Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Quick Cooks For Busy Lives - Don't Let the Hangry Win!

With football season in full swing, there is a lot of cooking and eating to be done!  The Buckeyes are undefeated and the OU Sooners are hot, so it's a good season all-around!

It has been a very busy couple of months for me and I have not had as much time or energy to cook the kinds of things I normally would in order to have left-overs for my work lunches.  However, that conundrum made me have to stop and figure out quick and easy fixin's that I could make and still have satisfying meals on the go.  Time gets away from me often as of late, and then I find myself getting hangry (the feeling of being angry due to hunger).  So, I thought I'd share these ideas with you just in case you are finding yourself too busy, and often hangry these days as well.

Ok, first up - breakfast.  They say it is the most important meal of the day.  When I was in high school, my idea of breakfast was a Snickers bar and a Pepsi (sometimes I would choose Peanut Butter Twix for a healthier option).   However, now I would probably fall into a diabetic coma if I had that kind of breakfast, and I find that eggs are a much better way to go if I want to actually have enough fuel to get through my day...or at least my morning.  I have always had a guilty pleasure for the big franchise sandwich called the "Egg McMuffin" but as weird as it seems, I just don't leave myself enough time to stop and get one often, plus, I'm not really sure they are made with the best ingredients.  So, I thought I'd try building my own version while at work.

Here's what I used:

Here's what happened: At first I whipped up an egg in a small ramekin and popped it in the microwave set for 25 seconds.  After about 7 seconds, there was a very loud POP! and I quickly opened the microwave to find half of my egg had erupted all over inside it. After several minutes of clean-up, I got got a new egg and gave it another go.


This time, I set the microwave to defrost.  It took a total of about 2 minutes (checking every 30 seconds), but the egg finally got cooked through without any major explosions. Big thumbs-up for me!  Next, I toasted my English muffin and cooked up a couple of pieces of ham in the microwave, after putting it back on high, which I forgot to do until I realized after 4 minutes that the ham wasn't actually getting "fried" on defrost. When they were both done, I began the assembly, starting with a slice of white American cheese, then ham, then the egg.  And then, viola!  Breakfast was served.

So, let's stick with the English muffin theme, because I find they come in handy for just about every meal and/or snack.  For lunch, I found that making these little delights into mini-pizzas was a cinch! It's quick, easy, and delicious -  just how I like my work lunches.  First, toast your English muffin in your Darth Vadar face toaster.  This will keep your "pizza crust" crispy even after microwaving the toppings on it.

When the slices are crisp and warm, smother some pizza sauce on them, then layer them up with your favorite pizza toppings.  I'm a traditional pepperoni kind of girl so that's what I went with, but I'm not opposed to some sausage, mushrooms, or peppers for the next time!

Then just pop them in the trusty ol' work microwave and cook them NOT on defrost, until the cheese is all melted.  Ta-da! Mini-pizzas for lunch!

And moving right along with pizza in mind, this is not actually a work-made snack, but a cook-in-the-oven-at-home delicacy.  I like this for hors d'oeuvres during get-togethers and watch parties as well as my sometimes lunch at home on the weekends. I call it, French Bread Pizza Bites!

First get a loaf of frozen garlic bread or baguette out of the freezer and let it thaw just long enough until you can get a knife through it.  Slice the loaf into angled disks and place them face-up on a cookie sheet. Then add your sauce and toppings, and bake in the oven at 400 until bubbly.  I then like to set the oven on broil for the last couple of minutes to brown the cheese a bit.  Serve hot with a bowl of left-over pizza sauce for dipping.  These are really delicious right out of the oven, but are terrible when reheated, so I do not recommend these as a left-over-for-lunch-the-next-day option. These are a fantastic game day treat and one of my quick-cook favorites!  Enjoy!

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