French Onion Soup Made Easy

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Don’t tell me that you skip over the crock of french onion soup whenever it is on the menu. I have a hard time not getting it! The cheese that oozes over the top of the crock, the delicious piece of bread in the middle, does it really matter what the broth tastes like at that point? But still, even the broth of french onion soup beats out most soups. Then there are the strategies in eating it. Some people mix the cheese in and eat throughout, others save the cheese for last, even others dive right into the bread. No matter what way you eat it – it is indeed tasty.

So one of those cold winter days (feels literally like yesterday), my wife took out the dutch oven and asked “what do you think of french onion soup tonight?” To which my response was, “well, do we have enough cheese?” Hells yes we did. Hours later, we had nice hot bowls (sorry, we don’t have crocks yet) of french onion soup oozing with cheese over the top. This was a success that went straight into the recipe book. Here you go.

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Weekday Brunch: Simple Sausage Strata

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What’s a strata? Well, a breakfast strata is a casserole made of egg, cheese, bread, and breakfast meat. Ron Swanson’s dream (other than a heaping pile of bacon on top of an additional pile of bacon, on top of sausage). Anyway, at work, our gracious overlord bought the staff breakfast, but we were also asked to bring a casserole of our choosing. …or juice. Well I wasn’t going to be the ass face that brought juice, so I went to one of my favorite brunch items that was also one of the easiest – Sausage Breakfast Strata. Why? Because I’m an awesome team player with a culinary hand that will blow your face off by surprise. Bitches.

What could go wrong? You have breakfast in one dish. Bread, cheese, sausage, and egg. That’s a 2-2-2 deal in diners across this nation. A staple that one shan’t take away. So I made it the night before, let it sit in the fridge, and woke up early to pop this in the oven. I brought it into work, and BINGO-BANGO – it was destroyed by all. “Oh, I didn’t know you were a good cook!” “YOU made that?!” “Hey, everyone loved that breakfast casserole you brought in.” Faces. Blown. Off. And you can too…here’s how.

Simple Sausage Strata
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Ingredients

6 Eggs

2 cups Milk

1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of mustard (yellow or dijon)

1 loaf of bread (your favorite – something crusty)

1 – 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 Sleeve of Sausage (1 lb crumbled sausage)

Salt & Pepper

Recipe

Cook the sausage to brown

Whisk together eggs and milk with salt & pepper

Cube your bread (I had a nice crusty loaf of Puerto Rican bread)

Grease an oven-safe baking dish (about 13 x 9)

Cover the bottom of the dish with cubed bread (use crust parts first). Eat the extra.

Sprinkle sausage on top of the bread – throughout entire dish. Use all sausage.

Sprinkle about half of the cheese on top of the sausage.

Cover with egg mixture

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top

Cover with foil and let sit in the fridge overnight. You don’t HAVE to do this, but it tastes better this way.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the dish (uncovered) for at least 35 minutes. Depending on your oven – it may be longer. To check, put a knife in the center and it should come out clean. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

School House Pub Cheese Board

Food Porn Champion: A Drool-worthy Cheeseboard

School House Pub Cheese Board

If there’s anything I love in this life, it’s a cheese board. And this is an especially gorgeous one, the “National Map of Cheeses,” hailing from School House Pub in Austin, Texas. Fancy fromage, local fruit marmalade, Texas honey, whole grain mustard, and fresh herbs. What’s not to LOVE?! This shot even got picked up off my original Instagram and featured on a cheese board Instagram (lol what, yes, there really is such a thing) so apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this is one gorgeous piece of work.

Baked Swiss and Garlic Dip

Endless Super Bowl: Top 10 Recipes for Your Football Party

Yeah yeah YEAH SONS!!!!! This Sunday is the Super Bowl and the Seahawks are BACK, BABY! Loyal ES readers may remember that I am from Seattle and loooove me some Hawks and made this ultra-handy Super Bowl Snacks for Seahawks Fans last year, and that post still stands because OBVIOUSLY THE SEAHAWKS ARE BACK IN THE ‘BOWL.

(If you want me to stop typing in all caps, SORRY NOT SORRY I CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP because I LOVE THE SUPER BOWLLL)

This year, though, to add to my Seahawks-centric list, I thought I’d share a Top 10 list of general football recipes guaranteed to please any Super Bowl partiers. There is NO shortage of Super Bowl recipes online but these are the tried-and-true snacks we’ve successfully made in the past, and/or new (to us) recipes I’m excited to try this weekend. Need even more inspiration? Take a gander at our Endless Super Bowl Pinterest board.

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese from Half Baked Harvest

Big Popper Buffalo Chicken Bacon Grilled Cheese

What… even… ARE YOU? Once again, one of my personal favorite food blogs, HBH, comes through with an amazing recipe and gorgeously mouth-watering photos. I want, no, NEED this sandwich in my life.

Baked Garlic & Swiss Dip from Endless Simmer

Baked Swiss and Garlic Dip

I developed this recipe two years ago and it is GOOD. Your breath might smell, but so will everyone else’s, so you’ll be just fine.

Buffalo and Blue Cheese Lil’ Smokies from Inspired by Charm

Buffalo Blue Cheese LIl Smokies

Lil’ smokies are one of Rob’s favorite football snacks (and one of mine, and one of probably most of America, let’s be real…) so obv they’re a Super Bowl staple. The addition of creamy buffalo dipping sauce and blue cheese inside the “blanket” ?! A stroke of genius.

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Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.

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8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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Pile of Nachos Lavaca St Grill

Food Porn of the Day: Nacho Mountain

Pile of Nachos Lavaca St Grill

When we ordered “nachos” at Lavaca Street bar IN AUSTIN, I didn’t realize that meant “a giant metal sheet pan filled to the brim with freshly fried tortilla chips smothered in both queso fresco and hot melted queso, spicy black beans, sour cream, fresh pico, and tons of jalapenos.” Really the giant sheet pan aspect and the combination of fresh cheese plus hot queso made these a shocking success. Plus the SHEER SIZE. This is like ten pounds of nacho.

Nacho Mountain

Ultimate Hangover Sandwich in Seattle

Food Porn of the Day: Ultimate Hangover Sandwich

Ultimate Hangover Breakfast Sandwich Seattle

On a recent visit back to my hometown of Seattle, my friends and I were in a dire hangover situation. We needed greasy goodness but after a night of questionable “dining” choices (midnight quesadillas and – dare I admit it? Domino’s pizza) we also wanted something that was actually well-made and worth our time. No ordinary diner breakfast would do.

Luckily pub/restaurant Lot No. 3 had us covered. This is their grilled cheese (made with Beecher’s – some of the best cheese ever, also Seattle-based) with three important additions: a runny fried egg, caramelized onions, and BACON. But not just any bacon. House candied bacon. Be still my heart (literally, I think I had a mini heart attack while devouring this, but it was worth it). Plus, it doesn’t come with some bullshit salad on the side or whatever. It comes with a miniature bowl of tomato soup. TOMATO SOUP! What else could you possibly need when you’re hungo and hangry?!