Monthly Archives: February 2012

Growing Up with Grilled Cheese

Ham and Cheese lovers paradise;Parma, Italy

Simple things in life give me great pleasure. One of those simple pleasures is a glorious indulgence knows as grilled cheese. Cheeseheads around the country are smiling, I can feel it.

Growing up in the Midwest is a wonderful place to nurture a love for dairy. One of my fondest memories as a child is having a special night in with my Dad and sister, while my Mom was out, embracing a kid-less world for a night.  I’m sure she was way overdue.

Meg and I would begin to craft our own sandwiches, testing different cheeses and flipping styles in a well-buttered pan.  Utensils were nowhere near necessary, even though I am sure I demanded the sandwich was to be cut in half, with a knife. A cold glass of milk and chips on the side were welcome companions to this delectably gooey dinner.

Lately, I’ve been reminiscing about my love for grilled cheese. I’ve let it grow up a bit, adding spinach and tomatoes, whole wheat bread and aged Havarti. Add an egg for breakfast, prosciutto for lunch. Whether you choose to be classic or over the top, a grilled cheese never disappoints.

Fully Capable Cooking

Feeling Spice

There is beauty in canned, pre-packaged vegetables and legumes. And believe me, I pull a semi-homemade Sandra Lee every once and a while. Yet, there is such fun in creating something simply delicious from scratch!

Roasted red pepper was always a perceived premium in my world until I discovered I could roast my own! Also, I was overzealous in the produce section this week and the nearly shriveled red pepper is sparking inspiration. Embrace your inner Rick Bayless and add some fiesta to your life!

What you need:

  • An oven/broiler or grill
  • 30-40 minutes

Stick your red pepper on a baking sheet in the broiler or directly on the grill. The objective is to blacken the pepper over the course of time, so keep an eye on it to ensure all sides are charred. Add some tomatillos to the mix, too!

After pepper is entirely blackened, let cool completely. Cut out stem and peel away charred skin. Slice into strips to garnish your meal. Puree the tomatillos to create salsa or quarter and add to a salad.

Restaurant Review: “Harvest” in Louisville, KY

Ciao foodies! I had a wonderful dining experience at Harvest in Louisville, Kentucky and thought you should know.

As a lover of new food adventures, I did a quick Yelp search to help pare down all that Louisville has to offer (which, in terms of food, is a great deal)! I found a few cool places but Harvest seemed to fit the bill from a food and wallet perspective.

The simple, open space is inviting whether you have a table or a stool at the bar. Very rustic, very farmer. The story is inspiring, as four farmers formed lines for miles at the local farmers market. Serving the freshest of produce and the most savory pastries, the patrons encouraged them to open a restaurant. And when you can put your money where your mouth is, life is good. After posting a sign up sheet at their market stand, eager epicureans vowed to financially back the restaurant. They’ve been packing a full house since April 2011.

The exciting part of dining at Harvest is the map on the wall, showcasing the location from where your brunch and dinner are sourced. Nearly 85% of everything in the kitchen comes from within 100 miles of the restaurant. As you peruse the restaurant, you will find the black and white faces on the walls are familiar, as they are the founding farmers themselves serving and busing surrounding tables.

If you’re looking for local and fresh food with southern flair, head to Harvest. Enjoy!

Embracing Change, Staying Hungry

After many months of revisiting my passion and motivation, I’ve taken a leap of faith and left a job that was no longer fulfilling. The best part: I know it was the right decision.

I know in my heart that I cannot fool myself, and for that I am grateful. Too much time was spent on convincing myself that I was just having a bad day, week, month. All was true, and I couldn’t let it go on for much longer. I was having a bad time- a change was necessary.

The things you do may not seem ideal at the time, such as leaving a job without the next lined up, but as Steve Jobs famously noted, “Stay foolish, stay hungry”. In the eyes of many, I may have been foolish in my decision to take a risk and a leap of faith without a safety net, but I’ve never  been hungrier. Hungry to learn, to connect and to grow. I’ve been preparing for a change for quite some time, meeting with others who are eager to help connect and motivate. Many have followed their dreams and are working for themselves; they’ve reassured me that failure and challenges are parts of the process but it’s been worth it. Excited to jump out of bed every morning, ready to take on a new challenge and exert your energy for something you love is rewarding beyond belief. And very, very possible.

I’m searching for my next big adventure. Staying foolish, staying hungry.