Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breakfast for Grandma

So today I am granny-nanny-ing.  Basically, I am hanging out with my Grandma, prepping her meals, getting her meds ready, getting her exercise in.... etc.  I enjoy days like this when I get to spend time with her.  It gives me the precious memories I will remember when she's gone and let's her know I care for her.  All this to say, I made her breakfast this morning! Of course she's not at picky eater, never has been even at 92, but she relentlessly compliments the chef - which I don't mind.  Here's what I cooked up for her.

Skill Rating..............medium, hot flame
Serving Size.............table for one
Prep Time...............5-10 minutes

  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece of pita bread
  • Your choice of veggies (tomato, onion, pepper, etc....)
  • 2 slices smoked ham
  • fresh fruit
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 cup cheese (block or grated is fine)
  • S&P
  • olive oil/coconut oil
  1. Crack egg open.  Add milk.  Beat well until pale yellow & well combined.
  2. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. Add choice veggies (I used one baby tomato for GB)
  4. Add cheese; grate or break up if in block form.
  5. Mix again.
  6. Turn on frying pan - medium high. Coat with olive oil or melt coconut oil.   (I use coconut oil for Grandma, it's really good for the heart.)
  7. Prep fruit - slice and plate. Today I used fresh strawberries and half a banana.
  8. Add egg mixture to pan, it will cook up fast so don't walk away.
  9. Once egg is done, heat smoked ham in microwave - 10-20 seconds. You can use breakfast ham or even lunch meat; you can also substitute bacon or sausage here.
  10. Toast pita bread.
  11. Plate ham on pita, eggs on ham.  Garnish with fresh mint (on fruit) or parsley (on eggs).
  12. ENJOY with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a morning devotional.
And I quote, "Honey this is wonderful.  Mmm mmm mmm." - Grandma 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Breakfast In Bed

Lately I have decided to bless my husband before he awakens in the morning.  He has been diligently following a rigorous diet of greens & proteins and not much else - so yesterday I decided to surprise him with french toast and coffee! Not sure if this makes me a good wife or a poor one, but none the less it sounded pretty good to me too.  So here's how I made the tasty little buggers.

Grocery......................under $5
Skill Rating................medium, hot flame
Serving Size...............5-7 slices
Prep Time..................15-20 minutes 

  • Hardy Bread (or day old stiff bread)
  • 2 Eggs
  • Half & Half
  • Powdered Suger
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Butter
  1. Heat pan to medium-high.
  2. Once warm, add 1-2 tablespoons butter to ensure non stick removal
  3. Scramble both eggs (beat until yokes broken)
  4. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup half & half
  5. Scramble until mixture turns to a pale yellow. Make sure yokes & whites are well beaten, otherwise you will end up with scrabbled eggs on top of your toast instead of french toast.
  6. Get your hardy bread out.  Depending on how many slices of bread will fit into your skillet, dredge this many slices at a time.  Otherwise the bread will sit too long in the custard and fall apart.
  7. Once your drench both sides with the custard, place on sizzling skillet.
  8. Allow to brown on both sides, then reduce heat to medium or medium low.
  9. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side so that eggs are cooked.
  10. Plate & garnish with your favorite toppings; Pete's happen to be powdered sugar & syrup whereas I like a subtle blend of granulated sugar & cinnamon.  Others of you may indulge with strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.  It is afterall custard french toast - so, live it up!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Pockets

This weekend I attempted something rather interesting in the kitchen.  I like to think it only became interesting because I didn't have the necessary supplies to make it a success but I'll be honest with you, it was an epic fail.  However, had I had toothpicks, instead of grille skewers, I am sure (and by sure, I mean, maybe) it would have been particularly edible.  Either way, my husband is gracious and ate it anyways. So here's the deal.  For a small family of 2-4 people you only need three chicken breasts, I know right? Conveniently, this happens to be how our chicken breasts come packaged.  When beginning to prep, it is best to only partially defrost the chicken, as it is easier to butterfly when it isn't completely floppy. Yes, that's a technical term.  Some of you are already confused.  No worries, I am not a chef, just a meager house wife trying her hand at the stove.  So here's a nifty photo tutorial to help you get the hang of it.

  • 3 chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1-2 cups GOOD white cheese (your choice, just not processed)
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Toothpicks
  1. Now usually, the purpose of butterflying a chicken breast is for something more fancy like chicken cordon bleu, but for this rustic recipe, when you butterfly the chicken go ahead and cut the breast completely into two separate halves.  We are not keeping the standard butterfly form simply because its a lot of meat.
  2. Then, as the pictures show, cover in saran wrap and procede to beat the heck out of the chicken with meat tenderizer/hammer/rolling pin.... etc.  Why you ask? To make the chicken malleable & tender.
  3. Repeat these steps with remaining chicken halves.
  4. Once all breast halves are trimmed and beaten, get out your cheese. Personally, I enjoy Gouda, Mozarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano (fancy parmesan).  Any cheese you would eat on it's own will do. Grate cheese if in block form.
  5. Now - here's where it gets a little tricky.  Take a chicken halve.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of cheese in "center" of breast. Get your tooth picks ready (take some out of the box so you don't contaminate them all with raw chicken gunk).  Take the two farthest "corners" of the breast and tent them together (i.e. pin them together with a toothpick or two if necessary).   Now here, you will notice the cheese starting to spill out.  Shove it back in.  Continue to tent the rest of the chicken breast until the cheese is safely secure.  Season with salt & pepper and mount freshly-pressed garlic on top.  Spread garlic evenly on surface.
  6. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
  7. Coat non-stick pan with olive oil.  Turn on medium-high. Wait for pan to heat!
  8. Place chicken pockets in pan and sear on all sides - granted this may be a little difficult with toothpicks sticking out every which way - but stick with me it's worth it! (No pun intended)
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain tenderness of meat.
  10. Once chicken has been cooking through for a little while, try to remove toothpicks.  If chicken falls open, re-insert toothpick.  If chicken maintains form remove all other toothpicks.  Do this with all breasts, so that chicken can cook evenly on all sides.
  11. Once chicken is completely cooked (make sure there is NO pink) remove from pan, plate with your favorite side (mine happen to be rice pilaf and caesar salad) and viola! You have a new way to cook that same old chicken.

NOW. I know this may sound complicated, but really it isn't.  Most of the included details are common knowledge, but for those of you who are as inexperienced as I am, or rather, as mistake-prone, you need the little details to get you through without a small kitchen fire.