Bacon Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls, NOT gf, but kids LOVE them

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A Sunday morning breakfast isn’t complete without a warm bread. What can be better than a bacon cinnamon roll? Well, nothing really. And this is easy. This recipe is for the kids and bacon lovers in your house. You will be a hero and it is so incredibly simple, most of the work is done for you if you buy the Pillsbury rolls in a can. I do this because I have a gluten-free kitchen. That being said, I do not make the rolls myself so that I don’t accidentally have any flour get loose and cause problems.

Ingredients:

1 or 2 cans of cinnamon rolls
thick cut bacon, 1/3 of a slice per cinnamon roll
lard or crisco to grease baking sheet
parchment paper

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil) and place a rack on the baking sheet. Pre-heat. When the oven and rack reach 325 degrees, carefully place your slices of bacon on the rack being careful not to overlap the bacon. Pre-bake for about 20-25 minutes. You do NOT want to crisp the bacon at this time, but you want it on the verge of being done.

2. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. When cooled, cut each slice of bacon into thirds.

3. Ready a clean baking sheet for the rolls by lining it with parchment paper. Unroll the cinnamon buns and place a piece of cool, drained bacon in the center. Re-roll and place on your baking sheet.

4. Follow the directions on the cinnamon bun can and bake. When the rolls are removed from the oven, allow to almost cool completely before adding the icing, if you are going to ice the rolls. We don’t, but it is just a delicious if you do.

ENJOY!

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Breakfast Casserole – gf

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Okay, we all know how that breakfast casseroles are more about technique and proportions than ingredients, so have fun with this and make a style that you and your family will love. I’m posting how I made the one pictured, but trust yourself and go nuts. My dish fits into the Athletic Training menu, lots of Omega-3 eggs, turkey sausage, a starch and some dairy to start the day. I served it with plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with a pinch of raw sugar and fresh cut fruit. An easy and tasty day to tackle the day with long-lasting energy.

Size: 8″ square casserole dish (I used a glass dish, if you prefer non-stick metal, please adjust the temperature and time accordingly)

Ingredients

8 Omega-3, cage free (please) eggs
1/3 c. low-fat breakfast sausage, turkey sausage or smoked kielbasa, chopped and brought to room temperature
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. frozen shredded potatoes (or make your own, but use a low-starch potato if you can)
1/4 c.onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. red (or green, or yellow) pepper, chopped
1/4 c. fresh spinach
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne (can omit, but it adds a little sumptin-sumptin to the dish.
2 Tbsp. super skim milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease your casserole dish with butter, lard or crisco. Try not to use a spray, the eggs will still stick.

Bring the sausage (assuming it is precooked, if not, cook it slowly) and potatoes to room temperature as set aside. Pat the potatoes with a clean towel to remove any water or wetness.

Warm a saute pan to medium low-medium heat and melt the butter. Once melted and warm, cook the onion and green pepper until soft but not brown. Doing this step over a low heat retains the size and flavor of the vegetables. When almost done, remove from heat and put the vegetables on a plate to cool. If you add them to the egg and they are still hot, the egg will begin to cook around the veg and coat it with a thin layer of egg, you don’t want that to happen, trust me. In a separate skillet, cook

While the vegetables are cooking, crack your eggs in another bowl, add the milk and whisk just until your incorporate together. Try not to over beat the eggs, the eggs don’t like it and they will hold it against you by refusing to be fluffy and light. Stir in the spinach. When the onion/pepper mix is cool, add it to the eggs and stir again. Add the cayenne and white pepper and stir. Add the cheese, meat and potatoes, sir to disburse evenly and pour into your pre-greased casserole dish. Pop into the over for 35-45 minutes, or so. Watch the dish, when the top appears to be browning on top, remove from the oven and allow it to rest, the eggs will continue to cook a bit longer and become firm, so you want to do this as soon as you can, again to end up with a light dish. If the eggs overcook it will still be good, all is not lost.

You can also make this ahead, cover it with foil and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Just remove it from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temp before putting it in the oven to bake.

Creamy South Carolina Cheddar Grits with Bacon

Creamy Slow Cooked South Carolina Cheddar Grits with Bacon Creamy Cheddar Grits Grits are frequently ignored, at least here in the North, but I think that is only because they are misunderstood, which is likely the result of the only ones we can find in our grocery stores in the cylinder shaped tube-box. Those are not grits, at least not the type I’m making here. (They may be fantastic for making edible paste though. Oooohhhh, that was mean, I’m sorry.) Anyway, as with all cooking, you must begin with good ingredients and that can be no more true than with grits.  They must must must be long-cooking, stone ground grits.  I order mine (thanks to my wonderful husband, Tony) online from Zingermans (www.zingermans.com), specifically “Zingerman’s Heriloom Organic Corn Grits from South Carolina, slow cooking”.  Yep, that’s all on the front of the bag (I’ll post a picture if I can.)  And before you groan at the Zingerman’s plug, please know, that I have no connection whatsoever to the company, I’m just a fan and they wouldn’t know me from Eve.

That being out-of-the-way, the back of the grit bag explains it best, and now I quote, “Heirloom corn, grown organically by the folks at Anson Mills in South Carolina. Field dried then stone ground to retain their natural germ – and flavor – they’re the tastiest grits around. With wonderful, complex corn flavor that needs little more than butter and salt to make a superb meal or a side dish any time of the day.” I couldn’t have explained it better myself, so I didn’t. That’s it in a corn-shell. (Goan now.)

Okay now to my recipe. It is true, these can be fantastic with just butter and salt, so keep that in mind. They can also be terrific many other ways and as with a lot of cooking, once you have a good technique for making the base recipe, it becomes your canvas for anything else.

BASIC GRITS AS PICTURED

1 c. Quality stone ground grits. (If you use quick cooking from a tube box, don’t blame me when they do not turn out well or have no flavor. Just sayin’.)
3 1/2 c. Whole milk
1/2 c. Heavy cream
1 c. Shredded New York cheddar
1/4 c. sliced scallions
1/4 c. unsalted butter (I always use unsalted butter, you can always add your own, but it’s really hard to remove salt from a recipe. Save the salted for your toast.)
(optional) top with Maple Syrup & Bacon

1. Add the milk, cream, butter and sprinkle in the grits while stirring to a dutch oven (if you have one) or a nice heavy bottomed pot with a lid if you do not. Stir and make sure you do not have any lumps or clumps of grits.
2. Heat slowly, over medium low heat, stirring frequently until you reach a soft boil.
3. Stir again, cover, reduce heat to simmer and set your timer for 15 minutes. For the next hour and a half to two hours, you will be stirring every 15 minutes, so use your timer so you don’t forget. If you find the grits sticking to the bottom of the pot, turn down the heat and keep going.
4. At the end of the 1 1/2 or 2 hours (depending on how much time you have, the longer the better), turn off the heat and add the cheese and scallions.
Taste, if it needs salt (the cheese will add a significant amount), add it a bit at a time.
5. Spoon onto your serving plates and top with a little more butter, maple syrup and a piece of bacon. If you family enjoys bacon, crumble it right into the grits.

Making great bacon:
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place a tightly woven bakers rack over a baking tray, spray with non-stick product and lay out your bacon.
3. Depending on the thickness of the bacon, bake for 25 – 45 minutes. Just keep checking every 5 minutes after the 25 minute mark.
4. Remove from over and set aside, leaving it on the rack. Just before serving, put it under the broiler (wire rack in mid oven, not top), and with the door cracked open, re-heat for about 5 minutes. It will be crispy again. (*If you do not re-heat under the broiler, it will stick to the rack. Either lift for a moment when it comes out of the oven to prevent sticking, or re-heat, which will also release it from the wire.)

OPTIONS

Grits are a good substitute for almost anything you would serve with a potato. That being said, the important thing about grits is to cook them with enough liquid, and long enough. They are the perfect food, as you can open the lid, stir, and continue to add liquid many times over. Honestly, the only way you can ruin grits is to not pay attention and let them dry out and burn. Anything short of an all-out burn and they can be saved. That’s where technique comes in, so here is another version that I use when I’m serving grits for dinner with a meat source.

Option 1 (Option 2)
1 c. Grits
1 shallot (or 4 cloves garlic)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (or 2 T. butter and 2 T. olive oil)
4 c. chicken stock (or 3 c. Chicken Stock and 1 c. dry white wine)
1/2 c. fontina cheese, rough chopped or pulled to small pieces so it melts (or Dubliner cheese – my favorite, it adds a bit of nuttiness and smooth and melts well)
1/2 c. chopped parsley (or 1 c. arugula, not chopped – my favorite)
S&P, mostly P, to taste.

1. Sautee 1 shallot or a few cloves of chopped garlic in butter (or a butter/olive oil mix) in a dutch oven over medium low heat just until soft.
2. Add your grits, stir to incorporate.
3. Add all of the liquid, stir, bring to a slow boil, stir, turn the heat down to simmer and cover.
4. Stir every 15 minutes.
5. After 1 1/2 -2 hours, turn off heat, stir in your cheese and cover for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts.
6. Add your herbs or greens of choice.
7. Taste. Add salt, pepper to taste.
ENJOY.

Follow these techniques and make Grits Your Way! If you are willing to share, add your variations to the comments!