Egg Sandwiches

egg sandwich leadKISS: Keep it simple stupid. Some days need to be simple. Sometimes I don’t even tell you about the easy go-to meals my family enjoys just because they seem too obvious. But, this is truly one of my favorites. And usually, I have all of the necessary items right in my refrigerator. In fact, this was “fancy” as I usually don’t add the bacon or potatoes.

Yes, it is the humble egg sandwich. My mother made these for us all the time when we were little and they were always loved. So, making them for my family actually seems like a special event…like when I make her French Toast. Make them however you like. Lily likes jelly on hers. But, Pitts and I go the savory route and have it with mayo and mustard. So it you have bread, eggs, mayo and mustard…you have lunch or dinner right on hand. For grown-ups, allot two eggs per sandwich and for kids, one is usually enough.

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Salmon on Toast with Honey Tarragon Cream Sauce

Salmon on ToastA few days ago, I needed to go to Rex’s Seafood to ask a few questions about their hot smoked salmon. I wondered how I could also turn a chunk of their delicious salmon into dinner. The short answer is, “Unwrap it and eat it, dummy.” It is that good. You don’t need to do anything to it or with it. Yet, I found another way to use it that suited my family quite well.

That is what I do when the world is spinning quickly; I rely on help from really wonderful prepared foods. I love cold smoked salmon. And, I love hot smoked salmon. The difference, in a tiny nutshell, is that one is smoked at cold temperatures (or without heat…just smoke) and one is smoked at hot temperatures. The result is that one type looks raw (cold smoked) and one looks cooked (hot smoked). Both are smoked, and both are great. I’ve eaten a lot of cold smoked salmon lately and I wanted to jump over to hot smoked. I need to learn how to hot smoke salmon myself. It appears to be a simple matter. However, in the meantime, if you have a shop that makes great hot smoked salmon, you can rely on them for a quick meal or a stunning appetizer spread.

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Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

mac lead Avert your eyes if you must…I’m busting out the Velveeta for a second or two. I’ve made a lot of macaroni and cheese in my day. I love macaroni and cheese. Obviously, my kids are fans. I have been known to break down and buy the box now and again, too, since it constitutes “memory food” for me. By that I mean that it was survival food in college and law school. Plus, let’s face it, much like Toll House Cookies, it was one of the first things that ever caused me to turn on a stove-top, and look where I am now.

On that note, and I’m a little frightened that I know this, but in a pinch you can substitute beer for milk in boxed mac and cheese. I recommend, from distant memory, also drinking more beer while you eat that.

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Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made coffee extract with Dripping Springs Vodka and Noble Coyote coffee beans, two Texas businesses that I admire. I’m always looking for fun ways to utilize fun local products in my baking. Several years ago I happened upon the notion of making my own vanilla extract, and now I use it all the time. In my last post I went on about how the notion of using this locally roasted coffee in my baking came about. I made the extract and now, at week 2, I’m using it in all sorts of things.

But this was my first try. And, these cookies are fantastic. Please note that I used my own coffee extract concoction in choosing to use a whopping 2 tablespoons. If you are using a commercial extract you might find that 1 teaspoon is sufficient. So please do a little taste testing before you settle on your own recipe. If you don’t want to bother with coffee extract, just toss in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and call it good.

These cookies are very chocolatey, with just a hint of coffee flavor. We love them. Please eat at least one of them while it is still warm. Heavenly!

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Coffee Extract

I’m goofing off a bit here. Usually I try to make sure I know exactly how things work out before I go bellowing on about them. But 6 weeks is a long time to wait and I know that my plan is working so far, so why not share.

Here is how the story goes. I was in a liquor store buying a bottle of Dripping Springs Vodka because my beans are starting to show. I’d love to know how many of you do not need to read further to know what I’m talking about. But, I make my own vanilla extract, and I’ve used so much of it that my beans are popping up out of the vodka…time to add a little vodka.  I set about explaining to the man at the counter what I was up to because I think it is news to be shared. He looked at me like, “lady, you don’t need to make up a stupid story to buy vodka…I’m not your mother.” I was still a little put out that I didn’t get carded when he chimed in, “oh, you need to do the same thing with coffee and vanilla…make your own Kahlua.” Well, I don’t drink, so while I was totally fascinated by the notion, my mind went straight to ice cream and cookies and other things I could lace with a coffee extract.

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