Thursday, August 16, 2012

Apple Brie Panini Recipe

I'm just going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret.  This sandwich is life changing.  Really.  This sandwich will make you a better person.  More in tune with God.  With yourself.  With others.  So, I don't think it comes as any shock that I'm going to need you to make this sandwich.  Amen.

Really, though, this sandwich was so simple.  Just 5 ingredients (6 if you count sea salt, but let's not get all technical here).  I found the initial recipe here and just adapted it to my own taste a bit.  So, on with the recipe....

Apple Brie Panini

Baguette or Hoagie roll (sourdough would taste great!)
Brie (enough to cover one layer on the sandwich, 2 - 3 oz.), cut in slices
1 granny smith apple, cut in slices
handful of arugula
2 tablespoons of honey (I suggest clover or orange blossom honey)
sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Take your baguette or hoagie and slice it in half (long ways).  Spread the inside of both sides of the bread with honey.  On the bottom bread slice, place the sliced brie and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Then, add a layer of the sliced apples, top with arugula and add more honey to your taste. Place the top bread slice on top.  Grill on a panini press or George Forman grill, making sure to grease it first.  Grill 3 - 6 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is crispy.  Bon appetit!

Note: You can also try it without grilling.  It's delicious, too!  But that melty brie cheese just seems to warm the soul :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vegetable Gratin Recipe

Last week I had a ton of vegetables leftover from meals earlier in the week.  Instead of doing my normal 'saute them in a pan with olive oil', I decided to make a vegetable gratin.  They're pretty simple and would use the rest of my veggies - win, win!  Also, you can use just about any veggies you have on hand - potatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, sweet onion, tomatoes...the list goes on and on.

So, let's get down to business!

Vegetable Gratin

1 medium to large size onion, sliced thin
2 - 3 tomatoes, sliced thin
4 - 5 zucchini, sliced thin
4 - 5 yellow squash, sliced thin
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
handful of fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.  After slicing all of your vegetables, take your onion and saute it in a pan with olive oil until they just begin to caramelize.  Place the onion in the greased baking dish - this will be your first layer.

Next, take your squash and layer it on top of the onion making sure to overlap each piece of squash just a bit.  Do the same thing with the zucchini next, and then the tomato.  Add half of the mozzarella cheese, half of the parmesan, dash of salt, dash of pepper and some thyme on top of the tomato.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Continue layering until you have either used up all of your veggies or run out of room.  Top the last layer with the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan, add a dash of salt, dash of pepper and some thyme and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until cheese on top is golden.


*Note: You may need to add an additional few minutes if you decide to add potato as one of the layers.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Corn Salad Recipe

A little over a week ago, a few friends from work and I went to see a local theater put on the musical "Legally Blonde."  Since I've dreamed of my life actually being a musical for as long as I can remember, I figured this would probably be the closest it would come to being a reality.  Before we headed to the show our sweet hostess made a dinner that included an herb crusted salmon, tomato garlic galette, corn salad and for dessert panna cotta.  Jackpot right?  I had already moved my bags in before we even got started on the wine.

My friend's corn salad was so simple and delicious that I decided to make some of my own.  It was a huge hit with the Husband (not to mention, ridiculously easy) and I think I will definitely be making this again!


5 ears of sweet corn on the cob, shucked
10 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 of a small red (purple) onion, chopped
1 - 2 handfuls basil, chopped or julienned
5 - 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt & pepper


Cook your ears of corn by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  Place your already shucked ears of corn in the boiling water and cover.  Bring the the water back up to a boil and boil the corn for about 2 - 4 minutes, depending on how soft you want it.  I like mine a little crispier so I only boil them for 2 minutes.  Once they've boiled, remove them and soak them in an ice bath to stop the cooking.

Take your olive oil, vinegar and lime juice and mix together until well combined.  Set aside.

Cut the corn off the cob and place in a large bowl. Add the halved tomatoes, chopped onion and basil.  Add the olive oil  mixture a bit at a time until it coats the corn mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to your desired taste.  Enjoy!