top of the creamy grits here —->

Top with the fried egg.

Enjoy!

Pizza Hot Dogs

If you’re tired of hot dogs done the same way, this puts a tasty twist on your average dog. If you like pepperoni pizza, then this one is for you. There is pepperoni, beef hot dogs, pizza sauce and cheese all mixing and mingling together in one single hot dog bun. This also is cooked in the oven, so basically you put it all together, throw it in the oven for 30 minutes and you have dinner… or lunch if you prefer…or if you’re like my hubby…breakfast.

Here’s what you need:

*Hot dogs buns

*pepperoni

*hot dogs

*pizza sauce; homemade or from a jar

*shredded cheese ( I used a Colby Jack and Cheddar mix)

Preheat oven to 350°

Place the hot dog buns in a baking pan and open, but not too far or the buns will split. Add a layer of pepperoni on the bottom.

Place hot dog on top of the pepperoni.

Next, spoon pizza sauce over the hot dogs.

load on the cheese…..

Cover with foil.

* Here’s a tip: Spray foil with non stick spray so the cheese will not stick to the foil while cooking.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Blue Box Mac and Cheese

One of my weaknesses is mac and cheese. I adore homemade, especially the kind my grandmother used to make….which will be a new post in the near future I’m thinking….but every now and then I get a craving for the kind that mom made me when I was a kid. You know the one…..the one in the blue box that some will never admit he or she loves, but keeps a box hidden way back in the darkest spot in the cabinet.

Yes, this is the one. There is still something about waiting for those noodles to get just right, then stirring in the milk and butter…and yes, even dumping in that powdery cheese. I know, to some it’s a horrible site. Maybe I like it so well because it reminds me of my childhood. I even love that sound it makes when your spoon sinks through all that cheesy goodness and scoops out a heap. *sigh* It’s almost like a warm hug. Too far? Ok, but you know what I mean, right? I think during these times we all need a little comfort.

Is there something that you find comforting and like to eat that not many find it as appealing as you?

So as you ponder that question, I’ll be here sitting with my spoon and enjoying every bite of my blue box mac and cheese.

Hot Dog Breakfast Hash

I like hot dogs. I’m not obsessed with them and I have to be in the mood for one, but I do like a good one. The one thing that I have noticed during this new time of venturing to the grocery aka the Thunderdome, is that there is always plenty of hot dogs to choose from. The down side is that it’s usually just hubby and I that are eating them so, needless to say, we have a lot leftover. I do freeze them to use for another time, but sometimes I need to get creative. So I thought what better way to use them but in a breakfast hash.

Here’s what I used:

*butter

*canola oil

*frozen diced potatoes

*hot dogs cut in to bite size pieces

*salt

*garlic powder

*onion powder (I did not have an onion on hand but you can use a chopped onion)

* cracked pepper

*egg

Heat a small or medium skillet on medium high heat, add butter and enough canola oil to fry the potatoes. When oil is hot, add frozen potatoes.

Add garlic powder, onion powder and salt to the potatoes. Cook about 3 minutes, stir and add hot dogs.

While potatoes are cooking, in a small skillet, add canola oil and heat on medium high heat. Crack an egg into the pan.

Season egg with salt and pepper, fry until the white is cooked and a little crispy around the edges, but the yolk is still runny.

Continue cooking potatoes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are golden on the outside and the hot dogs are cooked.

Place potatoes and hot dog mixture on to a plate. Top with the fried egg.

And for the money shot……

Need I say more. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Tips

I have been making this for years. A few of my friends wanted this recipe, so I thought I should make this again and post it. It takes no time at all to put together and it’s smells heavenly as it cooks for hours. The tender beef melts in your mouth and the sauce….. well I could eat that stuff by itself.

Here’s what you need:

*2 Lbs or more chuck roast cut into bite size pieces ( you can also use stew meat that has already been cut if you prefer).

* 1 Tbs Beef Roast Seasoning by Penzey’s or a mix of thyme, paprika, Rosemary and marjoram; or more to taste *This beef roast seasoning by Penzey’s is my go to for a lot of beef recipes. I highly recommend it.

*2 tsp garlic powder; or more to taste

*2 tsp onion powder; or more to taste

*1 small onion roughly chopped

*2 garlic cloves minced

*1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup

*1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

*1 Cup Beef broth * I like to use Better than Bouillon.

It comes in a jar and you add as little or as much as you like to water. I like that I can adjust the flavor.

*1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce; or to taste

Dry beef with paper towels if it has any moisture; place in a large bowl. Sprinkle beef with seasonings.

Mix well.

Yes, I use my hands…. don’t you like to play with your food?

Place beef into the slow cooker.

Next, add in the onions and the garlic.

In a large bowl, combine soups, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce; mix well.

I could not find a can of condensed mushroom soup anywhere ( I guess everyone in quarantine is lo eating lots of mushroom soup) so I had to use 2 cans of condensed chicken soup, but I highly recommend the mushroom if you can find it.

Pour soup mixture over beef.

Cook on low for 6 hours. If sauce seems not thick enough, add a slurry of cornstarch or arrowroot (about 1 Tbs or more of water and 2 tsp or more of cornstarch or arrowroot combined), cook about 10 more minutes or until desired consistency.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Sunday mornings are for biscuit making. When I was a little girl, I spent many afternoons in the kitchen watching my mom make biscuits to go with our dinner. This recipe is part hers and some of mine that I tweaked a bit. Like my mom and grandmother, I never measure….. we just kind of add until it all looks right. Mom did write down her recipe with measurements eventually, so when I tweaked it, it took a while for me to be able to get it the way I was happy to show it off…… with measurements. So here they are…..

Here’s what you need:

*2Cups self rising flour plus more for dusting

*1/2 tsp salt

*1 Tbs lard or shortening

*2 Tbs butter (I use salted because that is what I always have on hand) plus more for brushing tops of the biscuits

*1 Cup buttermilk or more ( you can use whole milk or you can add 1 Tbs to the whole milk to make buttermilk)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Melt about 1 Tbs of butter and set aside.

Spray a round 8 inch cake pan with non stick spray. You can also use a baking sheet; set aside.

Cut the 2 Tbs of butter into small pieces.

Place flour into a large bowl; add salt, lard and butter.

With the back of a fork ( or a pastry cutter which I do not have) cut the butter and lard into the flour. Do this until the lard and butter is well mixed into the flour and there are no large lumps.

Slowly pour in the buttermilk, stirring to make sure it all comes together.

Continue stirring slowly until dough starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl .

The dough should not be too dry, in fact I leave it a little sticky to the touch, but not wet.

I’m lazy and by this time I’m hungry and craving biscuits, so I do not roll out my dough. Dust your hands with a little flour and scoop out some of the dough and shape in to rounds.

Do this pretty quickly because you do not want to warm up the butter in the dough or the biscuits do not seem to rise as well.

Place into prepared pan, sides touching ( this helps the biscuits to rise taller). Continue this step with the rest of the dough.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter.

Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the tops turn are a little golden.

I know it’s hard, but let cool for a few minutes….. just enough time to pull out plates.

Serve with butter or your favorite jam.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Bread

This tasty bread is addictive. I think hubby and I ate more of this than the pasta that was for the main meal. Adding roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese to the butter mix really puts this on the next level. The bread is slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with a nice flavor of garlic and buttery Parmesan ….. heaven!

Here’s what you need:

*5 garlic cloves (or more for a more garlic taste); peeled

*olive oil

*French bread

*1/2 stick butter, softened ( I used a small loaf of French bread so if you are using a bigger one use 1 stick of butter.)

*2 TBS finely grated Parmesan cheese (the kind that looks like sand)

*2tsp dried parsley (all I had was dried)

Preheat oven to 350°. Place a small sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle garlic cloves with oil.

Fold foil over cloves to seal them. Roast garlic in oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool

Turn oven temperature up to 425°.

Slice bread in half lengthwise and place on to a baking sheet.

Place roasted garlic cloves in a small bowl, with the back of a spoon or fork, mash until it forms an almost paste like consistency.

Add butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley in the bowl with the garlic.

Mix well.

Spread evenly on each half of the bread.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges and the cheese start to turn a golden brown.

Slice and serve.

Parmesan Paprika Potatoes

I made these the other night along with steaks and hubby and I could not stop eating them. They are crunchy on the outside from the Parmesan and soft like little pillows on the inside. These make a great side dish or you could even eat them by themselves. We are in quarantine, no one will know how many you’ve eaten. Your secret is safe with me. Yes, they are that good!

Here’s what you need:

*2 potatoes ( this was just for hubby and me, so you can use more potatoes if you need more servings); peeled and chopped into bite size pieces

*olive oil

*1/2 C Parmesan cheese, finely grated (the kind that looks like sand)

*2 tsp smoked paprika; or more to taste

*2 tsp. garlic powder; or more to taste

*1 tsp. salt or more to taste

*Note:if you are using more potatoes, you may want to increase the amount of the other ingredients.

*no stick spray

Preheat oven to 450°

Spray a baking sheet with no stick spray and set aside.

Place potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, enough to coat potatoes.

In a separate bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder and salt.

Stir together until mixed. Add Parmesan mixture to the potatoes.

Toss until the potatoes are well coated with the Parmesan mixture.

If potatoes appear too dry, add more olive oil.

Pour potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

Spray potatoes with cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes and flip the potatoes. If the potatoes start to burn or seem to be getting too brown before they are done, turn the oven temp down to 425°. Continue baking another 15 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Serve and enjoy!

Eggs With Chorizo and Potatoes

This picture doesn’t do this dish justice. I was debating if I should even post this since it really taste better than it looks. I have quite a bit of chorizo left in the freezer. I used some to make my Chorizo Cheese Burgers With Guacamole. Hubby wanted breakfast for dinner so I thought, why not mix the chorizo and eggs together. To make it a little heartier, I also added some potatoes.

Here’s what you need:

*canola oil

*2/3 C diced potatoes

*1tsp garlic powder; or more to taste

*salt to taste

*1/2 small onion, chopped

*1/3 lb Mexican chorizo ( you can use Spanish if desired, Mexican is what I have on hand)

*8 eggs

*hot sauce; to taste

*cracked pepper; to taste

*dried parsley

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat, add canola oil. When oil is hot, add diced potatoes and chopped onions. Cook until potatoes start to turn crispy, stirring occasionally. Add garlic powder and salt, stir to mix with potatoes and onions.

Add chorizo to the pan, breaking it apart while it cooks with the potatoes and onions; about 5 minutes.

Crack eggs into a bowl, add a few dashes of hot sauce.

Beat eggs until well blended.

Turn heat down to medium low. Pour eggs into the skillet with the potatoes and chorizo; add cracked pepper to taste.

When eggs begin to set, with a spatula slowly begin stirring and pulling eggs across the pan.

Continue pulling and stirring the eggs until eggs are incorporated with chorizo mixture and eggs are cooked through.

Place into a bowl or plates, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

When Quarantine Life Finally Gives You Chinese Take Out

Today was the day. It has been almost 2 months since I’ve been able to feast on my favorite Chinese food (frozen doesn’t count). Today our local Chinese restaurant opened for take out. Yes, I am ecstatic that I can finally get one of my favorite food fixes, but throughout this time, I often wondered how was the sweet family that owned Hong Kong doing now that their livelihood had been put on hold. I’m sure this question has been asked by many during this time of life….. wondering if the local shop owner down the street will be able to save their business or how the family that mom and dad were furloughed is faring. I think for a lot of us, it’s made us realized how much we’ve taken for granted. It’s made me cherish the simple things even more. My wish is that when all of this is done and we can get back to some sort of normalcy, when we get to see our family and friends again and go eat at our favorite restaurant, we see the world with clearer eyes. That we stop at times to enjoy life and those little moments that make us smile. To not forget those that worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that we all can move forward once again. So laugh, don’t forget to tell those you hold dear you love them, take time for yourself and just breathe.

So now excuse me while I go savor my General Tso’s chicken and crunchy egg roll.