Grilled Garlic Shells and Cheese Sandwich

I should probably stop adding cheese to and grilling all my sandwiches. I don’t know why something so wrong feels so right. So I’ll just keep doing it. Until I have an episode that lands me in the cardiologist’s office.

Okay now that we have a game plan, make this.

Grilled Garlic Shells and Cheese Sandwich
Creamy Garlic Shells and Cheese
Asiago Cheese Roll

So if you aren’t familiar with the pasta side dishes you can buy at the grocery store they coo in like 7 minutes and are probably super processed and really bad for you. But they are delicious and easy and I make them all the time. Don’t tell anyone. If you feel inspired to make pasta shells and then create a 3 cheese sauce with Parmesan and other delicious things, more power to you. If not, make a bag of the Creamy Garlic Shells and don’t read the ingredients list.

When your pasta is done, let it thicken up for a few minutes. In the meantime let your panini press or your skillet heat up. Slice your asiago or other cheese roll, spread on some pasta. Melt butter in your pan and throw the sandwich on. Or just stick it in your panini press (sticking out tongue). Cook until golden and crispy on each side and the insides are oozing out.


This is a fully carb loaded, cheesy, sinfully delicious sandwich that would be great with a bowl of tomato soup, on a rainy day, on the couch. It’s also great to inhale it before it cools, burning your tongue while you proceed to chase your  two year old hopped up on Kool Aid and cookie dough through the house, which is my preferred method for eating sandwiches. It’s just great. Period.

Pumpkin Pecan Sandwich

It’s November. Thanksgiving is next week. When did this happen? So in an effort to hold on to the fall season a little longer since everyone will be in full winter holiday mode immediately following Turkey Day, I give you this.

This sandwich is for those of you who enjoy pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, cloves, and all those other fall flavors you crazies seem to like. It’s also great if you have pumpkin bread you aren’t sure what to do with. Or if you have a desire to get started on the holiday weight gain early. If you’re masochistic and like cavities. I’m really selling this one aren’t I? To get started make this:

This particular bread recipe comes from the lovely Maura over at Teaspoon of Love. Maura is dangerous because she’s cute and sweet and she lures you in and gives you a recipe which you immediately make, immediately love and then immediately regret. And then you ask her for another one.

Pumpkin Bread
15 oz. Can Pumpkin
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 Cup Confectioner Sugar
8 oz. brick Cream Cheese
Cinnamon and Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 2 loaf pans.

In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, canola oil, vanilla, and both sugars together until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Mix the dry into the wet in three additions, mixing only until incorporated after each addition. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together cream cheese and confectioners sugar.

Pour half of the pumpkin mixture evenly into the two loaf pans. Then pour half of the cream cheese mixture evenly into each pan. Pour the rest of the pumpkin mixture into both pans.

Cook until a toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.

While you’re waiting for your pumpkin bread you gotta make some of this goodness. I added a little nutmeg but besides that the recipe comes from Melanie Ditzel on But my mother is the one that made this when I first tasted it and it was out of her recipe box that I took the print out and if any of you have a mother who cooks you know that mom’s is always the best and wherever it came before she made it is irrelevant. It will always be my mother’s recipe so long as we both shall live, no offense Melanie, thank you for giving it to my mother.

Cinnamon Coffee Frosting
1 tsp. instant Coffee (or espresso) granules
1/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1 pinch Salt
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp. ground Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
3 Tbsp. Milk (or less depending on the consistency you want)

In a small bowl, mash instant coffee with the back of a spoon until powdery. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth, then stir in spice mixture and vanilla. Alternatively beat in confectioners sugar and milk until desired consistency is achieved.

Pumpkin Pecan Sandwich
Pumpkin bread
Cinnamon Espresso Spread
Cream Cheese
Pecans, toasted

Slice your pumpkin bread so you have two pieces. Spread on a layer of cream cheese. Then spread a layer of the cinnamon spread on top of that. Place your toasted pecans on top and then finish it off with the other piece of bread.

If you wanted to grill it in a pan you know I would totally support that. I don’t know how much of a mess it would make tho since I didn’t try it that way so good luck to you.

Make sure to share half or you’ll get a stomach ache.

Hash Brown Breakfast Sandwich

To many people this might look very gross. To many people this looks very good. Such is life. I like hash browns on my breakfast sandwiches. I like ketchup on my hash browns. If you’ve never had hash browns on a sandwich I suggest you try it. And you will eat them in a boat. And you will eat them with a goat. And you will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in a car. And in a tree. They are so good so good you see! How your spuds were meant to be! Promise.

For some reason I used to think hash browns were a complicated thing. I would’ve grown up eating these daily if they were easy to make right? And we wouldn’t need to be buying prepackaged frozen hash brown bits if they were simple to make from scratch… right? They couldn’t be easier, for serious. In a desperate attempt to get a starch in front of my starving child without having to preheat an oven or boil pasta I grated a potato and threw it on the stove and it was magic. The starches in the potato that release when you cook it create a nice, sticky consistency that makes it gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside like I believe people like their potatoes to be.

Hash Browns
Olive Oil, a few tbsp depending on how much potato you are using
Potato(es), grated

Heat a saute pan on medium heat. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

While your pan is heating grate a potato. If you grate them in advance and don’t soak them in water, they will turn pink and black and appear to be inedible. They will still taste fine but it might be disturbing to look at so I suggest you grate right before you place in the hot oil.

Place a pile of your potatoes in your skillet. Flatten down with a spatula and create a nice little pattie, the size you want on your sandwich. Let that cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip over and cook on the other side until golden brown as well. Remove from pan.

Hash Brown Breakfast Sandwich
1 lb. of your favorite breakfast sausage
White American cheese, 1 slice
Hash Brown
Potato Roll

Create patties out of your breakfast sausage a little larger around than the surface area of you bun. Press your thumb in the middle to create a small indentation which will help keep your patties from puffing up when you cook them.

Cook your sausage in a skillet flipping once until cooked through. While this is happening, you might want to be cooking your hash brown so that everything comes out nice and hot at the same time. Don’t toast your bread. Or do. Whatever but my suggestion is not.

When your sausage is cooked place your white American cheese product, white because it’s less gross than the yellow variety, on your sausage pattie before you remove it from the pan and let it melt until dripping down the sides. Place the pattie on your untoasted bun. Place your hash brown on top of your cheesy pattie. Squirt some ketchup on your hash brown and spread some mayo on the other side of your bun. Sandwich together and inhale. YUM.

Feel free to leave out or add any ingredients you like. That’s the magical magicalness of sandwiches…they can absolutely be exactly what you want them to be, every time.

Hot Spinach and Rosemary Chicken Sandwich

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of breakfast friendly sandwiches so I thought I’d mix it up. This one is a combination of one of my go-to dinner chicken dishes and a go-to appetizer. I like doing sandwiches that don’t require a lot of ingredients you might not already have in your house. Plus this one has a lot of flexibility because you can use your favorite recipe for each part or you can use mine.

It has almonds on it. Because if I were president almonds would be required on everything. True story.

If you have a spinach dip or a spinach artichoke dip that you like feel free to use that. If you don’t, I suggest using a warm dip instead of a cold dip but again it will be delicious either way. Use frozen spinach or fresh. I used fresh because I had a lot of it. Just boil it in salted water for a minute, then dump it in a glass bowl filled with ice water so it stops cooking. Squeeze it into a ball over the sink until all the liquid is drained out. Hold onto your liquid if you don’t want to lose all those nutrients and you are into things like making your own pasta. Add the juice to make fancy green fettuccine, or just drink it and your muscles will all pop out. In a good way. That’s what I tell my 2 year old.

I really love this spinach dip because you can make it in the microwave if you are in a hurry or really lazy. I like the option even if I plan on putting it in the oven. I found it on the interweb. It comes from Janie Obermier on which is a pretty great site, if you didn’t know, simply because tons of people comment and tell you what changes they made and then you can use all the suggestions you want or none at all and make something that you may like even better than the original. For this one I only added some garlic powder per the suggestion of one commenter but other than that stuck to the original.

Spinach Dip
1 8 oz. package Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped Spinach, thawed (or two bags of fresh baby spinach boiled, or a bunch and a half)
1 Cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Garlic Powder and Black Pepper to taste

In a small mixing, bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese until blended. Stir in spinach and mozzarella cheese. Add garlic powder to taste. Spoon into an ungreased microwave-safe 9-in. pie plate (or just any old microwaveable bowl like I did).

Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4-5 minutes or until bubbly, stirring twice.

If you want to put it in the oven, set it to 325 and cook until bubbly.

For the chicken, if I’m running short on ideas or time I almost always have boneless skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. So I defrost a couple and then sauté them with rosemary, thyme and garlic.

Rosemary and Thyme Chicken
Olive Oil, to cook in, a few tablespoons
Chicken Breasts, however many you want to cook
Dried Rosemary
Ground Thyme
Salt and Pepper
Garlic minced, a couple cloves depending on how much you like

Heat a skillet over medium heat. When pan is hot (a sprinkle of water should sizzle and evaporate) drizzle in a few tablespoons olive oil. Place chicken breast(s) in oil and sprinkle thyme and rosemary on top. Let cook for 7-8 minutes or until golden on one side.

Flip over and add garlic to the pan (I don’t add the garlic before otherwise it burns before the chicken is done cooking, if it looks like it is starting to get golden I take it out and place it on a plate and then put the chicken on top when it’s done, I have no idea if this is what you should do but it works for me). Sprinkle more herbs on this side and then I end up flipping it back over to this side once right before I remove it from the pan.

When chicken is cooked through remove from the pan and sprinkle your cooked little garlic bits on the top.

Spinach and Rosemary Chicken Sandwich
Chicken Breast, cooked
Hot Spinach Dip
Tomato sliced
Italian Bread loaf, or other crusty bread
Almonds, slivered or sliced and toasted

Toast your bread. If you want to add some garlic salt and butter halfway through the toasting, more power to you. On one side of toasted bread layer fresh tomato. Place hot chicken breast on top of this. Spoon hot spinach dip on top of chicken. Sprinkle with almonds.

Wait a few minutes if you can so you don’t burn your face. Enjoy!


Eggs Benedict with Guacamole Sandwich

So if you remember, a few weeks ago my plan was to create a sandwich with the most amazing guacamole ever from Teaspoon of Love, formerly Noshies, which then turned out to be a pico de gallo sandwich because my avocados were sadly inedible? Yes, well, I heard someone on the cooking channel mention a sandwich to this effect and because I was probably up to my eye balls in play dough, or toothpaste, or any other household goo that should be in a bottle and not in my carpet, I have no idea what show it was or who was responsible for making it.

If you didn’t read the other post with the pico de gallo, here is Maura’s recipe for the guacamole:

3 Haas Avocados, seeded and scooped out
Juice from 1 Lime
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt (up to 1 teaspoon)
a few dashes of Hot Sauce
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
handful fresh Cilantro, freshly chopped

In a medium bowl, mix the avocado, lime, cumin, salt and hot sauce. Mix until well blended, mashing with your fork. You still want a few chunks so don’t mash too much! Fold in the onion, tomato and cilantro. Taste and adjust the salt, cumin and hot sauce accordingly.

For this sandwich I just used a packet of Hollandaise powder sauce mix, whatever you want to call it. Essentially Hollandaise is like the buttery version of mayo. It’s an emulsion just like mayonnaise that uses egg yolk and butter and lemon juice. If you want to trouble yourself and actually make a real one, be my guest. I didn’t have time and this site isn’t called For the Love of Hollandaise so I didn’t lose sleep over it.

As for the eggs, traditional eggs Benedict calls for poached eggs. I, however, do not have the patience or time to attempt egg poaching just to get a broken yolk and have to try again so I have used a trick my mom taught me growing up that made eggs for sandwiches super easy. You simply crack an egg into a coffee mug. Place coffee mug in microwave and nuke for 30 second intervals until it is cooked to your liking, depending on if you want a cooked yolk or not. Remove it carefully by tracing around the edges with a knife to get it unstuck from the mug and then slide out. It’s the perfect size to fit on an English muffin!

Eggs Benedict with Guacamole Sandwich
English Muffin
Hollandaise Sauce
Salt & Pepper

Prepare your Hollandaise sauce according to the package because you are lazy like me. Stick you egg in your coffee mug and nuke it because you are lazy like me. Make sure you don’t cook your yolks.

Throw your English muffin in the toaster. You already have your guacamole made. If not you should probably be doing that before now, you’re toast is almost finished.

I know that Eggs Benedict is traditionally an open faced sandwich but we are not doing that for reasons I don’t need to explain to you. Take one side of your English muffin and smear a healthy amount of guacamole on it. Then place a fresh, thick slice of tomato on top of that. Then gently slide your egg out of the coffee mug onto the tomato. Drizzle your sauce on top.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place other side of muffin on top. Consider eating with a fork. Decide not to. Make a big mess.

Chicken Pattie Sandwich, Two Ways

There are different degrees of difficulty when it comes to being a parent, or simply existing, during meal times, depending on what kind of child you own. Some people have children who are quiet, they don’t manage to find permanent markers and abandoned glasses of water while you are attempting to take something out of the oven. They know how to entertain themselves, abstain from inflicting violence on their siblings, all the while managing to look like humans, mocking us parents who act like getting dinner on the table in a decent amount of time is some sort of award worthy feat. These mythical creatures do exist. I don’t happen to own one of them. So sometimes…

I make these.

I’m not proud of it. But man are they good. And easy. And the creatures in my house will eat them.

They are processed breaded chicken patties that claim to be all white meat and no funny stuff but who knows. There are two favorite ways to eat them. As you see above, and this way:

Smothered in honey. The importance with these sandwiches is you don’t attempt to make them healthier. Then they just won’t be worth eating. You must not use a whole grain bun, you must not use nutrient-dense leaf lettuce, you may not use a light mayo or god forbid no mayo and you may not use a sweetener substitute for the honey or god forbid no honey at all. As you can see from the photo above I put honey on the bread and on the pattie. It’s part of my super secret plan to gain lots of weight and guess what? It’s working.

Chicken Pattie with Lettuce and Mayo Sandwich
Chicken Pattie
Iceberg Lettuce
Potato Roll

Don’t toast your bun. Smother one side with mayo. Bake chicken pattie according to directions on bag. Most likely pop frozen into an oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes but read the bag anyway. Place hot sandwich on bun and top with a ton of crispy cold iceberg. Put mayo bun on top. Eat immediately.

Make another pattie and get ready to eat it this way:

You may not be like me and try to blame your kids for these types of eating habits which I do because it makes me feel better but if you have time to make more than one, well, you’re like me and are trying to blame your kids for these types of eating habits and you’re fooling no one.

Chicken Pattie and Honey Sandwich:
Chicken Pattie
Potato Roll

Follow directions on bag to make another chicken pattie. Take out of the oven and place hot on an untoasted potato roll. Squeeze copious amounts of honey on pattie. The honey will soak into the bun so put some more on there for good measure. Place other side of bun on top. Eat immediately.

Possibly make another, but definitely don’t tell anyone you did.

Shrimp Scampi Sandwich

Everyone has those dishes that are the default for days when you forgot to come up with a plan. Shrimp scampi is one of those for me. I always have frozen shrimp on hand and as for the other ingredients, olive oil, garlic, butter, wine…well you can understand why I could make it everyday. I also like it because you don’t have to really follow any recipe or rules and you can add different ingredients if you want. If I had fresh parsley, I would have added it, if I could eat onions, I would have added that too. But I had a red bell pepper and a desire to eat it so there you have it.

Typically you would add angel hair pasta to this right after it is finished cooking but this time, I had a warm loaf of whole grain crusty bread and the garlic buttery sauce is perfect for dipping. So we have shrimp and we have bread therefore we have sandwich. I suggest you try it, couldn’t be simpler.

Shrimp Scampi
1 lb. Shrimp, shelled and de-veined
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Butter
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, minced
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add in the garlic and red pepper. Sauté for a minute until the garlic starts to brown but doesn’t actually get brown because before you’re done it will burn.

Add the shrimp. Stir around and then add your white wine. Stir so all the shrimp are coated. Let your sauce boil for a few minutes. If your shrimp were not cooked before you started then you want to turn them over and let them cook a little longer, a minute or so to make sure they are fully cooked. If they were frozen and already cooked then you can let them boil in the sauce for less time.

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and salt and black pepper.

Shrimp Scampi Sandwich
Shrimp Scampi
Whole Grain Artisan Bread
Gruyere Cheese

Turn on your broiler. Place your bread face up with slices of Gruyere cheese on top. You can use any mild or salty cheese for this, I happened to have Gruyere which is a great melting cheese so it made for a nice creamy addition to this sandwich. When your cheese is melted remove from broiler.

Dump your shrimp scampi, sauce and all onto your bread. Top with chives if you like. Eat it, dipping bread into the sauce accumulated on your plate as you go. Delicious.

Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich

Got this from Bobby Flay’s brunch show. It was delicious. There’s a bunch of recipes so I’m not going to talk about it except to say that it is also good if wanted to substitute one of the pieces for something else. Or add something. A fried egg, or bacon instead of sausage, etc.. Try it!

1 lb. Ground Pork
2 Cloves Garlic, smashed and chopped to a paste
2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp. Onion Powder
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Combine the pork, garlic, sage, thyme, onion powder, and oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover the sausage and refrigerate for at lest 30 minutes to allow the flavors to melt.

This can be prepared 8 hours in advance and refrigerated. Form the sausage mixture into 8 patties. Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat and cook the patties until golden brown and both sides and just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuits
4 Cups Flour, plus more to dust
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Basking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
12 Tbsp. cold Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 Cups cold Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper, not super fine and not course, somewhere in between

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a dough cutter, combine the ingredients until they are incorporated.  Cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and gently mix until the mixture just begins to come together.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly-floured counter. Pat the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits. Press together the scraps of dough, and repeat the process. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with the black pepper. Bake the biscuits for 12 to 1 minutes or until light golden brown. Col on a baking rack. About 10 to 12 biscuits.

Cream Sauce
2 Cups Whole Milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper

Put the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Melt the butter ina second small saucepan over medium heat, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, do not allow the flour to color. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, increase the heat to high and continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken and the raw taste of the flour has been cooked out, about 5 minutes; season with the salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich
Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuit
Cream Sauce

Cut open biscuit (this is best done when everything is hot), place sausage pattie on one side. Pour cream sauce on top. Put other biscuit on top of sausage and gravy.

Sushi Sammy

Now let me just clear the air right now and say that I am fully aware that the term sushi refers to the vinegar sticky rice and other stuff so technically this is just the stuff and the name is misleading. I decided to use some of the flavors many people find on their sushi outings such as wasabi and ginger and put them into sandwich form. I had leftover smoked salmon from my last sandwich and everything else for it on hand so this bad boy was born and it was amazing.

Tempura shrimp. Make at your own risk. Scott really wanted to make this again after he sampled some from my sandwich, but after he looked in the bowl with the left over batter and what he found was a very firm, blob of spackle looking material, he was a little hesitant. Naturally we convinced ourselves to make it again anyway.

Wasabi Mayo
Wasabi Powder

I wish I could tell you it was more complicated than that. It’s not. Add a teaspoon of powder to mayo and let it sit for a few minutes. Taste. Add more powder and repeat process until it is the strength you like.

Sushi Sandwich:
Sticky White Bread (I chose a fresh loaf of sour dough that did not have a strong flavor but did have some strength to hold all the other fillings)
Wasabi Mayonnaise
Soy Sauce
Pickled Ginger
Tempura Shrimp
Smoked Salmon

Don’t toast your bread. Or toast it. Do what you like. Slice your cucumber into relatively thin slices and place enough to evenly coat on piece of bread. Layer some smoked salmon on top of the cucumber. Slice your avocado, place slices on top of smoked salmon.

Prepare your tempura shrimp according to recipe on tempura batter mix box. Or google a recipe on the internet and make it yourself. I haven’t found one that seems to work properly, either it is too soggy or doesn’t taste right in the end.

Place your shrimp on top of the avocado. Place slices of ginger on shrimp. Smear other piece of bread with wasabi mayo. Drizzle some soy sauce on top but not enough to make bread soggy. Place bread on top of the rest of your fillings. Stuff.

Grilled Strawberry Banana Sandwich

This one is sweet. It tastes almost like a banana split. Probably because it has bananas in it. And chocolate. And strawberries. Are strawberries in banana splits? If not, they should be.

I don’t feed this to my children because if I did then they wouldn’t ever ask for anything else. Right now the current response to “what would you like to eat?” is “stwawbewies and pizza.” I’d hate for that to change to “stwawbewies, peanut badue, choccit sammich.” Because it would.

Grilled Strawberry Banana Sandwich
Cinnamon & Sugar Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Peanut Butter
Bananas, thinly sliced
Strawberries, thinly sliced

Heat pan to medium-high heat. Take two pieces of bread and butter one side of each piece. On the non-buttered side of one slice, spread peanut butter. Then make a thin layer of bananas. On top of the bananas make a thin layer of strawberries. On the non-buttered side of the other pieces of bread, spread Nutella. Put second piece of bread Nutella side down on top of the strawberries.

Once pan is heated, place sandwich, one buttered side down in the pan. After a few minutes, once the bread is golden brown, flip over. Once golden remove. Insides should be gooey but not too hot.