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Maple cheddar

Okay, so if you don’t live in Wisconsin, this might be a bit more difficult to relate to. But on a recent visit to the most awesome Brennan’s Market, I came across a new flavor of cheddar–maple cheddar. It’s cheddar cheese literally infused with maple syrup. I was a bit skeptical but when one of the employees asked me if I needed help and then saw the maple cheddar in my basket, she said that was her favorite. Okay, if I was ambivalent before, now I was sold. And I was already imagining what to do with this cheese.

I had also picked up some thick cut bacon at Brennan’s, and so my breakfast the next morning was an open faced bacon/cheese melt using the bacon and the maple cheddar. And as you might expect, it was awesome. Of course, you can make this with any type of cheese, but this maple cheese gave it that hint of sweetness, and it was subtle, as if you were eating pancakes and some of the syrup slid onto your sandwich. Yum.

And it’s simple–just cook 2-3 slices of bacon. Cut a thick slice or two of crusty Italian bread, top with the bacon and some shredded cheese, and broil or toast for about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts and is bubbly.

  

Quick breakfast frito pie

Don’t tell your cardiologist about this one. Also, don’t tell my doctor, either. But I whipped this up this past weekend and it was too delicious not to share with you. And it’s real easy. It also was the perfect breakfast after I had a few beers Friday night.

First, take a generous handful of Frito’s and put then in a shallow bowl. Cook 2 slices of bacon in the microwave (or as you would normally cook bacon) for about 2 minutes or until crisp. Cut 3-4 slabs of Velveeta off a hunk and cut that into smaller cubes. Sprinkle over the Fritos and nuke for about 30 seconds. Crumble bacon on top of Frito mixture. Meanwhile, spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium heat. Crack an egg (or two) into the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the whites are set and yolk is still runny. Slide egg(s) onto the top of the Frito mixture and sprinkle with hot sauce. Serve with a big glass of OJ or big mug of coffee, and enjoy (trust me, you will!).

  

Healthy breakfast bowl

Last week I posted something on easy breakfast tacos, but it doesn’t always have to be about tacos or burritos when you are making a quick and healthy breakfast. What follows is my take on the breakfast bowl, something that has become more prominent in fast food chains as carbs have fallen out of favor the last few years.

So here we go…..

Chop some tomatoes, shred some cheddar cheese and open a can of pinto beans.

Prepare some quick brown rice (I like the Trader Joe’s kind in the freezer section, that you nuke in three minutes) and put about 1/2 cup of the cooked rice in a bowl. Set the rest aside (or multiply this recipe out for more servings).

Cook 2 eggs in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until the whites are just set (don’t overcook–you want a runny yolk). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the beans and tomato in the bowl with the rice, top with the cooked eggs and shredded cheese. (Other options and add-ins are green pepper, jalapenos, cooked corn off the cob, or diced avocado.)

Top with salsa or hot sauce and serve.

  

Product review: Emerald Breakfast on the Go!

I didn’t quite get the robot analogy that came with a package from the PR firm who sent samples of the new Emerald Nuts Breakfast on the Go! Nut & Granola mixes. Their message was that robots can turn out ordinary granola bars, but these Emerald “deconstructed” granola packets “humanize your morning.” Um, okay. But we’re not here to poke holes in the PR campaign. No, we are here to test out the food and let you know how it is. And in this case, the food is really good. They sent a sample of all three flavors, so let’s go over each one, shall we?

Berry Nut Blend–this one has granola clusters, glazed walnuts, yogurt raisins, peanuts, and of course–dried berries. It’s a nice, sweet blend without being overtly sweet, and the glazed walnuts take it up a notch.

Breakfast Nut Blend–very similar to the Berry Nut Blend, but with dried apples instead of dried berries. It also has the awesome glazed walnuts, but I will say that I like the dried berries better than the hard-to-chew dried apples.

S’mores Nut Blend–A bit different than the other two, this one features cocoa roasted almonds and has bits of dark chocolate, tiny graham cracker cookies, and also dried marshmallows to created the s’mores effect. Nuts and berries are good, but let’s face it, chocolate anything is better. This was easily my favorite of the three.

The only drawback to these bagged snacks is that they are a tad more difficult to eat than a granola bar, at least if you are driving or doing something else at the time. But it sure is a nice alternative. That was probably the message all along, but robots? I still don’t get it. Anyway, give these a try and let me know how you liked them.

  

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