other people’s sammiches

As a follow up to my last post about the Turkey and Muenster Sandwiches with Blueberry Jam I made, I decided it would cool to share all of my favorite sandwich sites and blogs. You may think that there may not be too many on my list, but there’s a special place for food that’s tucked between two pieces of bread. Just take a look at my Pinterest boards, and you’ll see the love that I have for something that’s pressed, grilled, sliced, or stacked. Sandwiches come sweet, salty, savory, and sticky, but they’re always perfect to me.

In no specific order, here are the sandwich sites I love best:

Grilled Cheese Social. I love everything about this blog. Even the writing and personal stories (which I usually skim over in a food blog) is vibrant and fun to read. Save that part for when you’re trying not to drool over your grilled creations cooling off after they’ve been made. Side note: I’ve never once succeeded in this, no matter how important it is for the good of the sandwich. Drool, everywhere. Sandwich, gone.

Glorious Sandwiches. Oh man. This Pork, Nectarine, and Boursin sandwich is calling my name. These are the sandwiches that give me courage.

Scanwiches. Epitome of food porn. Each sandwich is cut in have and beautifully “scanned,” fully exploiting it’s, uh, folds of meat for all to enjoy. This website doesn’t have recipes, per say, but with listed ingredients and the detailed photos, I think you can figure out the assembly on your own.

How Sweet It Is. Okay, this isn’t technically a sandwich blog, but How Sweet puts out some good sandwiches pretty often. Check out the Sandwiches category page and pay special attention to what I’ve got my eyes on. Savory: crispy zucchini grilled cheese with dijon horseradish aioli or Sweet: grilled fontina + blackberry smash sandwiches.

Sweet-sonian. Not a sandwich blog either, but man this cucumber goat cheese grilled cheese looked delicious and refreshing at the same time.

Closet Cooking. Again, not a sandwich blog, but this site features some tasty grilled cheeses.

Enjoy!

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sammiches

If you don’t already think I’m weird, you might after this post. Because I just put jam on a turkey sandwich.

I’d like to say it was an accident, that I was drunk and I thought that the turkey and cheese were actually peanut butter, but I actually thought really hard about this recipe. I stared at my mother’s homemade blueberry jam in our refrigerator for awhile, wondering what potential it had that went past a PB & J or a pancake topping. I recalled the turkey-bacon sandwiches on croissants that I would sometimes eat at school, which had a cranberry jam slathered on top, wondering if I could do something similar with the blueberry variety.

So I took a risk and made Turkey-Muenster Sandwiches with Blueberry Jam. My mother is probably sticking her tongue out in disgust by now before she reaches for her own bell jar of jam and eats it in more “acceptable” ways (on a muffin, topping for ice cream, with a spoon…). But I urge you all to not turn away! Take the risk and break free of the sandwich rut you may be in!

Turkey-Muenster Sandwiches with Blueberry Jam

Ingredients:

2 pieces white bread

thin slices of thin-sliced turkey (less is better)

1 slice muenster cheese

spoonful of blueberry jam (Linda Sabatelli’s specialty)
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The first pass at this sandwich was pretty good. It tasted like Thanks-summer (a mish-mash of Thanksgiving and summer). Still, I had way too much turkey on the sandwich pictured above.

So then I tried it grilled, with less meat and more of the cheezes. This was extra yummy because the cheese was warm and melty and mixed with the jam perfectly.
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So even though this particular creation was good, I’m eager to try more sandwich combinations like this. Plus, I’d really like to title my next post “Jam and Ham” or “Deli and Jelly.” Maybe ham with an apricot and dijon spread? Or maybe substituting the jam with real fruit, like cooked apples or pears! I’m getting excited.

i hate muffins

Hate is a strong word. It may be a little too strong used in this title, but I do bear a grudge against muffins. MAKING muffins, at least.

You see, I’m not very good at it.

I know, I know…how can someone screw up muffins? It all seems pretty simple, and then I remember that you can’t just fill the batter to the top of the cups or that the bake time is usually lower than an actual cake. Things get pretty ugly then.

However, I wanted banana bread on Monday, and the bananas were ready for a new life. Being without a bread pan, I had to resort to the muffin tin. UGH.

But, because I’m posting this and you may have already scrolled down to the pictures, we both know things turned out alright.

And for me, this was my FIRST batch of semi-successful cupcakes/muffins EVER. I say semi-successful because I browned the bottoms of the muffins just a little too much. But they were extra-successful with the second batch, which I made with chocolate chips. Yummy.

Also, I decided to use Greek yogurt in this ince it’s supposed to be healthier and I have a lot to use before I leave Chicago. If you’re interested in making some cute cupcakes yourself, here’s the recipe!

Greek Yogurt Cupcakes

from gettin’ my healthy on 

Ingredients:

  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1 c ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 c chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add yogurt, bananas, eggs, and vanilla and mix.
  3. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Mix in walnuts.
  4. In a greased bread pan, bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

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Studio Apartment Cooking (AKA how to eat pork for a month)

The first weekend here Tanner and I went grocery shopping. We got bread, cheese, eggs….and 25 pounds of pork. Yes, this seems excessive, but it is also very economical to buy and absurd amount of meat, chop it up, freeze it, and then eat nothing but it for a month or more. This also has the potential to get very boring. Even though Tanner and I consider ourselves Pro Chefs, three consecutive days of pulled pork eventually got a little old.

So, in case you find yourself stuck eating pig for over four weeks, here’s some tips on how still like the stuff a month later.

Tips:

1. Go meatless. Even though this is frowned upon in most ‘MERican homes, we went without any meat whenever we made spaghetti, complete with LaRosa’s sauce. If you really can’t go a meal without an animal in it, get some dang meatballs.

2. Change your sides. Sometimes we would eat mashed potatoes, sometimes we wouldn’t eat any sides at all. Eventually I even put forth the effort to make my FAVORITE food of all time, POTATO SALAD. I guess I could recommend vegetables, but who really needs those when there’s ketchup?

3. Change your flavors. Tanner attempted to change up the flavors of the three times we had pulled pork, using chili powder, paprika instead of chili powder, and hot suace. Most likely you’ll find a flavor you like best, but it’s always fun to experiment!

4. Mooch off Mom and Dad. I came home for 48 hours this weekend and my parents gave me some delicious PRIME RIB STEAKS from LANGEN’s. It only could have gotten better if mustard potato salad was included. So call up the ‘rents and tell them you miss them. Most likely you can get a free meal out of it.

5. If all else fails, have a backup. Keep TWO kinds of main meat in the house or keep a record of take-out places nearby if you just CAN’T eat pork again tonight. We also sometimes used deli meats in our meals if we were just having grilled cheeses or calzones.

If you wanna know what we did with all that pork, here is one of our stand-bys, Pork Fried Rice:

FRIED RICE

Pork Fried Rice

This is pretty simple. All you need is:

1 1/2 cups rice

2 cups water

pork shoulder (enough for 2 people)

soy sauce

1 cup frozen veggies (we use corn and peas)

2 eggs

Directions:

1. Put rice and water in pot and bring to boil on stove. Lower heat and cook 20 minutes. Stir often.

2. Cut up pork into bite-size pieces and cook in frying pan with soy sauce until brown.

3. Warm veggies in pot or pan with water until not frozen.

4. Once the rice is cooked, dump in the pan with pork and mix well with plenty of soy sauce. Add veggies next.

5. Make room to crack two eggs in the pan. You can mix the yolk in the rice or scramble the egg to make chunks of egg. Either way, distribute the egg throughout your rice. Done!

THINGS I’VE MADE

As if dinner at Girl and the Goat wasn’t enough, I made a lot of yummy meals with Tanner this week too.

Like these calzones.IMG_0541

And these grilled cheeses!

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Both were made with the mozzarella cheese Tanner made and some other delicious ingredients we bought. Like normal people do.

To spread the love, here’s the recipe for that yummy grilled cheese above, out version of Grilled Cheese Social’s Beesting Remix. I could literally eat this sandwich every day. For every meal. Ever. Spicy crushed red pepper flakes, savory sausage, gooey mozzarella, and sweet basil honey?!?!?! Gah, I’m in heaven, and I bet you are too now. Or you will be once you try this.

adapted from The Grilled Cheese Social‘s Beesting Remix

Beesting Remix (remix)

Ingredients:

ciabatta bread (as many slices as you need for your sammiches)

butter + crushed red pepper flakes (mix these two together! add more flakes if you want more kick. we use a general 3:1 ratio of butter : flakes)

basil infused honey (mix 4 tbsp honey with a few dashes of basil. it would be better if it was fresh, and it would EVEN better if you did this part way before =hand so the flavors can mix. like the night or 8 hours prior to sandwich making)

3 thin slices of sorpressata hard sausage (or as much as you can fit on your bread)

slices of mozzarella (enough to layer twice!)

Directions:

1. Warm up skillet to about medium/medium-high. Have all your ingredients ready!

2. Start with one slice of bread. Coat one side in the crushed red pepper flake butter and then drizzle the basil infused honey onto the other side. You can just plop your buttered side onto the skillet and then honey up your other side, but I like making this part difficult so I have an excuse to lick my fingers.

3. Any way you do Step 2, put your bread butter side down on the skillet and add a layer of mozzarella. Then the sorpressata. Then more mozz. Mozz mozz mozz.

4. Coat your second piece of bread with the butter on one side and honey on the other, then place the honey side down on your last layer of mozz. Smush as you feel necessary.

5. Grill each side carefully, maybe about 3 minutes each. You have to be careful to not burn the red pepper flakes because they taste bitter if you scorch ’em. But honestly, I did that a little and it wasn’t so bad. You DO NOT want to undercook these babies because the gooey, chewy mozzarella part is arguably the best part.

6. Once your sweet and savory grilled cheeses are cooked to perfection, slap ’em on a plate and devour.

GIRL AND THE GOAT

I’m still dreaming about this meal. 

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And mourning the future of my bank account.

But it was all so worth it.

As soon as I found out I would be working in Chicago this summer, I immediately made a reservation for Girl and the Goat. Like, seriously, I didn’t make a packing list or even find an apartment, I made a reservation for dinner. I wasn’t even sure what Girl and the Goat offered (although goat items was a guess). I wasn’t sure if I could afford to eat there (which is still in question). All I knew is that that is where everyone told me to wine and dine. But mostly dine.

So when the day arrived (yesterday), I could hardly believe I was finally going to the place I made a reservation at THREE MONTHS AGO. You plan things like vacations and class schedules that far ahead, not one night’s dinner. All the hype and anticipation only. The girl, the goat, and Maddie. Two girls and a goat. I like  made me more excited for my dinner with The Girl and the Goat. The girl, the goat, and Maddie. Two girls and a goat. I like it.

But in actuality it was just me and Tanner. And some goat.

I had had a pretty rough day by the time I got there, but suddenly the hours of AutoCAD and the sandstorm/sideways rain I had just endured were now unimportant. BECAUSE I WAS AT GIRL AND THE GOAT. The waitstaff were the most polite and attentive waitstaff to have ever waited on me, and I desperately wanted to be friends with our waitress, Danielle (is it creepy that I remember her name?). She was very upbeat and gave us great recommendations and explanations, even if she warned us that three plates each might be a little heavy. Haha, Danielle. You do not know the depths of my stomach.

And so, here it is, our feast line-up:

Blood and Goats. Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Leopold Tart Cherry , Savannah Madeira, Orange.

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Kona Kampachi Crudo. Crisp pork belly, chili aioli, caperberries.

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Goat Empanadas. Romesco, radish-endive slaw.

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Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face. Sunny side egg, tamarind, cilantro, red wine-maple, potato sticks.

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Peek a boo!

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Chickpea Fritters. Royal trumpet mushrooms, okra-tomato relish, mushroom aioli, prairie fruits chevre.

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Duck Tongues. Tuna & black bean poke, crispy wontons, piri pir.

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Crisp Braised Pork Shank. Grilled spring onion kimchee, buttermilk dressing, naan.

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Everything was delicious–especially the pork shank. Danielle informed us was a take on the chicken wing with a crispy outer skin and fall-off-the bone meat, complete with a ranch-like sauce and buffalo sauce.

If that wasn’t enough, we also got dessert. And I wanted two.

However, Danielle, being the sweetheart that she is, took note when we said that we were celebrating our three-year anniversary and brought us a third dessert as well!

Strawberry Parfait. Buttermilk custard, shortcake crumble, salted pistachio.

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Miso-Butterscotch Budino. Bacon toffee, glazed pineapple, candied cashews.

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Goat cheese bavaroise. Sweet corn nougat, blueberries.

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Since I measure my nights in laughs had, calories consumed, and money spent, I’d say it was a night well spent.