Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TWD Slacker-Style: Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart

I have a confession to make. I can't get anything in my personal life done in a timely manner. My house looks like a tornado just touched down in the middle of it. I completely forgot to get some work done for our church's annual chili supper that's coming up on Saturday. My continuing education hours (10!) are due by the end of October, and I haven't started on them. And I didn't get my TWD assignment done on time. That's just the beginning. There's more, but it's too depressing to discuss. Let's move on to the food!
Anyway, I actually completed the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart last night at about 10pm, after a really long day of training and being on the road. My daylight was long gone, so I waited until this evening to get some pictures. While baking is my very favorite thing to do, I just wasn't feeling it last night...but I was feeling obligated to participate. My heart wasn't in this one, and I could tell by the final product...
I was able to make my tart dough made ahead of time, before I went out of town Sunday night. But this tart dough gives me fits every time I use it. I need some kind of a tutorial before I make it. I just can't get the texture that I think I'm supposed to have, and I can't get it pressed into the pan evenly to save my life. I usually just succumb to defeat and jam it in the pan and call it "good enough."
This was the first time I've ever made caramel, and it's always been one of those things that I've been intimidated to try, but it was surprisingly easy, thanks to Dorie's directions. I just don't think it had enough intensity of flavor, though. I think it's because I was so terrified of burning it that I didn't let it boil long enough. It kind of got lost in the chocolate ganache layer. About the ganache...Dorie's recipe called for 8 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, which I used. Next time, I'd use 4 oz. of bittersweet and 4 oz. of semi-sweet. It just needed a little bit of sweetness, but part of that may be because my caramel wasn't quite right.
All in all, I think it was a nice dessert. It was definitely a challenge to me, but it wasn't a challenge I needed after a long (and somewhat emotionally-exhausting) day. I'd like to try it another time with a double batch of caramel and more rest (for me!).
This recipe was chosen by Carla, of Chocolate Moosey. She's waited 16 months for her turn to pick the recipe! I'm pretty sure we'll have finished the book by the time it's my turn to pick (I'm number 254 in the recipe rotation...Carla was #82), but I'm having a great time baking along! If you'd like to try your hand at the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart, Carla has it posted on her blog. Have fun!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taco Soup

It's been another wild week at my house. Last Monday and Tuesday, David and I took a couple of vacation days and visited Jenny Wiley State Park. That left Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Friday to prepare for the weekend class I was scheduled to teach. Friday night and all day Saturday were spent teaching. Monday and Tuesday of this coming week, I have to be out of town for work-related stuff. Whew! I think I only made one home-cooked meal last week, and it was a grilled chicken salad...hardly anything to blog about! I feel like I've neglected David in the food department, so on Saturday evening, while he was settling in for the UK-Florida massacre, I set about making a big ol' part of soup for him to have while I'm out of town.
I decided on Paula Deen's Taco Soup for a number of reasons. It's quick. It's easy. It's hearty. It's man-friendly. It's full of fiber (okay, so that reason is a stretch). And it's super-tasty!
Please forgive me for the less-than-perfect photo. I was on my way out the door tonight and snapped a quick picture. This soup is a staple in our house during the fall and winter, because it's just that good...I mean, what else would you expect from Paula Deen? Anyway, give this recipe a try on the first chance that you get. You won't be disappointed!
Taco Soup
Chopped green onions
Grated cheese
Sour cream
Corn chips
1 1-ounce package ranch salad dressing mix
1 1 1/4-ounce package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup green olives, sliced (optional)
1 small can black olives, drained and sliced (optional)
2 4 1/2-ounce cans diced green chilies
1 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes with chilies
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14 1/2-ounce can mexican tomatoes
1 15 1/4-ounce can whole kernal corn, drained
1 15 1/2-ounce cans pink kidney beans
2 15-1/2 ounce cans pinto beans
2 cup diced onions
2 lb ground beef
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large crackpot or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, green onions, tomatoes, chilies, olives, and seasonings, and cook on low setting all day (6 to 8 hours) if using a crockpot, or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a stockpot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, and jalapenos.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Ultimate Compliment

If you're a regular around here, you know that I work for Lindsey Wilson College's School of Professional Counseling. I work at one of their many extended campus sites, and part of my job duties include teaching. All of our courses are offered on weekends, so that means that several of my weekends are spent teaching on Friday nights and on Saturdays. Today was the last meeting of one of the classes that I'm teaching during this semester, so we decided to have a potluck lunch. I brought corn pudding. Mmm...
It was during this potluck lunch that I received what I consider to be the ultimate compliment. One of my students said, "Erin, who taught you how to cook? Paula Deen?" Besides the fact that in my mind Paula Deen's food = delicious, it meant even more that it came from a woman who was raised in the deep South, where they know real, good Southern food. Several of the students really liked the corn pudding, which is easily in my Top 5 Favorite Foods list. A number of them even asked me for the recipe. But I didn't give it out, and I won't post the recipe here...for now. You see, I didn't get this recipe until I married my husband, so I kind of get the impression that it's maybe a secret family recipe. After all, the Klingenfus/Orr clan refers to it as "Aunt Lila's Corn Pudding." (Just as an aside...neither David nor I know who Aunt Lila is/was.) There's nothing difficult or labor-intensive about the fact I put it together at 6am this morning while I was still half-asleep. But it's just perfect. It's wonderfully moist, but not runny. It's slightly sweet, but not too sweet. It's got a perfect corn to cornbread ratio. It's corn pudding perfection.
So, after listening to me wax poetic about the corn pudding, do you have a secret family recipe? Or your no-fail, go-to recipe that gets tons of compliments? Fill us in!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TWD: Cottage Cheese Pufflets

Yuck. Sorry...that's it. I was so disappointed in these things. They were a pain in my rear from the time I started, and by the time I was done, I was cranky.
Cottage cheese has its place, but it does not belong in dough. This has got to be the stickiest, most stubborn, temperamental dough ever in the history of the world. It seemed like I had it out of the fridge for a minute and a half, and it was goopy and sticking to everything. I let it chill overnight before I started working with it. Then I rolled it with about 4 passes of the rolling pin, then chilled it (repeat about 6 times). I cut my rounds with the cookie cutters, then chilled them. Then I filled them and chilled them. Finally, by the time I got the first batch in the oven, I had used up my patience quotient for the day (and those of you who really know me know that I don't have much to begin with). I had high hopes. I filled some with PB and Nutella (due to my recent addiction to the stuff) and others were filled with strawberry jam. I baked them just like Dorie said, and I dusted them with powdered sugar and let them cool. And they weren't good.
This was one of the PB/Nutella ones. Look at that stupid "pufflet". There's no puff involved, really. It's just a cottage-cheesy flop. These won't be on my "to-make" list ever again. I sure hope some of the other TWDers enjoyed them, but I didn't. Ugh. For the record, though, this is the first time I've been disappointed with a TWD recipe. And oh my goodness...I have high hopes for next week. Chocolate? Check. Caramel? Check. Honey roasted peanuts? Check. I'm gonna have to get some bigger pants.
Anyway, if you're feelin' froggy this week and have some cottage cheese you want to make cookies out of, head on over to
Daisy Lane Cupcakes for the recipe. I hope Jacque had better luck and more patience than me!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cinnamon-Walnut Spirals

I found the recipe for these tasty little morsels in the October issue of Country Living magazine, which was given to me by my Aunt Betty. She knows I love Halloween. For the record, the October issue of Country Living is by far my most favorite magazine issue every year. It's my favorite issue of any magazine, any year! And, for the record, Fall is my favorite time of year for baking. As I was browsing through this year's issue, I found this recipe in a little article called "Three Fresh Ideas for Frozen Puff Pastry." (Sorry, I can't find the recipe or article online.) I happened to have a sheet of frozen puff pastry leftover from making the Parisian Apple Tarts for Tuesdays with Dorie. The only thing the recipe called for that I didn't have was pecans. But I had walnuts, so I forged ahead!
These were so darn good, and so easy to make. I don't want anyone to be misled, though...these aren't anything like cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. They're more like a little breakfast pastry. They're crunchy and super-flaky. I couldn't really taste the orange zest as much as I would have liked, so I would add more of that in the future. These are tasty little treats that would be great with a nice cup of coffee and a good book. They're a perfect way to get ready for fall. Look out guys, I've got lots of pumpkin-laced recipes on my to-make list...I'm just waiting for the official start of fall...and that's Wednesday! Here's the original recipe from Country Living, which called for pecans. The only thing I changed was the substitution of walnuts.
Cinnamon-Pecan Spirals
Country Living Magazine
6 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter. Unfold the puff pastry. Lightly brush the puff pastry with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Press into dough. Fligh dough and repeat. Roll to 11- by 16-inch rectangle. Toss the pecans and zest; sprinkle half of this mixture over the dough. Fold dough in half to 11- by 8-inch rectangle. Press remaining nut mixture into dough, covering the surface. Starting from one of the long sides, roll into a tight log. Trim edge. Wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes. Cut log into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Place 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Usually, during one shopping trip at the beginning of each month, I purchase all of our meat for that month. I always get tilapia fillets, pork chops, flank steak, chicken and a little ground beef. Those are our staples, but if we have a recipe we want to try that calls for a different cut/type of meat, we'll probably go ahead and get it, but I try to keep fish, pork, flank steak, and ground beef because they're all so versatile. When I have those things in my freezer, I'm always confident that I can come up with a quick, tasty dinner in no time at all.

I noticed that we hadn't been eating much of our fish (probably because it was shoved underneath about 6 bags of frozen blackberries!), so I decided to look for something new to try. Our go-to fish recipe is Italian Tilapia, but I've blogged about that before, so I needed something new! I visited The Sister's Cafe because I knew I'd find something tasty there! Of course, they didn't let me down. When I found a recipe that called for butter, mayo, and parmesan cheese, I knew I was on to something good. I put this together in no time, and once again amazed my husband at how quickly I got supper on the table. Really, it took longer to gather the ingredients than it did to put them together and cook the fish! David and I enjoyed the fish; you'd think it would be "heavy" with the mayo, butter, and cheese, but it was surprisingly light. It's not exactly diet food, but if you monitor your intake all day, it's not a calorie budget-buster by any means. I won't repost the recipe...I'll just send you here so that you can get it straight from The Sisters! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


You see that stuff? That is a 13-oz bottle of danger. A jar of diet disaster. It's food of the gods. And how have I made it nearly 30 years without ever tasting the stuff?! The first time I ever heard about Nutella was from a college roommate, Emily. She used to keep a jar in the suite, but I never tasted it. Then, I saw Giada de Laurentiis using it on her show in several recipes. Most recently, I've noticed bloggers using it in a number of recipes. The common denominator in all of those people is that they all talk about how wonderful it is. How have I held out this long?!

Yesterday, I broke down and bought a jar. I bought it on a whim. I had to go to Kroger to buy 2 dozen eggs for David to take to the church men's breakfast this morning. On my way back to the dairy case, I made my way through the produce section, past the bread, and by the peanut butter/jam/honey aisle. And there it was. It was calling my name. It was on sale. I bought it. I just had to see what all the fuss is about.

Well...the fuss is well-founded! Oh my word, I thought I was in chocolate heaven. I expected a texture like peanut butter, but it's actually more like slightly melted frosting. And the taste? It tastes JUST LIKE those Ferrero Rocher chocolates that I adore. I ate 2 teaspoons full just standing at the pantry door. Then I had to put it away. Then David came home and I made him taste it (and I had a couple more teaspoons full). And ever since then, this daggum jar of Nutella has been on my mind. has a little voice, and I can hear it constantly, calling me from the pantry. "Erin...get a spoon...get some Nutella!" I'm trying to resist, but I swear ya'll, it's like those Sirens from Greek mythology. It's gonna be the death of me.

As I've been trying to resist the call of the Nutella, I've been thinking about ways to use it in baking. First and foremost, Nutella and peanut butter will be used as fillings in my Cottage Cheese Pufflets that you'll be seeing on Tuesday. I thought it would make a nice swirl in some homemade ice cream. And I thought you could maybe marble a cake with it. Pound cake, even. And then I Googled Nutella, and there are pages devoted to Nutella recipes. Oh, my. Someone's going to have to stage an intervention. Help.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TWD: Flaky Apple Turnovers

For this week's assignment for TWD, we have Julie to thank. Her cute little blog is called Someone's in the Kitchen, and she's quite the baker! Besides TWD, she participates in Operation Baking GALS and Cookie Carnival. I'm jealous of someone who has enough time to participate in all those baking events!
She made a great pick this week...Flaky Apple Turnovers. At first, I was intimidated by the idea of making the dough...I though turnover dough had to be extremely tough to make, right? I mean, how in the hairy would I get all of those flaky, tasty, layers? But leave it to Dorie...she took all the guesswork out of the equation and I made my first flaky pastry dough. Woo Hoo! It was interesting...besides the butter, sugar, and flour, the recipe called for sour cream. I've never done that before. I've made dough that had cream cheese in it, but never sour cream! After some chilling, folding, and rolling, I had a nice looking (and tasting) dough.

I didn't have a cookie cutter the right size, but it worked out well because I didn't roll my dough out thin enough. I just rolled each round out to the right thickness, and it worked fine! At first, I added too much filling and I struggled to get my turnovers closed, but I cut back on the amount of filling in each turnover, and they turned out perfectly.
The filling was simple. I used Granny Smith apples, as Dorie suggested, and I had a little filling left over. I ate a few bites of it straight out of the bowl. Delish!

We had these turnovers as a dessert after Mama's birthday dinner, and she was impressed. She said they reminded her of a fried pie, except baked (since she saw me take them out of the oven). She said, "They must be a lot healthier than fried pies, right?" Um, no. Has anyone made an acronym out of the name of this week's TWD assignment? Try FAT. There's still plenty of butter, sugar, sour cream, etc. in here to keep it from being considered healthy. But, oh...they're good! The best part is that you can assemble them and freeze them. Then, just take a frozen FAT (Flaky Apple Turnover) out of the oven, brush it with a little egg wash, bake it in the oven, and in about 20 minutes, you'll have a delightful little dessert! YUM! Thanks, Julie, for choosing this recipe! If you want to make the FATs, or if you want to try any of the other goodies Julie's been baking, you'll need to visit her little corner of the Internet...Someone's in the Kitchen. Happy baking!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mama's Birthday Dinner

David's grandmother, who is called "Mama" by all the grand- and great-grandkids, is our next-door neighbor. She is also my chief taste-tester. Her birthday was last weekend (on the same day as the big dove shoot I wrote about last week). She kept saying that she didn't want any gifts, so I knew exactly what our gift to her would be.

Chicken Pot Pie! Mama first had my chicken pot pie about a year ago, I guess, and she always says that it's the best thing I make. I think that's a pretty high compliment from someone who cooks and bakes as well as Mama! We had her over tonight for a very late birthday celebration (due to my crazy work schedule), and I think she was very pleased with how it turned out!
I have no idea where I got the recipe. I apologize if it belongs to you, and I don't give you credit. If it's yours, please let me know! But I have a feeling that it's from the Bisquick people, because the original recipe calls for a Bisquick topping, but I made my biscuit dough from scratch, using this recipe.
Mama's Favorite Chicken Pot Pie
Unknown (Pot Pie)/Pinch My Salt (Biscuit Topping [adapted])
For the Pot Pie:
3 cups cooked diced chicken
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. pepper
For the Biscuit Topping:
1 1/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into small chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tbs. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
For the Pot Pie:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Spread chicken and vegetables evenly in prepared dish. Stir together soup, broth, and pepper in small mixing bowl; pour evenly over chicken mixture.
For the Biscuit Topping:
Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add butter and cut into flour using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, and mix with a fork until the dough becomes shaggy.
Assembling the Pot Pie:
Melt the butter. Add garlic powder and stir. Spread the biscuit dough over the pot pie. Brush with the melted butter. Bake, uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Best Foodie Foto Contest

Well, I entered again, and this week, I know I haven't got a chance. There are too many delicious pictures to choose from in the Best Foodie Foto Contest this week. Anway, here was my lone entry this week:

This was the Tomato Spinach Pasta Toss that I made the other night to satisfy a huge comfort food craving. If you're interested in voting for me in this week's contest, you'll need to visit "Hey, What's for Dinner, Mom?" Take a look at all the photos, then at the very bottom of the entry, leave a comment with the number of the picture you want to vote for. I'm number 12 this week. But again, there are so many yummy things listed, that I won't blame you for not voting for me...this week. I won't make any promises about next week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tomato Spinach Pasta Toss

Geeze's been a tough week. Since last Friday, I've had work on my mind, and it's been nearly impossible to get it out of there! It's just been emotionally draining, and I'm ready for a little break that David and I will be taking later this month. In the meantime, I've just been trying to focus on getting through this week and weekend. When I get really stressed and overwhelmed, it sometimes seems like nothing will do except a little comfort food. Tonight, what sounded really good to me was sausage and pasta. Pork and carbs...what could be better?!
Anyway, this is a tasty little dish that takes no time to put together. It used to be on our regular rotation around here, but after we adopted a little healthier style of eating, I stopped making it. It hit the spot tonight.
I originally found this recipe in one of the Kraft Food and Family's probably been a couple of years ago now. Some of you might think it's salty (thanks to the Italian sausage and canned tomatoes), but I like things a little on the salty side (I think that's a part of the comfort food thing, too). You could always use no salt added tomatoes. The ingredient list is minimal, it takes a matter of minutes to prepare, and the most difficult thing is browning the sausage. It's a perfect recipe for a hectic night when you just want something good to eat!
Tomato Spinach Pasta Toss
2 cups whole wheat pasta
1 lb Italian sausage
14.5 oz. Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
6 oz. baby spinach
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese
Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, crumble meat into a large, deep skillet. Cook on medium-high heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Add spinach and tomatoes; cook until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
Drain pasta; place in large serving bowl. Add meat mixture and cheeses; mix lightly.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Upside Down German Chocolate Cake

What does the first weekend in September bring? Labor Day, you say? Nope, not around here. I mean, we do celebrate Labor Day, but that's not the thing that gets my husband and his family excited.'s the opening of dove season! Every year, during the first weekend in September, David's Uncle Bobby and Aunt Angie host a dove shoot and dinner at their house. The menfolk all get together in the early afternoon to shoot doves, and then the rest of the family arrives in the evening for the dinner. We all pitch in and usually have tons of delicious food! This year, I decided to take Upside Down German Chocolate Cake, which is a recipe from my mom's friend, Sue. It's absolutely delicious, and it couldn't be easier to make!

First, you sprinkle some pecans and dried coconut on the bottom of your pan:

Then, you pour your prepared German Chocolate Cake batter over the pecans and coconut:
Then, you drop dollops of cream cheese frosting all over the top:
Let's get an aerial view, just so you get the idea...
Finally, you pop it in the oven and bake. When it comes out, it'll look like this:
But then, when you cut the slices and flip them over, your finished cake looks like this:
Sue's cake got tons of compliments last night, but that was no always gets tons of compliments! Everyone loves this cake. Even people who don't like coconut. It's a great cake to take to potlucks or pitch-ins at work. But be prepared to give out the recipe...everyone will ask for it!
Upside Down German Chocolate Cake
Sue Nelson
1 pkg. German chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake according to package)
1 cup sweetened dried coconut flakes
1 cup chopped pecans
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar
Grease and flour a 9x13-inch cake pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over teh bottom of the prepared pan. Prepare the cake mix, following the package directions.
Pour the cake batter over the coconut and pecans. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner's sugar. Drop by spoonfuls over the top of the cake batter.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake portion.
Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. To serve, cut inot individual serving-sized pieces and, using a spatula or cake server, remove from the pan and turn upside-down onto dessert plates.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Honey-Glazed Spiced Pork Tenderloin

Pork is my very favorite meat. I love pork in just about every variety (but bacon's my favorite). But sometimes I get stuck in a rut and poor David just eats pork chop after pork chop. Not tonight! I found a delicious little recipe in a cookbook that Theresa, my stepmom, gave me about a year ago, and I can't believe I hadn't tried this recipe until now! You'll need about 1 1/4 pounds of pork tenderloin for this recipe...which I happened to have in the freezer!
You also need honey, garlic, and some spices...all of which are pretty common in a well-stocked pantry. I don't know why, but I always think that pork tenderloin takes forever to cook. Not this recipe. Total cook time is about 25 minutes, plus some resting. Easy peasy!
Honey-Glazed Spiced Pork Tenderloin
Devin Alexander
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne (I left this out)
1 1/4 lb. trimmed pork tenderloin
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. honey
1 Tbs. freshly minced garlic
olive oil spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork to mix the paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne in a small bowl.
Rub the tenderloin evenly with teh olive oil, then rub the spice mixture evenly over it until the tenderloin is thoroughly coated. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the honey and garlic in a small bowl.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, lightly mist it with spray. Cook the tenderloin for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until just browned on all sides.
Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. (If one end is much thinner than the other, tuck it under to create a similar thickness throughout.) Use a pastry or basting brush to evenly coat the tenderloin with the honey mixture. Roast, uncovered, for 16 to 18 minutes, or until it is just barely pink inside or a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 155 degrees (the temperature will rise another 5 degrees while standing).
Remove from the oven, loosely cover the tenderloin (not the whole pan) with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board. Holding your knife at a 45-degree angle, slice the tenderloin into thin slices. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bacon Apple Bleu Sandwich TWD this week. I just didn't get around to it this time. Hopefully I'll be back with the Chocolate Souffle next week!
Remember about a month or so ago, when I asked you for your favorite sandwiches? Well...I haven't been very diligent about making them and posting them. It's been a little busy around here this summer, what with a new job, a longer commute, and building a house and all. But I'm back with the Bacon Apple Bleu sandwich, which was recommended to me by a college friend, Amanda C. She's had this sandwich at the North End Cafe in Louisville, and she says it's divine!
I've never had the sandwich, but the menu says it's made of Granny Smith apples, bacon, and bleu cheese walnut spread. Here we go...let's see what we can come up with!

I looked around on Recipezaar and found this recipe for a Bleu Cheese Walnut Spread and decided to give it a try on the sandwich. I have no idea if this is even similar to what the North End Cafe uses in their sandwiches, but it was tasty! I slathered some of the spread onto two sides of buttered bread, then layered on slices of Granny Smith apples and bacon. Then, I pressed the sandwiches on my "Poor Man's Panini," as you'll see below. I laid the sandwiches on my greased grill pan, then laid a cookie sheet on top, which I weighted with four cans of veggies (two placed over each sandwich). It worked like a dream!
See the grill marks? If I hadn't shown you the picture, you would have thought I had a fancy-schmancy panini press, huh? Anyway, this sandwich was great! David and I both agree that we needed more bacon. They were unlike any sandwich I'd ever made before, but I'd definitely make them again. I served them with a side of roasted home-grown new potatotes from Shirley's garden. Thanks, Amanda, for a great idea! We loved it! Here's the recipe for the walnut spread so you can have a Bacon Apple Bleu sandwich anytime!
Bleu Cheese Walnut Spread
From Recipezaar, courtesy of Parsley
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. crumbled bleu cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. fresh chives
In a mixing bowl, blend together the cream cheese, bleu cheese, sour cream, and Worcestershire sauce until well-blended.
Stir in walnuts and chives. Spoon into serving bowl. Garnish with extra chives, if desired.
Chill at least 1 hour to blend flavors.
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