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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Will I ever grow up?

One of my favorite late night snacks is a grilled cheese sandwich! I don't know a single person that does not like grilled cheese. White or wheat, American, cheddar, or Swiss, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that one puts a lot of butter in the pan and cooks the sandwich slowly so the cheese is sure to melt.

The other night, I wanted a grilled cheese. Whole grain bread for starters. I then looked in the refrigerator and saw Swiss and provolone cheese. Two slices of Swiss and a slice of provolone cheese. Cooked slowly until golden brown. Like the old television commercials, I tried to do the sandwich showing the ribbons of cheese going from one side of the sandwich to the other. You know, it's sometimes the stupid little things that make me laugh!!

Every time I make a grilled cheese it reminds me of my son David. When he was 5 or 6 years old, I taught him how to make grilled cheese sandwiches. I even have a photo somewhere of him in his baseball uniform making lunch! He once asked how old one had to be to cook grilled cheese sandwiches at Applebees (a local restaurant). He was ready to go to work. He knew he could make a good sandwich.

When I was a child we had one of those griddles that was on a hinge. You folded the top portion over the sandwich being grilled and cook both sides at once. We were making our own paninis before we even knew what they were! hahahahaha So we've always liked our sandwiches kind of "squished"!
With my sandwich I like to have bread and butter pickles, olives, and dill pickles too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Avocado appetizer

I enjoy avocado as guacamole, by itself, or in a salad. I usually eat about 3 or 4 avocados a week. It's one of those things that I always have sitting in a bowl on the counter. My guacamole is different each time. Sometimes, it's really heavy with fresh cilantro and parsley, other times I add green and black olives to the mix. I've even made avocado soup! What a refreshing summer dish. The other night, I treated myself to an appetizer of avocado and French bread. It was surprisingly delicious and simple.

4 slices of a French baguette, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1 small avocado cut into slices
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil... probably 1 tablespoon total

Cut the bread and put on serving dish. I did not toast it, but left it fresh cut.
Slice the avocado into slices or small pieces
put slices on the bread and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and sprinkle with lemon pepper.

The olive oil and lemon juice saturate the bread as it sits for a few minutes and makes for a very simple appetizer. Best if eaten with a fork.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cold January Day

It's a cold January day in Georgia. It's 9:30 am and the temperature is 27F. I've not even had my morning coffee and I am already thinking about what to make for dinner! Am I the only person that wakes up thinking about stuffed cabbage leaves? I've not made them since last winter, but they certainly are a warming dish. I was thinking if I could make a kind of stuffed cabbage lasagna style, using the cabbage leaves instead of the pasta. This is something I will have to think on today. Let's see.... cabbage leaves, ground sirloin/veal/pork mixture mixed with onion, garlic and tomato sauce. I'm wondering if it needs a sour cream/creme fraiche layer mixed with fresh dill. Perhaps just layers of cabbage, and meat sauce for now. I can always top it with a sour cream dill sauce. I may just give it a go. Don't know if I want to spend the time rolling up the individual leaves today. Yes, my dinner is set. Now, I need to find a good bakery with some fresh pumpernickel bread to serve with it. Off to find my Hungarian cookbook to get a few more variations on herbs and spices to use. Caraway, Dill, ... those are a given for me. A nice cucumber salad will compliment it nicely.

Essen Sie! Ok, that's German, but my translator did not have Hungarian! Eat!


Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar