It already feels like the dog days of summer…you know those drawn out, loooong days where the sun feels like it’ll never go down and give us a much needed break from the sun. I’ve been living in sunscreen and a hat and sunglasses when I go for my sprints with Amelia because the sun is not our skin’s friend!
The past few weeks, with the weather heating up and all, I was sort of struggling to find new things that were interesting and healthy-ish. But luckily as I was griping to Joshua—my favorite brainstorming partner—and he suggested I make a sabich! I’d never had one before but once I did a heavy Googling session, I was totally sold.
Sabich is a Iraqi-Israeli sandwich (you can read about their history here—RIP Lucky Peach!) that consists of pan-fried eggplant, hard boiled egg, hummus…all eaten in a pita. It’s typically eaten for breakfast (hence the iced coffee pictured) and it is SO good. It’s totally acceptable to eat this breakfast, lunch or dinner.
For this post, I teamed up with Ozery Bakery. If you’re unfamiliar with their bread, it is SO good and soft.
I love nothing more than a good meatball. But when I think of meatballs, I don’t necessarily think of summer. I think of them being more in the “cozy comfort food” category that you’re supposed to crave on a cold, wintery day. Well, I wanted to change that and bring you a more summer-fied version. A version that you could throw on the grill…maybe this weekend when it’s 4th of July!
This post is sponsored ALDI. I went there to get all of the ingredients for this very summery lil’ recipe and a ton more super affordable baking items (read: flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc). I literally can’t walk into ALDI without stocking up on baking ingredients and fresh summery-y produce.
As for summer, they have everything you’ll need, including 100% Organic Grass Fed Organic ground beef, which is perfect for making burgers and most importantly, meatballs.
Before this post, I had never grilled meatballs. Man, I was missing out. I love meatballs to begin with, but the crispiness and flavor that grilling provides is really special.
I threaded them on a skewer and grilled them with a bit of oil. They were delicious. I loved the slightly charred flavor and the chimichurri on top just made it taste super fresh and summer-like. I love queso fresco cheese on everything so when I sprinkled a bit on top of the meatballs, the salty flavor really hit the spot.
Why didn’t you guys tell me I’ve been making nothing but pink food lately?! Good gracious, I looked at the first page of this blog the other day and was GIRL, get it together. Consider this dish/post a big gigantic break from all things strawberries/rhubarb/raspberries, etc. Woohoo!
When I went to college, my roommate was this Dominican girl from Queens named Kim. She cooked the best chicken; it was her mom’s chicken. I remember she offered me a plate and I almost passed out it was so good. Whenever she would cook, I would always make sure to linger around so she’d offer me some and she always did because she was the best.
When I finally asked her why it was so good she told me the spices. The one thing she said her mom always told her was to add A LOT of spice to everything.
And I’ll never forget that because my mom cooked with lots of spices too. I also remember thinking oh I guess that what us Latinas do—we cook lots of spices. Ok!
For this recipe, I teamed up with Ozery Bakery and their delicious bread. My favorite part about them is that I keep them in the freezer so I don’t feel the need to eat all of the bread within a few days (because I will).
This month is the best month because it’s Grilled Cheese month. I’m not sure who comes up with these official months but instead of questioning it, I’m embracing it by giving you my dream grilled cheese on National Grilled Cheese Day: Spinach Artichoke Dip Grilled Cheese.
I thought the flavors of my all-time favorite dip in a grilled cheese would make eye-heart emojis go off in my brain and I was right.
I could write a dissertation on how I think shredded cheese is the ticket for grilled cheeses but I’ll keep it short. If you want a gooey, melty, irresistible grilled cheese, you need to do three things:
#1 Use shredded cheese. And use one that’s really melty. Enter: Fine Cut Shredded Mozzarella!
Club sandwiches should be on that VH-1 show Where Are They Now? because I haven’t seen one grace any sort of menu anywhere for a very very long time. I think it’s because they’re super 90s, like Nirvana and Blossom and no one really wants to remember. Except me.
I love a club sandwich. And I like the classic version, with its barely toasted bread, slices of Swiss cheese, turkey and bacon AND iceberg lettuce and slices of tomatoes. My favorite part is when they were cut into triangles and held together with toothpicks (see: around da stadium).
This version is a little different. The turkey and bacon have vanished and been replaced with ribbons of zucchini, carrots and sprouts. I know. You’re either shaking your head or you’re super stoked and want to try. I’m crossing my fingers it’s the latter.
As you may know, I’m what the world considers a grilled cheese enthusiast. I’m not sure there’s another sandwich that can make me feel all the feelings of warmth, comfort and just plain ol’ fun. For this post, I teamed up with Tillamook, the farmer-owned Co-Op from Oregon, to inspire you to create your own all natural, veggie-filled, gooey, delicious sandwiches perfect for a spring party with friends. Every single party in life should have a Veggie Grilled Cheese Bar. HELLO! This is the definition of comforting fun!
Spring is finally here, which means all of my favorite farmer’s market vegetables are back in season. I always miss them in winter. Winter veggies aren’t my favorite, but spring? YASS! These grilled cheeses aren’t difficult to execute, no, not at all, but like anything simple, the amazingness is in the details. This means paying attention to each and every ingredient carefully.
We’ll start with the most important part: da cheese. Tillamook cheese is naturally aged, made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones and contains no artificial ingredients. This is the real deal when it comes to cheese. Tillamook has actually been making cheese for over 100 years! I vote for giving people a few options. I went with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar (a classic), Tillamook Pepper Jack (for the people who love spicy a.k.a. me), Smoked Medium Cheddar and lastly, Smoked Black Pepper Cheddar (my favorite).
Also, don’t be shy to mix and match them. My favorite combo was sharp cheddar with the smoked black pepper cheddar—it was glorious!
My first introduction to the glory of French Dip sandwiches was after school at the fast-food chain, Arby’s, recently made re-famous by Pharrell’s hat that looked like its logo.
Remember his hat? It paved the way for unfortunate copy-cats. Don’t wear that hat, people, BUT please make this sandwich because it’s legit and tasty and this homemade version is a million times better and less scary than the drive-thru version.
For me the day after Thanksgiving is about celebrating leftovers. While some people decide to spend the day trampling each other for a discounted flat screen, I like to hang out in my pajamas and build the most important sandwich of the year.
You’ve made a version of sandwich before. But this year I’m making it a lil’ bit more special by teaming up with my favorite condiments brand, Sir Kensington’s. Their ketchups are flavorful and fresh tasting, without being overly sweet. Their mayonnaises are rich and smooth, taste homemade and use all-natural ingredients—very good stuff!
By mixing their delish mayonnaise with a few spoonfuls of cranberry sauce, you instantly have a beautifully-hued cranberry mayonnaise. It’s sweet and decadent and perfect for dry-ass turkey.
I also advise putting a bit of gravy on the turkey. That helps too. And you’ll need stuffing and some creamy mashed potatoes if you’re feeling crazy.
I like to use Japanese bread that I pick up from Little Tokyo. It’s perfectly square, almost like good pullman, it’s a little eggy and super soft. I luv it. Of course, brioche or even good wheat bread would also work gloriously.
There’s also a bit of microgreens dressed in olive oil and a pinch of salt for some added freshness. If you had green beans or any sort of leftover salad from the table, get creative and add those.
And since I’m always feeling a little crazy and sad that Thanksgiving is over, I like to build the sandwich higher than I normally would make a sandwich, which means three layers are an absolute must.
I had a bit of leftover cranberry mayonnaise and used it the next day as a dipping sauce for French fries and it was AMAZING. Tart and rich might be my favorite combination ever.
You can pick up Sir Kensington’s at your local Whole Foods. And since the jars are attractive, I also think these jars would be good gifts. I mean, if someone showed up to my holiday party and gave me a jar of Sir Kensington mayonnaise as a hostess gift, I’d know that person understands me as a human.
Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich with Sir Kensington's
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 Thanksgiving sandwich
Serving Size: 1
1/4 cup Sir Kensington's mayonnaise
2 teaspoons cranberry sauce
2 slices of good bread, such as pullman, brioche or soft wheat bread
Handful of micro greens
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Drizzle of gravy
Spoonful of stuffing
Spoonful of mashed potatoes
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Lightly toast the bread if you like. Next, slather three slices of bread with the cranberry mayonnaise. Set aside.
To a small bowl, mix together the micro greens with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. On a small plate heat up the turkey, if you like, I kinda like it cold. Drizzle on warm gravy.
To build the sandwich, add the stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and micro greens. Build it high! Add more cranberry mayonnaise, if you like.
I’m gonna be honest with you: there isn’t anything necessarily fancy about the ingredients in this grilled cheese (minus the brioche). This isn’t one of those grilled cheeses filled with expensive cheeses, spreads or meat like prosciutto or anything like that. This is more about the actual preparation.
Here’s why: The first time Josh and I made a grilled cheese together, I was shocked at how haphazard he was with the technique. The heat was too high, burning the bread! The cheese in the center wasn’t completely melted, and instead of butter, he used olive oil. THIS IS ALL WRONG!
Like all awesome things in life, grilled cheeses are ridiculously simple to make. And like all simple things, the details matter A LOT.
Here is a fun “how-to” on making our favorite childhood sandwich. And, as always, if you have tips on this matter that you feel passionate about, please leave them in the comments below; we’ll all benefit.
A few ex-boyfriends ago, I learned an incredibly valuable less: how to properly make a tomato sandwich. I am forever grateful.
During the summers we’d drive to Virginia to his family’s lake house. It was there where I’d buy big-ass tomatoes from old men who sold them out of their pick-up trucks parked alongside the road. They were beautiful and warm from the sun (the tomatoes not the old men). There’s something about a southern tomato that’s just really special. They’re kinda magical.
The first step to a glorious tomato sandwich is salting the tomatoes and allowing them to sit and drain on a few paper towels. This makes it so the tomato sandwich doesn’t end up being soggy. NO SOG ZONE.
I learned that tomato sandwiches MUST be eaten on white bread.