I originally started this blog as a place to store tried and true recipes for my family. It didn't take long to discover how supportive and fun the blog community was and I became hooked! I rarely create my own recipes, but I still hope you'll enjoy the recipes that I find and tweak a bit.
Nothing beats having dirty, exhausted kids. That sounds like a strange statement, but when my kids are cranky, tired and filthy then it probably means that our day has been spent outside, digging in the dirt, climbing jungle gyms and soaking up as much of this beautiful weather as possible. I love it, and although it means having to double up on baths and showers, it's absolutely worth it. However, it also means that my time in the kitchen and at my computer will be significantly lessened, so my posts my be a bit more sporadic than normal. I'm going to do my best to keep up with you, but if you don't see me around for a while, it hopefully means it's because we're getting delightfully kissed by the sun! Ah, I love the spring!
I probably wouldn't have made these cheesy gooey sandwiches if it wasn't for a little trip I took to Kitchen Kettle in Lancaster, PA with one of my friends. I am in love with this place as it's full of fantastic foods made by the Amish, and they allow you to sample just about everything that they made. I went specifically for a jar of their pickled beets (most of you are probably grimacing at that, but don't knock 'em till you try 'em, they're awesome!), but along the way we discovered this elderberry jelly, which was delicious. It's hard to describe the taste except to say that it has that dark "three berry" sweetness in it and it's wonderful. My friend had mentioned that they had a jelly like this to accompany some Monte Cristo sandwiches and that it was to die for. Not being able to get the idea out of my head, I found this recipe in my Cooking Light mag (where else), and got to work. I can't tell you what the difference is between a Croque Monsieur, and a Monte Cristo (can you?) but I will tell you that the jelly is honestly what topped this sandwich off beautifully. Since the sandwich is very savory with it's buttery Gruyere cheese, salty ham and tangy Dijon, the elderberry jelly cuts right through it with it's sweetness. I warmed it just a bit before serving it to thin it out a bit and it was perfect! If you don't have elderberry jelly, you could probably try this with any sweet jelly you have on hand. Apricot or raspberry would be excellent!
Dijon Croque Monsieur with Elderberry Jelly Cooking Light Jan/Feb 2010
Ingredients 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon Mustard 1 tablespoon fat-free mayo 8 slices Italian Bread (I just used whole wheat) 6 ounces thinly sliced ham 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup egg substitute 1/4 cup fat free milk cooking spray 1/2 cup warmed elderberry jelly for dipping
1. Combine mustard and mayo in a small bowl. Spread 3/4 teaspoon of mustard mixture over each of 4 bread slices; evenly distribute ham and cheese on each slice of bread. Sprinkle evenly with pepper. Spread remaining mustard mixture on each remaining bread slice and assemble sandwiches.
2. Combine egg substitute and milk in a shallow dish. Dip both sides of each sandwich into the egg mixture.
3. Heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Use jelly for dipping. Serves 4
Per Serving (not including jelly): 350 cal, 11.7g fat, 25.1g prot, 34.6g carb, 1.7g fiber