brinner.jpgHave you ever heard of “brinner?” Until I read up on 2015’s food trends the word brinner had never entered my vocabulary, but now it’s all I can think about. The magic that is brinner happens during the week when you have breakfast for dinner, and the reasoning behind it is that there are too many delicious breakfast recipes to save them all just for the weekend.

But don’t stop at just having plain old pancakes and eggs for brinner. Make this the year you bring home the bacon and fry it up for an eggcellent grilled cheese or breakfast pizza. The sky is the limit when it comes to brinner and bacon combos, so get your griddle ready and try a few of these great recipes.

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My kids say this is the best grilled cheese they’ve ever had, and the real kicker is that it doesn’t really even taste like grilled cheese. It tastes as though you put a bacon and egg sandwich smack in the middle of two pancakes. But don’t take my word for it-try this one yourself tonight. Recipe and photo from Foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

6 slices thick-sliced bacon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

4 large eggs

9 slices Cheddar (about 7 ounces), one of them quartered

Eight 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche bread

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the bacon slices on a rack set over a baking sheet. Bake until the fat starts to render, about 10 minutes.

Baste the bacon on both sides with the maple syrup and continue to bake until caramelized and the edges just start to brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool on the rack, about 5 minutes. When cool, cut them in half.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet and fry until thoroughly set, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Put 4 slices of the bread on a work surface. Layer each with 1 whole slice of the cheese, 3 pieces of the bacon, 1/4 slice of the cheese and 1 egg and another whole slice of cheese. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread. Thinly and evenly spread the remaining butter on both sides of the bread using about 1 1/2 tablespoons for each sandwich.

Place 2 sandwiches into the same skillet over medium heat. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the bread is evenly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook, uncovered, until the bread is golden brown and cheese is visibly melted, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

 
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Bacon, Egg, & Spinach Salad
 
I’m a sucker for a good spinach salad, and I normally pack it with some diced chicken and all of my favourite veggies. But one day I was flipping through a Rachel Ray magazine, found this recipe for Bacon, Egg, & Spinach salad, and I was intrigued enough to try it. The combo of maple syrup and spinach is surprisingly delicious, and if you want to spice it up a bit, add a touch of sriracha. Photo and recipe from
rachelray.com.
 

Ingredients:

2
thawed frozen or fresh waffles, cut into 3/4-inch squares

2 tablespoons
butter, melted

4 ounces
thick-cut bacon (about 6 strips), cut into 1-inch pieces

2
eggs

1 tablespoon
maple syrup

1 tablespoon
balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

3 cups
baby spinach
 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Toss the waffle chunks with the butter and spread on a baking sheet. toast, turning once, until crisp, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. in a medium bowl, reserve 2 tbsp. of the bacon fat. Without wiping out the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high. When the bacon fat is shimmering, add the eggs and fry to the desired doneness.

Whisk the maple syrup and vinegar into the reserved bacon fat; season with salt and pepper. Toss with the spinach; divide between 2 plates. Top each with half of the bacon, half of the waffle croutons and 1 egg. Serve immediately.

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I’ve made this burrito with Mexican chorizo and without, and it’s good both ways. If you have kids and they don’t like spice, you can leave the chorizo on the side and add it in as desired. Make enough of the burrito filling ahead of time and you’ll have a delicious breakfast too. Photo and recipe from foodnetwork.com.

Ingredients:

Pico de Gallo

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1/2 jalapeno, diced, seeded if desired

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, reserving some for garnish

Juice of 1/2 lime

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Burrito

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

8 ounces fresh Mexican-style chorizo, casings removed

1 cup frozen hash browns with peppers and onions, such as Potatoes O’Brien

8 large eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hot sauce

4 large burrito-size tortillas

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

 

Directions

or the pico de gallo: Combine the tomatoes, jalapeno, onions, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the burritos: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up, until it is slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Add the hash browns to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a couple dashes of hot sauce. Pour the eggs over the hash and cook, stirring, until the eggs are fluffy and just set, about 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and keep warm. Wipe out the skillet and return it to the heat.

Warm the tortillas one at a time in the skillet.

Build the burrito by layering the avocado, egg mixture, about a tablespoon of pico de gallo and a sprinkle of cheese. Fold in the two sides and roll up tightly. Garnish with the reserved cilantro leaves and serve with additional pico de gallo and hot sauce on the side.

In the past few weeks we’ve looked at 2015’s Food Trends and took a few of the best trends for a test drive. Has your favourite been spicing it up with spices, cauliflower is the new kale, mixing it up with root vegetables, or my personal favourite, brinner? 

Whatever you decide to cook up this year, make sure you’ve got your kitchen well stocked with my favourite small kitchen appliances.

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A grill cooks up great sandwiches for brinner or anytime of the day
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Make brinner in a snap with a pancake dispenser
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The basis of every brinner is a great waffle, so a waffle iron is a must