The Ultimate Grilled Cheese: White Cheese, Pepperoni and Jalapeño

I’m really going all out for Nation Grilled Cheese month this year. I mean what is not to love? Melty cheese, carbs, butter and whatever else I can dream up, yes please! I did a breadless grilled cheese round up earlier this month. But this, THIS, grilled cheese is for you traditionalists.

This ultimate grilled cheese has not one, not two but THREE pieces of sourdough. Layers of white cheese, jalapeños and pepperoni to boot.

For this recipe you’ll need:
3 pieces of sourdough bread
Fresh jalapeño slices
Thinly sliced muenster and jack cheeses

Makes one very large, delicious, grilled cheese sandwich.

Butter the outside of the bread and lay it flat in the pan. Layer fresh jalapeños and jack cheese.

Add the middle piece of bread, then layer the muenster and pepperoni.

Layer another piece of sourdough with the outside buttered. Cook over medium heat until edges are browned. Flip and repeat. If a little cheese bubbles out and get crispy… consider yourself lucky.

Now it’s time to dig into this melty goodness. Best served with a beer.

Stacks on stacks on stacks.

Ok I have to stop typing. Think I just drooled all over this keyboard.


Spicy Seafood Paella

I’ve been diving head first into the kitchen lately, and with summer coming up, paella was on my mind. I love this dish because even though it sounds fancy, it’s really not. It’s a country dish and a one pot meal. I call that a win! I took it up a notch with some spice and made it my own with some fresh cilantro!

There’s nothing I love more than big family dinners where everyone gathers around a big table with tons of food. Paella is meant to be served in a huge pot in the middle of the table. I added mussels and left the shrimp shells on, I love eating with my hands haha! Plus,

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it gives everything a little more casual feel. Add a few bottles of vino, a good playlist and the conversations are sure to flow easily.

For this recipe, you’ll need:
3lbs seafood, I used:
2lbs mussels
1/2lb shrimp
1/2lb squid tubes
1 large onion
1 large jalapeño
1 cup diced tomatoes (I used cherry)
1 cup frozen peas
1 lemon
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups arborio or paella rice
1 cup dry white wine
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
Fresh cilantro for garnish

This recipes serves 5-6. Adapted from this recipe.

Start by prepping the veggies. Dice the onion, slice jalapeños, mince garlic…

In large pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil. Once they begin to become translucent, stir in the garlic for one minute.

Now add the tomatoes and jalapeños. Stir frequently for 4-5 more minutes. The tomatoes will begin to get a little jelly.

In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock and white wine to a boil.

Meanwhile, add the sugar, salt, red pepper flakes and paprika to the pot. Keep stirring.

Add a pinch of saffron!

Add the the squid. Stir for another 4-5 minutes.

Next add the arborio rice. Stir it around to toast it just a touch, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the boiling chicken stock and wine to the big pot. Stir frequently until it begins to become absorbed, 10 minutes or so.

After the stock begins to become absorbed, add the shrimp and peas. Stir until the shrimp turn pink. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon now.

Add the mussels last. Cover the pot and let the mussels steam for 5 minutes or until they are completely opened. Stir and check on them occasionally.

Serve this in one big pot in the middle of the table. I think it should be served with a good Pinot or Chardonnay.

Garnish with fresh cilantro! Or parsley if you’re feeling a little more traditional.
Make sure you put a bowl on the table for the shells.

This is one of favorite dishes in recent memory. What are your favorite one pot meals?


Vietnamese Lamb Bún

Do y’all love Vietnamese food as much as me? I love all the freshness that goes along with it. You know I love Elizabeth Street Cafe with a passion and fresh jalapeño and mint is of my current obsessions . This was my attempt at recreating the Short Rib Bún from Elizabeth Street Cafe.

So fresh!

For this recipe, you’ll need:
2 lbs of lamb (or any other protein/tofu)
1 pack of rice vermicelli
1 cup of the following:

For the sauce:
1/3 cup fish sauce + 2 more tablespoons
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 serranos or thai chilies
3 cloves of garlic
1 shallot
1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

Sauce recipe based on this one from The Ravenous Couple .

I started off by mincing the serranos, garlic and shallot. Next whisk those together with the lemon, water, sugar and fish sauce until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let that sit while you prep the veggies.

Dice the veggies up thinly. Boil the rice vermicelli noodles according to the packaging.

Cube the lamb meat and toss with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Sauté the lamb over medium heat with 1 teaspoon salt until browned.

Put the noodles in the bowl first, then organize all the

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veggies on top. Serve 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce on the side. The sauce can be a little strong for some palates, so I let my guests pour their own. Obviously, add sriracha for extra heat.

Serve it up with some chopsticks and dig in!