Sunday, May 10, 2015

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

Nothing starts a great Mother's day off, like not having to cook breakfast first thing in the morning. So, how about a dish that you prepare the night before, instead? 

Peel and finely slice seven apples and cook them in a pot for 5 minutes on Medium-High heat. You can decide on how many apples you'd like to use. Seven seems to be the magic number for us. Anything less, and you're mostly eating bread.

While that's cooking, mix 3/4 cups of packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of water.  (We like to add a little ginger and nutmeg in too.)

Add the mixture to the apples and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.

While the apples are cooking, slice the bread in one inch slices.

Line the bottom of a 13x9 pan with the apples.

Then layer on the bread pieces.

In a mixing bowl, beat 4 eggs before adding 1 1/4 cups of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Once that's whisked together, evenly distribute to the top.

Cover and place into the fridge overnight.

The next morning, take the casserole out of the fridge and let sit while you preheat the over to 375. Once the oven is preheated, place the covered casserole into the oven for 35 minutes.

Remove the casserole once it's cooked, and let rest for 5 minutes.

This will make 4-6 servings, so on top of an easy morning and a delicious breakfast, you have leftovers.  Can be served alone or with maple syrup.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

I Miss Jamaica Hotdog

With my return to BBQ Brethren's throwdowns, it's given me more ideas of food to do. This week's throwdown is "Tubesteak & Sausagefest", and immediately I knew what I was making.

On our honeymoon, one of the restaurants had a pork rib hot dog with pulled pork and cheese on top. In case you've forgotten, or weren't around then (shame on you), lets take a stroll down memory lane to nearly 2 years ago ...

We'll get back to the dog in a minute, but lets start with the sides. Since this is kind of a honeymoon recreation, I let the wifey decide what went with the dogs.

First, I started off by cooking 4 stripes of thick cut bacon while she diced the onions, peppers, and tomato.

Once the bacon was done, we took it out and cooked the onion and pepper in the bacon grease for about 8 minutes (until they weren't crunchy).

Once those were cooked, we added the drained and rinsed beans, chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, and crumbled bacon pieces and let it cook on medium-high for 20 minutes.

While the beans were cooking away, it was time for the star. I got some beer pork bratwursts from Whole Foods (because we wanted to go fancy).

Dawn stopped by the store on the way home and even picked up some fresh bakery hotdog buns.

Rhett isn't the biggest fan of cook time because that means he's not getting any love and attention.

For those that aren't from the South. I'd like to present to you, a Carolina Moon. You know, just cause.

Topped the beer pork brat with some pulled pork with sweet and spicy sauce and finished with sharp Vermont cheddar cheese.

The air conditioning wasn't the same as the open air Jamaican restaurant, and although the dog was delicious, I still haven't been able to master the greatest hotdog in the world. However, one thing is just as good as it was in Jamaica (actually better) ... I had my wife of nearly 2 years right beside me.

Friday, May 1, 2015

America Loves Bacon Tour

The America Loves Bacon Tour stopped by Columbia, SC on March 28th. The Yardcocks (nickname for the South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball team) also had a game that day, so we decided to ride down, check out the festival and then catch the game.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot you could smell the yummy bacon goodness in the air.

Bacon wrapped shrimp

Chocolate covered bacon, bacon doughnut

Bacon models. Those Carl Jr/Hardees models ain't got nothing on us.

Of course I had to take a picture of the grill.

The greatest thing at the whole festival ... bacon wrapped tater tots.

Bacon/pork sliders and hot dog ...

... with cheese.

It's bacon ... on a steeeeeeeck.

Who doesn't need a bacon cupcake?

The women's bacon eating contest. The chick on the far right won, although the lady in the blue might have actually taken it.

The over to one of the most beautiful sites in the world, Carolina Stadium.

The festival was a little smaller than we were expecting, but we still had a great time. If nothing else, it was great people watching. We couldn't figure out why some vendors accepted the tickets and others expected cash. Usually it's one or the other.

Although my team didn't win, we still had a great day. Hopefully the festival will return to SC next year, because ... well ... I LOVE BACON!!!!!