I love Rachael Ray.
Scratch that; I love 2004 Rachael Ray.
There is a difference.
She was a lot happier back then.
Don’t get me wrong, she is still kind of cheerful but she just isn’t as happy as when she had less fame and money.
Something to think about.
My mom actually got me hooked on Rachael back in the day when Food Network was new to us.
We would sit and watch her cook up her 30-minute meals in her funky kitchen and say, “doesn’t that look good!?!?” or “isn’t she just so adorable??” or “30 minutes for a meal?? PSHAW!”
Maybe we never said PSHAW.
But we did think she was the bee’s knees.
I just said bee’s knees.
Somewhere in Heaven, my Grammy is giggling.
At watching me grow old.
So when I got the chance to get Rachael’s magazine for free a few months ago, I jumped at it.
I can definitely see Rachael’s influence on it all.
But then I keep seeing these recipes that are just…...well just……I don’t know…..too much?
I love to cook.
I am not a foodie by any means.
I will take a can of Chef Boyardee over a chance to eat at a hip eatery.
I am not a food snob but rather the opposite.
So what would that make me?
A food commoner?
I am a food commoner.
If you put it in front of me, I will eat it.
SAN MARZANO TOMATOES?
It’s grilled cheese, not a nuclear bomb.
Are bombs nuclear?
Then I saw this
And thought, I can remake this.
On the cheap.
And without organic egg yolk or freshly grated Pecorino Romano.
Because let us be honest, that crap is expensive.
And I am pretty sure you didn’t land on this blog by googling “organic foodie paleo” so I think we are on the same page.
The soup recipe was my Gramma’s who is in Heaven now, God bless her soul.
She was the best cook then she taught my mom to cook and now she is the best cook.
So I am very lucky to have grown up with these two amazing influences.
And there is not one heirloom tomato in this recipe.
2 Tbsp. flour
2 C. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 C. tomato juice
In a large saucepan, combine the flour, sugar and 1/4 C. of the milk.
Stir until smooth.
Add the remaining milk.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.
Slowly stir in the tomato juice until blended.
Bring up to a low boil and let simmer for a few minutes.
Serve with the following grilled cheese sammies.
*this soup serves four people so just double it for a larger crowd*
On to the sammies.
Oh, these sammies…….
I had seen a recipe for Baked Potato Grilled Cheese sammies on Pinterest this fall.
They had me until they mentioned Potato.
Not a fan of a grilled cheese sammie with a potato in it but that’s just food commoner me talking.
I am sure it’s good in real life.
So I took a hint from that and went another way.
Here is what I came up with.
– 2-3 strips of bacon ( aw, who am I kidding…..5 strips minimum)
– cheese slices (Okay this where you get to be creative. I usually like cheddar but in rethinking this recipe, I am going to go with a Swiss or provolone cheese slice. Or Emmentaler. It’s your sammie. Do what ya like.)
– green onion ( this is optional but I love me some onion so I added it)
– bread (go out of your way and get a crusty bread because you are gonna need it to hold all that bacon.)
– margarine or butter
Add some oil (I use olive) to a pan and get it warmed up on med heat.
OMG, the bacon!
DON’T FORGET THE BACON!
Cook it up how you like…I am not picky so will microwave or cook in the oven.
After you cook it up, place it on a paper towel to get some of the grease off.
Not all of it or it won’t be bacon.
Now chop it up.
Or do like me and eat a piece, chop a piece, repeat.
Butter up your crusty bread slices.
Assemble the sammies on a plate, bread butter side down, bacon, cheese slices, green onion, cheese, more bacon, bread butter side up.
Now cook it up in the pan to get the cheese melted and the bread toasty.
Serve with the tomato soup and you have a yummy winter dinner.
Oh if you are making this for a crowd, do what I do for my family: bake the grilled cheese in the oven!
Do all of the above but preheat the oven to 400 first.
Bake for 7 minutes, flip and bake 7 minutes more.
As for the Caesar Salad Steak Sammie recipe, I decided to do a little different spin but much easier than Rachael’s recipe with fewer ingredients.
AND I made it into a salad.
Just grill your favorite cut of steak.
Get a Caesar Salad bag kit from the store.
Cut up some watermelon.
Mix together and OMG.
You will thank me.