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Perfecting the Grilled Cheese Sandwich

by Jane Wangersky September 19th, 2014| Cooking Basics
019It’s one of those “drive on a parkway, park on a driveway” things: grilled cheese sandwiches are seldom actually grilled, at least by home cooks. After all, the only grill most of us have at home is our barbeque, and we’re unlikely to heat that up to make sandwiches. We call them “grilled cheese” because that’s what our moms, long ago, told us they were called. I guess you could call them pan-broiled cheese sandwiches to be more accurate, but like lots of more accurate terms, that doesn’t have the same ring.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are simple, but not easy.
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Graters for Cheese and So Much More

by Jane Wangersky September 12th, 2014| Cooking Basics
file0001712620686My sandwich recipe this week calls for shredded cheese, so of course I couldn’t help mentioning that, though the kind you can buy is certainly handy and also keeps longer, home grated cheese saves you lots of money without causing you a lot of work. So it’s good to have a cheese grater around.

They’ve been around for a long time. As this article points out, “Both François Boullier and Isaac Hunt are variously credited with inventing the cheese grater in the 1540s.”

The original idea was to make use of cheese that had started to harden by reducing
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Red Pepper and Cheese Sandwich

by Jane Wangersky September 11th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
pepper cheese sandwichPeople have been eating bread and cheese since way before the word “sandwich” started being used for it, so the cheese sandwich is a real classic. Sometimes, however, you want something more than a simple classic taste in your lunch -- let’s face it, even the classics can get boring with repetition. So it’s natural to look around for something that might add a little more taste and texture to your sandwich. Red peppers are one ingredient that have traditionally been paired with cheese, as in pimento cheese.

Growing up in the North, I was only aware of pimento cheese
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Ham and Cheese Salad

by Jane Wangersky June 19th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
ham saladWith a salad to invent and a lot of ham and cheese in my fridge, I began wondering why we’ve come up with ham and cheese, ham salad, but not ham and cheese salad. Well, as it turns out, many people have had that same thought, judging by the number of ham and cheese salad recipes you can find with a quick Google search. But my version is extra simple, and, unlike others, has no vegetables to put off the kids.

Ingredients:

1 cup diced (¼ inch) cooked smoked ham*
2 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp dry mustard (or to taste; my tester said
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Homemade Cheese Sauce

by Jane Wangersky April 11th, 2014| Recipes, Simple Solutions
kdIf you've ever wondered what exactly was in that little packet of orange stuff that comes with packaged macaroni and cheese (Kraft Dinner, in Canada) -- well, I don't know either. And I don't know how it turns into cheese sauce when you mix it with milk and butter. But I have learned to make my own cheese sauce, and I know what's in that.

Cheese sauce is more than just melted cheese -- but not much more. (If you're in a real hurry, you can always just throw a slice or some shreds of cheese on top of hot
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A Food-Curdling Experience

by Jane Wangersky April 10th, 2014| Cooking Basics
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was still learning about making cheese sauce at home, I figured it wouldn't matter when I added the grated cheese to the hot milk – either before or after I'd thickened it with flour. I even thought it might be better to add the cheese before thickening. After all, as it melted it would add liquid to the sauce, and that might mean it would need more flour than I'd estimated for the milk alone. So the cheese went in early, and as the mixture heated up I saw how wrong I'd been. The cheese turned weirdly
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Life is Based on Carbonara

by James Maynard December 6th, 2013| Video
carbonaraChicken Carbonara is a popular Italian dish that looks much more difficult to prepare than it is when you are actually in the kitchen. This chicken recipe can be made quickly and easily, surprising guests with its delicious aroma and taste. Watch this video, and you will learn how to make chicken carbonara with common ingredients. After you learn the recipe taught here, you will be making carbonara like a professional Italian chef. Because this recipe doesn't use any processed foods, you will be able to control exactly what goes on your family's dinner table. You can even make
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Garlic Cheese Biscuits and Strawberry Shortcake

by James Maynard October 11th, 2013| Video
strawberries n cheeseGarlic Cheese biscuits are versatile, delicious, and compliment nearly any meal. They can be eaten at any meal, being perfect additions to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Strawberry shortcake is one of America’s favorite desserts, loved by children and adults alike. Each of these treats can make a great dinner even better. In this video, we learn simple recipes to produce these delectable morsels. Differences in technique between fresh and frozen strawberries are discussed. This will allow you to make homemade strawberry shortcake at any time of year! The recipes provided are simple and kids can easily help out with
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Lemon Artichoke Strata

by BnB Finder July 23rd, 2013| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
LemonArtichokeArtichokes for breakfast? Well, why not, especially if you're on vacation and the B&B hosts are cooking? But if it still seems a little strange, try pairing this lemony dish with a green salad for a meatless but filling supper. The artichokes and lemon aren't the whole story -- milk, eggs, and your favorite bread and cheese round out the dish. C.W. Worth House Bed & Breakfast in Wilmington, North Carolina, is the source for this distinctive recipe; if you book a stay there, just look for the two turrets when you arrive in town. Or stay
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Caprese Skewers

by BnB Finder June 25th, 2013| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
capskewHere's a version of "grilled cheese" that not even I had ever thought of, and I speak as someone who's cooked homemade pizza on a barbecue. Mozzarella balls, cherry or grape tomatoes, and basil leaves are threaded onto bamboo skewers and flash grilled. Though you'll have to watch these carefully for a few minutes to get them at just the right time, they're simple, quick, and make a delicious appetizer or side dish for your cookout. This recipe comes from the Swiss Woods B&B in Lititz, Pennsylvania, kept by "people who love food but are not snobby
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Spinach Strudel

by BnB Finder March 19th, 2013| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
spinach strudelYears ago, I somewhat dubiously baked up a recipe I'd found for strudel filled with pears -- and blue cheese. My doubts were put to rest when it turned out to be delicious. Strudel's not just for dessert -- and this week's recipe also proves that spinach can be delicious.  Coming to us from the Orchard Inn near the historic village of Saluda, North Carolina, this dish combines fresh (or frozen) spinach with tangy vegetables, cheddar and cream cheeses, and eggs. They're all baked together in a crispy crust of ready-made puff pastry for a rich, filling
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Roasted Vegetable Polenta

by BnB Finder March 5th, 2013| Best BnB Bites, Recipes
RoastedVegPolenta_WhitestoneNo oven's required for these roasted vegetables -- dice them finely and they'll cook up quickly with a few minutes in sizzling butter. Peppers, onions, mushrooms, shallots, and garlic combine with the humble carrot to add zing to a comforting dish of polenta (be sure to use instant!) and cheese of your choice. This recipe comes to us from the Whitestone Country Inn on the shores of Watts Bar Lake in Kingston, Tennessee. Try this for a weekend lunch or meatless supper.

2 ounces of butter

1 ½ cups of polenta

4 ½ cups of water

1 onion (fine diced)

½ cup
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