Breakfast Panini…How do you like yours?

It is the last Sunday of the month…which means…we eat!

I made these….

Breakfast Paninis and Monte Cristo Sandwiches!   So easy and quick and since there is such a variety at our Sunday Breakfasts, I cut mine in to quarters so that everyone could partake of everything!

Make your Breakfast Panini and flavor yours with your favorite breakfast items.   These seem to be a hit.

Bacon and Egg Paninis

(serves 4 or if you quarter them like I did, a SS class!)

4 eggs

4 egg whites

2 Tbsp cream

1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic salt – to taste

6 slices of bacon (but I actually used more to make sure I filled them up – I actually had 4 half slices on each panini so 2 whole slices per panini)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar (I didn’t measure – just piled some on each one but not overpiled)

4 refrigerated Grand biscuits, sliced in half through the thickness of the biscuit)

Fry bacon till done – (I like to do mine in the oven!)

Once biscuit is sliced in half through the center, roll biscuit halves out on lightly floured surface until thin.

dough roll onerolled two

Mix eggs, egg whites, cream and garlic salt.  Scramble eggs until light and fluffy and just cooked through.

Fill one side of flat biscuit with 1/4 egg, strips of bacon and about 2 Tbsp. cheese and top with other half of flat biscuit.

Spray panini press; cook until done.  Watch and don’t let burn.  Here is one that is all done with another one ready in the background to go on the panini press.

panini cooked

Yummy!

The Monte Cristo Sandwich was not made in the panini press but was just as equally easy.   Since it calls for thick sliced baked ham, I decided to use the Carving Board brand Ham and it worked great plus made for a pretty hefty filling sandwich.  I also cut this sandwich into fourths.

Monte Cristo:

2 eggs

4 slices bread (sturdy)

2 Tbsp mustard

2Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 lb thick sliced baked ham (I used one pkg carving board ham and the bread I used was large sliced

Gruyere Cheese, shredded (I used about 1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg grated)

2 Tbsp Butter

Beat eggs with salt and pepper, to taste.

Assemble sandwich with mustard, mayo, ham, cheese, salt, pepper.  Compress sandwich.

monte cristo prep

Over medium heat, melt butter in skillet.  Dip sandwich in egg. (see my little line-up in the pic?  Sammy, egg to dip in? and skillet to throw them in!)

Brown till crisp on one side, turn and crisp on the other side.  (I added a smidgen more butter after I flipped mine but it may be because I used my gynormous skillet and my butter went all over the place). Serve and enjoy.

And here’s my platter of paninis and sammies!

sunday plate

Nice and crispy and warm and ready for Sunday School.   Make something different this week.  Maybe even throw a panini in there somewhere.    Have a great week!

Pea…can or Pah..kahn..

However you say it a pecan pie is still a pecan pie and a southern tradition that everyone loves.   This take on a pecan pie is one that one of my peeps found and sent me – I knew I would have to try making these…Deep Fried Pecan Pies!

These did not disappoint.  Ask those who taste tested them.   The best of both worlds.  Pecan Pie…fried…and, well, portable!  One said they liked it even better than the traditional pie.  So go fry some pies and see how you like them.

Don’t they look yummylicious?

pies

Deep Fried Pecan Pies

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 large eggs

5 Tbsp butter

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 (14.1 oz.) packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (there should be two pie crusts to each package)

Vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar for sprinkling on pies after frying

1. Set crusts out on counter to bring to room temperature.

2. In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and salt.  Bring to a light boil over medium heat, reduce heat to a simmer and stir in pecans.  Simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

3. Unroll one crust at a time on a lightly floured surface and cut circles using a 4 inch circle cutter (I found a top that was 4 inches wide and used it). Don’t forget to dip the cutter in flour!  I got 5 circles out of each of the 4 rolls – Then re-roll all the scraps and roll out with your rolling pin to same thickness as the others and cut 4 more.  You may be able to roll and get one or two more.   I say this as I had enough filling to make at least 26 pies.

4.  Place a tablespoon (I used a level tablespoon amount and not a heaping tablespoon so as not to overfill) of the pecan mixture in the center of a pie circle.  Lightly moisten the circle edges and fold over to a half moon shape.  Press down and use a fork to crimp the edges to completely seal the edges down and the filling in.  Do all the circles.

Heat the oil(about an inch) in a dutch oven to no more than 325-350 degrees (watch the temp of the oil so it doesn’t go over 350 degrees or it will cook the pie too quickly and the dough on the inside will be, well, doughy!)  If the oil starts to rise higher, just cut the fire down and wait a minute or two before putting in the next batch in.  Make sure you don’t overcrowd -I fried three at a time – If you use a skillet you may be able to fry four – fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side till golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  When all have been fried, dust with powdered sugar.

Try this new take on pecan pie.   I think it will be a crowd pleaser!

It’s Fresh Veggie Season

And I couldn’t be happier! An all-veggie meal with fresh vegetables from our local farmer’s market is what makes the summer worth it!
We had fresh snapped green beans, fresh field peas, fresh squash cooked with a Vidalia onion sliced and cooked in it, rutabaga ( for hubby) and fried squash and fried okra! No room for fresh sliced tomatoes!

squash

See those fried slices of squash?

okra

And this fried okra?
Man, those were some of the best we have had. And here’s what made them so good, or what I believe made them so good.
First I sliced the amount I wanted to fry and put the squash in a small bowl and the okra sliced and in a separate bowl. For each, I beat an egg and mixed with about a half to 3/4 cup of buttermilk for each one-you may need a full cup of buttermilk if frying more than what I did- it just needs to cover them-pour this over each bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before frying.
In a bowl, mix together ( you can use the same mix for both but if only making one or the other just decrease the amount of dry ingredients by half or just eyeball it for the amount of veggies you are frying) 1 1/2 cups plain flour, 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, about 3 Tbsp of creole seasoning (use homemade or store bought), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir the dry ingredients together.

When ready to fry, add about an inch of oil to your frying pan and let it get hot. Drain the squash and okra. Dredge the squash in the cornmeal mix and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Do the same with the okra. And then chow down!

What is your favorite veggie plate must-have? Hope you have a great week!

A great summer salad

Hubby cooked on the grill for us yesterday and I wanted a fresh veggie salad to go with it.  This is what I made:

salad

Since it is just the two of us, I made a smaller quantity – amounts are in parenthesis.

What a refreshing, tasteful salad this was with our grilled chicken and grilled sausage!  Give it a try soon with your backyard BBQ!

Veggie Salad with Pepper Jack Cheese

4 medium Roma tomatoes (I used 3 very small Roma tomatoes)

4 skinny zucchini (I used 3/4 of a zucchini as this was a good size zucchini!)

3/4 lb pepper jack cheese, cubed (I used the whole 8-oz block of the cheese – what can I say??!)

2 Tbsp veg. oil (I used 1 Tbsp of olive oil)

3 Tbsp Sugar (I used 2 Tbsp of Splenda sugar)

3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp)

1 1/2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced (I used about 1 scant tbsp minced)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse black pepper

Wash and chop tomatoes into small chunks.  Wash and slice zucchini in slices.  I sliced my zucchini in half then sliced in slices.  Slice block cheese in half.  Slice each half into long slices and cube.  Place all into a bowl.  Whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.   Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

We will be making this again…real soon!  But first, we will be enjoying the leftovers today!   Happy Wednesday.

Banana Bread good and simple

Don’t you love banana bread? And a simple delicious recipe makes it that much more tasty! I made this for my sister recuperating from her second knee replacement surgery so she can have a slice with a slather of cream cheese smeared on it for her breakfast or snack or whenever she has a hankering! This recipe is easily adaptive to flavors you would like to add for your tastes! Let us know what you put in your banana bread and inspire us all!

Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs. Lightly beaten
4 ripe bananas, mushed
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I use kosher)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until blended. Add eggs and crushed bananas and combine. In a separate bowl blend the flour, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine and add to the banana mixture; add vanilla and combine. Pour in a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator.

Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans, a pinch of cinnamon, or some flaked coconut or a combination of any of these! Even a bit of crushed pineapple would be good but I would drain it.
Happy baking!

Last Sunday means food

First thing, thanks for all the opinions on the cheesecake issue!   By the way – so far it is a tie!!!  I just may have to make one of each for the auction at this rate! HA!

Yesterday was the last Sunday of the month and yep! We ate in Sunday School.  It is a given. Last Sunday of the month…bring food!

This cheesy, grits filled goodness of a casserole was a hit!   A crowd pleaser if you are have company over for the 4th weekend.  Or not.  Make it for your family.  You won’t be disappointed.  I used the good old Conecuh sausage in mine.  But feel free to use whatever link sausage you wish – turkey sausage even!  But for my SS class, I wanted to give them the best flavor I could!  So get your aprons on and get the pots ready.

Grits and Sausage Casserole with cheese (can’t get any more Southern than that!)

1/2 Tbsp oil

1 pkg sausage (link) – I used 16 oz pkg of Conecuh smoked sausage – next time I am using the hot and spicy!

about 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (I keep the tri-colored bell peppers – frozen pkg in my freezer – just grabbed a hand ful – let sit on the counter for a bit, and chopped away – hubby said the combination was great in this dish – and I may have chopped a bit more than a quarter cup – it’s up to you!)

4 green onions, sliced

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup quick cooking grits

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp garlic powder (I may have put just a smidgen more)

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 cup of this saved back to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or spray an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Heat the 1/2 Tbsp of oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.  Add sliced sausage and saute for a few minutes (3 or 4 minutes should be fine) then add the bell peppers and onions and saute for 3 more minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside. (I actually did this step the night before and then put in microwave for about 20 seconds the next morning before using to knock the chill off of it. saved me time Sunday morning!)

In a medium saucepan bring water and chicken broth to a boil.  Add salt and then slowly stir grits in.  Simmer grits for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.    In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and garlic powder.  Slowly stir in about 1 cup of the hot grits to temper the eggs (don’t want scrambled eggs)  Then pour the milk/grits/eggs mix into the saucepan with the rest of the grits, stirring constantly to combine.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the Cheddar cheese (the 1/4 cup), reserving the other 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese.  Mix in the sausage mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Mine actually came out after 40 minutes.

No, I did not take a picture.  I forgot.  Sorry!  It sure was purty!  I hope you will try it.

Have a great week.

Which cheesecake? You decide!

I will be making a cheesecake to be auctioned off to raise funds for our local humane society.  I have had the pleasure of sending a baked good in the past to the auction block and it is a lot of fun to know someone will not only be taking home a wonderful tasting treat but helping our local animals.

This year I am making a cheesecake. Not just any cheesecake.  And I need you, the followers, to help me decide which one to send.   Below are the two I am choosing from.  Both are very decadent and flavorful and worthy of bids.  So…if you please, leave a comment and tell me which would be your favorite or the one you think will bring better moolah for “the cause!”

1.  Pecan Pie Cheesecake- yep- wonderful graham cracker crust- layer of pecan pie slices-crust and all!- topped with the traditional cheesecake filling and baked to a beautiful consistency.  Good- better than good!

2.  Carrot Cake Cheesecake- the best of both worlds! Layer of a beautiful carrot cake batter – I can smell it baking now – (no raisins in this recipe- thought you needed to know this) – then the cheesecake layer- then dollops of the carrot cake batter then the rest of the cheesecake batter- oh my! And don’t forget the cream cheese topping!

So see.. I am at a loss as to which one to make and send to the auction block! HELP! Reply with your favorite between the two!

When one has Basil…

Make fresh Basil Pesto!

One herb that grows quite well in my little section of herb growing fun is basil.  I have the regular green basil…

green basil

this was just cut for my above recipe!  And still plenty more for other cooking recipes.

And I grow a beautiful purple basil.  See?

purple

Today I decided to make some fresh basil pesto…with a new twist!  I added some chopped jalapeno to add some heat and man is it good!   What a difference!   And for supper, I plan on taking a roasted chicken breast I have cut up in to cubes, stir some of this beautiful pesto in to it, and serve it along side some fresh sliced tomatoes.  Help me Rhonda.

If you like pestos, try jazzing yours up with a little jalapeno in yours.  Or just leave it out.  Pesto is versatile, and good!

Here’s how I make mine:

Fresh Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

2 cloves garlic (some of the recipes, I notice, calls for 3 cloves of garlic – 2 is enough for us!)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts, (I like to toast mine for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, in a dry skillet.)

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

and 1/4 to 1/2 jalapeno pepper, if you dare!

Place the basil leaves, toasted pine nuts and garlic in food processor and pulse until just chopped.  Add Parmesan cheese (and jalapeno pepper if using) and while the processor is going, slowly pour the olive oil in.  When combined, stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on pasta, on chicken (this was delicious, by the way!) however you like your pesto!

Now on to cutting my other herbs and drying!  Have a great rest of the week!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Let’s talk here a minute.   We love our fried green tomatoes.  We love the batter and sauce that goes along with them.  And we have determined we like a cornmeal crust compared to a crust that resembles a cracker crumb base or panko crumb base or a tempura batter base.   There’s something about the crunch of the cornmeal batter

Eating healthy leaves us little options on this subject.

tomatoes

Look at those babies.  YUMMY!  (And yes, that is a “Land Before Time” melamine plate from many, many MANY years past my grandkids ate off I can’t seem to part with). Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up flavor, crunch OR BAKED (fried) green tomatoes.   Y’all.   These.   The crunch.  The flavor.   I could go on and on but I won’t.  Just try some.  They went well with our fresh veggies from the “curb market”.  Fresh sliced red tomatoes, fresh snapped green beans, and some good old fresh yellow squash.  We ate like kings (and queens!).

All I did was spray the pan with pam spray.  I sliced my green tomatoes, dipped them in a small bit of flour to coat (I shook off all excess – all you are doing is making sure they are dry and slightly coated so the wet stuff sticks), dipped them in an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water, and then in Zatarain’s Fish Batter -( comes in a box and has the seasoning in it) spicy and good – no need to add extra anything!   Once coated, lay on the prepared pan, then spray the tops of the battered tomatoes with the pam cooking spray, and place in a preheated 375 degree oven – let cook for about 15-20 minutes – depends on your oven – just peep under one of the slices and make sure they are good and golden on the underside; then flip them over and bake for another 10-15 minutes – again, depending on your oven till the other side gets a bit of color to it.

Serve them with your favorite sauce or eat just as they are.   And y’all come on back and let us know if you make them and what you served them with!  Happy summer!

If you cook it….they will come!

So go and spend that e-gift card that is going to the two lucky winners!

Random.org drew the following:

win one win two

#10 – Matt and

#7 – Jonathan!

Congrats and how neat that both are guys with father’s day coming up!   Whether you are a father or not, enjoy the spoils!

Have fun choosing from the selections that Urban Accents offers and come back and let us know how you liked them!

I will be getting with both of you to get your e-gift card out to you!

Have a great weekend everyone!