Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Ultimate Fried Egg Sandwich {a Guide}

I don't know about your family, but in mine the fried egg sandwich was the quintessential "go-to" lazy day comfort food dinner. I don't know what it is about a fried egg and a slab of cheddar slapped between two pieces of toasted bread, but it almost always sounds good. You can make it in about five minutes and I can just about guarantee you'll have the ingredients on hand.

The other thing that's awesome about this sandwich is that, much like any other sandwich, it's infinitely customizable. The only thing that must remain is the egg. Switch out everything else, but as long as you keep that egg you can label it a "fried egg sandwich".

Unless of course you scramble the egg. Then it would have to be a "scrambled egg sandwich" wouldn't it?

But, as my brother would say, I digress.

Hubby and I have been enjoying traditional fried egg sandwiches every Sunday night now for awhile. It is so nice to have a few routines thrown into your weekly menu- not only does it make it a little easier to plan meals, it gives us something sure to look forward to! For instance, our week looks like this:

Monday- who knows. This is Travis' day off, so we don't plan anything. Usually we eat out or make something easy at home.
Tuesday- normal, but I can plan something a little more complicated or time-intensive because I don't have afternoon or evening activities.
Wednesday- Soup of some kind in the winter, salads in the summer
Thursday- normal
Friday- pizza
Saturday- breakfast for dinner
Sunday- Fried egg sandwiches and smoothies

See? Just a little structure.

So back to Sunday. We usually aren't super hungry on Sundays because we have a late lunch and just spend the afternoon napping or doing lazy things, so a light supper of sandwiches and smoothies (I'll have to share my staple smoothie guidelines with you soon!) is just perfect.

The other day, though, we decided to go a little crazy on our sandwiches. You know, break out of the order and make some chaos in the kitchen? It was fun and the end result was amazing. Best fried egg sandwich ever.

I want to share it with you, not because it's an amazing recipe you need to follow step by step, but because I want to give your imagination a springboard to create your own fried egg masterpiece!

But seriously, if you wanted to recreate this sandwich exactly as we made it, you really would be making a wise move.

Because it is incredibly yummy. Yum-tastic. Even.

But you knew that when scrolled down and peeked at the ingredient list, didn't you?

And you thought I wouldn't notice.

Yes, as we all know, bacon makes everything more amazing. So does fresh, ripe avocado. And cheese. Especially Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar cheese (as previously established). Oh, and bagels! Bagels are, of course, also on the amazing list.

So make your list, check it twice, and make some new traditions in your house!

The Ultimate Fried Egg Sandwich (a guide)
You don't really need to print it, but if you want to... (printable version)
a KitchenJoy Original "recipe"
makes 2

2 onion bagels (Safeway artisan bagels are amazing)
2 eggs
4 slices bacon (we used turkey bacon)
2 slices Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar cheese
1 ripe avocado, coarsely mashed

Fry eggs to your desired doneness, seasoning with salt and pepper or Lawry's seasoned salt. Meanwhile, fry bacon and toast bagels. If desired, butter bagels lightly. Spread one half of each bagel with half of mashed avocado. Assemble: place two bacon slices on top of avocado, top with cheese, egg, and other half of bagel. Enjoy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

{Slow Cooker} Sausage and Lentil Soup

I don't know about where you are, but here in just about the northeast-est of northeast Washington it is still cold. It hasn't snowed for awhile, but there are still piles upon piles of it. Dirty, grimy, slippery, slushy, icy. And that brisk air still whistles down out of the Canadian mountains from time to time.

That being said, we still hold our soup mugs tightly! A warm soup is such a comfort  in the chilly winter months, and this hearty collection of sausage, lentils, cabbage, and other vegetables is no exception.

We used elk German sausage in ours (I have a couple of huge packages I'm not sure what to do with- any ideas?), but you can substitute whatever kind of smoked sausage variety you like.

The addition of cayenne pepper turns up the heat in a different way, and again, you can adjust it to your liking. I think I got a little sprinkle happy, cause our noses were running and we decided we needed a dollop of sour cream to cut the spice!

By the way, have you ever used the word "dollop" for anything but sour cream? Just thought I'd throw that out there, because I don't think I have. Hm.

Whatever you do, make sure to put this soup on your list before winter is over- you'll be happy you did!

Slow Cooker Sausage and Lentil Soup
adapted from
makes about 6 servings

7 oz. dry lentils (about 1 cup), rinsed
1 small onion, diced
1/2 of a small head of cabbage, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 (depending on size) smoked sausages, chopped
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours. If desired, serve topped with sour cream.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted! Sorry about's been a little crazy since the holidays. But, I'm back now, and hopefully will be able to swing right back into the routine of regular writing again.

This treat, which I actually made back in December for my Christmas party, comes to you now just in time for Sunday's big game.

However, if you don't happen to be interested in football (like myself), throw a party anyway.

Yep, this ball of cheese is THAT good.

You knew it was when you saw bacon in the title, didn't you?

This appetizer was such a big hit at my Christmas party (especially with the men, mind you, who aren't necessarily the world's biggest cheese ball fans) that it even overshadowed what I thought would be the bigger hit- a sweet take on the cheese ball that tastes like cookie dough! Hopefully I'll get that recipe posted on here one day too, but seriously. Bacon trumped cookie dough. This is a serious matter.

It couldn't be easier to roll up one of these crowd-pleasers, so you really don't have an excuse. Break out the Ritz (Wheat Thins are also awesome) and have a party!

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
slightly adapted from The Recipe Critic
makes one large cheese ball

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 (1 oz.) packet dry buttermilk ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 (3 oz) jar real bacon bits (or use a few slices fried and crumbled real bacon!)
pecans or almonds, finely chopped for coating

Mix together cream cheese and dry ranch mix (this is really easy if you do it in your stand mixer).
Add cheese and bacon and mix thoroughly. Shape into a ball (it helps to use a piece of plastic wrap to form it) and roll in nuts to coat. Store in the refrigerator. Serve with crackers.
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