19 March 2008

Rustic Grilled Cheese and Asparagus Sandwich

It's been raining all day, and spring is definitely in the air around our nation's capitol. There was a plethora of fresh asparagus (Spargle auf Deutsch) at the market over the weekend, so I picked some up. I cooked most of it for Sunday Supper with Andrea, but I left a single serving for myself for this week. When I decided that I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner, I concluded that the only way to do it was to really do it. If I want to fancy myself an epicurian, I need to cook like one, right?

So, after my trip to the gym, I went straight to the cheese section at whole foods. I grabbed two cheeses: a sweet, nutty Parrano, and the firm, sharp Gruyere. I decided that between those two flavors, by adding the mildy bitter and sweet taste of the Spargle, it would be a perfect combination. Then, I realized that the sandwich wouldn't be complete without a nice, crusty bread to go with it.

Off to the bakery!

In the bakery section, I found a hunk of the whole foods' brand harvest bread that they called Pain de Champagne. Gooey, chewy, and soft on the inside, the bread was also hard and crusty on the outside. Excellent!

I got it home and hacked the hunk of bread into slices, and buttered it. While I steamed my prepared asparagus, I sliced up the cheese. Once the asparagus was done, I placed it on top of the Parrano, and put the Gruyere on top of that, and then topped it with the other piece of bread. Now, with all of the slivers of cheese, I knew that I couldn't just grill the sandwich on the stove top.

Presto! I pulled out my handy dandy George Foreman grill and slapped that baby right on there. I heard the butter start to sizzle when I pushed the top down. My rustic, American grilled cheese was now an Italian Panino. Yum!

And my instincts were spot on. In picking the asparagus to go with these two cheeses (Parrano and Gruyere) I picked the trifecta.

14 March 2008

Pi (e) Day!

To celebrate Pi day (3.14159), I made a lemon meringue pie! This one used my Grandma Cleo's recipe, and YUM! it's awesome!

01 March 2008

Greetings From Serbia - Ciao for Now

It is my last night in Belgrade. I've been back since Tuesday but have been so crazy busy that I haven't been able to blog. Actually I may write a back blog or two when I get home. Especially since I discovered snacks and junk food on this trip and they deserve a blog.

My friends took me to a lovely restaurant in the Center tonight. Little Bay has this location in Belgrade and five in London. Check out the gallery page on the London site. The menu was lovely, the food excellent, the prices really (really really) low, and the venue was brilliant. I think this is my new favorite restaurant of all restaurants.

Not that you could tell from the name of the place, but Little Bay is an opera-themed restaurant. It has two levels, the bottom levels regualr tables, but teh top level, which actually only rims the restaurant, is all opera-style boxes! Frescoes, gilding, red velvet curtains, it's an absolute scream. They play a very pleasing variety of classical music and opera arias, and have live musicians and roving opera singers. Seriously, check out the gallery on the London site. If you like opera, fancy theatres, good food, and ever happen to be in either Belgrade or London, this restaurant is totally worth the trip.

So thank you to my friends, new and old, for making this yet another wonderful experience. I know I'll get to come back to Belgrade at least once, if not twice this year and I'm already looking forward to it.