I’m writing today, fueled by the quad-shot venti peppermint white mocha and anger over my mother’s words on the phone last night.
She said to me. “Why do you have to put cheese on eeeevvvveeerything?”
My argument of, “I do not!” didn’t really get me very far in this discussion.
Then I though, so what! I love cheese. (For those of you who are lactose intolerant or are pregnant and can not enjoy certain cheeses, I apologize.)
As most of you can tell from my epic tale of love and loss with the nacho – well mostly gain, I guess, in weight and awesomeness – I have no qualms about eating, and loving, a dish which is made up of 75% cheese.
In my humble opinion, cheese can add so much to a sandwich. Yes, I agree meat should be able to stand on it’s own but, I will take any opportunity to hit up Trader Joe’s wonderful cheese section and use it freely on whatever I want.
(I feel like I should stomp up the stairs and slam my door after that temper tantrum.)
You know how they say that dogs kind of resemble their owners? I pray to God you don’t think that about me and the Weeze-man. My dog, instead of sharing our looks, shares my love of cheese.
Any time he hears a cheese wrapper being opened, he comes running and will stand on his back legs just to see what booty I have unearthed from the store.
You see, Weezer and I don’t care that, biologically, humans are the only mammals that still eat and drink dairy into adulthood. We know you don’t really need it in your diet, but we just don’t care!
So, mom, sorry, but here is another recipe with CHEESE in it!
Ingredients (makes 5 burgers)
1 ¼ lb Ground LeanTurkeyMeat
¾ Cup Bread Crumbs
A Handful of Fresh Cilantro
A Handful of Fresh Parsley
1 Garlic Clove
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 TSP Salt
1 TSP Pepper
1 TSP Hot Sauce (I use Chalula Chili Lime Hot Sauce for this recipe).
1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Jalapenos, seeded
1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
5 Pretzel Rolls
1 Tomato Sliced
Give the jalapenos, garlic, and onion a rough chop, so they fit easily in the food processor. Add the cilantro, parsley, garlic, onion, jalapenos, hot sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until a thick, but not chunky, paste is made. It should kind of look like a pesto.
Add the chimichurri to the ground turkey. Add the egg, bread crumbs, and cheddar. Mix well using your hands. Come on, get a little dirty!
Form five large patties with the mixture.
Cook the turkey burgers in a large skillet with the lid on, over medium heat for about 7 minutes on each side. The cheese melts and forms a great crunch on the outside of the burger. These are also great grilled.
When the burgers are done, put them on a bun (doesn’t have to be pretzel, I just am really into these pretzel rolls right now) top with a slice of tomato and a dab of guacamole.
PS Mom, I think you are just jealous because you can’t eat dairy, so hmph! Take that!
When I was in the 4th grade, I had my first boyfriend. (I went to Catholic school, what can I say, we start young).
For Valentine’s Day, he bought me a gold ID bracelet with my name engraved in cursive and a teeny tiny “diamond” on it. I bought him the Green Day, Dookie album and a bunch of gumballs. (It’s what he wanted, okay!)
I finally had the thrill of going to a roller skating party with a boyfriend to skate with during the couples skates!
The love song of my generation comes on over the loud speaker. He skates over with his hot green rollerblades, and asks me to skate. All the boys are laughing at him and all the girls are smiling.
We hold hands and skate along, ignoring the immature stares and giggles from the other kids in our class. The song ends and we skate off the floor over to the concession stand.
He offers to split a snack with me. Being the courteous young lady I am, I oblige him.
My mom never really let us get anything from concession stands because they were too sugary or too salty or just plain bad for you so I was kind of nervous about what he was going to come back with.
Holding a tray of nachos and two small sodas, he casually rollerbladed back to our mustard yellow booth. (Yeah it would have been cuter if it was just one soda with two straws. But what do you want from a 4th grade boy?)
Then it happened. I fell in love!
First bite of the circularly perfect salty corn chip covered in the fakest warmest cheese, I knew I was a goner!
What did you think this was about the boy? Heck no! We broke up like a month later.
This is about my love story with the nacho.
Every place I go I try and find a better and better version of nachos, and it all started at that roller rink with what is probably the worst version of the nacho I have ever come across.
I feel like John Cusack right now saying this, but my all time, desert island, top two plates of heart-breakingly good nachos are:
2. The nachos at Los Olivos in Scottsdale, Arizona. (They come served on a pizza pan and are the perfect combination of grease, cheese, salsa, beans, and chicken.)
Luckily, I do not live in Scottsdale, Arizona and we only go to Ditka’s for special occasions, otherwise I would probably need to be wheel barrowed in and out of my house to these dining establishments.
The thing that makes Ditka’s nachos is the pot roast.
I have been trying for some time to recreate this perfectly seasoned juicy pot roast, so I can enjoy the pot roast solo, and so I can make giant plates of nachos for myself any time I want!
After lots of plates of nachos (for research) and much experimenting, I think I have finally come close to the secret Ditka combination with this recipe.
3lb Boneless Beef Chuck Roast
½ Onion, diced
1 Carrot, peeled and diced
1 Stalk of Celery, diced
2 Sprigs of Thyme
2 TBSP Ketchup
1 Garlic Clove, grated
4 oz Red Wine
2 oz Maker’s Mark Whiskey
2 oz Maple Syrup
2 Cups Low-sodium Beef Stock
2 TBSP Salt
2 TBSP Pepper
Season the roast all over with the salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, over high heat, sear each side of the roast for about 6 minutes, until a dark brown color.
Place all ingredients in the crock pot. Add in the beef when it is done browning. Cook the roast on low for 8 hours and 30 minutes.
When the roast is done cooking, remove it from the crock pot and let it rest for a good 20 minutes before shredding.
Pour the remaining sauce through a strainer and into a small sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until it has reduced by 1/3.
Shred the beef, using two forks, place it on some crusty French Bread, pour some of the reduced jus over the meat, spread some horseradish gorgonzola mayo on the bread, and serve.
So, turn on some Boyz II Men, light some candles, and enjoy the love of my life’s mistress, the slow-cooked shredded pot roast.
Chicken Breast, Fried Green Tomato, Maple Cinnamon Bacon, Lettuce, Cheddar Cheese, & Spicy Mustard on a Ciabatta Roll
Happy Halloween all!
Truth be told, I hate this God-forsaken holiday. Actually, I think this holiday might not like me.
Right now my close friends are bracing themselves to hear any one of my tragic costume or trick-or-treating tales.
But, alas, I will not bore all of you with the drama that is involved in being too smart for your own good, which leads you to over think costumes every year and leaves others asking “What are you?”
So while other food bloggers are making pumpkin this and creepy that, I am displaying my anti-Halloween attitude in the form of an awesome sandwich!!!
(I guess if I wanted to buy into this dumb holiday I could have said sand-witch there.)
If you like this holiday, take pleasure in being scared, and have a knack for picking clever costumes, enjoy your day.
As for me, I’m going to eat the crap out of this sandwich, hand candy out to the cute little neighborhood kids, and move on to getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas!!
Ingredients (makes 2 sandwiches)
2 Thin Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Ciabatta Rolls
4 Pieces of Bacon
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
1 Large Green Tomato
1 Large Egg, beaten
Flour for dredging
½ Cup of Vegetable Oil, for frying
½ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Slices of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 Leaves of Romaine Lettuce
2 TBSP Whole Grain Mustard with Horseradish
1 TBSP Crushed Red Pepper
2 TSP Salt
2 TSP Pepper
A Dash of Cinnamon
Add about ½ a cup of flour to a medium bowl. Add, crushed red pepper, 1 TSP salt, and 1 TSP of pepper. Mix well.
I love heirloom tomatoes! They are so beautiful!
Cut the green tomato into thin large slices. Individually dredge the tomato slices in the flour, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper mixture.
Then dip the flour covered tomato slice in egg. Coat evenly, with egg mixture, on both sides. Then coat the egg and flour covered tomato slice in the panko crumbs.
Let the tomato slices rest for about five minutes before frying.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 230 degrees. Add in four slices of tomato at a time and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Let the fried tomatoes dry in a wire rack for 3 minutes before serving.
In a medium skillet over high heat, cook your bacon. When the first side is cooked add a dash of cinnamon to each uncooked side, then flip the bacon.
While the second side is cooking, add the TBSP of maple syrup. Cook the bacon until it is crisp and the maple syrup has become dark and caramelized.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on each side. Then, in a separate skillet, cook the boneless skinless chicken breasts for about ten minutes each side until they start to get a little golden. Let the chicken rest five minutes before cutting.
Slice the chicken into thirds on a bias. Stack the lettuce, fried green tomato, chicken, cheddar cheese, and then bacon. Put the spicy mustard on the top half of ciabatta, and then cover and serve!
Enjoy every sweet, southern-inspired, and crunchy bite of this new and improved Chicken Club!
Cut to two hours later. My husband and I are in food comas on the couch watching Happy Endings, complaining about stomach aches.
After a few Tums, glasses of water, and a good nights rest, we finally feel normal again.
I guess being a kid for a day kind of leaves you with the symptoms of a hangover: a headache, shame, regret, and the feeling like you either need a nap or to go on a run.
When you are a kid, you can eat a plate full of 8 pancakes and not feel the emotional toll it takes on you because you don’t know any better. Granted, you will either barf or end up with a stomach ache after all the sugar.
As an adult you sometimes get wrapped up in these rare moments of “kid-dom” and take it a little too far.
Today, for all of you who joined us in our night of sugary bliss and are now wondering why everything in your house is covered in a sticky sugary film, I have a nice and easy comforting recipe that contains absolutely no sugar.
1 ¾ Cup Cornmeal
¾ Cup Flour
4 TSP Baking Powder
¼ TSP Baking Soda
1 TSP Salt
2 Cups Cultured Low-fat Buttermilk
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, rinsed
¾ Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 TSP Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
Combine all dry ingredients and oregano in a large bowl. Mix well.
Combine eggs, buttermilk, and oil in a large bowl. Mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.
Add in the feta and sun-dried tomatoes and mix until evenly incorporated.
Pour batter into a greased muffin tin and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
This is enough to make 12 small muffins or 6 large muffins.
Think of this cornbread muffin as the more adult version of the Funfetti cupcake.