Chicken Apple Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and I can’t believe it has been 2 years since the release of my 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Cookbook published by Robert Rose. To celebrate, I am sharing my Chicken Apple Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese Sandwich. The roasted chicken pairs nicely with more info

the sweetness of the apple and smokiness of the Gouda cheese. Feel free to substitute turkey, pork, or shrimp for the chicken. If you are on a gluten-free diet, use your favorite gluten free bread or tortilla wraps. I use one deli-style rotisserie chicken. It yields the perfect amount and will save you time. Enjoy and happy April! To purchase copy of my book, click here.

 

5 Breakfast Recipe Ideas for Back to School

I know you have heard it a million times, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is even more important for those parents with kids, especially since school is starting. Ours starts tomorrow, and I can’t believe it! Plenty of healthy breakfast ideas exist for the whole family to enjoy so it makes it easier on everyone. Here are the 5 breakfast recipe ideas for back to school:

1. Smoothies-Who doesn’t love a fresh fruit smoothie? You can buy a huge variety of smoothies off the shelves in supermarkets, but can often be high in sugar. If you want to ensure that your kids are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need, create their favorite smoothie before school. Try my Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie.

2. Bagel, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese- Kids get bored of toast, so mix it up by offering them a bagel instead. You can get all sorts of different flavors. Try my recipe for Smoked Salmon Dip that works great as a breakfast spread.

3. Cereals-Children tend to tire of eating the same thing, so while healthy cereals such as granola are a great option, make sure you have plenty of variety. You can alternate different cereals and add fruit and/or Greek yogurt to offer something new each day. Try my Blueberry Yogurt Parfait.

4. Eggs-Eggs are a great source of protein, and my kids love this recipe for Oatmeal with Egg Whites that has a good source of protein and carbohydrates.

5. Breakfast Sandwiches- Breakfast sandwiches are a great change of pace. Create breakfast sandwiches with your kid’s favorite ingredients. Check out my recipe for Breakfast Wraps.

 

Grilled Carnegie Sandwich

As an expert for the NFRA (National Frozen and Refrigeration Foods Association), I am excited to share that June is National Dairy month! In celebration, I am sharing my recipe for Grilled Carnegie Sandwich from my latest cookbook, 150 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. This is the perfect sandwich for Fathers’s day this weekend! I love dairy foods because they are more than just kitchen staples. With everything from milk and cheese to juice and dips to potatoes and cookie/pastry dough, the refrigerated dairy aisle is always a destination for mealtime inspiration (especially with 3 kids). Also with a variety of foods and drinks found in the refrigerated dairy aisle, you can create dishes for every meal occasion; from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.

This month NFRA has partnered with chef and culinary expert, Aida Mollenkamp, to show Americans the creative culinary possibilities that can come from foods in the refrigerated dairy aisle. Aida Mollenkamp has created unique, unexpected recipes using foods found in the refrigerated dairy aisle, and each recipe offers a perfect balance of taste and health, and showcases the foods’ real, simple, farm-grown ingredients.

  • Check out culinary inspiration on The Dish Diary Tumblr – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association’s photo blog for creative ideas and recipes for any meal occasion using foods from the refrigerated dairy aisle, and invites American’s to share their own inspired recipes.  Visit TheDishDiary.Tumblr.com to upload a photo of a creative dish or interesting food pairing made from foods found in the refrigerated dairy aisle. Also, for more mealtime inspiration also visit www.EasyHomeMeals.com

 

5 Easy Back to School Recipes

My 3 kids start back to school tomorrow, and it’s hard to believe. Where did the summer go? If you’re like me, you are in search for some no fail back to school recipes. This Tuna Checkerboard Sandwich has been a hit with my kids, and it comes from my recent cookbook “400 Best Sandwich Recipes”. Here are 4 other of our household favorites back to school recipes. If you’re looking for some other back to school recipes and ideas or some help doing the planning for you, see Momables by my incredibly talented friend, Laura. Momables” streamlines the lunch making process with a weekly menu and shopping list. Check out some of her sample menus at Momables. It is such a fabulous idea and so helpful.

Healthy Trail Mix via Ingredients Inc. 

Lunchbox Sushi via Ingredients, Inc.

Bistro Pasta Salad via Ingredients, Inc.

No Bake Nutella Oatmeal Bites via Ingredients, Inc.

 

Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches for Back to School Lunches

It’s so fun to mix and match different types of bread to jazz up the kids’ sandwiches. This recipe for Tuna Checkerboard Sandwich gives regular tuna a twist using lemon juice and white wine vinegar instead of mayonnaise. It is healthier, light and a great new way to get the kids to eat more tuna. This recipe is in my latest cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” published by Robert Rose, Inc.

Book Signing Tomorrow at Birmingham Bake and Cook Company

Come see me to this Saturday, July 30th at Birmingham Bake & Cook Company from 12 p.m to 2 p.m. for food and fun.  I’ll be signing copies of my new cookbook 400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics to Burgers & Wraps to Condiments. You can also try these Grilled Peach and Brie Panini Sandwiches (from my book) so come have a bite. Have a super weekend and thank you for your wonderful support!

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

For Fourth of July weekend, I wanted to share my recipe for Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches from my new cookbook “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments”. I came up with this recipe last summer while I was working on this book. My three kids were in the kitchen helping me, so I tried to make it as simple as possible. It is perfect to serve this weekend if you are celebrating with friends and family, or anytime this summer. Use your favorite homemade chocolate recipe or store-bought cookie dough.

This recipe is from “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” 2011 by Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission and photo credit by Colin Erricson.

Pepper Place Farmers Market This Saturday

Come see me tomorrow, Saturday, at the Pepper Place Farmers Market in downtown Birmingham. I will be there selling my book “400 Best Sandwich Recipes” with Bob Carlton of the Birmingham News as he showcases his new “Soon-to-be-Famous Pimiento Cheese”. We will be there from 7 to noon. Stop by and say hello, and try a Pimiento Cheese Sandwich on Big Sky Bread. Have a super weekend!

Only 1 of my cookbooks is currently available on Amazon this week, so come get a signed copy in person.

Brie-Mushroom Burgers

For Memorial Day weekend, I want to share one of my favorite burgers: Brie-Mushroom Burger. The first time I made this, my kids were a little leery of the Brie and mushrooms. When they tried it, they were hooked. This is a great way to get your children to eat mushrooms and try new ingredients. If you’re grilling this weekend for adults, you will definitely enjoy this burger with a cold beer (or glass of red wine). Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Super Bowl Appetizer and Party Tips: Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

One week from today is the Super Bowl, one of the most fun sporting events of the year. I filmed a Super Bowl television cooking segment for NBC “Daytime Alabama” which will air next week, making four easy appetizers. This 5 ingredient recipe for Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil is a cinch, taking only 20 minutes to prepare. Here are some of my favorite Super Bowl tips for hosting your upcoming party.

Super Bowl Hosting Tips:

-Think “green” and make it easy. Send out E Invites or call or Facebook your friends

-Set up as many televisions as possible if you’re having a large party

-Plan simple and easy food to put out and refill. Also, think about servings foods that are easy to pick up and eat in your lap.

-Have one room planned for television watchers and another for those who just want to talk (okay…some of us women)

-If you’re inviting guests with children, have video games, movies, coloring pages, crayons and puzzles to keep them busy

-Offer healthy foods: such as serve fresh fruit and vegetables with hummus

-Have plenty of beverages and a variety for everyone

-Ask guests to pitch in and bring food (give them a task)

-Have a “faux betting pool” set up and a few prizes for the winners