A little more than six months ago our family was blessed to move to our new home.  The new place provides plenty of room, a big yard and great schools.  My wife, Raquel, loves her closet, the kids (and the dogs) love the yard and the nearby reservoir.  As for me, I love my kitchen.

The kitchen is big, airy and open to the family room. This lets me cook and still be in the mix with the rest of the family.  But of all the wonderful things I can say about my kitchen I think my favorite thing is the cooktop with the built-in griddle.

I LOVE MY GRIDDLE!

The Cook Top w/ Griddle

The Cooktop w/ Griddle

Cooking on a griddle makes life so much easier. There’s just one surface to clean – no pans, no scrubbing, no fuss. And you can cook so many things at once; the entire meal is ready- literally – in minutes. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, griddles just naturally make food taste good.

The best griddle time is breakfast, especially when my hungry boys and their friends are around. Griddle Cakes  or pancakes are the kid’s favorite. I usually do bacon and always cook that first. When cooking the bacon, use the spatula to slide the drippings over to the drip pan, so the bacon will be crispy.  After the bacon is done, I wipe down the griddle with paper towels, and then do the pancakes. The pancakes have the smokey taste from the bacon when you leave a thin coat of bacon drippings on the griddle before pouring the batter.

For pancakes the griddle should be about 350 degrees. You can tell if the griddle is ready by letting a drop of water fall from a spoon onto the hot surface. If the liquid immediately bubbles and evaporates, the griddle is too hot. If the water does boil and evaporate in a minute or so, it’s ready. If the griddle is not hot enough, the water will take several seconds before it appears to boil.

When the griddle is hot enough, pour the pancake batter onto the surface, spacing them side-by-side until they almost touch. I can get eight good pancakes on the griddle! You’ll know it’s time to turn the pancakes over when you see that the top of the pancakes are bubbling. The bubbles will be swelling up and popping before it’s time to turn. When turning, use a thin spatula and scoop it quickly. Thick, coated spatulas (like my big silicon spatula) tend to scrunch the pancake up when you turn them. Let the second side cook for only a couple of minutes, and then slide the spatula under one to check for browning.

Adding maple syrup and butter results in a quiet house while the crowd scarfs down the cakes.

The Hungry Boys

My Hungry Boys & Their Friends

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I love my eggs over easy.  Everyone else in my family moans, groans and frowns every time I sop up that delicious yellow goo with my buttered toast.  My wife (via her Twitter friend @MrBradG) introduced me to a great way to prepare my favorite breakfast: Bird’s Nest.

Bird's Nest

Bird's Nest

I’ve learned the dish has many colorful names, depending on where you are from:   egg in a boat, egg in a hole, egg in a frame, egg in a poke, egg in a basket, bird’s nest, toad in a hole and one-eyed jack.  It was also featured prominently in the movie V for Vendetta.

Bird’s Nest

  • 4 slices Bread
  • 4 larges Eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons Butter or margarine

Spread both sides of the bread with butter. In the center of the bread, cut out a 1 1/2- to 2-inch circle (I used a cookie cutter). In a skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat, place bread, the rounds also.   Carefully break the egg into the hole, being careful not to break the yolk. Cook until the egg solidifies on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a large spatula and cook until the underside is golden and egg is cooked to desired doneness, 1 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.