Super Snacks: Baked Garlic & Swiss Cheese Dip


Ugh…. no Seahawks, no Saints, no Chargers, no Cowboys, no Texans… remind me again WHY I want to watch the Superbowl this year?!

Oh yeah, duh–the day-long bounty of indulgent dips, deep-fried apps, and beer. That’s right.

I love football and I love TV, and obviously I love cooking, eating, and drinking, so it should come as no surprise that Superbowl is one of my favorite days of the year. For me, it’s not a true celebration unless there are copious amounts of chips and dip involved. There is no other day in the year when dip gets the respect and attention it deserves. So when my friends at Kashi sent me some of their newest products and asked if I could dream up a delicious Superbowl recipe incorporating their tasty new garlic pita chips, of course I was more than eager to comply.

What goes better with garlic than more garlic? I was inspired by one of the best soups in Seattle, the amazing, rich garlic swiss soup at Hopvine, which was my fall and winter staple when I lived there. This is kind of a fondue version of that idea–a thicker, cheesier, more amped-up version that is straight-up addictive. I used elephant garlic because it adds a sweeter, mellower taste than regular garlic and mushes up nicely, but if you can’t find it in your area, no sweat. Just roast 3 large cloves of normal garlic and you’ll be fine.

Baked Garlic & Swiss Cheese Dip

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Cuban Sandwich, Meet Eggroll

Baked Cubano Eggroll

Well, I hope everyone had a super fantastic holiday.  With New Years right around the bend, I decided to make a fun snack for all of you to try.  I know, I spoil you so.

So, I love a good Cuban sandwich, sometimes called a Cubano, piled high with shredded pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles.  I love it so much, I wrapped it in an eggroll blanket, got it all nice and toasty and ate the hell out of it.  That’s love.

Without further ado, I present you with the Baked Cubano Eggroll:

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My Breakfast is Better Than Yours: The Croque-Madame

What did you have for breakfast when you woke up this weekend? Unless it was a croque-madame (which I didn’t even know about until this weekend), you lose. What you’re looking at is the female version of a croque-monsieur, which is a glorified ham and cheese sandwich with bread soaked in a tasty sauce. I’ll let you figure out why this one’s considered the female version.

Anyway, I was lucky enough for my girlfriend to have seen it made on The Chew, which inspired her to make it for breakfast. It peaked my interest right away — pretty much just because Michael Symon is on The Chew and I’d love to hang out with him and have a beer. But other than that, this concoction has everything a breakfast should be.

Think of what you’d order at the diner. If you have any wits to you, you’re going to order eggs, some delicious meat (bacon or ham), toast, and homefries. But let’s be honest, most of us just use the homefries as filler, to soak up the “dippy egg” or sunny-side up egg. This breakfast has it all and more. Not only does it have a delicious, savory meat, but it also includes melted cheese in between a tasty baked bread with crispy toast.

Further, the toast has been soaked in a cream (bechamel sauce) made of milk and nutmeg, giving the whole meal a bit of a sweet undertone. Finally, thanks to the females out there, the fried or poached egg crowns the sandwich. To eat it the right way, break the yoke first, and then cut into the rest of it. Get a little bit of everything in every bite and there’s no need for those homefries.

The Croque-Madame

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10 Things I Learned About Food From a Swiss Grandmother

My recent trip to Switzerland with my boyfriend brought me to his grandmother’s house. In an old farmhouse with a garden, a wood oven, and a ceiling so low that I hit my 6’0″ tall head a few times.

I ate three square meals a day, sitting down at a table. (Can this be real?) When I stumbled down the stairs in the morning, the breakfast table would be set with plates, napkins, silverware, hot tea, milk, yogurt, cheese, fresh-made jam, honey, bread and museli. Did I die and go to heaven? No, I was still alive in Switzerland at a grandmother’s house.

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Just Me and My Kadhai


**Girlfriend Guilt Trip Alert**

80P just finished his first year of grad school and, like a good girlfriend, I planned to take him out to celebrate. Well, Monday night in the District was cold and rainy so I found inspiration from my kitchen for our meal. While I was at my sister’s college graduation this weekend I persuaded 80 to leave the apartment for the first time in 72 hours (papers, papers, papers) to pick me up some asparagus and arugula from the opening weekend of the Mt. Pleasant farmers’ market.

I imagined a luscious spring dinner of risotto piled high on stalks of asparagus. Mine would be topped with a poached egg; 80P would get bacon strips. But, alas, the twenty two year olds texted.

80 goes to school with some straight-from-college dudes and they were down for some serious Adams Morgan (re: shit show, for out of towners) boozing. So he left before I even finished formulating (thought of subbing havarti for parm) my meal.

So there I was with my friends: asparagus, butter, garlic, egg. And you know what, I managed just fine without 80. Thanks, in part, to my Kadhai.

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