I was perusing one of my favorite online communities when I came upon the picture below:
First of all, I just want to say… Continue reading
Something awesome transpired here Saturday night. Josh and I hosted the inaugural Melties, a semi-formal grilled cheese dinner party.
Let me say that part again. A semi formal grilled cheese dinner party.
You know, as many times as I say it, it never sounds less awesome. All around, it’s probably one of my better ideas. I highly suggest that each and every one of you conduct your own Melties as soon as you can.
Let’s start with the invitation.
A few of our grilled cheese lovin’ friends received the following invitations in the mail (real invitations on real paper sent through snail mail. Retro, I know):
It’s getting to be that time of year again. Football season is in swing. That’s good. School has started up again. That’s bad. The days are bright and cool. That’s good. It’s darker in the mornings when I leave for work now. That’s bad. This post comes with a free frogurt. That’s good. The frogurt contains potassium benzoate. That’s bad. But it comes with your choice of toppings!
(That’s a Simpsons reference, by the way. If you got it, that’s good. If you didn’t, that’s bad.)
But fall is also the time of year where I start thinking about, craving, making and eating what I consider to be the ruling class of the gastronomical world: comfort foods. And that’s good.
Comfort food is not just a universal cultural icon, it’s a necessity. It’s an inevitability, really. It’s not just about favorites, it’s about associations. And I have a lot of associations. For instance, baked mac and cheese is one of my very top comfort foods because it’s a dish we always have at family holidays. Apparently that’s not very common, but it’s a must for us. And then there’s barbecue, which is more of a summer comfort food for me but really works all year round (I mean, I don’t turn down barbecue for just about anything). I used to watch my dad make his neighborhood-famous ribs and homemade sauce every summer as a kid and it stuck with me. Sugar cookie dough–because my mom used to make sugar cookies at Christmas time and I used to swipe the unbaked dough and eat it while watching my sister play video games. Chili, because it’s the first comfort dish I learned to make on my own–and the first dish I ever cooked for a friend, in middle school. And chocolate chip cookies because…well, I’m alive. That’s reason enough.
And these are all things I find myself wanting in the fall and winter, as it gets colder and darker and a slew of holidays begins to creep forward (or sprint—Costco actually has Christmas stuff on sale. In September). So the time has come, the Lauren said, to talk of tasty things, of stews and soups and casseroles, of comfort foods and drinks. Continue reading
Farmer Lauren had a chicken, e-i-e-i-oooo, and with this chicken she made a sammich, e-i-e-i-ooo, with an apple slice here and an avocado there, here a spice and there a slice, eveywhere it’s nice nice, Farmer Lauren had a chicken avocado paniniiiiiiiii.
This is one of those recipeless recipes. Pretty much you can insert just about anything you think sounds tasty. Like the rest of my life, I didn’t have a plan…I just went with what I had. Continue reading
Sure we just had barbecue last night and perhaps if we were lesser mortals, we’d avoid doing some version of barbecue tonight. Ha. Right. We’re not average mortals. We’re superheroes. Wonder Twin powers, activate! Form of…bbq beef sandwiches!
Just kidding. Maybe.
Anyway, I put it to Josh to decide what we were having for dinner tonight, since I decided the last few times. He suggested pasta. Mmm. Eh. We do pasta a lot. But it made me think of meatballs, so I countered with “meatball sandwiches.” And then he countered with an absolutely brililant idea–why don’t we get the butcher to thinly slice a pound of roast for us and makes barbecue beef sandwiches like I get at Pizza House? I figured sure, it would be like the cheese steaks we sometimes make, but with barbecue sauce. Delicious.
So we did. If you’ve never taken full advantage of having a grocery store nearby with a real butcher in it, you should. They’re trained to do it, they can do it quickly, and they really don’t mind. Talk to them. They have ideas, they know what’s good—and ours today clued us in on an upcoming porkchop sale this weekend…faaaabulous. Anyway, we asked him to just measure us out a pound of one of their great looking chuck roasts and slice it paper thin. Voila! Perfect sandwich meat. Time to get home and get cooking. Continue reading
While Josh and I do love our culinary explorations of things like grilled pizza and Moroccan Spice Chicken, sometimes we like to just go back to a couple of our childhood faves:
Sloppy Joes and Kraft Mac and Cheese.
Now, Josh doesn’t let me doctor up the Cheesy Mac too far beyond adding a bit of broccoli or spinach, but I do have a variety of twists on sloppy joes, including adding in sliced garlic and onion, bell peppers, spinach, steak seasoning, sliced chili peppers, etc. Tonight, though, we kept it simple (and I kept it open faced). Sometimes the oldies are goodies.