Unfortunately, our dogs are conditioned to enjoy breakfast at the crack of dawn. Most days, we will find a cold, wet nose sniffing for some activity, checking to see if we’re alive, usually on my still warm from sleep neck and usually when it is still dark outside. And if there is one nose nudge, there soon will be two. The down side is having a cold nose (or two) poking and prodding you while you still have ten minutes before the alarm goes off. The up side is being greeted in the morning by two very happy dogs! There is no way you can wake up grumpy with two in-your-face exuberant dogs impatient to start their day. Always in good humor and with shiny bright eyes, Amore and Dolce embrace each morning like a Bridgestone on pavement, wanting the day to unfold like a stretch of road opening up wide from a tight curve, at full throttle, gaining traction as they hit the ground running. They have yet to learn the meaning of “sleeping-in”.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are the type of dog that wants to be with you – constantly. Where you goeth, they want to goeth. If they are ready to begin their day, they want to make certain you are there with them. And once up, they will follow me throughout my get-ready-for-work rituals just for the company. They know when the hair dryer shuts off, it’s count-down to breakfast. And, once full from breakfast, they get to race up the drive to fetch the newspaper, always with the hope of a Cottontail crossing their path.
For Amore and Dolce, there is only one way to greet the morning and that is sunny side up!
Cheesy Grits with Ham and Eggs
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 can low-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
- 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 3/4 cup quick grits
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 – 1/2 ” thick ham steak approx. 1 1/2 lbs.
- 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 4 eggs
In a 2 – quart saucepan, combine milk, broth, cayenne, and thyme, bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly whisk grits into liquid and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1/4 cup green onions and cheese.
While the grits are on the stove cooking, heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Pat ham dry with paper towels and coat both sides with the brown sugar. Add to skillet. Cook ham 5 minutes or until heated through and glazed, turning once. Remove ham and keep warm.
Leaving the skillet on the stove , add the butter to the hot skillet and melt. Coat the skillet with the butter, tipping the skillet until covered. Add the eggs, keeping the whites from touching the each other. Fry the eggs until cooked to the desired level. Sunny side up
Cut ham into serving sizes and arrange on individual plates with a serving of grits. Place a fried egg on top of the grits and garnish with remaining chopped green onions