The Close to a Great Month: National Grilled Cheese Month

How many of you actually remembered that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? How many of you think it should be moved to a more appropriate month? Like January of February… Hmmm? Yeah. Think how much sexier it would be to get (and eat) a grilled cheese on V-Day.

Well I didn’t come up with April for this fantabulous food of amazing but someone did and I’ve been honoring those who made up foodie holidays before me. But I think that me and my Foodie Nation need to make a few changes here and move the month long celebration to a month where we’re not thinking about bathing suits and getting tanned in places that haven’t seen the sun in a while. But in all fairness, grilled cheese is amazing all year round and always will be. So here is my compilation of all the grilled cheese sandwiches I have seen and approved of this month:

Corned Beef Sandwich with Guinness Caramelized Onions and Grainy Mustard

“Corned Beef Sandwich with Guinness Caramelized Onions and Grainy Mustard” from Closet Cooking

Parmigiano & Fig Grilled Cheese

“Parmigiano & Fig Grilled Cheese” from Love & Lemons

Grilled Beer and Cheese Sandwich

“Grilled Beer and Cheese Sandwich” from Honest Fare

This recipe actually uses homemade beer bread so heck yeah I approve.

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich

“French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich” from Portuguese Girl Cooks

Roasted Red Pepper Portobello Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese

“Roasted Red Pepper Portobello Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese” from BS’ In The Kitchen

BS’ In the Kitchen kept up with the Grilled Cheese Month a lot better than I did so check out the site for even MORE.

Spinach and artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwich

“Spinach and artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwich” from Joy the Baker

Check out the link to see all the “how to” photos that go along with the recipe.

Breakfast Grilled Cheese

“Breakfast Grilled Cheese” from Grilled Cheese Social

There are also some “how-to” photos with this one and it’s made on a bagel. I like bagels.


Cravings of a Diseased Foodie

Udon Noodle Soup

“Udon Noodle Soup” from Spoonful

It’s Monday, April 29th, and my contract in this place ends in 16 days. I still haven’t decided whether or not I will accept their offer of another year but the fact that I almost never get sick and yet I have gotten intolerably ill several times this year (all corresponding with stressful issues at work and my immune system throwing it’s defenses in and saying “I give up!”) is not helpful in making a rational decision.

I’ve been sick most of the weekend and before bed last night I thought I was getting better and was planning to just take my box of tissues and a few cough drops into work and get my shit done. Because that’s what bitches do. They get their shit done. But instead, I go to bed and I feel like I’m drowning and I’ve got that phobia of death by suffocation and drowning is even worse. So I drugged myself up so I could get some sleep and I thought everything would be fine.

I woke up this morning feeling like my face was both itchy and on fire… on the inside. Between the not being in good health and the allergies I’m about ready to claw my own face off. I still got ready to go to work and I am actually at work but it took some effort to get here and I made my dad stop on the way in because I was running out of tissues and cough drops at an alarming rate and desperately needed a restock. I’m sure you’re thinking “What the hell?? Why not just stay home??”. And yeah, I’m thinking that too. But that whole getting shit done, remember? If I ditch this job I refuse to be like the last person and leave a bunch of unfinished business. Plus I’m supposed to run a study night for all my freshmen and had to bring in the snacks. Don’t worry, I’m leaving the snacks and instructions for tonight with the desk worker and going home early.

Now I’m not sure about you but one of the hardest parts about being sick, aside from the part where it’s hard to stay upright, is trying to decide what to eat. I woke up this morning and wanted to eat soup and fruit. But the sore throat was screaming for warm things so I was shuffling around the kitchen mumbling about wanting WARM fruit. My dad yelled at me and I cried because I just wanted my warm fruit and soup but we didn’t have any. I settled for the blueberry muffins I’d made last night (which are fantastic and the recipe can be found on a previous post HERE, just scroll down to the muffins) and some strawberries which I’m allowing to come to room temp before I eat them. Of course my office feels like the arctic but I’m hoping the strawberries don’t notice.

So all the way in to work I’m trying to decide what my brain means by “warm fruit” which is apparently what my body needs. And between filing my check requests and writing a handbook for the next sorry person who ends up with this job I found this:

Grilled Fruit with Honey and Yogurt

“Grilled Fruit with Honey and Yogurt” from Playin With my Food

I don’t have plums at home but I do have some other fruit I can cook down with some honey and maybe not yogurt (doesn’t react well with the phlegm) but I’m sure I can figure something out. And now back to taking 10 minutes to finish up some database spreadsheet thingies instead of 5 because I’m really moving slow today.

Get rest and drink lots of water, Foodie Nation.

F*ck You Too, Week. I’m Eating Chocolate.

Chocolate chunk brownies with sea salt & pistachios

“Chocolate chunk brownies with sea salt & pistachios” from Dagmar’s Kitchen

Last summer I though I was moving to Chad to live in a sort of half-hovel above an office where I was being asked to spy on a country director while rewriting all his mistakes, going to the field (where there was a legit chance I could get kidnapped and held for ransom) to write reports, and all while the actually office thought I was being sent there to help make their tea and answer phones. The cherry on top? By the time I would have finished a 6-month contract and paid taxes and then paid most of my own ticket and whatever else for a two week break somewhere not the desert of doom, I would have SPENT money rather than earned any.

I felt so physically full of stress and unhappiness it was like I was always just one touch or word away from explosion. It was a really bad time in my life for decision making. And when I finally sobbed to my parents after they got really angry about the situation that I didn’t want to go they helped me right my letter of “You people suck and here’s a few places you can shove that ‘job’ you begged me to take” I just decided crying felt good and did it on and off for the next couple of weeks. Like I mentioned, it was a really bad time in my life.

After that incident I went through a period of awkward pseudo-employment. According to my resume I have been fully employed since 2006… I love words. They make me sound important.

And after that I finagled my way into the job I have now… Which has caused just as much stress as potentially getting kidnapped and not having a proper kitchen (seriously, they were going to give me a gas burner and a min-fridge. I wouldn’t have survived that). The one thing about this job that is definitely better is that I’m actually making money.

There are a lot of reasons a person can be unhappy where they are. In my case it’s mostly that I don’t really like people. Well… Let me be more specific. I don’t like stupid people. And this place feels like a breeding ground for stupidity sometimes and it makes life miserable.

Now, I can’t go into details but right now I’m stable but on Wednesday I almost smacked a student in the face. And that’s not a euphemism or me speaking figuratively or whatever. I actually almost smacked a student in the face. And in church after chapel too. That’s never a good sign. I almost didn’t go to work the next day but then I decided that wasn’t the best option because right afterwards I was told that I’m being offered this same job (still no benefits, just money) for another year.

I’m still not sure yet whether or not I should be crying this weekend but I do know one thing. Life is just too much to handle and I think there should be chocolate. I’ve been packing mainly desserts for my lunches at work and I know for sure that will need to stop soon but it’s the weekend and I really don’t give a crap. Plus these things that are called brownies but look like magic for the face are totally doable and so I shall do them!

Stay strong, Foodie Nation. Oh, and eat more chocolate!

So Much Wrong

Chocolate Caramel Liege Waffles

“Chocolate Liege Waffles with Caramel Sauce” from Bakingdom

I guess this is the unofficial week of “So Wrong: Foods that make you ache for them in all the wrong places” because I can literally feel myself gaining weight just looking at this photo. In the real world where this food is in existence and I can eat it… I’m totally eating it. I’m not going to pass this sort of good – ahem – wrongness up for a few extra calories I can work off later. And yes, I’m aware my overly simplistic logic is way off on what it would take to work off that many calories but just HUSH! I’m enjoying this moment…

Mmmm…. Sticky…

Orange Caramel Sticky Doughnuts

“Orange Caramel Sticky Doughnuts” from Gourmet Traveler

These just sound wrong enough that I want them. I’m not quite ready to pull out my deep fryer and sacrifice all that oil just yet but next time my dad has his big open flame frying contraption set up outside I might throw a few of these in before the oil has been contaminated.

To Pie!

Sweet Tea Pie

“Sweet Tea Pie” from Tasting Table

If you’ve been paying attention this month, you’ll know that I’m attempting to not spend any money this month. Living at home and not having to pay for food or rent and working at the same place as your dad really allows for me to to this properly. And so far this month I’ve only spent $20.18. And there is an explanation for that which I won’t go into here.

Aside from going out to eat, which was like my only type of expense last month and for which I was eternally shamed after seeing the final bill for the month, one of the other things I tend to spend a lot on is books. I actually had a month budget for books which I could rarely stick to because once I start buying books it is over. O-V-E-R. I will buy e-books. I will buy paperbacks. I will buy graphic novels (seriously I have a half-bookshelf in my office full of them). And of course I will buy cookbooks and occasionally I will go to the thrift store and just fill up a cart of any kind of book I can get my hands on.

But I gave up buying books for Lent and then I went on my current spending fast for the month of April. This means that I haven’t bought a single book (not even the free ones because that’s like a gateway drug) since mid-February. My mom keeps pointing out that I/We aren’t Catholic but I’ve been sticking to it and so far so good. I did just get an iTunes gift card yesterday and I’m starting to slip a little but so far so good. I’m only PLANNING to buy books. I haven’t done anything I’ll regret yet.

The no-book-buying policy has forced me to turn back to my previous purchases and look at them more carefully. Some I bought on good recommendations and some I thought just looked cool. But I do have a lot of books that I haven’t actually read. This is what happens when I start downloading books (especially the free ones from iBooks or Kindle). I have amassed so many e-books (most of them free) that it’s kind of ridiculous. But now I am going back and checking everything out properly and reading them or whatever it is one does with free e-books that are mostly pictures.

And it turns out there are a few gems in my digital “pile”. For instance, I had forgotten about the two free or cheap (I can’t even remember) Tasting Table cook books I’d gotten on iBooks sometime ago and never even looked at. I was browsing the online store and it says I’d already downloaded that book. I was like “Whoa! Really? I mean that makes sense it looks like something I would get but when did I do that?”

And that’s how I found the recipe for this post. “Sweet Tea Pie”. And what do you know? My mom just replenished our never diminishing tea supply and after the party this past weekend I still have everything I need to make this recipe.

To Pie!