Double Decker Veggie Grilled Cheese


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We are finally settled in our house, here in Houston, and despite the fact that I still don’t have pictures hung on the walls, I’m ready to start sharing recipes again!

When I started mixing the ingredients together for these sandwiches, found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, January 2011, I had pizza in mind as a backup plan; they did not look promising.

I wasn’t convinced they’d be would worth eating until one of the kids, after taking the first bite, mumbled “mmm” through a mouthful.  They were right-on!  With an inventive spin on the classic grilled cheese, these were an easy, no stove-top, meal this will definitely be a go-to for summer dinners!


  • 1 16 oz. jar pickled vegetables, rinsed, drained & chopped
  • 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, chopped into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons dried red tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 12 slices buttered toast


  1. Place all ingredients, except toast, into a microwave-safe bowl.  Stirring every 30 seconds, cook uncovered for about 2 minutes or just until the mixture is warm, the spinach is wilted, and the cheese is beginning to melt.
  2. Layer half the vegetable mixture onto four slices of the toast.  Top each sandwich with a second slice of bread then add the remaining vegetable mixture.  Place a third slice of toast on top, slice and enjoy!

Tarragon Egg Salad


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Adapted from Simply Recipes with what we had on hand; aka what I didn’t forget at the grocery store.  We had this for dinner because I love to have sandwiches for dinner.  They’re easy, fast clean-up and little or no cooking is required.  I bought some “fancy” kettle potato chips, had some grapes waiting in the freezer and called this a yummy almost-summer dinner! 

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of fennel which I wanted to use, but misread when I wrote my grocery list for the week and came home with fennel seed instead so I left it out, unsure how that would turn out.  I’ll give it a whirl next time!

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs*, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, including the greens
  • 1 Tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

* To hard boil eggs, put eggs in a large pot, cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil.  Turn heat all the way down to low.  Cover and cook for 12 minutes Drain, run under cold water to stop the cooking and to cool down the eggs.

Gently combine all of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ham & Cheese Sliders

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Do you have any idea why we eat ham for Easter?  Neither did I.  I thought I did it because my mom did, and my grandma, and her mother before her and so in the interest of tradition, I will generally buy a ham for Easter dinner.  This year, I wondered where the tradition itself came from.

It seems it may have come from the Northern European Pagans who would slaughter and preserve their agricultural animals in the fall to feed themselves through the winter.  Then to celebrate the vernal equinox, the emerging plants, and wildlife and to shed a few pounds for bikini season gain the sought-after state of “altered consciousness” in time for the spring festivals, they would fast.  Then in celebration of the end of their fasting they would eat the last of their cured meats from the winter which would, of course, include pork.*

My plan for these little sandwiches, found at Our Recipe Club, was to use up whatever ham was left over from our Easter dinner.  I decided, however, not to spend a fortune on a huge ham and opted instead for black forest ham from the deli.  Easy!  These turned out as good as the picture makes them out to be with tons of flavor and gooey cheese and salty ham.


I halved the recipe from what’s shown below because I don’t need 24 to feed the five of us – but these would be SO perfect to take with you next time you’re called to bring something with you, they can be assembled a day ahead & kept in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.


  • 24 of your favorite rolls (I used a Sweet Multi-Grain)
  • 24 pieces of black forest ham
  • 24 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup miracle whip

Poppy Seed Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon minced green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Preheat oven to 350*

  1. Spread Miracle Whip onto both sides of the center of each roll.  Place a slice of ham & a slice of Swiss inside on each roll.  Close rolls & place into a baking dish, smooshing close together.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients then pour (or brush) evenly over all of the sandwiches.  Let sit 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly.
  3. Cover with foil & bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Uncover & cook for 2 additional minutes.  Serve warm.

*Source: Goddess Gift

Pork Tenderloin Bagel


DSC_1080 copyRemember the yummy Sweet & Smoky Pork Tenderloin that I gave you back in September?  Well, I do because I’ve made it bunches of times since then and enjoyed every scrumptious bite!  This last time, knowing that we’d be headed out the door for a summer infused “concert on the square”, I wanted something fast, easy and that required zero cooking.  Since I had a small chunk of the tenderloin left I decided to scour my refrigerator for ingredients to put atop the Everything bagels that were begging to be eaten!


the leftover meat of your choice

Everything bagels




Miracle Whip

Dijon mustard


Really?  Do you need directions?  Really? Ok…put everything on the bagel and enjoy! 🙂

Roast Pork & Canadian Bacon Sandwich

DSC_8431 copyI love pork roast and also the fact that when I buy the roast I can always get at least two meals out of it.  Usually pulled pork sandwiches follow the roast meal but I wanted something different and these sandwiches found at Closet Cooking were just that.  Kind-a weird sounding but extremely simple and in case you aren’t in the know, pickles make everything acceptable.

The kids were mmmm’ing and ohmygosh’ing all over these sandwiches and that’s good enough for me!  Salty, spicy & filling it made a meal all by themselves, no veggies required.


  • buns (sliced in half)
  • leftover pork roast, sliced thin
  • Canadian bacon (I bought Oscar Meyer pre-cooked)
  • Swiss cheese, sliced
  • pickles, sliced (I used dill)
  • Dijon mustard


Spread Dijon over both slices of the bun, then add a layer each of the pork, bacon & Swiss cheese.  Broil open-faced buns on low until heated through and the meat is warm under the cheese.  You may have to remove the naked buns from the oven before the ones with the meat & cheeses to keep them from burning.  Remove from broiler, add pickle slices & serve warm.

Hula Joes

Hula Joes

Source:  Real Mom Kitchen

Dedicated to Jamie because I know how she loves her hamburger!!!


about 7 or 8 strips of smoked bacon, chopped (I love using kitchen shears for this job)

1 pound ground beef

1/4 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 cup tomato sauce

1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits

Hamburger buns



Cook bacon until crispy in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning once.*  Once cooked, remove bacon and set aside.  Drain the fat leaving the bacon drippings and about 3 Tablespoons of fat in the bottom of the pan (this can be approximate – I didn’t want a lot of fat but wanted to cook the beef in a lot of flavor.)

Return the skillet with bacon fat to medium high heat & add the ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire and tomato sauce.  Pour into the skillet and add pineapple.  Cook until warmed through and thickened. 

To serve simply pile the beef mixture over an open faced bun, slap the top on and enjoy!

(to avoid splattering I cover nearly all the way with the pan lid, cook for several minutes then turn the heat all the way down to low and wait a few minutes till the temperature drops before I stir.  Not only does this help reduce splattering (saving time in clean-up later but helps to avoid getting burned by the oil)

This will make approximately 8 Joes – depending of course on how high you pile it on!

Avocado Tomato Basil Sandwich

ATB Sandwich

So tired of hot foods after a long hot, summer day, I pulled a few things together, leftover from last night’s dinner, some rolls from the freezer & basil from the garden – voila!  Dinner is served!


4 ciabata rolls, split

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

1 to 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced thin

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thin

sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven broiler to high. Under the broiler, toast bread halves on a baking sheet until golden brown. Remove from oven.  Top each half with sliced cheese and return to broiler till melted and bubbly.  Remove from oven.

On one half of each layer with avocados and sliced; lightly salt.

Sprinkle chopped basil over the tomatoes.  Top with black pepper.  Replace top half and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwich

10 chicken tenders, seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and shredded

2 celery hearts, chopped fine

1/2 cup Kraft mayo with olive oil (more or less to taste)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 Tablespoons chopped red onion

3 Tablespoons yellow mustard (more or less to taste)

couple handfuls of grapes, sliced in quarters

Mix all ingredients  thoroughly, refrigerate and enjoy!

Burrito BLT Sandwiches

8 Slices of Bacon cooked and crumbled
2 c. bit size pieces of lettuce
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 large tomato
1/3 c. mayo
6 flour tortillas

toss all ingredients except tortillas

roll and eat…