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. Kathy says

    Oh, my gosh, Christy, that grilled cheese looks beyond incredible! I’m going to have to try that SOON! Have a wonderful time on your trip, and show them Southerners know a thing or two!

  2. Jennifer says

    Okay, I don’t eat mayo but I might have to try the baconnaise. That sounds divine! This may be dinner one night this week. I love breakfast for supper! Have fun in California!

  3. Shannon Lindsay says

    Dear Christy,

    So excited for you and your trip to CA. Please take this piece of advice….

    DON’T DRIVE!!! Take their offer for getting you a car/driver. I promise you, it will make the trip much more enjoyable if you don’t have to worry about getting around. I promise it won’t look bad on us Alabamians if you do.

    Love ya!
    Shannon

    P.S. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, you driving in CA by yourself could be fodder for a really great blog post…. uhmmmm….forget everything I said above…and take lot’s of pics…and your chocolate chip cookies just in case you get lost and need help! : )

  4. Pam Moser says

    Oh MY, Christy. That looks soooo good! Whenever I can’t think of anything for dinner, I’ll suggest grilled cheese sandwiches. I know my husband will say “That would be perfect!” It might be his favorite food – well, after lobster.

  5. misti says

    girl you continually crack me up! congrats on the trip-need a driver?? I am a Bama gal who can drive better than any texan! just let me at em, I have negotiated traffic on the Kennedy expressway and showed some yankees the hard way that if you get out of line in traffic in bama you DONT GET BACK IN TIL EVERYONE HAS PASSED!

    I would love the coupons by the way. go check out my post about my cvs trip today :)
    http://fillingamefamily.blogspot.com/

    • Wanda says

      Hello, I’m a native Texan who can drive better than any Bama gal – just kidding you, Misti. I AM a native Texan, but I don’t really like big city (Houston) driving. I prefer small town and countryside roads! Much less stress and pretty scenery!

      Jennifer – I also love breakfast for supper! Christy’s grilled cheese masterpiece looks yummy. I have plenty of fresh eggs from my chickens and will have to whip up a few and try this.
      I have only eaten grilled cheese sandwiches grilled with butter or marg – never dry. I’m not sure if I will give that up!

      My grandma always had bacon grease in a can on her stove, but my mother said no to passing on that tradition!

      Best of luck to Christy! Knock um dead! (Not really)

  6. BillGent says

    Dear California,

    Soon you will be visited by a woman from Alabama who has never been out of the south (except for those times she has).

    She will be driving on your freeways on this first time visit.

    Please tell everyone to get the *&*#!&$ out of the way.

    Thank you.

    Love, Alabama.

  7. says

    My Gremma put bacon grease in dang near everything, and I follow her lead wholeheartedly! Eggs made in a pan with cooking spray taste like fish…don’t ask me how fowl turns to fish in the pan, but I de-clare it does happen! Now, eggs made in a pan with some bacon grease…mmm, now we’re talking! My grease, just like yours, sits on the back of the stove in a mason jar and is added to greens, beans, tators, and eggs. Now, my brother, who is a marvelous cook (man alive, can he make the best ever lasagna, and a gob of other smack your Mama goodies!!) refuses to use bacon grease in any of his dishes, and I believe that just ain’t right. He is 9 years younger than me, and by the time he came along, my Gremma’s kitchen (that I grew up in) was alot less productive than it was when I was “helping”. So his culinary skills came mostly from Jeff Smith on PBS, which is wonderful, but I don’t remember Jeff ever using Bacon grease. My goals are to get him to add (as you refer to it) the nectar of southern cooking to a dish and to find some finanical backing into a little business of making spray cans of bacon grease…lol! I believe I might be able to retire early!!

  8. Kristi says

    Grilled Cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup, a Dill Pickle and a nice big Dr. Pepper! Thats my favorite. That just might be dinner tonight! Thanks Christy!
    Good Luck in LA! Watch out for those crazy Starlets and their side-swiping!

  9. says

    Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! We need some sliced cheese in this house…we’re running low.

    BTW, there is NO WAY I could make that sandwich. Not because I’m a Yankee, but because Hubby hates mayo(he’s insane) and I can’t have pork. I’m allergic. Feel sorry for me…

  10. Alisha says

    Your grilled cheese looks delicious!! Good luck in LA and have a great time!!

    PS I made your Dishpan cookies today and they turned out great. My 5 year old helped me and he was amazed at how big they turned out. Thanks for the great recipes!!

  11. says

    I was introduced to grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches when I went away to college in PA. Oh.My.Goodness.
    Bacon, egg, and cheese on bagels is one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches…

    I will be attempting your recipe soon!

  12. Anna Case says

    I love reading your blog! I always come away with a grin! I thought I had spent enough time in the South to have heard everything, but you suprised me with baconnaise. I must say that grilled cheese sandwiches have been a sanity saver (we know what a precious limited resource a mom’s sanity can be)in my house with my picky eaters. :)

  13. Katherine says

    I too love your blog! I grew up in Alabama and Georgia and with a mason jar of bacon grease sittin on the stove! It does make everything taste better! I always smile when I read your blog… so many memories of my “raisin”! This grill cheese is what I always order from Waffle House! Don’t know why I never thought to make them myself at home! We love Kraft singles around here and I have become an avid couponer thanks to Southern Savers! Thanks so much for brightening my day each day!:)

  14. Karen says

    I thought everyone saved bacon gease. I use it to season green beans and when I make corn bread; in the batter and to grease the iron skillet. When I was in grade school, we lived close enough to go home for lunch and a grilled cheese sandwich was usually what I wanted. Enjoy your trip to California. Take care.

  15. says

    Oh man, that looks soooo good! The only thing that would make it better is if the egg was fried over medium so every bite has a bit of soft, creamy yolk in it. I think I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. :-)

  16. says

    So funny that you’ve never seen a real mountain. Here in Salt Lake, I see mountains any time I look out a window. And we have some stacked highways here too – don’t worry, they freak me out too, but aren’t really all that bad once you get used to them.

    Those have got to be the most decadent, incredible grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever seen. They look incredible! Baconnaise has it right – everything should taste like bacon.

  17. Stacey (sister-in-law) says

    Christy, When I think about you driving in California, I think about the time you backed into my truck IN YOUR DRIVE WAY! :0)
    Good luck California!! LOL Have a good time!

  18. Angela says

    Oh.Mah.Gosh!!!

    I think I have died and have landed in bacon heaven!!! Baconnaise??? How can this BEEEEE???? I must have some right NOW!!!

    Thansk for the recipe, Christy! My arteries can’t wait to eat this sammy! LOL *wink*

  19. Liz says

    That looks amazing. I know you haven’t invested in the Smell-o-vision yet but that picture was so good I could almost taste the melted cheese. I was looking for a quick easy dinner for tonight (because there’s nothing in the world I want less to do than go grocery shopping today) and this is it. My husband will love you forever for this one! Good luck in L.A., the traffic reminds me of D.C. and Atlanta combined- fast and relatively courteous. My family drove through there in January on our way to see the Redwoods. One thing, you absolutely have to go to an In and Out Burger if you’ve never been. BEST fries I’ve ever had. And their shakes are amazing. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. =)

  20. mary beth says

    I can’t wait to get to the store and look for the Baconaise…that sounds intriguing! I have to say your grilled cheese sandwich looks WAY more interesting than mine ever did, so I am going to trust you and get some of that stuff…hope they sell it out here in Kansas!

  21. says

    My one piece of advice if it is at all possible eat here:http://www.farmerboys.com/ It’s a Southern California chain that started in my hometown and they are sooooo good. Okay that wasn’t my only piece of advice but had to let ya know. Have fun and relax. If you’ve driven in downtown Atlanta you should be good on the freeways. Also I’m not sure how Athens drivers make their turns but I know ’round here people have a tendency to get on the left side of the lane to turn right and vice versa but Californians don’t do that. And also at least as of 14 years ago restaurants don’t serve sweet tea which isn’t an issue with you and my mom swears Dr. Pepper tastes different out there.

  22. Mel says

    Good luck in LA. The sandwich looks great!!!

    My Granny was the best cook around and she always kept her bacon grease. She had a tin can that sat on the back of her stove and she seasoned everything with it. Can you say YUMMY?

  23. Terri go Dawgs says

    Land o Goshen!! I have been away from my South waaay too long. BACONNAISE?!?! It would seem as if I had died and gone to heaven if there ever was such a product. I know it “aint” sold here in the northeast corner of the U.S. Heck, they don’t even have Waffle House, Krystal or Checkers here! I have to hug my mason jar of bacon grease from time to time to bring memories of grandparents, southern meals with family and actual red juicy tomatoes. My friend Christy will have to ship some to me, overnite delivery (hint), for me to believe it really exists and isn’t a retouched picture, tee hee.
    A big ole CONGRATS to Christy for Kraft hunting her down as a judge and a “heads-up” to California, cuz there’s a whirlwind headed their way called SP Christy. I know the drivers in that state don’t want her driving as she multi-tasks while on the phone, I’ve heard, and anything could happen. I LOVE KRAFT PRODUCTS!! Go KRAFT!

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