It's time to kick your ordinary ham and cheese sandwich to the curb. Once you've tasted one of these Croque Monsieur supreme sandwiches - you will never want a plain old ham and cheese sandwich again. Seriously - they are THAT good.
It doesn't take much more effort to take your ham and cheese to the extreme - a little bechamel and a sprinkling of herbs and voila - ham and cheese perfection.
2 Tablespoons butter
1/8 cup flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
8 slices of whole grain bread
1/2 pound ham
3 ounces cheese of your choice (provolone, gruyere, etc)
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
Bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
There you go - Ham and Cheese perfection! You are going to love these.
I'm always a little hesitant to try a new recipe for something when I already have a perfectly good recipe for the same thing. When I saw this recipe for Salmon Cakes in my Fresh and Fabulous magazine, I didn't really think too much about it because I already have a salmon burger recipe that I just LOVE. For some reason I kept going back to the recipe though and after reading through it, I realized that it was quite a bit different than the burgers that I had been making for years.
I had never considered poaching the salmon before forming it into patties or coating the patties in panko and sesame seeds. Who knows, maybe I will like this recipe even BETTER than the original.
1 pound fresh salmon
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups panko
1/3 cup minced scallions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons canola oil
Poach salmon, topped with lemon slices, in barely bubbling water for about 7 minutes.
Use an ice cream scoop to form mixture into patties. Dip each into panko mixture and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour.
These were really yummy. They were completely different than the salmon burgers that I normally make. These little patties were more like a salmon cake than a burger. I think it's worth keeping both of these salmon recipes in the repertoire.
I have a bunch of these leftover so I'm set for lunches for the rest of the week too. Bonus!
It's taken some time but I've finally come to the realization and accepted the fact that I am raising "Southern" children. My official evidence that I have a Southern girl --- Courtney's obsession with red velvet cake. (For those of you that have always lived in these wonderful Southern states, red velvet is not a flavor that is nearly as popular in the North as it is here.) As a matter of fact, I never even heard of anything that was red velvet until I moved away from my home state of Ohio.
Since moving South I've grown to appreciate the slight cocoa flavor in a great red velvet cupcake but it's really Courtney who has developed a love of anything red velvet really. When I came across a recipe for Red Velvet Brownies on theskinnychickcanbak.com, I just had to make them for my sweet Southern girl.
Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Icing
1 stick (1/2cup) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 stick ( 1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces white chocolate, melted
1/2 tablespoon milk
Slowly mix in powdered sugar, then white chocolate.
Cut and enjoy.
These brownies were really good. My only critique is that I think the icing should have been a cream cheese icing. Traditionally red velvet is accompanied by cream cheese frosting and they flavors really seem to compliment each other nicely. I'm not complaining about this version because it was darn good - just thinking I might have to make another batch soon with cream cheese.
It's the middle of May and it's already getting too hot to turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen to cook dinner. I haven't broken down and turned on the air conditioning in the house yet - much to the dismay of everyone else that has to live in this sweltering house with me. Seriously, I don't really mind the heat as long as I can have the windows cracked and the kitchen door open. The kids would argue that 92 degree temperatures in their bedrooms is a little uncomfortable for sleeping at night. (Makes them tough - that's what I say.)
As for me, I suffer through a little heat just so I can keep the windows and doors open as long as I can. I've been cooking dinner outside on the Big Green Egg just to keep from having to turn the oven on in the kitchen. We've actually had some really great meals from the "Egg" recently. I made glazed and grilled pork chops from Fresh and Fabulous last week and they were fantastic.
Glazed and Grilled Pork Chops
Glaze 4 rib chops
1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup ketchup 1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups hot water
6 cups ice water
Grill chops until nearly done then brush with glaze and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 145.
Add a side of broccoli and a green salad and viola - a perfect summertime meal.
So as I sit here at my computer, mopping the sweat from my brow because it's nearly 90 degrees in this room, I am thankful that I didn't have to turn on my oven tonight. I know that it's only a matter of days before I will have to close all the windows and doors because the heat will be absolutely intolerable but until then, I'm going to enjoy the fresh air.
Scrolling through recipes on Pinterest and this was the recipe that caught my eye - "Lunch Lady Cafeteria Rolls." I don't know about you but I certainly don't have fond memories of the rolls that were served by the lunch ladies when I was in school. (Keep in mind that it's been 25 years since I've been in a school cafeteria and lunch room protocol has changed in the last quarter decade.) Apparently my experience with underwhelming cafeteria rolls was not the norm though, there WERE school kids around the country being served delicious, fresh baked rolls on their school lunch tray every day.
The image that comes to my mind when I read "lunch lady cafeteria rolls" was completely different than the picture that accompanied the recipe on reallifedinner.com. I can assure you that these were NOT the rolls that were being served in our school cafeteria.
I have to admit that I was feeling a little cheated out of warm cafeteria rolls when I found a link at the bottom of the recipe to another page that featured Lunch Lady Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls! Seriously, were there kids in the 80's eating delicious, freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the school cafeteria in the morning? I'm fairly certain that my school never served breakfast - let alone a warm, homemade cinnamon roll.
I may not have grown up eating fresh bread in my school cafeteria but it's never too late to make up for lost time. I made a batch of these rolls for my family last week.
Apparently the lunch ladies of the 80s were quite efficient. They used the same dough for the cinnamon rolls as they did for the rolls. I decided to do the same. I made 1 batch of dough and divided it in half. I made a dozen cinnamon rolls and a pan of rolls to serve with dinner. (Those lunch ladies are pretty clever.)
Posting the roll recipe today and tomorrow, I'll post the directions for turning the dough into cinnamon rolls.
Lunch Lady Cafeteria Rolls
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 + 3/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons shortening
Add melted butter (cooled), milk, eggs and salt to yeast mixture.
In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Stir until combined. Cut in shortening.
Divide half of dough into small pieces for rolls.
Remove from pans to cool completely. Gently pull apart.
So now I want to hear from those of you who were eating fresh baked rolls and cinnamon rolls in their school cafeteria in the 80s. I have a feeling that it was geographically specific but I want to hear from you to confirm my suspicions. If the lunch ladies in your school cafeteria were. And don't worry, if you're like me and you missed out on fresh rolls in your school cafeteria - now you can bake them for yourself at home.
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