This update on the diner classic, the Monte Cristo, is one to please every palate. Egg and cream soaked challah is cooked and layered with Gruyere or swiss, another piece of challah toast, and topped with maple-candied country ham. If you don’t have country ham on hand, sub 1 for 1 with bacon.
A Muffaletta Mary is Bloody Mary’s half-sister from New Orleans. She’s 1/4 olive salad, 3/4 tomato juice, and a smattering of other ingredients. The list of possible garnishes is endless: a hunk of provolone or a ball of fresh mozz, pickled cauliflower, cocktail onions, olives, Genoa Salami, ham, mortadella, or pepperoncini, a lightly toasted buttered square of bread.A perfect hangover cure or brunch drink. If alcohol isn’t your thing, I also think this would make an excellent gazpacho. It’s a thick pureed blend of briny, tomato-rich liquid. Serve with provolone toast, and you’ve got yourself an effective hangry cure.
This sandwich is a mash-up of several of my favorite places, particularly the effervescent, sweet honeycrisp apples from the north and the sharp, creamy pimento cheese from the south. Smokey, thick-cut bacon, a generous amount of bitter baby kale, and a healthy smear of whole grain mustard make one of the most perfect, simply complex sandwiches you will ever eat.
In celebration of my blog’s 3rd birthday, I made a birthday cake (kind of). Fittingly, this recipe is a variation of one developed by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. It’s fitting because her blog was the one that inspired me to start my own. The first time I tried her Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread, it became a staple in my recipe arsenal. For this one, I subbed the dark chocolate for dark chocolate toffee, nixed the lemon, and topped the cake with a toffee-molasses glaze. I really love this for its simplicity, its not-too-sweetness, and its shape shifting abilities to act as a breakfast bread or dessert.
These sweet/savory scones are chock-full with kale, dried cranberries, and green onions and are topped with nutty parmesan and toasted pine nuts. The spice blend within (the Healthy Solutions-Encrusted Haddock variety) gives the scones a depth of flavor that leaves whoever’s eating them wondering, “I don’t know what’s in this, but I love it!”
Stollen has a hint of sourdough essence and a dense, almost cake-like crumb, partly because it sits for at least two weeks before serving. Booze-soaked fruit and nuts are folded into the batter, along with some additional flavorings and spices, and there you have a colorful canvas of flavors. No candied citrus peel in this gorgeous loaf. I went the less saccharine route and made a whole wheat substitution to make this a little more wholesome and a little less sugary.