Welcome to Sarah's Adventures in Culinary Experimentation

This blog is for posting recipes I've experimented with while teaching myself to cook. Some I have taken from my favorite recipe books, others are purely my own experimentations. My audience is usually just my husband, my toddler daughter, and I and we are living on a tight budget. Sometimes you might find a splurge.

Hopefully you'll find something here that you like!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet and Savory Breakfast Surprise: Grits, Bacon, and Eggs

 Sweet & Savory Breakfast Surprise: Grits, Bacon, & Eggs
Serves 4

  • 8 slices of Jennie-O turkey bacon
  • 4 TBSP Maple Syrup (I used Log Cabin Lite)
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 handfuls of All Natural Alexia Sweet Potato Juliened fries (preferred brand or your own... if you're own 1 large sweet potato should be enough)
  • 3/4 cup Quaker Grits (Quick-5 Minutes, Smooth & Creamy, Enriched White Hominy)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups preferred cheddar cheese (shredded or cubed)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP butter (for the eggs)
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 2 TBSP pepper
  • Favorite Hot Sauce (for a drop or two of garnish)

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and get the sweet potato fries cooking. Follow your own recipe for your own. Cook the fries until tender and slightly crispy. I don't add any kind of cooking oil, because they cook up delicious and fine without it. Do this well in advance, because everything else will come together quickly and you can keep the fries in a warming area.
  2. In a medium pot on the stove, start to cook up the grits by bringing 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the 3/4 cups grits, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 TBSP pepper and stir.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in 3 TBSP butter and 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese. Stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Prepare the turkey bacon as you prefer. Do not make the bacon too crispy, still pliable. You can either cook it in the microwave, turning frequently, until ready or follow oven directions. When the bacon is ready, cut strips in half at an angle. Two slices for each bowl.
  5. Put the bacon aside on a plate. When the grits are to your taste, add in 1/2 cup 1% milk to smooth the texture. Take off heat and set aside covered.
  6. Heat a frying pan to medium-high and add 1/2 TBSP butter for each egg. Fry the egg on both sides so that the whites are cooked, but the yoke will pop. Don't forget, the eggs will continue cooking ones off the heat.
  7. While the eggs are preparing, stir your grits and portion them into 4 wide bowls. Then lay down the bacon so that the angles create a V out of the bacon or just create an X across the grits (cutting them just makes it easier to eat). See picture for platting help.
  8. Lay the fried egg on top of the bacon. Then distribute 4 small sweet potatoe fries around the 4 segments of the bowl. Lay 2 large potato strips across the top of the egg.
  9. Drizzle 1 TBSP of maple syrup over the egg so that it runs down. Then douse with a few drops of hot sauce.
  10. Serve! Pop the egg first.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Onion Rice

Onion Rice
Serves 4

  • 2 cans Campbell's low sodium French Onion Soup
  • 1 cup Uncle Ben's Rice (not instant rice)
  • 1 TBSP butter

  1. Drain liquid from the French Onion Soup with a strainer into a measuring cup (try to use a measuring cup that will hold 2+ cups of liquid).
  2. Put the onions aside to add later.
  3. Check the rice packaging to see how much water you need for 1 cup of rice (usually 2 1/4 cup). Add water to top off the onion soup (check for extra liquid in the onions put aside).
  4. Add the liquid, butter, and rice to a pot and bring to boil.
  5. When boiling, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir and check.
  6. When the liquid is absorbed, add the onions and finish cooking the rice until tender. Serve.

Note: Goes great as a side dish with broccoli, corn, and most meats.

I originally got this recipe from my mother-in-law, because it is one of my husband's favorite side dishes. I don't know where she got it from, but I've taken a long time to perfect the making, so when you make it, just feel out how it works for you. It is a really great side dish and reheats really well.