Sweet and salty sandwich

Grilled ham and cheese with pears

Plus, it pairs nicely with carrots...see what I did there?

Plus, it pairs nicely with carrots…see what I did there?

If you like things that are sweet and salty, then you’ll love this sandwich.  If you like fruit and cheese paired together, you’ll love this sandwich.  If you like ham, you’ll love this sandwich.  If you’re willing to substitute swiss cheese for gruyere, you’ll feel like a cheapskate, but you’ll still love this sandwich.

It’s quick and easy, too.  The hardest part is waiting for the pears to get ripe enough.  What is it about pears and taking too long to ripen!  sheesh…

And with that, we bid October 2003 adieu.  It’s been real.  Hello November 2007!!!

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No, we don’t always eat like this

Coffee-glazed oven brisket

Spicy cheese bread

Oh, shoot.  This is just what we have for dinner when we don't care what we eat.

Oh, shoot. This is just what we have for dinner when we don’t care what we eat.

D cooked these two dishes and took care of my baby J while I worked on a Sunday.  He’s my husband.  No, you may not borrow him.  We had a friend over for dinner.  She said something about how we always eat such nice meals.  D and I looked at each other like, “Yeah, but only when we’re not eating frozen pizza.”  So I hope you’re reading the whole blog…Lisa S.  No, that’s too obvious…L. Simpson… and not just this one post.

These notes on cooking are summarized from what D told me.  Again, the lucky lady showed up when it was all done and ate dinner with her friend.  He found it easy to cook.  Most importantly, D found it easy to handle while taking care of a 12 month old.  He said the recipe is almost all a matter of mixing the sauce together, and you can do that whenever.  He said the same thing about the cheese bread.  He mixed up the sauce for the brisket and the butter mixture for the cheese bread while J took a nap.  D did make one important equipment note.  He said a lot of people might not have a pot big enough to let you brown a three pound brisket and also braise it in that same pot. D and I are lucky we have a giant, oval, enamel-coated, cast-iron dutch oven (that’s a lot of adjectives, isn’t it?).  If you don’t have a monster pot, D noted that you could definitely halve the recipe and do it with a smaller piece of brisket.

The taste?  Wow.  The coffee-glazed oven brisket was rich and spicy and smokey.  It makes the house smell amazing.  It was also definitely on the greasy side.  You see that sauce gleaming in the gravy boat and you just know that nothing low-fat shines like that.  The next day, some fat congealed on it.  Probably as a consequence, it gave me wicked heartburn.  It was worth it.  You don’t cook brisket cooked with coffee and chili sauce, then eat it with spicy cheese bread and not expect heartburn.  Speaking of the cheese bread, it was nice take on garlic bread.  The spice went well with the brisket.  I was surprised that the picture of the brisket in the magazine showed you serving it with mashed potatoes.  To me, this was a natural pairing.  And the recipes are on the same page…  Why fight it?

In which G flashes back to her pregnancy

Chef’s Salad

Those blobs are dressing

Those blobs are dressing

I was terribly swollen toward the end of my pregnancy.  My face was pretty puffy.  I couldn’t wear my rings or watch.  But the real problem was my legs.  It got worse over time, but it ended where there wasn’t much of a taper between my lower thigh and my toes.  These weren’t even cankles.  They were thankles.  There was no ankle bone to speak of and a noticeable ridge just before my toes.  I wore D’s shoes to the hospital.  They were a man’s size 9.  My foot is normally a 7.

Where is she going with this?

The amount of salt that was in this lunch meat and cheese-based salad made my legs swell up in a way I haven’t experienced since my pregnancy.  I got that familiar tightness in the skin.  I had to keep my feet elevated.  I even went to the doctor because I thought there might be something seriously wrong with me.  There wasn’t.  Just way too much salt.  (shout out to D’s family: I managed to move the ongoing salt discussion to the internet!)  I think this recipe would be best with leftover home-cooked turkey and leftover home-cooked ham instead of buying chunks from the deli.  There’s nothing you can do about the salt in the swiss cheese or the bacon.  On that note, I didn’t even add the bacon!  I could have exploded from water retention if I added the bacon.

The dressing is, however, creamy and lovely without being too fatty.  It uses reduced fat sour cream and light mayonnaise.

However….I think this recipe (which I found while trying to find a link to the recipe from this issue) looks vastly better!  This one has such a better ingredients list, and, really, avocado is better than no avocado.  I mean, I added the tomato to this salad myself.  It was originally just bacon, lettuce, ham, turkey, cheese, and some green onion.  Lame.  Plus, this other recipe I found uses buttermilk and cider vinegar, which probably winds up tasting much more interesting than sour cream, mayo, and lemon juice.

So spare yourself a glimpse into the life of a pregnant woman in her third trimester and make your chef’s salad using home-cooked meat, where possible, and try this more-interesting recipe instead.