Maple Bacon Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Bacon and Oatmeal Muffins

Maple Bacon and Oatmeal Muffins

These are the best breakfast muffins, ever.   You read that right.  These muffins are for all of you who can’t make up your mind in the morning.  These muffins are like four breakfasts rolled into one:  they are a stack of pancakes, a bowl of oatmeal, bacon and eggs or just a muffin, thank you very much.

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Just when I’m trying to avoid eating greasy things like bacon, or pancakes slathered with butter and maple syrup, here I go combining them.  No, I’m not trying to kill you, or me either, I’m just full of contradictions.  But there is meaning in my madness:  the oatmeal is in there for a purpose.  Oatmeal provides fiber, and the fiber cleanses out the greasy bad stuff.  Oh, the power of oatmeal.  It’s feeling the weight of responsibility on its shoulders.  But I know it can handle it, else I wouldn’t be using it.   Maple syrup?  It’s there to take the place of sugar.  You know, sweeten things up a little.  And living in maple syrup country as I do, I try to include it when ever possible.  Bacon?   Well what can I say about bacon that hasn’t already been said by a million  other people.  Bacon makes everything better.  That’s all there is to it.

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You must try these muffins —- and think how healthy they are for you!

MAPLE BACON OATMEAL MUFFINS

Yield:   This recipe makes about 17 -18 muffins.  It can easily be halved for a yield of about 8-9 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cups quick cooking or regular rolled oats

    A trio of great ingredients:  maple syrup, oatmeal and bacon.

    A trio of great ingredients: maple syrup, oatmeal and bacon.

  • 1 1/2 cups milk  (any kind, I used almond milk)
  • 2 cups flour (I recommend using 1/2  white whole flour and/or spelt flour for additional nutrition and fiber)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg ( when making half a recipe, I still used 1 whole egg)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  •  2 Tbsp. maple syrup for brushing tops

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.   Line muffin tin(s) with paper liners and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine milk and oats, then let it sit while you cook the bacon to allow the oats to soften.

Cooking the bacon.

Cooking the bacon.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

4.  Whisk maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oatmeal mixture.  Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the bacon.

5.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups until each is about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the tops with the reserved maple syrup, using a pastry brush.

Brush the tops with maple syrup while still warm from the oven.

Brush the tops with maple syrup while still warm from the oven.

Be sure to “taste test” one while it is still warm.  😀

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SOURCE:   an adaptation of Oatmeal Muffins from Taste of Home

Gnocchi with Bacon and Tomatoes

Gnocchi with Bacon and Tomatoes.

Gnocchi with Bacon and Tomatoes.

With this recipe I would like to introduce you to gnocchi- light and tender potato dumplings-a Northern Italian classic.  They can be made “from scratch” at home or purchased in a shrink wrapped package from the super market especially one with a large Italian imported foods department.  Those are the ones that I use most of the time, as making them myself can be somewhat time consuming.

Prepackaged gnocchi from the supermarket.

Prepackaged gnocchi from the supermarket.

Gnocchi can be used in a variety of ways.  The simplest is to cook them and serve with melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese on them.  Another way would be to serve with any type of spaghetti sauce  that you would normally use with pasta.  This recipe features the gnocchi with crisp bacon, fresh tomatoes, and lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Served with a side salad, this makes a very filling and satisfying meal.

GNOCCHI WITH BACON AND TOMATOES

Yield:   Serves  4

Ingredients:

Light little potato dumplings.

Light little potato dumplings.

  • 5 slices thin cut bacon
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cored and diced medium
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1/2  (1-pound) package gnocchi
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • shaved Parmesan for topping

Directions:

1.  In a large skillet, cook the 5 slices of bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels;  pour out all but 2 teaspoons fat from the skillet.

Bacon crisped, tomatoes, onions and garlic chopped and pan ready.

Bacon crisped, tomatoes, onions and garlic chopped and pan ready.

2.  Meanwhile bring a pot of water to boil and cook the gnocchi as package directs.  Drain and keep warm.

3.  To the fat remaining in the skillet, add the onions and garlic.  Sautee lightly just to soften.  Add tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes;  season with coarse salt and ground pepper.  Cook until tomatoes begin to break down and sauce is chunky, about 6 minutes.

Saute onions and garlic, then add tomatoes.

Saute onions and garlic, then add tomatoes.

4.  Add the cooked gnocchi and the bacon broken into pieces.

Once gnocchi are cooked, add to sauce with bacon.

Once gnocchi are cooked, add to sauce with bacon.

Toss until gnocchi are heated through and coated with sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan and serve immediately.

Sprinkle with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

Sprinkle with parsley and grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

SOURCE:   Everyday Food,  Martha Stewart

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Omelette with Bacon, Ham and Beans

Today was one of those days when I didn’t have a minute to myself—ever have days like that?   I didn’t think I would have time to make dinner, before I needed to turn around and go back out again.  Whew!  Somehow I managed to cook up something that turned out quite good, so I thought I would tell you about it, so when you have “one of those days”, you can do what I did, and still feel that you’ve put something healthy and hearty on the table for dinner.

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Food Network Magazine that was called Grits with Bacon and Beans.  Instead of making grits which can take some time, I made an omelette, thereby saving on time, reducing the carbohydrates and increasing the proteins. To work this into my time crunch, after lunch when I had about an hour, I made the mixture of bacon and beans adding in some diced ham, again to increase the protein content.  With this mixture made in advance, I only needed to reheat it while I made an omelette.  Then I made some rye bread toast to go with it.  Mr. D. raved about this meal.

This was really good!!

This was really good!!

Besides being a quick meal for dinner this could be served for a brunch.  I think eggs cooked just about any way would be good with this mixture of vegetables and ham.  I love a recipe like this that can be adapted several different ways.  Try it!  Next time I make this, I’ll make cheese grits to spoon the ham-bean mixture over.  I’m looking forward to that meal 😀

OMELETTE, WITH BACON, HAM AND BEANS

Yield;  Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped collard greens, kale, or spinach, thawed and drained

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen "greens".

    Beans, tomatoes, and frozen “greens”.

  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1  (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas (do not drain)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • small amount of milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.  Cook the bacon in a large skillet or shallow sauce pan over medium heat until almost crisp, about 8 minutes.  Add the vegetable oil and increase the heat to medium high;  add the peppers, onion, collard greens, cayenne and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 8 minutes.

Cooking up the vegetables.

Cooking up the vegetables.

2.  Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas (with their liquid) and ham and bring to a simmer, cook 15 minutes.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Dice up some ham to add in.

Season with salt if needed.    Note:  all of this mixture can be made in advance and reheated when needed.

3.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, about 2-3 Tablespoons milk, and salt and pepper.  Melt butter in an omelette pan or skillet.  When hot, but not browned, add the egg mixture and cook over medium heat, lifting the edges as they become set, and let uncooked egg run underneath.  When all the egg mixture has been cooked, except for the “wet” top, sprinkle with half the shredded cheddar,  fold the omelette in half, and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.  Cover and turn off the heat.  Allow cheese to melt.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

Cheese omelette, ready to serve with the vegetable-ham mixture.

4.  Serve omelette with the ham and bean mixture on the side.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

Cook eggs in your favorite style and serve with this vegetable mixture.

SOURCE:   adapted from Food Network Magazine

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

I just love to roast pork at this time of year.  Probably because there are so many vegetables and fruits that pair well with it.  This meal was outstanding served with baked sweet potato wedges,  steamed broccoli, and apple sauce.

I got the recipe for the pork tenderloin recently from another blogger’s web site, one that I follow: RantingChef.com.  Please make an effort to visit his site.  I’m sure you will be pleased with some of the recipes you’ll find there.

What you do is cut a large tenderloin into 4 pieces.  Then wrap  (gift wrap :-)), the pieces in sliced bacon.  I Know!  A little bacon makes everything better, but lots of bacon makes it crazy good.  This is so easy to do.  Pour the marinade over it all, then you refrigerate it at least 2 hours, but I left mine for almost 24 hours—it only gets better–then throw it into the oven set for 300*F, and let it slow roast for 2 hours.  Your kitchen will smell so good, everyone will be asking “what’s cooking, what’s for dinner?”   Guys will definitely love this, but you ladies are going to think it’s pretty good, too.   Makes a great Sunday dinner!!

Is this beautiful, or what?

Is this beautiful, or what?

BACON WRAPPED PORK TENDERLOIN

Yield:  about 8 servings

Ingredients:IMG_5349

  • 3 – 4 pound boneless pork tenderloin
  • 1 pound package sliced bacon
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce,  Low sodium, preferred
  • 1 Tbsp. minced dried onion
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • dash pepper
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1.  Cut the tenderloin into 4 pieces.  Wrap each with bacon strips.  Place in a greased 9 x 13″ baking pan.

Wrap each piece of pork in bacon.

Wrap each piece of pork in bacon.

2.  Poke holes in the meat with a long-tined fork.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl or large measuring cup and whisk together until well blended.  Pour over the meat.  Refrigerate uncovered for 2 – 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Pour the marinade over the pork.

Pour the marinade over the pork.

3.  Bake at 300*F for about 2 hours, or until internal meat temperature reaches 145*.  For the last 5 minutes or so, turn on the broiler to crisp the bacon.

If you think it looks good, you NEED to taste it!

If you think it looks good, you NEED to taste it!

4.  Remove from the oven and let rest about 5 minutes.  Slice, and serve with pan juices.

That marinade penetrates the meat making it salty, sweet, smoky, dee-lish!

That marinade penetrates the meat making it salty, sweet, smoky, dee-lish!

SOURCE:  The Ranting of an Amateur Chef.com

Crab Cake Sliders

Crab Cakes with BLT topping.  Oh, Yum!

Crab Cakes with BLT topping. Oh, Yum!

I was feeling a little “Crabby” today, which is to say that I was in the mood for some crab cakes.   I love crab cakes, but most times when I’ve had them they contained chopped green or red peppers.  In my opinion,  the strong flavor of the pepper overwhelms the delicate flavor of the crabmeat, and so I’m disappointed.   Whenever I’ve tried to make crab cakes at home I’ve had difficulty in getting them to hold a “patty” shape , while dipping in crumbs and frying them.  Any that I’ve attempted fall apart before I’m finished with them.

So, OK, I gave up on making my own crab cakes.  UNTIL I found this recipe for Crab Cake Sliders.  While the idea of small sliders didn’t appeal to me, as in ” oh no, even smaller crab cakes to try to keep together”, there were aspects of this recipe that intrigued me and made me think that these just might be possible.  First, I liked the combination of seasonings that go into them, secondly, some of the buns are broken up and used as a binder with the crabmeat, and lastly, there’s no peppers and no  breading involved.   These are formed, set to chill in the refrigerator for some time, then broiled.  Finely they are enhanced by the addition of BACON, lettuce and sliced tomato.  A BLT on a crab cake—whoever thought this up is at genius level.   I wish I could take the credit, but sadly it goes to someone at Food Network Magazine.

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Because I wanted to serve these as a main meal, I decided to form the crabmeat mixture into patties sized to fit onto regular sandwich rolls.  I used my 1/2 cup measure to portion out the crabmeat onto the baking sheet, then flattened them slightly with a fork.  This technique gave me 5 patties, with a tiny bit left over to nibble on.  😀  I will definitely keep this recipe readily at hand for when I’m entertaining and want to make sliders.  The crab cakes held together better than any others that I’ve made, and the whole sandwich was filling and delicious.  As good as I imagined they would be.

CRAB CAKE SLIDERS

Yield:  Makes 15 sliders

Ingredients:

  • 18 mini potato buns
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

    All the ingredients.

    All the ingredients.

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 green onion, sliced, green part only
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through**
  • 10 strips bacon
  • finely grated lemon zest
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced tomato and lettuce leaves, for topping

**  I Use canned crab meat that I found in the seafood dept. of  my supermarket.  It was large pieces of lump crabmeat with no tendons or shell to pick over.  A pound of readily usable crabmeat–a bargain in my estimate.

1.  Prepare the crab cakes:  Tear 3 buns (or similar amount of bread) into small pieces to make about 3/4 cup; put into a medium bowl.  Whisk 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, the melted butter, egg, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, green onion, and salt in another small bowl.

Mayonnaise and seasonings mixture.

Mayonnaise and seasonings mixture.

Add the mayonnaise mixture to the bun pieces and stir to combine.  Let sit for 10 minutes, then gently fold in the crabmeat.

2.  Brush a baking sheet with some melted butter.  Tightly pack the crab mixture into 15 small patties and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.   Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

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3.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Arrange the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden and slightly crisp, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to paper towel-lined plate, reserving about 1 Tablespoon of the drippings.  Break each piece of bacon into thirds; set aside.  Combine the remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, the lemon zest, and the reserved bacon drippings in a bowl; season with salt an pepper.

4.  Preheat the broiler.  Arrange the remaining 15 buns cut side up on a baking sheet;  Brush with butter and broil until golden.  Transfer the crab cakes to the broiler and cook, rotating the pan as needed, until golden and warmed through, about 6 minutes.

5.  Spread the cut sides of the buns with some of the lemon mayonnaise.  Serve the crab cakes on the buns with tomatoes, lettuce and bacon.   SIGH!

Good beyond words.  :D

Good beyond words. 😀

I served these with my homemade refrigerator dill pickles and a green salad.    Fantastic meal!

SOURCE:   Food Network Magazine,  June 2013

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs Chicken

One time when we were at Outback Steakhouse, I ordered Alice Springs Chicken.  The name of the dish, first of all, made me curious, but the description said it was boneless chicken breast in a honey-mustard marinade with bacon, mushrooms and melted cheese on it.  Well, with all those good things on one piece of chicken how could it not be good?  So, I ordered it;  and I was not disappointed in the least.  It was moist, a complex blend of flavors, crispy around the edges, and gooey with melted cheese.

I’ve thought about that chicken often and wished I could have it again.  And although I kinda remembered all the ingredients and how it tasted I didn’t know the proportions, or exactly how it was prepared.  Then just last week I saw a recipe for it on Zip List.  It claimed to taste just like the version served at Outback Steakhouse.  You know I had to try it!

People, you will love it.  It looks a little messy, but believe me, it is fantastic.  It tastes just like the one I remember having at OBSH.

Bacon, Mushrooms, Melted Cheese.  What's not to love?

Bacon, Mushrooms, Melted Cheese. What’s not to love?

ALICE SPRINGS CHICKEN

SERVES   4

INGREDIENTS

Honey Mustard Marinade:

A simple marinade locks in the flavor.

A simple marinade locks in the flavor.

  • 1 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Chicken:

  • 4  skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked (I used precooked bacon)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Combine the mustard, honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Whisk for about 30 seconds.  Pour half of the mixture into a zip-top bag.  Add the chicken breasts and marinate them in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  My pieces of chicken were very thick, so I cut them in half lengthwise.

2.  Chill and save the remainder of the marinade for later.

3.  When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375*F.   Using an ovenproof frying pan large enough to hold all the chicken, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat.  If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, you will transfer the chicken to a baking dish.

4.  Sear the chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.  Remove from the heat, but keep in the pan.  (Here’s where you may need to transfer to a baking dish.)

Browned chicken in a baking dish.

Browned chicken in a baking dish.

5.  In another smaller frying pan, melt the butter and saute the mushrooms just till they start to give up some of their liquid.  Remove from the heat.

Sauteing the mushrooms.

Sauteing the mushrooms.

6.  Brush the seared chicken breasts with a little of the reserved honey-mustard marinade.  (Not the portion the chicken soaked in.) Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Lay two strips of bacon crisscross on top of each piece of chicken.  Spoon the mushrooms onto the bacon, being sure to distribute them evenly over all the chicken.

Bacon and mushrooms on top of the chicken.

Bacon and mushrooms on top of the chicken.

Sprinkle the Monterey Jack cheese evenly onto each chicken breast followed by the cheddar cheese.

7.  Bake for 7 – 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Sprinkle each piece with the chopped parsley before serving.  Put extra honey mustard marinade into a small bowl to serve on the side.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Served with herbed rice pilaf and a salad, this was a great dinner.

Served with herbed rice pilaf and a salad, this was a great dinner.

An idea for leftover chicken .  The next day, I made a sandwich from one of the pieces of chicken:  on a “sub” roll, spread both cut sides of the roll with Honey Mustard Mayonnaise,  lay a chicken piece on the bottom half of the roll, top with sliced tomatoes and lettuce.  This made a “man-sized” sandwich that my husband raved about..

SOURCE:   Family Favorite Recipes

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.

Yes, it was Super Sunday, and no we didn’t watch the game, go to a party, or cheer for any particular team, but I did use game day as an excuse to make some foods associated with game watching.  I guess I’m more interested in food than football!  Anyway, I made these easy little pinwheels that we enjoyed for lunch with some fresh fruit.  Then I went on to make a chicken quesedilla casserole for dinner.  I’ll be telling you about that in a few days. so stay tuned.

These easy to hold little pinwheels make a great appetizer, combining two flavor favorites; bacon and cheddar cheese, wrapped into crescent roll dough.  You can eat them with your fingers, no utensils required, while in the other hand you hold your favorite beverage.  A neat party food, I think.  One that guys will like–at least my husband did.  In fact, he asked me to make them after seeing them in a picture.  Turns out he was on the right track with that suggestion.  I liked them very much too.

BACON CHEDDAR PINWHEELS

Just a few ingredients, you probably have on hand.

Just a few ingredients, you probably have on hand.

Yield:   Makes 12 – 16, depending on how thick you cut them.

  • 1 roll refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 Tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup cooked bacon pieces,  4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1.  Preheat oven to 350* F.  Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

2.  Unroll the crescent roll dough;  pressing each section into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle,  firmly pressing the perforations to seal.

3.  Spread 1 Tablespoon dressing over each dough rectangle to the edges.  Sprinkle each with bacon, cheddar cheese, and onions.

Layer on the fillings, then roll up.

Layer on the fillings, then roll up.

4.  Starting at one short side, roll up each rectangle;  press edge to seal.  With serrated knife, cut each roll into 6-8 slices;  place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.

Slice, then bake.

Slice, then bake.

5.  Bake 12 – 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown.  Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Serve warm.

Served warm with fruit for a light lunch.

Served warm with fruit for a light lunch.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels, a neat little appetizer.

SOURCE:   Pillsbury Baking

A Loaded Panini

By day #4 of not having a refrigerator, I’m really getting to the bottom of the barrel in terms of what I can create for a meal.  This is what I have to work with:  some deli sliced smoked turkey,  sliced cheddar cheese and sliced provolone,  a few strips of bacon, and a tomato.  Does that sound to you like it could become a sandwich?   That’s what I thought, too.  EXCEPT we don’t have any bread.  So, I had to cheat a little.  I stopped at the grocery store and got a few rolls.  So for dinner this evening we had Toasted Panini Sandwiches with Sweet Potato chips and pickles.

 Grilled turkey, bacon, cheese and tomato panini.

Grilled turkey, bacon, cheese and tomato panini.

A while ago I treated myself to a Panini//Grill pan.  I’m so glad I did.  I no longer use the electric sandwich toaster I had been using, choosing now to make grilled sandwiches on the stove top using the panini grill.  Plus this grill pan is great for grilling burgers or steaks and chops quickly indoors if you can’t use the outdoor grille.  Note that the pan comes with a weighted flat cover that is used to compress sandwiches, or anything else that you want to keep flat as it grills.

Panini Grill Pan

Panini Grill Pan

This is a little off today’s subject, but I also have a George Forman Grill that I don’t use.  I’m not pleased with the results when I use it.  Instead of getting a nice browned sear on meats, mine seem to steam-cook rather than grill.   Am I doing something wrong?  If anyone reading this has any suggestions for me I’d love to hear them.  Thanks.

The rolls I purchased were sesame bulky rolls.  So, starting with the rolls, slice each one in half, and spread each cut side with a little mayonnaise.   Next start layering in the fillings:  thinly sliced turkey breast, as many slices as you like, and  sliced cheese.

Sliced turkey and sliced cheese placed on the split rolls.

Sliced turkey and sliced cheese placed on the split rolls.

Then lay on the already cooked bacon slices, and sliced tomatoes.  A sprinkle of seasoned salt on the tomatoes is good, or regular table salt.

Lay on the bacon and tomato slices.

Lay on the bacon and tomato slices.

Lightly butter the bottom of each roll and place on the heated panini grill pan.  Place the flat weight on top of the sandwiches to press them, and toast till nicely browned on the bottom.  Now lightly butter the tops and flip over so the top get toasty and browned, the filling continues to heat and cheese melts.  Be careful to keep the heat on low or the rolls will become too crisp before the fillings heat and melt.

This is what the sandwiches looked like while grilling,

Sandwiches grilling.

Sandwiches grilling.

And this is what the finished sandwiches look like:

Plated sandwich with sweet potato chips and pickle.

Plated sandwich with sweet potato chips and pickle.

Note the  top side of the sandwich; it has grill markings on it, and the top is nice and toasty.  I like to use sesame rolls for this because the sesame seeds get toasted and their flavor is more pronounced.   Yum!  Wish you could taste this—-it was great.

A great sandwich whether for lunch or a light supper.

A great sandwich whether for lunch or a light supper.

Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Apple Sandwich

Are you ever at the point where you just crave something really simple but oh, so good?  That happened to me not long ago.  We had been out doing Saturday morning errands and  it was rainy, windy  and chilly.  When I got home I just wanted something hot, and satisfying.  My husband suggested Grilled cheese sandwiches, which I thought was a good idea, but as I got started preparing them one thing led to another and I ended up creating these sandwiches that were oooey, gooey good with the addition of crisp bacon and thinly sliced apples with the cheese.  These have now become my new go-to sandwich for when I need some comfort at lunch time.

GRILLED CHEESE WITH BACON AND APPLES

YIELD:  makes 2 sandwiches.  Scale ingredients up to make  more.

  • 4 slices bacon

    Maple Syrup, Apples and Cheese, Yum!

  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 apple, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • soft butter

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush each side of bacon slice with maple syrup.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Turn over, and continue baking for another 8 minutes.  Since bacon slices will vary, times are approximate.  Watch closely that it does not become too crisp or burned.

2.  To assemble the sandwich, butter one side to each slice of bread. Lay two bread slices buttered side down, top with a slice of cheese.  Lay 2 bacon strips on top, then some sliced apple, another slice of cheese, and then the last piece of bread, buttered side up.

Building the Sandwich

3.  Place sandwiches, buttered side down, in a hot skillet or grill pan, and cook until cheese is melted, turning over about half way through.  Sandwich should be golden and melty.

Ooey, Gooey, Good!

Corn Chowder

Yesterday was a day that I definitely wanted to stay indoors.  Outside we had torrential rain and strong gusty winds.  Even though the air was humid and warm it put me in the mood for a hot soup for dinner.  Remembering the corn I had cut from cobs and froze, I decided to make a corn chowder.

Corn Chowder

There are any number of recipes out there for corn chowder, and I have tried several, but the one I keep coming back to is this one which includes bacon.  I like the smokiness it adds, and the bits of color in the finished soup.  This version also includes potatoes, and they make it a bit more hearty, especially  if served for a dinner meal.  This could easily become a vegetarian meal by omitting the bacon and using a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

CORN CHOWDER

YIELD:   about 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices thick bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced

    Ingredients for Chowder. One can of chicken broth, not two.

  • 3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped red or green pepper
  • 1 can chicken broth (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium potatoes, cup into small chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • chopped parsley, optional

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a large saucepan, cook bacon till crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Reserve bacon drippings in pan.

2.  Add onion, celery and pepper to saucepan. Sauté over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes.  (I didn’t have any peppers so I added some roasted red pepper at the end with the corn).

Add broth, water and potatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer covered 10-15 minutes or just until potato is tender.

3.  Stir in  milk, corn,  and bacon;  return to a simmer, stirring occasionally and cook just to warm through.  Do not allow to boil.  Prior to serving sprinkle in chopped parsley if using.

Corn Chowder and Rustic Whole Grain Bread: True Comfort Food.

When I haven’t made this chowder in a while I forget how good it is, but one taste is all it takes to make me know how much I love it, and why this is the one recipe I make over and over.  I’m so happy to share it with you.  You must make it on a damp chilly day and serve it with a hearty loaf of rustic bread.  True comfort food!

SOURCE:  This clipping has been in my recipe box for ages.  I don’t know it’s origins.