Tag Archives: cheese

A Fierce Sandwich for Fierce Weather

You know how I wrote about gorgeous 80+ degree weather and sunny skies just yesterday?  Well last night at about 3am, I was woken up by the sounds of howling wind and rain and felt like I was going to be the star in the sequel to Twister.  Luckily, that didn’t happen.  But that type of fast change sure is confusing.  And I thought the saying was that “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb?”  So far, April is roaring fiercer than the past month.

Now that I have grey skies and wet feet, I’m craving some comfort food.  I’ve realized that my appetite is easily swayed by the weather.  What’s more comforting than some doughy bread, butter, and cheese?  Not much, in my opinion. 

I concocted this little sandwich and will be wrapping it up to take with me for lunch today.  Just like this weather, it seems a bit confusing.  It seems that it wants to be your typical grilled cheese, but then it gets a little bit of French influence from adding jam and not-your-typical cheeses.  Even though it’s odd, it’s good, and will make this rainy day a little bit brighter.

Grilled Blue Cheese & Jam Sandwich
Serves 1

2 slices whole wheat bread
1 Tbsp. butter
1 oz. blue cheese crumbles
1 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp. strawberry preserves or jam

Heat a small pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  While pan heats, spread butter onto each slice of bread to coat evenly.  Flip over one of the bread slices, and spread jam onto the opposing side.

Place the non-jammed slice of bread with the butter side facing down into the pan.  Top with the mixture of cheeses and then the other slice of bread, leaving the buttered side up top.  Let cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until bread is golden brown.

Flip over carefully with a spatula, and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until it is just as golden.  Remove from heat, slice, and enjoy.

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Comfort Food

To me, one of the best feelings in the world is when you get home after a very long work week and know that you have a day off (or two, if you’re lucky).  It was a very comforting thought to know that when I left work yesterday, I had one whole day awaiting me in which I could do absolutely anything that I wanted to do.  It was only natural that I wanted food that comforted me last night.

If you asked 10 random people on the street what their top comfort food was, I bet that at least a couple of them would say pasta.  I would even venture to say that out of that 20%, one or both would say pasta with alfredo sauce.  Alfredo is the definition of comfort — rich, creamy, warm, and cheesy.  While all these things are wonderful, it doesn’t make alfredo the healthiest sauce either.  I decided to make a few changes to make it a little lighter in terms of fat and calories, but not give up anything on flavor.  I think it’s just as yummy as alfredo that you’d get at your local Italian restaurant and doubt you’ll even miss the heavy cream.

Meg’s Penne Alfredo

Serves 3

6oz. penne pasta
1 tsp. butter
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. flour
2/3 cup skim milk
4oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dried ground mustard
8oz. Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, Firm (about 2/3 of package)
dash of ground nutmeg

In a large pot, boil water and prepare pasta according to package directions.

In a pan, saute garlic in butter over medium-low heat.  When butter is melted, add in flour and stir well to combine.

Slowly add in milk and bring to a soft boil over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes while milk lightly boils until sauce thickens slightly.  Reduce to medium-low heat.

Add cheeses, tofu, and all seasonings to sauce.  Break up tofu with a spoon and allow cheese to melt, taking about 5 to 7 minutes.  When cheese is done melting, transfer sauce to a blender and blend for 30 seconds or so until smooth. 

Add sauce to drained pasta and stir to combine.  Top with fresh parsley or more parmesan and enjoy.

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