Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Senate Gruel

A little over a decade ago, I was a fresh-out-of-college kid working the front desk in a Senate office and someone new to “the South.”

Having been used to staying up late at the bar where I had previously worked, coming into the office for an 8:00 a.m. shift was a drastic lifestyle change for me. So, making breakfast was a bit of an afterthought, as I had just hoped to get into the office by at least 7:45 so I could get the office up and running.

Luckily, the U.S. Senate has a cafeteria that’s open early. Before it was privatized, it had a decent buffet for breakfast but with a largely southern flair. Which is where I began my appreciation of grits.

One morning I decided to add some corned beef hash (a favorite of my grandpa’s) to the mix. Then I started adding hot sauce… lots of Texas Pete.

After a few breakfasts I started mixing it all together and calling it the “Senate Gruel.”

It looks disgusting. It’s terrible for you. It is delicious.

Periodically, I make it at home and wanted to share the recipe with you.

Serving Size: One


  • 1/2 can of corned beef hash
  • 1 serving of grits (usually 3 tbsp of the instant grits)
  • 1 slice American cheese (can use cheddar but it gets stringy)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp of Texas Pete hot sauce


  1. In cast iron skillet, fry the hash until crispy. (The Senate baked theirs in a tray… which is more time consuming but good for large amounts.)
  2. In a pot, cook the instant grits.
  3. On a plate, place the slice of American cheese on the plate.
  4. Place the grits over the cheese and add butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the corned beef hash, hot sauce, more salt and pepper.
  6. Mix thoroughly.

Friday Brunch Burger

At my place of employment, we put out a magazine once a week. And those of us who work on the production side have to stay there pretty late getting it to the printer. Like 1 a.m. late. And then there’s all of the little tasks you have to accomplish after everything has been sent where it needs to go.

As a result, you’ll get home after 1, and since you’re already caffeinated, after an episode of Jeopardy! and the Blacklist, it’ll be 3 before you’re asleep.

So, on Fridays. You sleep in. You’re groggy. When you wake up, you want comfort food.

Here’s my latest creation, the Friday Brunch Burger.


  • 1 Egg
  • Powdered seasoning of choice (Old Bay, Tony Chachere’s, Lawry’s, Cavender’s, etc.)
  • 1 Hamburger Patty (or fresh ground beef equivalent.)
  • 1 slice American Cheese
  • Ciabatta Bun
  • 1 tsp Buffalo Wing Sauce (Hot sauce is OK as a substitute.)
  • 1 tsp Steak Sauce (A1 or similar.)


  1. Toast the ciabatta bun in a toaster or toaster oven while frying the egg in a skillet. Season egg appropriately.
  2. Place the cheese on the fried egg and set on a plate.
  3. Fry up the burger and season appropriately.
  4. Mix Buffalo and Steak sauce in cup while frying burger.
  5. When complete, stack together, pour on the sauce, and enjoy.

Yes, my wife is out of town and has no idea this is what I like to do on Fridays when she travels.


Recipe: Red Hot Riplets Chicken

During our first married Christmas, Mary and I brought back a bag of Saint Louis’s famous Red Hot Riplets chips back home to enjoy. As far as chips go, these are some of the best in the country, so we always bring some back. Unfortunately, we thought the bag was partially crushed on the last leg — the drive from Cleveland to Washington.

Mary was sad that the chips might have been destroyed. So, I suggested we use it to coat some chicken breasts and bake them in the oven. Tonight we opened the bag to find them unharmed (the air saved them) but went forward anyway.

Here was the delicious result:



* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 big bag of Old Vienna LLC’s Red Hot Riplets (Order online)
* 2 large chicken breasts, halved into four pieces.


1. Preheat oven.
2. Beat eggs in mixing bowl.
3. Crush to desired texture 1/2 bag of Riplets.
4. Toss individually with care and place on Pam’d, tinfoil-covered tray.
5. Bake at 375º for about 40 minutes, or until fully cooked and serve.

Senate Gruel — Breakfast of Champions

Today as I start a new job officially off of Capitol Hill, I made my favorite old breakfast that I would eat early in the morning in the Dirksen Cafeteria back in 2007 — Senate Gruel.

Now there’s no real such thing as Senate Gruel, but that’s the name I gave for this horrible looking but delicious concoction.

Here’s how you make it:

  • Make 1/4 cup of Quaker Instant Grits
  • Cook 1/2 can of Corned Beef Hash
  • Place a slice of American Cheese in a 2-cup bowl with 1 tbsp of butter
  • Pour the grits and corned beef hash in the bowl
  • Add Hot Sauce of choice, salt, and pepper to taste.

In the bowl, it may look really gross, but I can assure you it’s delicious.


I am seriously considering entering a barbecue competition next year.

(This would be my logo, probably, unless I can get Kenn Merriam to team up with me.)

If so, I think we would serve bomble burgers, bombleque chicken, ribs, and maybe even wings. Sides, of course, would be delicious bomble potatoes. I emailed them to find out things about costs and such. Might be fun.

What would you think I should cook?

New Recipe: bomble grilled cheese

So, with some bacon at my place about to go bad, I decided to concoct a new recipe for the bomble collection.

Bomble Grilled Cheese

Inspired by the trip Betsy, Ali, and girlfriend Mary and I took to Melt in Cleveland over Easter break, I bring you this new recipe. After a batshit crazy night, Betsy smelled the bacon, observed me making this sandwich and said: this looks like a heart attack. Lucky for her, I already named it this. heart attack grilled cheese


  • Four slices of bacon
  • Two slices of potato bread
  • Two slices of Colby Jack Deli Cheese
  • One slice of American Cheese
  • 1/4  teaspoon of Tabasco Garlic sauce
  • 1/6  teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/6  teaspoon of Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning.


Cook the four slices of bacon to your liking, either through the microwave or on the stove. Once ready, prepare a pan with either butter, margarine, or PAM to prepare for the cooking.

grilled cheese

Put the bread down on a plate, and place a slice of Colby Jack on each bit of bread. Place the back on the Colby Jack, and sprinkle the Old Bay, Tony Chachere’s and hot sauce on each slice. Then place the last slice of American cheese on one side and complete the sandwich. Pop it on the pan, and slather the other side with your preferred lubricant (butter, margarine, PAM).

Cook and enjoy, but not too often. This can’t be good for you.