The Ultimate Comfort Food – Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Creamy Tomato Soup

The Ultimate Comfort Food – Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Creamy Tomato Soup

For many of you the weather has become quite cold and snowy, winter has definitely set in.  Those of us in Hawaii are lucky enough to have good weather although our temperatures have dropped to the high 50s to low 60s; and for us that’s pretty cold!

Well in our house cooler weather means it’s time to bring out the comfort food.  And what is more comforting than good old Grilled Cheese Sandwiches?

The gooey goodness of melted cheese oozing from two slices of perfectly grilled bread brings back memories of childhood winters.  That first crunchy bite can transport you back to the years when you stepped into Mom’s kitchen after a hard fought snowball fight with the neighbors to find hot soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Well in Hawaii we don’t have snowball fights or any other winter activities, but we can have cool damp days that call for grilled cheese sandwiches.  At our house we love to pair grilled cheese sandwiches with creamy tomato soup.  It’s a perfect combination!

Most folks make grilled cheese sandwiches by slapping a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread and frying it in butter; others use a grilled cheese maker, an electrical small appliance that looks like a waffle iron, it grills both sides of the sandwich once you close the lid.  Simple and basic right?

grilled cheese sandwichesBut really grilled cheese sandwiches have gone gourmet.  There are cafes dedicated to this once simple sandwich.  They’ve added everything from breakfast meats, eggs, and assorted veggies to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

I haven’t gone that far, but I do make mean grilled cheese sandwiches, my grandkids love them, specially paired with my creamy tomato soup!

I don’t use fancy ingredients, nor do I own a grilled cheese maker.  I use my good old Circulon skillet to fry up my grilled cheese sandwiches.

Here are my secrets to my Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Creamy Tomato Soup!  Both super easy and super yummy!

Try it for lunch or dinner on a snowy day.  Your family will love them!

 

 

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 Can Campbell’s Tomato Soup

1 Can Half & Half

Combine both ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and heat.  You must stir the mixture as it heats to make sure the Half & Half is well blended into the soup.  Serve hot.

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients:

2 slices of Texas Toast per sandwich – you can use frozen or fresh.  If using frozen toast thaw it out first.  Texas toast is buttered on both sides.

Deli Cut Ham or Turkey slices

1-2 slices American Cheese per sandwich

Directions:

Place 2 slices of Texas Toast in a skillet and cook for about 30 seconds.

Flip 1 slice of toast over and place cheese and meat on top.

Place second slice of toast on top of filling, cooked side down.

Cook for about a minute or until the bread is brown.

Flip sandwich over and cook the other side until it is brown.

Serve right away.

 You can make your own Texas Toast with slices of french bread.  Mix softened butter with minced garlic and finely chopped parsley.  Spread butter mixture on both sides of the slices.

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
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Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place 2 slices of Texas Toast in a skillet and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Flip 1 slice of toast over and place cheese and meat on top.
  3. Place second slice of toast on top of filling, cooked side down.
  4. Cook for about a minute or until the bread is brown.
  5. Flip sandwich over and cook the other side until it is brown.
  6. Serve right away.
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Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!

Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!

Cheesy Chili Mac is usually served during rainy and cold seasons. It is packed with vitamins and minerals that is good for your kids. Besides of its very easy to prepare and to cook, it is also a budget meal and 100% sure that your kids going to love this and beg for more cause it tastes cheesy rich and flavorful.

This is my version of Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups uncooked macaroni noodles

1 cup frozen corn kernels

15 oz. can kidney beans

1 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

15 oz. can pinto beans

15 oz. can black beans

15 oz. can dice tomatoes

15 oz. can tomato sauce

2 ½ cups vegetable broth

2 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. chili powder

2 cloves garlic

1 pc. yellow onion

1 tbsp. virgin olive oil

 

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, pour in olive oil then add and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until onions are soft and transparent.

Then add the flour and chilli powder, continue to stir for about 2 minutes, or until flour and chilli powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoe the 3 kinds of beans, the corn, and the vegetable broth to the pot.

Stir very well to dissolve any flour and chilli powder off the bottom of the pot.

Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir well.

Turn the heat up to medium high, and let it boil. Stir every other minute to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.

When it boils, turn the heat down to low so it continues to simmer gently. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy.

Stir frequently as it simmers just to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

When the pasta is tender, you can now add the shredded cheddar and stir until melted.

Serve while it’s hot.

Share with your family and friends! Enjoy!

Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!
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Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe!
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, pour in olive oil then add and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Then add the flour and chilli powder, continue to stir for about 2 minutes, or until flour and chilli powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoe the 3 kinds of beans, the corn, and the vegetable broth to the pot.
  5. Stir very well to dissolve any flour and chilli powder off the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir well.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium high, and let it boil. Stir every other minute to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.
  8. When it boils, turn the heat down to low so it continues to simmer gently. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy.
  9. Stir frequently as it simmers just to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  10. When the pasta is tender, you can now add the shredded cheddar and stir until melted.
  11. Serve while it’s hot.
  12. Share with your family and friends! Enjoy!
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Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sure, classic cheesecake is delicious. But PUMPKIN cheesecake? Now that’s a dessert worthy of your Thanksgiving table. The gingersnap and graham cracker crust are actually genius, and that shimmering layer of caramel is the literal icing on the [cheese]cake. It’s one of our all time favorite pumpkin desserts—and that’s saying something, considering we have over 80 recipes.

 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed

3/4 c. gingersnaps, crushed

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp. granulated sugar kosher salt

3 (8-oz.) bars cream cheese, softened

1 c. packed light brown sugar

1 c. pumpkin puree

1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, plus more for garnish

Warm caramel, for garnish

whipped cream, for garnish

Chopped, toasted pecans, for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325° with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8” springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan.

3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.

4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.

5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.

6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice.

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake
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Banana Split Eclair Cake

Banana Split Eclair Cake

This Banana Split Eclair Cake tastes just like a divine, creamy eclair only it’s in cake form.

Banana splits are definitely for summer-time fun, so I incorporated banana pudding, whipped cream and strawberries as the filling between the graham crackers and topped it off with a tub of chocolate frosting.No Bake Banana Split Cake, made gluten free. A graham cracker crust, topped with fluffy cream cheese, bananas, crushed pineapple, vanilla pudding and whipped cream—and a cherry on top!

No bake cakes are lovely for so many reasons. Not only do they, well, require no baking which is perfect for the warmer months. But no bake cakes are also lovely because they’re best when they’re made ahead. For crying out loud, Ina Garten has built an entire empire of cookbooks and cooking shows on the concept that you should be able to host a perfect party—and enjoy it along with your guests

Either way, when the weather warms, you’ll be needing lots and lots of graham cracker crumbs. Go ahead and make a double or triple batch of my recipe, and stock up before it gets too hot!

 

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Ingredients

1 box graham crackers 1-pound
2 boxes instant banana pudding 3 1/4-ounce
3 1/2 cups milk
1 container frozen whipped topping 8-ounce, thawed
2 cups of strawberries sliced
1 tub chocolate frosting

Instructions

1. Butter the bottom of a 13×9 pan.
2. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, mix pudding with milk and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Fold in whipped topping and strawberries.
4. Line bottom of pan with whole graham crackers.
5. Pour half the strawberry/pudding mixture over graham crackers,
6. Repeat with another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer.
7. Pour remaining half of strawberry/pudding mixture over the graham crackers and cover with another layer of graham crackers.
8. Put tub of frosting in microwave and microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute so frosting is pourable.
9. Pour over cake and spread out evenly.
10. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Banana Split Eclair Cake
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Palitaw

Palitaw

My motivation for creating palitaw at home was because of how this certain lady vendor made me realize just how much I missed these. There used to be an ate who would pass by our office with her basket of mixed Filipino snacks every afternoon, and in that big basket would be some palitaw.

The first time I bought some from her I want to be reminded of what quantity I used to crave these as a child. It happen the instant I bit into the limited chewy rounds! However sooner or later the Ate stopped mercantilism snacks and spending by our workplace altogether, therefore i made a decision to merely act and create some palitaw on my very own. I ne’er expected it to be therefore easy!

There square measure totally different versions of this viscous rice treat out there, however this palitaw instruction creates dumplings that square measure firm to the bite however chewy. Other versions tend to be soft and wet, and if you like that I’d counsel flattening the dough quite bit a lot of, being careful to not flip it into one thing too fragile. It’d be exhausting to cook them while not accidentally tearing them apart if they’re too skinny.

Any approach you create it, don’t forget to pile on the tasty sesame-sugar and coconut! The toppings square measure liable for creating these extremely habit-forming finally, since on its own the dumplings don’t extremely have flavour. It’s a mix of chewiness and associate earthy sweetness from the coconut, cooked benny, and sugar that create these a favorite in my book. 🙂

 

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups glutinous rice flour
1 cup water
1-½ cups grated coconut
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large mixing bowl, knead the rice flour and water to make a smooth dough. Once it holds together and separates cleanly from the bowl, the dough is ready.

2. With floured hands, pinch off about 1-1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten into a patty, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside on a dry plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

3. Place grated coconut in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar and toasted sesame seeds.

4. In a pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Once ready, drop the dumplings into the boiling water two to three pieces at a time to prevent them from sticking with each other. Do not crowd the pot.

5. Boil the dumplings until they puff, turn just a little translucent, and float to the top, about 1 to 3 minutes. Scoop them out and drain. Repeat until all dumplings are done.

6. Roll the cooked dumplings in the coconut, then sprinkle generously with the prepared sugar-toasted sesame seeds mixture. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

 

Palitaw
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Vintage Rose Garden Tea Party

Vintage Rose Garden Tea Party

June is National Rose Month.  Did you know that on November 20, 1986 then President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem?  And he signed it at a ceremony held where else but the White House Rose Garden!

Almost everyone loves roses, these beautiful blooms come in many sizes and colors, and have a wonderful scent.   They are the symbol of love and romance, after all who can resist a gift of roses from their significant other?

Celebrate National Rose Month with a Vintage Rose Garden Tea Party!  This theme can be used for anything from an intimate tea party for two, a bridal or baby shower, birthday party, and what ever occasion you like.  Roses and tea parties are an awesome combination.  Here are some ideas to inspire you!

 Garden Tea Party
Style Me Pretty

Set up tea service on an old dresser. You can paint the mirror with black chalkboard paint and write or draw anything you want.  Drawers filled with roses make it extra sweet.

This would work well for a small get together, perhaps a tea for the bridal party.

 Garden Tea Party
Party Inspirations

Use a wheeled tea cart for sweets.

 Garden Tea Party
The Glamorous Housewife

For small parties, like a tea for two, forget table and chairs, spread out a pretty floral blanket and add some pillows for an intimate tea party.

 Garden Tea Party
Lady Gray Dreams

Set up an intimate tea under a rose covered arbor or between the roses in your rose garden.

 Garden Tea Party
Love My Dress

For larger parties set up a tent and decorate with paper lanterns and bunting.  You can set up a buffet or place stands of sandwiches and sweet treats on each table.

Learn how to make your own tiered stands click here!

 Garden Tea Party
The Vintage Table

A vintage tea party isn’t complete without pretty dainty cups and tea pots.  Find them at discount stores, thrift shops, and even garage sales.

You can use them to serve tea or as decor!

 Garden Tea Party
Catch My Party

Setting up a beverage station is a great idea for a children’s tea party.  Adding lace makes it super cute!

Garden Tea PartyFinger sandwiches are a tea party must.  Serve them on tiered stands decorated with fresh roses.

Learn how to make your own tiered stands click here!

Garden Tea Party
Fine Cooking

French Macaroons make a nice touch, but they can be pricey.
I use the frozen ones I get from Trader Joe’s they are very good.
Or you can make your own.  Here’s a video tutorial from Fine Cooking.

Garden Tea Party
First Home Love Life

Every tea party must have scones.  Here’s a recipe from First Home Love Life.

Click here for recipe!

Garden Tea Party
The View from Great Island

Scones need jam and clotted cream.  Here’s a recipe from The View from Great Island.  For recipe click here!

Garden Tea Party
The Vintage Table

Strawberry Shortcake is another tea time favorite and baking things in jars is very popular right now. Combine the two to make a great party favor!

Here’s a recipe from The Vintage Table.  Click here!