Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup Entries

I've been meaning to get these posted for a while now.  Well, my life, my sadness, sometimes takes over, and things don't happen as they should.  I'm working past my sad for today.  Not sure how that's going to go, but here we are....
I'm not sure of the best way to do this, so I'm going to wing it.  I'm going to list my suggestions one by one, as they came in with a  nickname - and I think everyone who entered will know who they are.  I'm going to keep it very simple! 

So! Here we go!

1.  Miss Julia: 
    Sourdough buttered for grilling then add mozzarella and white cheddar, smoked provolone, or maybe goat cheese be sure to add prosciutto.  Serve with Safeway's Signature Tomato Basil  Bisque.

2. Joshie!:
  Onion Rye bread with Dubliner Cheese and Corned Beef - no soup recommendation

3. BF Karen:
   American on buttered 100% all wheat served with Campbell's Tomato Soup

4. Penguin:  White bread with American Cheese and oleo - add some fried balogna - no soup recommendation

5: Julie girl:  Sarah Lee bread, real butter, sharp Tillamook cheddar for the sandwich. Serve with Progresso Tomato Basil Soup.

6:  NancyW1.  Use left over taco meat or chlli.  Campbells tomato soup.  Add taco meat and cilantro, 1/2 can milk of half and half. Serve with grilled cheese that has been buttered on both sides of sourdough bread.  Grill one side of each slice with Pepper Jack Cheese.

7: Medfordboogirl:
Wheat bread, lightly buttered and Tillamook Cheese.  Soup:  Organics Tomato Soup with peel and orange added and placed in food processor - also mix with a pinch of salt, pepper and fresh basil.

8: Jamie D.  The lightest coating of mayo inside each slice of wheat bread.  Grilled brown on the skillet over medium heat, with butter on the bread.  It's optional to add grilled ham on the inside. Serve wtih ketchup/mayo/ Sirracha sauce - use America cheese.

9: Pirogue Girl (MH):
 White Bread, American Cheese , fried in butter and served with Campbells Tomato Soup

10:Weizenheimer:  White Bread, Kraft American and Campbells

And finally - the last entry:

 Sue Baby the Alaska Girl:
Rye Bread with whatever cheese you have available, preferably Tillamook or pepper jack or a combo.  Start cooking the Sandwich open faced buttering the downward slice of each piece of bread.  It's important to put extra butter on the side to grill the ring of onions you will slap in the middle before you close the sandwich.  Along with those perfectly caramelized rings of onions
 add a large slice of tomato sprinkle in garlic powder and fresh ground pepper.   As for tomato soup - any kind is enhanced by simply swirling a dollop of sour cream or cream cheese and topping with fresh herbs, dill, basil, oregano or thyme. 

So there you have it.  Feel free to comment on the list - I hope to have a poll set up soon! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cooking Therapy - it doesn't always work

I used to have a friend who suffered from depression.  Usually alcohol induced depression.  We are no longer friends, not because of her depression, but because she let me down in a way no friend should ever let a person down.  When I look back at her sad pathetic days I would get so frustrated with her for not getting out of bed.  She would tell me that I just didn't know what it felt like.  Well, how wrong she was.  The only difference is she had the luxury of staying in bed.  I on the other hand am a mother, and that was never an option for me.  Until now.  I am now divorced and split custody of my girls with my ex.  So there are weeks I am alone.  Very alone.  So what do I do when I'm having one of those bad days?  If it's not a work day where I can go bury myself in my job, then I find something else to bury myself in.  Cleaning, gardening, and mostly cooking.  I have to say some of my most creative and challenging dishes come out of those depressed days.  And I usually feel at least somewhat healed by the end of my cooking therapy.  But yesterday the cooking therapy failed me.  Sometimes you just need friends instead. 

After more effort then I can explain to get myself going I pulled together all I needed to make blackberry scones with berries I had  picked the day before, butter, tomato chutney and ketchup.  Well, this is as far as I got:

Blackberry scones and homemade butter. 

The lug of tomatoes I bought on Saturday are still sitting on my kitchen table next to all the ingredients needed to make Tomato Chutney.  I went to bed worried that they will rot before I find time to get back to that project.  Today I go back to work and will be burying myself in my new job.  I'm hoping the tomatoes can wait until my next long lonely weekend.  It was all I could do to pull these two things together yesterday.  I ended up in bed by 5:30 pm and awakened by dreams of falling over waterfalls in a kayak at 4:30 am.  I did wake up very happy to have homemade blackberry scones and homemade butter for breakfast, and feeling a little better about myself for, at the very least, accomplishing those two things in spite of my difficult and lonely day.  Now I have the guilt weighing on me for not posting grilled cheese sandwich recipes as I promised, and gearing up for the taste testing I hoped to have set up for this weekend with my girls.  But guilt seems to be a good motivator for me, so I'll go with it. 

So yesterday, cooking therapy did not lift me out of my dark mood like it usually does.  Some days friends to lean on, a good cry and a very long night of sleep are the only things that work.  Next weekend will be a full one now. Making sandwiches and soup, taste testing and judging, and maybe I'll wow my kids with some homemade ketchup and have some tasty spicy chutney for myself. 

No time for sleeping in, no time for depression.  Plenty of time for cooking.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup.

I'm not sure what inspired me, but I've decided to start a little challenge.  I've put it out there to all of my friends and acquaintances to send me their grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup recipes.  Anything from Velveeta cheese and Campbel'ls soup, to caviar and truffles is welcome.  One thing that grabbed me was a sandwich involving gorganzola cheese and tomato soup with coconut milk.  So if you're out there reading my blog, please send me your favorite comforting grilled cheese sandwich and/or tomato soup recipe - or something tomato related as well.  I'll post your recipe here on my blog, and I'll choose a select few, or have you all vote on them, and I'll cook up, and test out those recipes and post the results on my blog. If some of you who live close by want to be taste testers let me know. 
Ok, here we go!  Bring on those recipes!