Kraft Singles, L.A., and MY Grilled Cheese Creation!

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Dear California,

My name is Christy. I’m going to be visiting you this weekend. Now I know this is likely not anything for you to take notice of because apparently, lots of people visit you every day, but for me, its a pretty big deal. You see, I’ve never been out of the Southern United States except for a visit to Canada a few years back. On that trip I tried and fell in love with poutine, blueberry pie, and that maple candy which is just pure sugar and about as bad for you as Southern cooking but…well that’s not my point. Oh, in the interest of full disclosure, I also went to D.C. for a weekend but I am told DC doesn’t count as “leaving the south”. This confuses the heck out of me, to be honest but I’ll roll with it. I’m not really a troublemaker, California, honest.

Anyway, back to my point. You see, I am coming for a visit. This is a HUGE deal for me. Kraft Singles is sending me to see you! I’m being flown out of Alabama and arriving in L.A. Friday evening in order to attend the 7th Annual Grilled Cheese invitational on Saturday. I am thrilled, elated, overjoyed, and scared out of my mind. All of this equals to EXCITEMENT! I’ve literally been dancing all over the place since I was first chosen to do this! Just wait til you meet me, you’ll see how excited I am. I’m even excited about my layover! I may get to have it in Denver and that means I’ll get to see a real mountain for the first time! ~squeals~

To make matters even more interesting, this Alabama girl is going to be driving in L.A. I didn’t think too much of this until I heard from a friend that you actually have stacked highways. Having no idea what a stacked highway was, I looked it up. Wikipedia defines them as “The world’s most insane highway concept which can only safely be navigated by native Californians”.

Okay so I paraphrased that. I saw a picture though and nearly hyperventilated. They say the car has a navigational system so at least I’ll have someone to whine to if I get hopelessly lost. I hope I can choose a male voice for my navigator, every southern gal knows that men are the absolute best to have around when one becomes hopelessly lost anyway. Maybe I’ll name him Fred…oh no, I know, I’ll name him Bill after my reader Bill Gent. There, he seems nice already, even if he is going to burst out laughing the moment I start whining. I’ll get you for that, Bill.

I had not originally planned on getting a rental car, but Rachel from A Southern Fairy Tale is going as well and when I asked her what she was doing, she responded “I’m a Texas Gal, I’m getting the car!”, thereby forcing me to get the car in order to uphold the honor of all Alabama women. ~sighs~ Really though, how bad can traffic be? Highways sure were clear when OJ was driving them that time…

Back to the point of this letter. Kraft Singles (which have, at many times sustained my picky children when they refused to eat anything other than grilled cheese) is sending me to your wondrous state in honor of National Grilled Cheese month! The Grilled Cheese Invitational is going to be awesome as I get to photograph, video, and taste grilled cheese sandwiches (they are even giving me one of those new fangled FLIP cameras)! They are going to be preparing and serving up over 5000 grilled cheese to everyone there. I’ll be reporting back on Southern Plate with photos and video as well as tales of my adventure on your lovely freeways (I believe in the power of positive thinking!).

California, do you like grilled cheese sandwiches?I know you tend to be a bit more health conscious than us Southerners but they make this great fat free cheese too and you can always put it on light bread. Really honey, no one should deny themselves the ooey goodness and comfort that is the grilled cheese. To help punctuate this point, Kraft Singles has a great website iheartgrilledcheese.com where folks can go and enter their grilled cheese story in fifty words or less and be eligible to enter one of 500 coupons for free packages of Kraft Singles that they are giving away each week! How cool is that?

Psst, Cali. Between you and me, don’t you ever crave Southern food? You know we can southernize just about anything with a few magic ingredients. You look a little thin, why don’t you come sit down and let me make you my version of the grilled cheese. I promise not to tell. Let me do this for you because I’m hoping you’ll return the hospitality this weekend. See you soon.

Love (Us Southerners are an affectionate lot),

Christy :)

P.S. If you could postpone any earthquakes you had planned that would be great!

You know what? I think Southern Plate should give away coupons for free packages of Kraft Singles, too. I have a some extras so y’all just leave me a comment and I’ll choose a few of you at random while I’m out gallavantin’ with the stars this weekend and post who the winners are. For updates on how my trip is going, you can follow me on twitter or subscribe to Southern Plate by email because I am going to try my best to send my subscribers an email while I’m in the big city and let y’all know how its going!

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Only in the south does a grilled cheese recipe begin with “Fry you up a bunch of bacon…”. Oh yeah, this is gonna be good!

You’re gonna need: Kraft singles (Two for each sandwich), bacon (I am not loyal to any particular brand, this is what was on sale), and eggs. The rest is gravy :).

Note: that was just a saying. We aren’t really making gravy here but I bet if we did it would be even better! I just meant that the rest is just stuff you have around such as bread, salt, pepper, and a wee bit of optional milk or water.

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Fry up a bit of bacon. This is a great time to call on the cast iron skillet because bacon grease is good for it :).

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I always cook an entire package of bacon at a time. Any leftovers can just be placed in a sealed bag in the fridge and used throughout the week in salads, baked potatoes, or sweet and sour green beans. I really need to get around to posting that recipe for you soon! When you are done, you are left with the nectar of a Southerner’s diet : Bacon Grease.

This is the stuff of legend and if you throw it away I will personally come haunt you! I pour mine in a mason jar and put the lid on it. My granny always had a bacon grease jar sitting on top of her stove but you can put it in the fridge if it makes you feel better. Mine is sitting on the stove out of respect for my raisin’. Note: I didn’t just mention a shriveled up grape.

What are you going to do with that bacon grease? Well for starters, you can make Dixie Cornbread which is, in my humble opinion, the best cornbread I have ever tasted in all my born days. TWO whole cups of buttermilk go in that stuff! Anytime a Southerner pulls out the buttermilk you need to be a hangin’ round their kitchen and doing whatever you can to get in their good graces for when the oven timer goes off! Trust me on this.

What else can you do with bacon grease? The uses are endless really but personally, unless I have bacon grease around, I won’t even bother cooking eggs. Nothing makes eggs better than cooking them in a bit of bacon grease. Today, we’re going to make what my nephews all call “dirty eggs” for our sandwich.

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Crack your eggs in a bowl. You’ll need one to two eggs for each sandwich. Add about a teaspoon of pepper.

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Add about 1/2 a tsp of salt

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and about two tablespoons of milk.

This makes your eggs a little fluffier and well..my mama always added a bit of milk so I do, too.

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Imagine a problem in your life that is driving you half crazed and transfer that problem onto the eggs as you beat the living mess out of them.

Aww, now my eggs look all stressed.

Hey, it worked!

~grins~

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Look at our skillet! Some might look at all of those bits of crusty bacon in the bottom and think it is “dirty” but I look at them and think “OOH we should cook some eggs in that!”

Let your skillet cool slightly and leave about a tablespoon or so of bacon grease in there along with all of the bacony goodness that is in the bottom.

I always let my skillet cool a bit before I pour the eggs in because I really like eggs that are cooked on lower temperatures and for longer periods of time. My husband likes to fry eggs (it is the one thing he knows how to cook) and he cooks them REALLY high and REALLY fast. He only does this on Saturday mornings and I swear it makes the house smell like dead chickens. Yeah, thats not very pleasant.

So just make me happy and cook yours on a low temp, ok?

Thanks, I feel better already :).

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Pour your eggs in the skillet and stir from the bottom so that all of the little bacon crumbs stir up inside them.

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While those are slowly cooking, we’re going to prepare our bread by spreading it with a lovely product called Baconnaise. Thats right, Bacon flavored mayonnaise. The fact that such a thing even exists just goes to show that the world can’t be all that bad! Their slogan is “everything should taste like bacon”.

I agree.

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Now I spread my Baconnaise on whole wheat bread. Hey, the whole wheat and the calcium from the cheese are two healthy aspects of this sandwich so you can let the bacon and bacon grease infused eggs slide. Besides, eggs are protein.

See? Its a good thing. Really it is.

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Put a Kraft Single on each slice

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Top with a generous helping of dirty eggs

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And put a few pieces of bacon on top of that.

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Place this in your Mama’s heirloom cast iron skillet that she gave you and that Richard Hall was nice enough to season for you a few weeks back when you really wanted it done but didn’t want to have to do it yourself…

Wasn’t that nice of Richard? I think so. ~smiles~

If Richard doesn’t live close enough for you to con sweet talk into seasoning your skillets, you can read his tutorial on how to do that by clicking here.

Now I don’t use butter on my bread when I make grilled cheese sandwiches because while I don’t mind eating the grease (I AM a Southerner!) I don’t like touching it. So we just prefer our bread dry toasted. Brown that on both sides until your cheese is nice and melted.

Decadence.

Grilled cheese sandwich, Bama style!

Grilled cheese sandwich, Bama style!

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2 slices Kraft Singles Cheese
  • Wheat Bread
  • Baconnaise or Mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon and drain on paper towels. Beat up eggs with salt and pepper to taste, adding in a tablespoon of milk if you like. Cook in two tablespoons of bacon grease until done. Smear Mayo on each slice of bread and top each slice with a piece of cheese. Add bacon and eggs. Toast until browned on both sides in a skillet.
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Comment below to be entered to win a coupon for a package of FREE Kraft Singles!

To see another huge thrill for me, visit Average Betty and see where she mentioned ME, MEEE!!! Yes yes yes, ME in her blog post! I made it on Average Betty! I gotta remember to write California a thank you note for having people like her living there…

If you can dream it, you can do it. ~Walt Disney

(Courtesy of Southern Plate reader, Micha at Cookin Mimi. To submit your quote, click here!)

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Comments

  1. JANE says

    baconnaise… Lord have mercy! How could they get that much good in one jar? I like to fix my bacon in the oven, about 425 or so. less shrinkage and less watching. also, patting some brown sugar on it before you throw it in the oven makes it even more wonderful, all caramel-y and glazed. love your blog, it sounds like me and my girlfriends talking. i’m a fourth generation Texan but my mama was from Tennessee so we got hit with the Southern stick on both sides.

  2. txcharley says

    Christy -
    I jst LOVE you!! You are so funny and so WISE!! As you ca see by the name, I m from Texas (and I don’t know if I would get the car – I have ridden with my husband driving in LA and it was SCARY!!! (and he drives a LOT better than I do!)

    But, all these years I have been making grilled cheese sandwiches with just cheese and bread – who knew? I CANNT WAIT to try your version – ist a complete meal (and so very healthy!!)

  3. says

    First – I love your letter to California! As a Southern Gal who has spent some vacations in Cali, I promise they are nice and it’s a neat place to visit.
    Second – Congrats, so cool that you’re being sent there for the Grilled Cheese Invitational – mmm!
    Third – BACONAISE? Holy Moly that sounds so good I can’t focus on anything but buying some right now (of course it will mean a million hours at the gym but who cares, it’s bacon and mayo!)!!!

    Good Luck!

  4. David says

    Wow what a sandwich. Think I would like to throw some of those together on Sat. mornings before heading out to yard sales instead of a sausage/biscuit or the bacon,egg, and cheese ones that we normally just grab at the corner convience store. I would have never thought to make it like you have. I have made and egg and cheese sandwich where I just butter the inside of the slices and add salt and pepper and make it with white bread. For grilled cheese sandwiches I also like to add a slice of ham to the basic sandwich. For as much southern cooking I know of, sometimes it is like you have reinvented the wheel and makes cooking and food a new joy all over again. Thanks and my prayers go with you on your trip. For as hard as you work to make us feel special, I am glad that Kraft has choosen you to go and to be able to make you feel special in return. Definitely in life what goes ’round comes ’round.

  5. Erinliz says

    HAVE SO MUCH FUN! I used to live in LA and, when you go, you must stop by THE GROVE! It is amazing… great shopping and there is also a farmers market on the right-hand side that has a ton of food and produce and small little stands where you can get things to eat. You will not be disappointed!

  6. Peggy says

    This sounds awesome…I have never heard of Baconaise, but you can bet I am going to be searching the stores here. Make grilled cheese and bacon alot but don’t do the eggs often. And we butter the bread. BF likes his smashed.

  7. says

    I am a Texas gal,married to a California man. He already thinks that Texas cooking is a heart attack,wait till he gets a load of that “Alabama girls” grill chesse.I cant wait to get that on the table.

  8. Kathy says

    The sandwich sounds delicious. Good luck and have a great time in Ca. I have never seen Baconaise, but will have one in my possession as soon as I find some. Bacon grease is one of my family’s prized possessions. My son’s wife threw his out one time while cleaning out the fridge and he was furious.

  9. says

    The Baconnaise inventors were on Oprah today – there isn’t any bacon in it, only bacon flavor, so it’s actually kosher!

    Can y’all believe they actually came up with a bacon flavored lip balm???

  10. Dolores says

    “Stacked highways ?” How funny , I have never heard them given that name . I live near San Diego but don’t like driving in to the “city”. I have driven in LA traffic but prefer not to . We live in the country , don’t even have many sidewalks out here . You are right about the melted cheese sandwich— too many artery clogging ingredients for me . But it does seem to be yummy .

  11. bettycroc09 says

    I make this all the time for bfast. I even use sausage in replace of the bacon sometimes.
    The only difference I don’t scramble my eggs.
    The picture looks good just like mine always look.
    Thks.

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  13. Kristina Pauley says

    This recipe looks delicious! Speaking of grilled sandwiches, I have a question for you. Why is it that every time I make a grilled ham and cheese, the ham slides right out of the sandwich? :)

  14. Margaret says

    I love grilled cheese….my favorite is swiss on rye, and I like a lot of swiss! This sounds like a great breakfast sandwich….. and…..Baconaise? I have never heard of iit, but I`m gonna look for it, For Sure!
    Thanks,
    I love your recipes and your stories!
    :)

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