…or French Toast

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Country fried steak or french toast? Tough question, right? That’s why I had to make a country fried steak and french toast joint post. I said in the other post that if these two items are on a diner menu, I have a really hard time picking between them. Of course, there’s always biscuits and gravy…pancakes…oh and anything smothered in green chile…oops I’m getting off course. So yeah, I made my country fried steak and then had to make french toast for breakfast.

In addition to this being a joint post, it kind of feels like a continuation of my waffle/blogger brain post, which has been one of my favorite posts to write. This french toast process was a lot less blogger brainy than my waffles…I almost didn’t even take photos! But of course, once they were done and lookin’ so pretty, I had to snap a few pics. We still got to eat warm french toast though! I really try not to keep people waiting too long when I take pictures of our food. Maybe someday I’ll plan ahead enough to create a nice food styling ‘set.’ But, for now, I guess I’ll continue with my casual, in-the-moment style. We’ll see how it goes! It’s always nice to have something to strive towards. : )

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Cookbook Challenge – Baked Eggs + Grits

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It’s time for a challenge! I’ve posted before about my love for collecting cookbooks. I’ve been realizing more and more that despite having some great books and magazines around, I typically end up just doing a quick Internet search for recipe ideas. I’m obviously all for digital recipes and food blogs, but I thought it would be fun to challenge my kitchen creativity a bit with a cookbook only cooking challenge. I’m not totally sure how long this will go on (a month?) or even how strict I’m going to be on myself…but I think it’s going to be super fun to learn some new recipes that have been sitting on my shelf just hoping to be used.

I’m including magazines too mostly because I have recently become obsessed with Everyday Food Magazine. I got an email that the issues are free on the iPad so I downloaded a few for my latest plane ride. A plane is like the worst place to read food magazines by the way – so hungry! The issues are short and sweet, but I got tons of ideas and couldn’t wait to start my challenge. I based my shopping list on a few of their recipes, so this week will probably be mostly Everyday Food posts! Starting with this one – baked eggs and grits. I love me some grits! Always have (I’m a southern baby). This was a delicious start to the day and something I’ll definitely continue making. From start to finish it only took about 30 minutes and 15-20 of those minutes were spent waiting for the eggs to bake. I made some minor changes to their recipe (which is here if you can’t get your hands on the latest issue) based on what I bought. I’m sure there are tons of ways you could adapt this! Have fun! My adaptation is listed below.

Cookbook challenge is off to a great start! I feel inspired already. I hope you all enjoy the challenge and feel free to join in!

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Baked Eggs + Grits (Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine May 2013)

2 servings

– butter or oil for brushing

– 1/4 cup instant grits

–  about a 1/4 cup of chopped leeks

– 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped sage

– 1 ounce cheese of your choice (I used a few chunks of provolone…)

– 2 eggs

– salt, pepper, and parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or oil two ramekins. Cook grits according to package instructions. Stir in cheese, leeks, and sage. Season with salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.

2. Pour half of grits into each ramekin. Make a well in the middle and crack 1 egg into each well. Season egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle any leftover leeks, sage, or cheese over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until whites are set. Rotate pan after 10 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Extra Special

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Don’t worry, my mom isn’t mad at me for waiting so long to post about Mother’s Day…at least I don’t think she is! I was so happy to get to go home to Colorado last week. I thought I would be blogging a lot because I finished all of my class assignments and I always find tons of things to blog about when I’m at home with family. I did take tons of pictures, of course. And I started a few posts, but I don’t think I posted…anything. Oops! I just had such a nice time hanging out with everyone and enjoying the sunshine (for the last few days when it finally stopped raining).

I planned ahead way more than usual for this trip because it was an extra special one. My mom’s birthday was on Mother’s Day and I won’t say which birthday, but it was a good one. I already pulled a surprise visit for my dad’s, so I had to be somewhat clever with this one. I kept it a secret for a while, but eventually told her I would be coming…I just told her the wrong day. Yeah, totally not clever, but clever enough to work! I arrived a day before my parents returned from a little trip of their own and then us kids surprised her at the exact same place we surprised my dad – and almost the same exact table. See, so un-clever. And Perfect!

In my family, I’m not alone in the food obsessed department. Most of our occasions revolve around what food will be enjoyed. That was very much the case on this extra special day. And while I have lots of other things I could post about from that day, for now I’d just like to share the food! We had a lovely picnic at the park and then burgers and a milkshake bar (so awesome!) to end the day. I hope that I can always be home for my mom’s birthday/mother’s day. I know that I can speak for both of my siblings when I say that we are all so thankful to have such a great mom and friend. She’s always made every celebration fun for us and I hope that we can return the favor now that we are all grown up (sort of)! Love ya, Mom!

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So, everyone at the table was genuinely shocked that I forgot to take a picture of my burger before I ate it. That like, never happens. I was so excited to dig in. And I have to give credit to my dad and his ‘$50 burger.’ Ok, I’ll admit it – you did good.

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My flavor creation: vanilla ice cream, Nutella, cookie dough, and rainbow sprinkles. Plus chocolate whipped cream and more sprinkles on top! So good! We looked at the Millions of Milkshakes menu for inspiration (never been, but good ideas!).

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Classic chocolate for Dad. And props to my sister as well for blending up and beautifying our shakes! (Yes, they were both campaigning fairly hard to ‘make the blog’) Excellent work, my friends.

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With all these other people taking over my blog, I have to end with another picture of my contribution to the day. Breakfast sandwiches! P.S. Have you all seen this pretty amazing invention? No, I didn’t use it, but I wish.

One Waffle + Blogger Brain

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This is a little story about something I call Blogger Brain. I’m sure many of you have experienced it. Last weekend I went to the kitchen to make myself a waffle. I had just bought some fancy lookin’ belgian waffles from Trader Joe’s and was looking forward to trying them. I pulled the box out and thought hmm, I’m really not that hungry and wow these are some big waffles. I knew that one waffle would probably be plenty, but here’s where Blogger Brain comes into play. My immediate second thought was, but two waffles will look so much better in a photo! Oh brother. I thought about it for a good two minutes or so. I fought against my Blogger Brain and went with one waffle. Oh, but Blogger Brain doesn’t end there.

I put the waffle in the toaster, but before I pushed the lever, I framed a picture in my mind of the cute little waffle waiting to get toasty. With camera in hand I noticed that the toaster was looking kind of grimy. I reached to rub off a spot of something and then though, oh I could probably just edit this smudge out. OH BROTHER. Really? I’m standing here centimeters away from doing some minor cleaning and my first thought is to edit the mess? That’s a problem. I shook the Blogger Brain nonsense away and gave the toaster a good clean. From there I went through several variations of Blogger Brain influenced photos before I finally got to enjoy my waffle.

I actually really love these photos of my single waffle breakfast. Maybe partially because of the rediculous story that goes along with them. Here’s pretty much every photo I took that morning and an inside look into my photo shoot thought process. And in case you were wondering, the waffle was pretty good!

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Check out that clean (unedited) toaster and cheesy peace sign.

DSC_2205To prop…?

DSC_2206Or not to prop?

DSC_2210To berry…?

DSC_2207Or not to berry…?

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The important questions that bloggers must ponder on their Sunday morning.

[EOTW] Clean it Out

DSC_1534Out with the old has been my motto this week. I’ve had the urge to clean out my desk, my cosmetics, and especially the freezer! Hasn’t really expanded to my closet yet though…I planned meals around what was sitting in the freezer and cabinets. I really only had to buy a few dairy products and produce on my first shopping trip back in Boston! I’m happy with the clean-out progress so far. It will probably continue on for another week or two. I was going to make a meat sauce tonight to go with some gluten free pasta I tried to make with my new pasta machine, but…that was a disaster, so it was delivery pizza instead! Oh well! Check out what I used up and purchased below!

By the way, I’m really glad you all enjoyed the Starbucks lemon cake photos! I certainly enjoyed eating it all week. : ) I hope some of you try it soon!

DSC_1636I don’t think I have posted many breakfast photos in Eats of the Week! Grapefruit brings back memories of my dad and I sharing one on Sunday mornings when I was younger!

DSC_1527Used – frozen sausage, arborio, chicken broth. Bought – parmesan and bacon.

DSC_1604Used – frozen hamburger and buns. Bought – cheese, tomato, and bacon.

DSC_1670Love this stuff! Used – lemon oil, baking supplies. Bought – lemons and powdered sugar.

DSC_1660Used – frozen tortillas and steak, taco shells. Bought –  guaq and cucumber sauce ingredients.

Christmas Day Snapshots

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Noooo Christmas is over! I hope you all had a great day with your loved ones. Christmas day is usually a very low-key, relaxing day for us and this year was no exception. We started the morning with cinnamon rolls and berries (have I blogged about cinnamon rolls enough lately??). Then presents! I love picking out gifts, especially at Christmas time! Anybody else agree that boys are extremely hard to shop for though? We lounged around, snacked, and colored in our Pj’s the rest of the day. It’s the perfect way to prepare for after Christmas shopping, am I right? : )

I also want to say a quick thanks to YOU. It’s been super fun chatting with some of you and finding lots of really cool blogs over the past few months. Looking forward to more in 2013!

20121227-123750.jpg      :: cinnamon rolls, berries, and…Hello Kitty! ::

DSC_1089      :: wrapping room aftermath ::

DSC_1050      :: breakfast round 2 ::

DSC_1056      :: reindeer dog nibbling on carrots ::

DSC_1087      :: I’ve mentioned my love for animal sweaters before. This is my prized Christmas cat sweater with jeweled eyes (and matching skirt, score). I really wish I still had this. It would be the ultimate ugly Christmas sweater. ::

DSC_1072      :: my favorite ::

DSC_1059      :: oh what a surprise – I’m in charge of cutting the sausage and cheese ❤ ::

DSC_1061      :: mid-day snacks that make us forget we’ve been eating sugar all day::

DSC_1076      :: no children were involved in this coloring party ::

DSC_1067      :: no time consuming feast for us…homemade chowder and chicken noodle soup instead ::

DSC_1090      :: Collection of Santa pictures ::

DSC_1093      :: small portion of our Christmas book collection ::

DSC_1082      :: thank you, Santa. Sorry about your broken face ::