Category Archives: breakfast

Horse Bites: Country Ham

This is one of the many treats you’ll always find at the buffet at Churchill Downs during Dawn at the Dawns. It’s a particular favorite of my husband’s. I apologize again for the lack of pictures. Blame my doctors. They’ve kept me too busy (and exhausted) to do any fun stuff.

Now Country Ham is one of those things that you love or hate. I love it in small doses, so a Horse Bite is perfect for me. A big slab on a plate would make me uncomfortable. I did actually cook one. Once. Michael was in hog heaven (pardon the pun).

Little PSA here. If your doctor has EVER said the words Congestive Heart Failure to you, or has said anything about your heart muscle being weak. . . PASS on the Country Ham or you’ll be explaining it to a grumpy ER nurse right before she inserts a catheter in someplace you don’t want it. #justsayin.

Now I think the perfect way to serve Country Ham is atop a slice of nice, crusty baguette. Ideally, I’d serve this warm with half a small baked or boiled red-skinned potato and half of a tender broiled asparagus stalk on top. Yes, this one takes a toothpick as well. You don’t want asparagus being ground into the carpet. And the salt from the ham will season both the potato and the asparagus, so just give them pepper, lemon, or garlic as you prefer. Actually, it’s just as good cold, so don’t stress about it.

Again, sorry for the lack of pics. Blame my docs. Recipes for Benedictine, Thurby Pie, and Hot Brown Horse Bites are only a click away! Next up: Kids’ Derby Parties!

Horse Bites: Hot Brown

In addition to The Pie, Hot Browns are another must-have on Derby weekend. Many Hostesses serve them for brunch Derby Day. It’s essentially an open-faced turkey sandwich on toast with Mornay sauce topped with bacon and tomato slices. But everyone has their own touches!

Kentucky Hot Brown (four generous portions)

6 slices bread, toasted and sliced diagonally
12 oz. thick-sliced turkey breast (this is the best I’ve found so far)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
8 strips half-cooked or pre-cooked bacon
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups scalded milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter and whisk in flour (do not brown). Remove from heat and chill. (The longer you chill the better.)
2. Heat milk and broth (do not boil). Add hot mixture to chilled flour mixture, and whisk until thickened.
3. Add salt, pepper, and cheese until melted.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Assemble Hot Browns in a 9×13 pan in the following order: toast, turkey, sauce, and bacon.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

This also freezes well. BTW, this is super-easy and would be a great surprise to make Mom for Mother’s Day Brunch!

printable version

Now, you’ll notice I didn’t put the traditional tomato slices on top of the bacon before I cooked it. All my guys would have removed it immediately, so I didn’t bother.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of my Horse Bites version due to some medical issues I’ve been dealing with recently – specifically, that my physicians are taking opposing views on my treatment and refuse to talk to each other, so I’ve been busy running around town to see them and treating myself since I still don’t have a diagnosis. Anyway, I have two options for this one:

If you truly want to stick to all finger-foods then use slices of baguette and a thick-sliced turkey like this one:

If you’re having a large party go ahead and cook a turkey breast a day or two before. Top it with your favorite cheese – I love Swiss, but anything that’s not too crumbly will work fine. Microwave that bacon (after cutting the slices into thirds), and while that is being patted dry by your sous chef (spouse, child, helpful friend) slice some grape or cherry tomatoes in half. This one needs a toothpick to hold it together.

Another yummy option is to make the Mornay sauce just like the original Hot Brown recipe. Then make turkey sandwiches on toast and cut them into quarters, placing 1/2 slice of cooked bacon on each quarter. Spoon the sauce into shot glasses and slide a sandwich quarter into each. Float half a cherry tomato in it if you like. Serve hot! Yes, a bit more bother, but SO clever. You can even get personalized shot glasses from bridal retailers if you want to make them even more memorable. I’d prefer plastic myself, especially if there’s alcohol involved and carpet on the floor. Have I mentioned how much I love my hardwoods and tile?

Check a few posts back for my Benedictine and Thurby Pie Horse Bites!

Fast, Frugal, Family Comfort Food Any Time!

Who else feels like the first month or so of school each year is just crazy? I’d love to say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!” and throw up a well-manicured hand. But this is my circus, and those are my monkeys! (And I haven’t had a manicure in almost eighteen years – LOL!) So, as in the wild, show no fear, no stress. Then, when the whole family is at home for supper, or possibly even awake at the same time for breakfast (gasp!) gather ’round for some comfort food.
v2hero-image
I tease my son about being physically attached to his phone (he sleeps with it in his hand, like his brother before him) but maybe I should keep mine closer and download a few more apps. Meijer’s mPerks app, for example.

I knew it would find me coupons, so I waited until I’d found everything before I pulled out my phone. Here are the awesome coupons I found:

  • $0.75 off 1 Hungry Jack pancake & waffle mix
  • $0.75 off 1 Jif Flavored Spread
  • $0.75 off 1 Hungry Jack syrup

v2mperksBut waiting until I was in the store and had already shopped to download the app cost me about fifteen minutes and a lot of muttered curses. Why? I downloaded the wrong coupon for pancake mic, because I was buying the Hungry Jack Complete version. “Just add water” – that’s my kind of recipe! And I couldn’t find the peanut butter aisle! The mPerks app pulls it up in a hot second. But why is it in aisle 13?
jif-spread-shopping
I consider Jif Peanut Butter to be essential to life. It should be on that endcap at the front of the store where they have eggs, milk, and bread. If the Zombie Apocalypse is coming I’m stockpiling peanut butter. If I have to go too far into the store odds are I’m going to get bitten. But perhaps the Zombie Apocalypse has already started and I didn’t notice because they don’t want people, they want peanut butter! This could be a serious problem! It’s a good thing Meijer has placed their Jif products on the end of the aisle!#thingsIworryabout But the peanut powder – it’s even better. I can add some to my morning coffee so it’s coffee with protein (8 mg for 3 TBSP).

OK, so three entire tablespoons made a sort of pudding in the bottom of the cup, but once I poured in cup number two (that’s my limit) it was all good. And I was 8 grams further toward my 60 gram goal for the day than I would normally have been on a busy morning! But on those relaxed mornings the peanut powder goes into the Hungry Jack Pancake Mix. For each tablespoon of peanut butter you add, add that much water, so the pancakes stay nice and fluffy.
mix reg and peanut butter
Now we’ve all seen the profiles of celebrities done as pancakes, but I suspect those people have way too much free time. First thing to remember: Do everything in mirror image.
mirror image J
These are all on an electric skillet set at 325 and covered with melted butter. Wait about 20-30 seconds (until fully set) to add second layer if you’re doing pancake art. When you see bubbles everywhere on the surface but the edges have not yet started to brown . . . FLIP!
ready to flip
This will only take about 30 seconds, and it’s fine to lift up an edge to check browning. Then, after you lift them off,everyone can get creative.
plated
Since I was a little girl my Dad always had his pancakes with peanut butter in between and syrup on top. That’s been my favorite way until now! If I have peanut butter in the pancakes (and one tablespoon will lightly flavor about six pancakes) then why not have something wonderful in-between them? With the help of my fellow peanut-butter-and-jelly lover, John, I selected strawberry preserves and Hungry Jack Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Flavored Syrup for our peanut butter pancakes. It was fabulous! John, being a teen, couldn’t even wait to get to the table to try his. He was a blur of pancake theft!
teen sneaking pancakes
Once our tummies were full my husband started playing around, being artistic with the batter. Here’s his version of a face:
john lennon pancake
and his favorite band’s logo:
rush pancake
Leftovers tasted wonderful whether microwaved or toasted, and it wasn’t 48 hours until we were all ready for pancakes again! This time we teamed them with my husband’s fabulous scrambled eggs (mine are always overdone). And each of us had a laugh when we first saw the happy pour-spout of the microwavable syrup. And later, when it was time for my son to go to work, I found him layering the Jif Spread generously over a pancake, rolling it up like a crepe, and running out the door.
smiley syrup lid
Truly, how much better could a day start? Or end? Now let’s do a little review: Download the mPerks app, snag some coupons, and organize your grocery list by aisle (this makes my OCD tendencies so happy!). Make sure you have included Hungry Jack pancake mix and syrup on your list, and take your time choosing. Every single one looks scrumptious!
mix and syrup
See, that view looks simple. Now try this one:
v2pancake-aisle-floorYes, just stand on the square and make your selection. Why don’t other companies do this? “Look at your feet for meal suggestions”, “Let your toes do the shopping!” OK, maybe not in the produce aisle – that would be gross.

No go make your own creation! Will you try Hungry Jack Complete Extra Light and Fluffy with Jif Cinnamon Spread and Hungry Jack Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Syrup, like we did? (Imagine a huge, moist Snickerdoodle!) What are you going to create?

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