Fried Egg & Avocado B.L.T.

Have I ever talked to you all about breakfast for dinner?

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No? Okay, well now is time.

I like it but I really have to be in the mood for it. And when I am in the mood for it, seems like nothing else will really suffice.

So I give you this hearty little sandwich which can be breakfast or maybe it’s more brunchy… or dinner. Like it was for me!

It is loaded up with tons of thick applewood bacon, ripe tomatoes, mixed greens, buttery avocado, tasty basil and a fresh fried egg. Is that an oxymoron? A fresh fried egg? Oh well… it’s fried and makes me feel fresh-ish so I’m stickin’ to that description.

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These are the types of dinner meals I have to make when Kyle is out of town. Breakfast for dinner to me is not really in Kyle’s realm of finishing a day off right.

I recall my dad making dinner every so often when I was younger. He loves the idea of breakfast for dinner and his number one go-to was always biscuits & gravy. Let me tell you something about Rod Beeman. He doesn’t cook super often but the man seriously knows how to make his specialties. 1. Smoked brisket & pulled pork… don’t even try to challenge him 2. Tri-tip…duh and 3. Biscuits & gravy.

I LOVE biscuits & gravy but don’t make it as often as I would like to due to its rib-sticking nature which happens to add a bit to the love handles too, if you know what I’m sayin’. So what is my sensible solution? A BLT with an egg fried in bacon grease because that’s super waist-line friendly, amiright?

Who am I?

Who cares? Because this is quick and delicious and easy and I say make it when you’re husband is out of town. It’ll make your night at home a little less lonely. Is that sad it makes me less lonely?

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If it is… so be it!

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Sausage & Spinach Stromzone

Give me a S!

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SSSSSSSSSSSSS! You got your S, you got your S.

Give me a T!

TTTTTTTTTTTTT! You got your T, you got your T.

Give me a R!

RRRRRRRRRRRRR! You got your R, you got your R.

Give me an O!

OOOOOOOOOOOOO! You got your O, you got your O.

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I shouldn’t do the entire word, should I?

Alright, I will stop there, but I do have to at least talk about this cuh-razy word: stromzone! Ya know, a stromboli and calzone combined equals a stromzone.

At first, I thought I wanted to make this beautiful braided stromboli stuffed with sausage and spinach and mushrooms. My heart was set and I knew that was what I was making.

And then I remembered… ricotta. Classic for calzones. Not so classic for strombolis. So what do I do? I make a stromboli and shove that baby full of a ricotta and call it a stromzone. Then I make the easiest marinara ever because it is so necessary for dipping drenching and it is the hap hap happiest day ever!

Picture 19 Yep, I done did it and I’m super happy about it and you should be too!

I HATE making homemade dough. I am just not good at it. Gettin’ things all yeasty and perfectly frothy is not my forte. Kyle… great at it. Me… not so much. And since he is out of town, no homemade dough for me. Time to hit up the store to buy some dough. Safeway has great raw dough in the deli section. They make a traditional version and a white whole wheat version in store and sell them by the pound for about 2 bucks a pop. That’s a serious deal if you ask me, considering how much I hate dealing with the aforementioned yeast.

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It’s so easy to roll and stretch the dough out into a long rectangle, slit the sides, stuff the center and pull it all together for a pretty little finish.

I really was needing this cheesy, doughy goodness after a week full of several ups and downs. When life is throwing you some curveballs, ricotta and mozzarella stuffed into an ell-bee of fluffy dough is guaranteed to be a strike right down the middle that you can surely knock out of the park. See what I did there… the whole baseball thing. I know… so clever. It’s a gift. (Yes, I am annoying myself as much as I am annoying you. Moving right along)

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Isn’t she golden? And just a little oozy, in the best possible way?

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Ok another, because I took a gajillion pictures and I have a hard time choosing which ones to show you.

Stuff this stromzone with your favs and bake it up for a weeknight meal when you’re in need to stress-cheese or go the opposite way and use it as a celebratory dough fest when life is giving you the sweetest lemons of all time! Either way, you just gots to make it.

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Give me a M!

MMMMMMMMMMMMM! You got your M, you got your … oh, are we still not finishing this? Okay then, I’m done.

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Also, total side note and having nothing to do with this post…I don’t want to get all sappy on you but I do just want to encourage you to stop today and recognize how good God is. Through the best times and the worst in life, it’s amazing to see Him working through it all. Really makes me realize how wonderful my life is and how I can be nothing but grateful for all that I have. He is good all the time and all the time He is good. Blessings, friends!

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (& a weekend update!)

Sweet taters in the Summmma! IMG_4889 And an update of my weekend, of course.

It was a weekend of ups and downs and I felt all the feelings. I felt grateful, happy, loved, appreciative and sick… oh, so sick. The stomach bug hit me hard and shook me like a dawgggg.

From Thursday night to Saturday afternoon I felt awful! Conveniently enough, Friday morning, my Aunt Corina and cousin Brittany, along with her three littles, Maverick, Hawk and Noelle, came into town for a girl’s day with my momma and me. We went shopping and to lunch and I pushed through then we had an amazing BBQ out at Momma and Papa Bee’s house complete with a feeble attempt at swimming, basketball fun, burger bar galore and homemade waffle cones!

I say feeble attempt at swimming because within 10 minutes of being in the pool, we were swarmed by more freaking bees than you could ever imagine and we all spazzed to get out as soon as possible. Noelle was the only one who got stung and she was fine in a matter of minutes but I am not going to lie, going underwater then coming up and being attacked by bees while simultaneously trying to swat them off little Hawk is kind of scary as crap. Especially when you’ve seen maybe a total of 10 bees over the last 10 years at that pool. Ridiculous!

We didn’t let it get to us though. We played with the dogs and watched the kids play basketball and they even worked on their slam dunks! We ate burgers and chicken sandwiches topped with green chiles and chipotle mayo or sauteed mushrooms and peppercorn faoli along with all of the sides you need at a BBQ! Later, the night was finished with the giving of gifts to my Momma for her birthday. Brittany and her husband, Luke, along with the kids and Aunt Corina all celebrated my wonderful mother with Kyle and me, my brother, Ryan and my dad. Then we all ate the most delicious homemade chocolate dipped waffle cones ever.

Here are some sporadic photos of the kids throughout the night, followed by two photos of dinner on Saturday for my mom’s ACTUAL birthday dinner.

IMG_5048 IMG_5099 IMG_5086 IMG_5079 IMG_5076 IMG_5073 IMG_5037 IMG_5054 IMG_5047 They are beautiful children, right? I can’t handle them sometimes because I just love them so much! Also, them puppies up there. The little black mangey dog that looks like an old man is actual the youngest. His name is Greg and he belongs to my brother, Ryan. Then you’ve got Hank, the English Lab that looks like a walrus but is the best dog in the whole world and enjoyed his time sharing kisses on the little ones. Then the little frail Jack Russell terrier that Noelle is gently petting is our 16 1/2 year old, deaf, blind, rattlesnake-bite survivin’ dog Brandy. She was my first dog ever and is still kickin’. Gotta love her!

Oh, and my momma’s birthday…

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 *Sorry iPhone pics are so tiny

She is just the best woman I know and I am so blessed to have her as my momma and to be able to spend as much time as I am with her. Happy Birthday, you beautiful lady!

Anyhoo, so that was my weekend in photos along with a lot of sickness leading up to this b-day dinner on Saturday night. Thank goodness it had passed by then so I could get back to my normal food-loving self with the most fabulous blue cheese and roasted garlic topped filet mignon… yum!

But really, I am sure you are just here for that sweet potato right down there…

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Yep, that ^ guy. It is the easiest summer meal and can be fully prepped before hand then reheated and thrown together so quickly. Bake off some sweet taters and chicken, toss in some bbq sauce, open a can of black beans and layer it all up then top it with a poached egg and a whole mess of tangy greek yogurt. It’s got plenty of healthy goodness and flavor galore to make for a fantastic dish.

You can make any variation of this stuffed tater and add different beans or meat as you like. The options really are endless and if a poached egg is not really your thing, fry it up instead or I suppose you could omit it but I would certainly not recommend that because…

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Just look at that yolk. Get out of town and go make this. 

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Grilled Romaine Wedge Salad with Herb Yogurt Dressing

Salad overload!

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If I could stop making them for dinner then I would stop posting them on here for you all but that doesn’t appear to be the haps anytime soon. Basically, if it’s what Kyle and I are eating for dinner… then it’s what you guys are reading about. Not really sorry about it either since summer is about light salads with herby yogurt dressing and tons of corn and a whole head of romaine to yourself.

If you are worried about the lack of sustenance in this salad and the fact that if you make all my dinner recommendations then you might just blow away… worry not, my friends. This salad is ha-youge and even Kyle was barely able to finish what was left on my plate.

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Now the inspiration for this kewt little dish was a grilled wedge I had from Joe’s Farm Grill last week. This place is UH-MAY-ZING.  I’m talkin’ breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, guys. All meals point to Joe’s.  Best part is that it is seriously located about 4 minutes from our front door which makes it as conveniently dangerous as it is conveniently delicious.

A few things I love about Joe’s Farm Grill.

  1. FRESH FRESH FRESH!:This is what eating local is about. Joe’s Farm Grill is located right in the gorgeous little neighborhood called Agritopia (the place Kyle and I would’ve moved if not living where we are now). The community has a lovely garden supplying produce to the restaurant and the Farmer’s Market that takes place every Saturday and Wednesday.
  2. Price: Because you are eating local goodness… the price is right!
  3. Flavor: Joe and his people know how to do it right. The owner, Joe Johnston, also owns Joes Real BBQ, which was his first establishment in Gilbert and home to our Wedding Rehearsal Dinner (YUM!), and Liberty Market which is one of our favorite places for… you guessed it- breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.
  4. Vibe/Atmosphere: Like all of Joe’s restaurants, the sense of Gilbert really shows through. They are hip and current restaurants with a comforting and homey feel that really shows the amount of time and passion that is put into each dish. The owner, Joe, is always supporting other local restaurants and shops by including their ingredients in dishes. It is inspiring!

After all this bragging about Joe’s Farm Grill and if you haven’t been there a billion times like I have, then I am sure you are wondering “Well, what would you recommend to eat?” Easy…

Breakfast: Juevos de Farm Grill AND an order of the Apple Fritters to share with a friend (or eat by yourself, either way is fine)

Lunch: Grilled Wedge Salad if you are feeling lettucey or my personal fave, the Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries OR Onion rings, if you are feeling large and in charge.

Dinner: All of the BBQ items from the smoker are so good and really from the smoker which is obviously essential in good BBQ. Also, get on that Ahi Tuna Sandwich, ya heard?

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So after I stuffed my face with that delicious grilled wedge, I knew A) Kyle needed it in his life ASAP and B) I had to create my own version for dinner this week.

I opted for Romaine instead of Iceberg lettuce because Costco has some adorable mini heads and I decided to add some roasted red peppers and corn because I can.  For the dressing, I steered clear of the more traditional blue cheese and instead went for an Herb Yogurt dressing which I think provides the perfect creamy but light finish to this salad. Load it up with some chicken and bacon for protein (since it’s dinner and all, so… MEAT!) and grab that knife and fork and dig in!

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And since you are having a light salad for dinner, you can go gorge yourself at Joe’s tomorrow and thank me later!

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Simple Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Let me help you save some money.

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Today, we’ve got a real short post.

Why?

Because that first sentence and that picture up there ^ are really the only two things that need to be said/shown.

Also, because it’s summer and tomorrow it will be Monday morning at 5:30 am and I’ll need some caffeine before I leave the house to go to work but it’ll already be 90 degrees outside and a hot bev will sound like the worst thing ever so I’ll just stop and get an iced coffee on the way to work but I’ll realize I already used my entire stack of Starbucks gift cards from Christmas and I won’t want to give them any of MY money so I will just settle for being sleepy and grumpy… but then I will remember “Oh wait, no Stephanie, you will not have a case of the Mondays, because you have an entire mason jar full of the coldest brew and you can add some creamy half and half and a little homemade vanilla  bean simple syrup and your tongue and wallet will be the happiest and this will be the best work day ever!”

That could be you everyday this week. Maybe not the 5:30 am in 90 degree heat part. But, definitely the exciting start of a day with a simple pour, splash, tablespoon and stir then sip and save money, YEAH!

Step 1: Cold Brew.

Ground coffee + water + any type of container it will fit in + time.

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Step 2: Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup. (cutest little specks of vanilla bean evs)

It is a MUST and “really takes this over the edge, doesn’t it?”(according to our friend Ryan who came to visit with his lovely girlfriend Liz this weekend). No need to buy those pricey syrups from the store with all the questionable artificial flavors when three ingreds in your kitchen will do the trick for a couple pennies.

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Step 3: Combine in a glass with some half & half or any other creamy goodness and a whole lotta ice.

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Step 4: Enjoy!

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