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dear mae,

although inept at baking, i’m not completely useless in the kitchen. i’ve got a few recipes in my repertoire that i’ve perfected after making them each thousands of times.  when you can only cook 10 things well, you eat them a lot. my personal specialitly is grilled cheese. we have grilled cheese for dinner once or twice a week.  my mom recently told me some times my dad will ask her “can you make me a grilled cheese like elizabeth makes?” i laughed when she told me, and said “ha! i doubt it!” anywho, it’s not your mama’s grilled cheese, no wonder bread, no kraft singles around here!

today i made one of my more complex concoctions with a seven grain bread, swiss cheese, tomato, avocado, sprouts and parmesan. yum!

some of my best grilled cheese secrets include:

  • lots of cheese! if you think you have enough, add a bit more, these sammies have three layers of cheese, bottom middle and top. not only is it super tasty that way, but it holds the whole thing together, especially if you have lots of toppings.
  • use a hot pan! i’ve made the mistake of putting my bread in a cold pan and then turning the heat up, but that just makes a soggy disaster.
  • experiment! i love trying different combos of flavors, some of my favorites are swiss and sauerkraut on rye; motzerella, tomatoes and basil; or grilled mushrooms and spinach on sourdough. i might try some sweet sammies soon, like goat cheese and apples? brie and strawberries? i’ll let you know!
  • fish spatula! it’s the best tool for flipping a big ol’ stuffed sandwich.
fat sammich!

i’ve never put sprouts on a grilled sandwich before, but it was super yummy, albeit a tad stringy, but i’ll be using it again for sure. maybe with more mushed avocado, and provolone cheese, kind of a nod to the jimmy john’s veggie sandwich.

<3,

betty

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dear mae,

i don’t know if you are aware, but i am terrible at baking. i can make some dry chewy cupcakes, whip up a cake that is both burnt and under cooked, or make a sheet of rock hard sugar cookies, but this doesn’t prevent me from trying to make an oven fresh snack from time to time.  i never bake from scratch because i end up wasting a pound of flour, half a dozen eggs, a whole bag of sugar… whatever it was that i threw together in that bowl, so i opt for something out of a box.  if i’m feeling mighty crazy i’ll add something special to at least make it look homemade. maybe some craisins.   being in some sort of autumnal spirit i whipped up a box, i mean loaf, of pumpkin bread with surprisingly tasty results!

put this junk in the pan, then bake it in the oven. don’t bake the beer. drink the beer while baking, or cheap wine, it’s up to you.
try not to bake eggshells and other foreign objects into cakes or loafs.

if you are good enough at following simple directions you might just end up with a tasty end product looking something like this:

hey! i didn’t even burn it!

the best part about box baking is that i can put it together while carrying an attention starved baby while doing the dishes and photographing the whole disaster. i may not be a domestic goddess, but i am certainly a domestic person.

love,

betty

 

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