Jazzy Grilled Cheese

 

Your finished “Grilled to Perfection” product!

Just in time for the weekend…the temp promises to be a bit more comfortable for Fall Ball Y’all! We are all about a jazzy grilled cheese lunch and then heading to the ball park for late afternoon and evening games, under the lights!  Please know that we are super careful; We group together as families, in our own circle of chairs. We are 12 feet apart from the next family. We are not allowed on bleachers. We do not exchange even elbow bumps with other families. But it still brings great joy to be there for the love of the children, grandchildren, and the game!     And now to share a great thought here:

“We believe in friendship,
In community,
And in gathering side by side.
We believe in lively conversation…
The kind where our differences are realized and met with honor.
The kind where we leave having been made better.
We believe that when gathered around the table,
There’s room enough for all of us.
Where strangers become friends.
And friends become family.”
Magnolia Journal, Summer 2020. Joanna and Chip Gaines.

Let’s spread faith not fear. Happy Weekend!

For 4 sandwiches:
8 slices favorite bread
2 cups grated Colby jack cheese
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
Kernels from 3 ears corn, sautéed or grilled until tender 
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pimento cheese
2 Tbs soft butter

Mix together Colby jack, tomatoes, onion, corn, salt, and pepper.
Spread on 4 slices bread.
Top with dollop pimento cheese; spread to edges.
Spread butter on all other sides of bread.
Grill or sauté 3 or more minutes per side.

*Try my homemade pimento cheese recipe here!

This is your starting point, just placed on the griddle. I use my George Foreman Rapid Grill for tasks like this all the time. It’s so simple!

Avocado Toast with Yogurt and Honey

This is the best simple breakfast that you will EVER serve your overnight guests, or just your adult children and grandchildren. I promise!!! The vanilla yogurt makes it just a little sweet for the little ones, and the rest is just yummy right down to that tummy. First thing in the morning…it’s a lot better to wait a few minutes before consuming the slight acid in our favorite coffee. Get revved up with that caffeine after you coat that little tum tum. Happy Day My People!
Brunch Avocado Toast with Avocado and Honey

You’ll be so darn happy!

4 slices multigrain bread, toasted
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 t salt

Arrange avocado slices in single layer on toast.
Spoon yogurt over avocado, spreading slightly.
Sprinkle zest over yogurt.
Drizzle with honey.
Sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
Sprinkle with salt.

YUMMY!!!!

Cinnamon Elephant Ears

 

I had a special pajama clad helper in the kitchen one Sunday morning recently. No makeup, hair unbrushed…but it was magically delicious! I always thought these “elephant ears” were a short cut from a French pastry. Contrarily, my research revealed that it’s adapted from the Native Americans’ “sweet fry bread”…Either way, it’s quick, delicious, and this little three year old did most of it on his own!
A job opportunity awaits!

1 cup sugar, divided
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and salt.
Pour it over a flat surface such as a wooden board.
Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar mixture.

 

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.
Spread it evenly on the puff pastry.
(This is not about sprinkling, it’s about an even covering of sugar.)
With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a 13-inch square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom.
Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle.
Fold them again so the two folds meet in the middle.
Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book.
You will have 6 layers.
Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices.
Place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies for 6 minutes, or until caramelized and brown on the bottom.
Then turn over with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side.
Transfer to a baking rack to cool.
Brunch Elephant Ears VI

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread ParkerFairy Bread has been a popular children’s birthday treat for generations in Australia. Simple as can be. So as you prepare for the Memorial Day weekend and the onslaught of family members, you may want to try this special and yummy treat!
Simply spread softened, room temperature butter on fresh bread (That acts as the glue). Top with any sprinkles or colored sugar desired…or let the children decorate their own! That’s what we did in the RockDamKitchen a couple of weekends ago. My grands LOVED making it and eating it! “Art doesn’t always fit in a frame”…nor do sprinkles! PS It was a sugary mess on the kitchen counter! Enjoy.

Fairy Bread Lucy IIjpgBrunch Fairy Bread IFairy Bread L L P

Strawberry Brunch/Tea Sandwiches

Brunch Strawberry Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches.jpgYummy…All the Way Down the  Throat. No joke. This is a total software update for your palate…and speaking of which; it totally looks like the palette for a still life…calling Kristin!! Since strawberry season is in full swing here, I’m taking it straight to the kitchen. Hope that you do the same. With the marinade in this recipe, any strawberry will work if you live in an “off berry season”!

1 cup thinly slices strawberries
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 t honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
Vegetable cream cheese, room temperature (I prefer light)
Bunch baby arugula
8 slices white bread, edged, and cut in half

Toss together berries, balsamic, honey, and salt.
Let sit 30 minutes, then drain.
Spread cheese on all bread slices.
Season 8 bread halves with salt and pepper.
Layer strawberries across these halves.
Top with arugula.
Top with remaining bread slices.

Makes 8 tea sandwiches.

Apple Bacon Toast

Just the perfect little brunch/lunch…and in my sunroom as a bonus…and with sweet Curry sniffing around as a double bonus.

Brunch Apple Bacon Toast2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 Tbs low fat vegetable cream cheese
4 slices cinnamon raisin bread, toasted
1 apple, thinly sliced
Maple syrup, for drizzling

Spread cream cheese evenly on 4 slices of toasted bread.
Spread apple slices evenly across toast.
Top with crumbled bacon.
Drizzle with syrup.

A dear friend introduced me to Ezekiel bread; now it’s my “go to”. You can find it in the freezer section of your neighborhood grocery store!
Brunch Apple Bacon Toast Ezekiel Bread

Bacon and Egg Bánh Mì

Cooking around the globe…my favorite passion! Last February we chased our culinary dreams (and a few very fine golf courses for the don!) to Vietnam. The darling gal pictured here was our guide throughout the charming town of Hoi An, their market, and the Red Bridge Cooking School. Sensory overload is a total understatement! IMG_4455 (2)One easy take away was the Bánh Mì; that’s Vietnamese for bread, more specifically the baguette, which was introduced by the French during the colonial period in Vietnam. Unlike the traditional French baguette, the Vietnamese baguette is made with rice flour, making it airier. In Vietnamese cuisine, Bánh Mì is typically made into a sandwich, commonly including pickled daikon radishes, carrots, cucumber slices, cheeses and cold cuts of choice. I mixed it up a little bit here! But first, a couple of fun market images…

IMG_4474

IMG_4471 (9)

And since I’m hooking you up with an egg Bahn Mi recipe, here’s our Market egg lady!

4 large carrots, shredded
6 whole radishes, sliced
6 slices jalapeño peppers, diced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
6 slices bacon
4 crusty French bread rolls, split open
1/2 English cucumber , thinly sliced, lengthwise
4 eggs
Bunch fresh cilantro

Brunch Bacon and Egg Bahn Mi
Preheat broiler.
In medium bowl, toss together carrots, radishes, jalapeños, vinegar, and sugar.
Cook bacon and remove to plate to drain and cool.
Cut into halves.
Arrange bread cut side up on baking sheet.
Drizzle with bacon grease.
Top with salt and pepper.
Broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
Top one half of each bread roll with cucumber slices.
Top with bacon halves.
Top with veggie mixture.
Cook eggs in skillet with remaining bacon grease.
Top veggie mixture with eggs.
Top with cilantro.

P to the S…I made this with sausage, since there was no bacon in my fridge. I also spread a bit of ricotta (flavored with fresh lemon juice) and additional veggies on the other side of the bread, just because!

Cinnamon Sugar Crisps (Mexican Toast)

A little sweetness for your morning or evening. Here’s the perfect little “pick me up” after a long day of errands that is inherent this time of year. And the bonus…your smallest children and grandchildren can participate in the creating. Spread the joy. Share the love.

dessert-mexican-cinnamon-toast-iii

1/2 stick butter
6  7 inch tortillas
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Place oven rack in center position of oven.
Preheat oven to 500°.
Melt butter in shallow baking pan in oven, about 2 minutes.
Spread tortillas in baking pan, overlapping slightly and turning each to coat both sides with butter.
Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Sprinkle evenly over tortillas.
Bake until golden and puffed in spots, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully!dessert-mexican-cinnamon-toast-iv

Slice into wedges and watch them disappear.

Summer House Guests…or…Brunch Made Easy

I’M BACK…I always knew I would come around again; I just didn’t know exactly when…Guess What? It’s NOW! And I’m mightily armed with Beatrice (my knee of a year) and Margaret (my newly renovated hand, of a few months), and stronger than ever. As a selfish reminder, here’s the proof in the pudding…well, actually, it’s in the bacon!

Beatrice Front Black Cast

I’m here to make your kitchen time simpler, and improve your outcomes people. Join the ride. It’s a blast!

Rise and Dine! Summertime is glorious for hosting action packed weekends. With the agenda tightly planned, who needs to waste time in the kitchen? Cook ahead and the rest is Easy Peasy (I think that’s what I said as my daughter approached the OR to deliver twins…bad phrase choice then…) but, I PROMISE this truly is easy peasy folks!

                                                                    Maple Glazed Sausages

Brunch Maple Glazed Sausage IV

Package 6.4 oz fully cooked sausage (patties or links)
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 t ground cinnamonBrunch Sausage Syrup VI

In large skillet, brown sausage.

In small bowl, combine syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Pour over sausages.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until sausages are glazed.

               Drain on wire rack.

Make the day prior to guests’ arrival. Just zap in the trusty microwave the morning of…Sit back, smile, and accept the accolades…You deserve it.

 

Bacon and Grits Fritters

Ta Da...The Finished Product!

Ta Da…The Finished Product!

We’re not counting calories today! Although if you stick with just one or two…no harm, no foul. Who thought grits could get any better? Well, this is so next level. Attempting to come up with new ideas for appetizers for holiday entertaining? Here you go babe. Leave your love life to chance, but not your cooking. Also perfect for a low key, or high key grazing brunch. Hello delicious!

4 cups milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking corn grits
1 1/2 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 strips precooked bacon, heated and crumbled
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Step One...Cooking the grits.

Step One…Cooking the Grits.

Spray a large casserole dish with Pam, and set aside.
Bring milk, salt, and pepper to boil in large sauce pan.
Gradually stir in grits, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to low.
Simmer, uncovered 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
Add cheese, bacon, and onions.
Stir until cheese is melted.
Transfer to prepared casserole.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Prepared Scoops of Chilled Grits Ready to Fry.

Prepared Scoops of Chilled Grits Ready to Fry.

Scoop out with a spoon and shape into 1 or 1 1/2″ balls.
Beat eggs and water with a fork in small bowl.
Place Panko in small bowl.
Heat 3 inches of oil in heavy saucepan over medium high heat.
Dip the grits balls into egg mixture.
Then roll in Panko.

First Side Cooking.

First Side Cooking.

Turned Over and Other Side Frying.

Turned Over and Other Side Frying.

Place in hot grease.
Repeat frying in batches.
Cook 1 1/2 minutes on first side.
Then turn fritter over using tongs and cook other side.
Drain on paper towels.
Serve warm for best flavor.

Makes 32 fritters.