Double Sunny

A Double Sunny Breakfast

My kids love eggs for breakfast. To keep breakfast from being the same old, same old, I try to come up with different ways to serve up eggs (scrambled, in breakfast burritos, in an omelette with cherry tomatoes, etc.) But at 6am, when I’m blurry-eyed with bed head and an apron over my fuzzy robe (so pretty!), it can be hard to be inspired. The other day, I combined two of their favorite things – a grilled cheese sandwich with a sunny side up egg. Looking at that golden yolk atop the golden cheese, it occurred to me that it was doubly-sunny and a name for this dish was born.

Double Sunny

Packed with protein, this “Double Sunny” breakfast combines the best of a grilled cheese with an egg.

Double Sunny Breakfast

Ingredients per serving:

1 Egg
1 Slice cheese of your choice
1 Slice whole wheat bread
Butter or olive oil

Directions:

1. Lightly butter one slice of bread on both sides and place it in a skillet heated on medium. When the bread just barely starts to toast on the bottom, turn it over and add the slice of cheese so that it starts melting while the underside of the bread toasts.
2. Meanwhile, in the same skillet (if large enough) or in a separate smaller pan, fry the egg in a little butter or olive oil with a lid on to speed the cooking.
3. The cheese toast may be done first so just put it on a plate to the side. Don’t cover it or it will start to steam and you’ll lose that nice crispiness reminiscent of a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s better to have the toast wait than the egg which could lose it’s runniness and get cold.
4. As soon as the egg is cooked, place it over the cheese toast and salt and pepper to taste.

Variation: You could cook the egg any way you want including scrambled. But there’s something especially delicious about having the yolk mix with the cheese and toast. Yum!

For another egg breakfast idea (featuring another misshapen egg!), visit Easy Sunday Morning Breakfast. 

Cooking Tasks for Kids on Thanksgiving

During the hustle and bustle of preparing the Thanksgiving meal, letting the kids in the kitchen to “help” may be the last thing you want to do. But if you plan ahead and select age-appropriate tasks, helping in the kitchen can mean a feast of benefits. Besides learning cooking skills, including math and fine motor skills, engaging kids in the kitchen, especially during the holidays, is a chance to include your child in multigenerational fun and make them a part of the festivities.

FoodNetwork.com shared with us a great, age-appropriate guide to things the kids can do that will really help out with the Thanksgiving meal. Just think of the pride they’ll feel as everyone ooo’s and ahhh’s over their tasty work. Just don’t let the learning opportunities end with Thanksgiving Day. Find ways to encourage their culinary interests throughout the year.

Click HERE for age-level suggestions for how the kids can help.

Foodnetwork.com

Smashing and mashing potatoes for Thanksgiving is an ideal task for 3-5 year-olds. Read FoodNetwork.com’s other tips for age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen. Photo courtesy FoodNetwork.com.

As a bonus, here’s a tasty-sounding recipe for Apple Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust from the “How To Get  The Kids Involved” gallery.

 

FoodNetwork.com

The best of two worlds, in one dessert that kids ages 8-10 can help make. It’s Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust. Photo courtesy FoodNetwork.com

 

 

 

A Healthier Juice Box – Drazil Kids Tea

I love tea and feel good about drinking it because of the antioxidant benefits. And, I’m always looking for ways to encourage my kids to make healthier choices in what they consume,Drazil 3D Group 6_25_13 despite them being surrounded by junky stuff outside of home. That means I have a lot in common with Christine Wheeler, a former Proctor and Gamble brand executive, and mom of four kids (like me). She lived in Asia for a while and loved drinking tea there, which was everywhere. She came home wishing there was a way to incorporate tea drinking into kids’ lives. But, you know, they love their juice boxes and soda and such, so Wheeler found a way to combine healthy, caffeine-free, organic tea with an infusion of fruit juice. The juice acts as the sweetener and brings that familiar taste of fruit juice to the more elegant taste of tea. She created Drazil Kids Tea. If you’re wondering about the name, like I was, it’s “Lizard” spelled backward, thus the logo. Cute.

We sampled Punch Passion, Tropical Burst, Yummy Berry and Grape Bliss (my favorite). I know, it was the kids who were supposed to be doing the sampling, but they all encouraged me to try them too which, I figure, is quite an endorsement.

Drazil Kids Teas contain hibiscus, rose hips, roobios, pomegranate, rose hips and fruit pieces. Lovely. While it took a second for my kids’ brains to register that this was not a typical juice box or drink pack, all four loved them. They are not overly-sweet and they don’t scream artificial versions of flavors. They are the best of the tea and juice worlds. Because of the juice box container and colorful packaging, kids won’t feel like their being too different, drinking something healthy, heaven forbid! And they may start a trend in school with other kids wanting to up their healthy eating game. Or at least I can hope.

In Colorado, Drazil Kids Tea are currently carried at Whole Foods stores. It is also available on Amazon.com.

A “Natural” Combination – Mayo and Cookie Dough

cookie dough and mayo

The lineup of goodness: Hampton Creek Just Cookie Dough and Just Mayos

A strange combination of things came in the mail the other day – mayonnaise and cookie dough. Now, I am fond of both things, so that doesn’t make it so weird, but still…  Turns out, it was a delivery from Hampton Creek, a company I have been hearing about lately that describes themselves as providing healthier, affordable food to everyone. Interestingly, their two products right now are a variety of mayos and a variety of cookie doughs. Looking at this delivery, it was clear a sandwich and some cookies were in my near future.

Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo mayonnaises are non-GMO and a whole bunch of “frees” as in cholesterol, gluten, soy, dairy and lactose-free. They come in four flavors: original, sriracha, chipotle and garlic. Ironically, I had just seen a cooking show the night before in which the chef mixed some sriracha with plain mayo to make a spicier topping for her hamburger. And here it was, for me, mixing-free. I did try each of the mayonnaises in such a weird way – I laid out four slices of deli ham, drizzled a thin line of each flavor on each of the slices, rolled them up and tried them. With the squeeze bottles, it made keeping control of the mayo easy. Each tasted really good but I liked the sriracha best. It lent a subtle bit of heat to the ham. Really good.

The next night, I made a tomato tart I’d been looking forward to making all summer. With a lovely collection of tomatoes from my garden, my favorite tomato tart recipe was a great way to show them off. The recipe calls for a base of tomato and cheese. Rather than just use only the original flavor, I mixed things up a bit, adding some of each of the four flavors up to the measurement amount I needed. Perfect! It added creamy, garlicy, spicy and smoky flavors to the tart. And tomatoes and mayonnaise are a natural together. It was a hit!

Okay, now the cookie dough. There are no eggs in Hampton Creek’s Just Cookies. None. I don’t know how they do it. There’s nothing artificial added and they are cholesterol-free, have no partially hydrogenated oils and have about a 20% reduction in sodium. So, you know what the no-eggs part means? You can eat the dough and not worry about salmonella poisoning. People, you can take a spoon, open the lid of the jar the dough comes in and eat up – not that I’d do that, of course. But I did start getting ideas for mixing little bits of the dough into vanilla or chocolate ice cream to make my own version of my kids’ favorite cookie dough ice cream. And yes, you can cook the dough. I did. They were delicious, and pretty and chock full of chips.

In addition to chocolate chip flavor, there is also Sugar Cookie, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Have mercy! Hampton Creek products can be found at most major grocery stores. Type in your city to see which stores you should head to.

 

cookies and mayo

This is my second batch of cookies from Hampton Creek’s Just Cookie Dough. The first batch was snarfed by my children while I was getting my camera!

 

A Faster Way to a High Protein Breakfast

There’s a lot of buzz in the news lately about studies that show the benefits of a higher protein diet. Research has shown that protein helps improve focus and concentration, avoids periods of high energy followed by energy crashes and keeps hunger at bay longer. As someone who needs all of those things to be happening (and wants the same for my kids), I’m putting more focus on high protein breakfasts (and lunch and dinner). It’s working, for all of us. But when we’re in a rush in the morning, cereal is fast and making a high-protein breakfast can take some time. So when the folks from Johnsonville(R) sent me some coupons to try their Fully Cooked Original Recipe or Turkey Breakfast Sausage, I was glad to try them.

Sure enough, both kinds of sausage cooked up quickly and were delicious. My trick was to put them in a skillet first, to start heating up, while I got out the eggs to scramble and my spatula, plates, cups and silverware. In the time it took to do that, the sausage was ready. I took them out of the skillet (or scooted them to the side of the skillet) and cooked up scrambled eggs. In just a few minutes, breakfast was on!

Here are a couple of creative breakfast recipes from Johnsonville(R) using the fully cooked sausages. I had to go to a couple of different stores to find the breakfast sausage selections. Had I just used their Where to Buy link, I could have saved myself some driving.

 

Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage Burritos  Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage BurritosHR

Servings: 2     Prep time: 10 minutes

 INGREDIENTS

  • 6 links Johnsonville Fully Cooked Original Recipe or Turkey Breakfast Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Mission Super Soft Burrito flour tortillas, warmed
  • ½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

DIRECTIONS

  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage and green onion; cook for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, salt and pepper; pour into skillet.
  4. Cook until eggs are just set. Stir in beans.
  5. To assemble burritos, place one tortilla on a plate. Spoon half of the sausage mixture
    down the center of the tortilla.  Top with cheese and salsa. Fold in ends and roll up.
  6. Repeat with the remaining tortilla.

 

Johnsonville® Microwave Sausage, Egg & Potato Scramble  Johnsonville protein

Servings: 1      Prep  time: 5 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Coat a 12-ounce microwave-safe coffee cup with cooking spray. Add hash browns.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, sausage and cheese; pour over hash browns. Stir until blended.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds.   Microwave 30 seconds longer or until eggs are set.  Serve with salsa if desired.

What’s On Your Pork Bucket List?

Pork Bucket List

See the recipe below for making great pork meatballs for a sandwich or for pasta. It’s all part of the #PorkBucketList promotion from the National Pork Board.

Like many of you (if not every single one of you), I’m always looking for meal ideas that will please everyone in the family. I’m also always looking for ways to expand my children’s culinary horizons. Recently, I found a great source of help with that effort. The National Pork Board has created a beautiful and useful website and associated program called the Pork Bucket List. The idea is to encourage all pork lovers out there to tell the world the items they’d cross off their #PorkBucketList to inspire people to buy and eat pork. Examples include giving someone a bacon rose, eating pig ears from a street vendor in Vietnam, or, like me, learning how to prepare pork belly from a chef.

Get this – if you share your bucket list item on social media, using a specific set of tags and hashtags (below), a few lucky pork-lovers will be selected throughout the year to help them cross an item off their list!

To Enter: Visit PorkBucketList.com and share your own idea online via Twitter, Facebook,  Pinterest  or Instagram, including the following information in your post, otherwise your submission won’t be counted: @allaboutpork #PorkBucketList and #promo. The program ends September 30, 2014.

So give the website a look-over for inspiration. Notice the really clever and delicious-sounding recipes, broken down by ethnicity. Since I love to eat, and try to cook cuisines from around the world, I really love that part. I’ll be looking to it again and again. Meanwhile, here’s a recipe I’m going to make soon.

ITALIAN STUFFED MEATBALL SANDWICH

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings: 4 to 5 (about 12 to 15 meatballs)

For roasts, chops and tenderloins, cook to 145°F followed by a three-minute rest.
Read Details

Ingredients:

1 pound ground pork, lean
2 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, about 12 to 15 of small size
1 28-ounce jar tomato sauce
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Submarine-style buns

Cooking Directions:

In a large bowl combine the whisked eggs, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Add the ground pork and breadcrumbs and mix together until evenly combined.
Form the ground pork mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball.
Insert a mozzarella ball in the center of each meatball, taking care to re-form the meatball around the cheese once it’s been added. (The cheese should not be visible.)
Place the tomato sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker and add the meatballs on top.
Turn the slow cooker on and cook over high heat for 6 hours or low heat for 8 hours. Carefully rotate the meatballs after half the cooking time to make sure they cook evenly.

To serve, place three meatballs plus sauce in a submarine bun.

Serving Suggestions:

Try substituting regular breadcrumbs with equal amounts of panko bread crumbs, or any kind of pasta or red sauce available. Serve with sweet potato fries.

 

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Recipe: Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

By Edan Goode

 

With four picky eaters, you’d better believe I treasure the go-to meals I make that I know every one of them will like. My Spicy Chicken Sandwiches are at the top of the list with my kids. You can certainly skip the spicy sauce and the sandwiches will still be very good. But a little heat never hurt anyone!

 

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

1 Boneless, skinless chicken thigh per person (they are more moist and cook more evenly than breasts) *Spicy Chicken Sandwich by Edan Goode

Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

1/4-1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce (depending on the amount of chicken and degree of heat you want)

1-2 Tablespoons butter

Small hamburger buns or dinner rolls, cut in half

Lettuce and sliced tomato

Mayonnaise or Chunky blue cheese dressing

 

Method:

Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet large enough to hold all of the chicken thighs. When hot, add the thighs and saute over medium high heat. Periodically, try to lift an edge of some of the chicken thighs to see if they have caramelized and released themselves from the pan yet. Don’t try to turn the thighs before this happens or you’ll pull off the nice, golden crust you’ve made. When ready, turn them over and cook the other side until the thighs are no longer pink in the middle.

Sprinkle some salt, pepper and garlic powder on them while still in the pan. Remove the thighs to a paper towel lined plate.

In the same pan, turn the heat down to low and melt the butter. Add the Franks Hot Sauce to the pan and mix the sauce and butter together.

Return the chicken to the pan, turning to coat both sides with the sauce. Continue keeping the heat on, turning until the sauce starts to thicken.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread mayonnaise or dressing on the buns and place one chicken thigh per person on the bun, topping it with lettuce and tomato. Note, using a mild blue cheese dressing instead of mayo gives a true buffalo chicken wing flavor.

Serve with a platter of chilled vegetables or a crisp salad.

 

* I buy bags of frozen, boneless, skinless chicken thighs at Sam’s Club and take only as many as I need for a meal. It’s very handy.