I got a suggestion to do a grilled cheese series after my Toasted Tuesday series in the summer. You don’t have to tell me twice! I’ve planned a month of not-your-average grilled cheeses. #grilledcheeseplease Good bread + multiple cheeses are the keys to a better sandwich.
This one is perfect for a weekend lunch or a sandwich this special can definitely be dinner…just add a side! I’m featuring turkey, sharp cheese, pear, and maple dijon spread. The dijon spread was on repeat from my fall breakfast sandwich. It is like your fav black shirt…it goes with everything.!
Turkey & Pear Grilled Cheese
1/2 teaspoon dijon
1/2 teaspoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
2 slices sourdough bread
2 slices sharp white cheddar
1 slice white American cheese
1/2 pear, sliced
1 cup baby spinach
1 tablespoon butter
Heat a large skillet to medium heat.
Mix together the maple-dijon spread.
Spread a teaspoon of the maple-dijon onto each slice of bread.
Assemble with half of each cheese, turkey, spinach, pear, and the rest of the cheese.
Top with the other bread and spread a little butter on the very top. Put that side down into the pan and grill for ~3 minutes. Then spread a little butter onto the other side while in the pan, and carefully flip. Cook for another ~3 minutes. Cover for the last minute.
Slice & enjoy!
I loved light dijon flavor with the turkey and pear. The cheddar gives the flavor and the American provides the melty-gooey-ness. Good bread is a key here – that buttery crunch? Ohh yes!
Burgers on the grill can continue right up until the snow falls here in New England – or year-round in our house. The fall is a great time to grill because the air isn’t 100-degrees plus the heat of the grill. Lovely! This burger gets brushed with teriyaki sauce after it cooks and has grilled pineapple, crispy wontons, cucumbers, and a sriracha aoli. Yum!
Asian-Inspired Burgers (for 3)
3/4-1 pound of ground meat (I used ground pork)
1/2 teaspoon teriyaki marinade (double if using teriyaki sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper
1-2 slices of fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon mayo
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced thin
1/4 cup crispy wontons (found near croutons/salad toppers)
3 hamburger buns
Preheat the grill while seasoning the meat.
Add the teriyaki marinade, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar to the meat & form into patties. Sprinkle salt & pepper on either side. Grill to desired cook- depending on the ground meat.
When the burgers are almost cooked, grill the pineapple for a minute on each side.
Mix together the sriracha & mayo.
Brush the burgers with the teriyaki marinade and chop the pineapple.
Assemble the burgers with sriracha mayo on each bun, cucumbers on the bottom, the burgers and grilled pineapple. Add some crispy wontons on top.
Teriyaki marinade is pretty strong, since it is meant as a marinade so go light when topping the burgers. Teriyaki sauce (sold near soy sauce) doesn’t have the same sticky/sweet consistency but would be good flavor if you don’t have a use for a whole bottle of marinade. I loved the flavors here and just served some edamame on the side for a quick dinner. It was GREAT for variety of flavors this week!
Psssst! Have leftover teriyaki marinade & pineapple? I’ve used both for a fun teriyaki grain bowl! I liked the subtle kick from the sriracha but might have used even a bit more. I think I had a 1:2 mayo/sriracha ratio but suggest a 1:1 above.
Happy Halloween!! Eat all the orange foods and then pass on over all the pb cups you find. Sounds like balance to me! October was a biggie for me. I wrapped up my former job and am settling into the new one. I didn’t take much time between since I had justtt gone on vacay but it was good to have a few weekdays with the little one. November was always the busiest of the year in my previous role, so I honestly have never looked forward to November as much as right now! The fall is glorious and I couldn’t be happier.
First things first, we had a yard sale. It’s a great feeling to let go of things. Also, I’m psyched to take the little one trick-or-treating! We bought a tool-belt toy since every stick we find outside is a pretend tool. I’m hoping November can include a day-date hike with Mr. J now that Zion has us prepared for all terrain. I also have a fun fall theme that was suggested to me to blog annnnd I have lots of fall food inspiration to come – definitely including flavors like cider, butternut squash, pork, sage, & pears.
This fall inspired breakfast sandwich is definitely me living my best life. A local everything bagel, maple sausage, egg & sharp cheddar, apple, and maple dijon spread. It cannot be topped.
This Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese had us feeling is this, or isn’t this healthy? Take your own stance, but the squash gives that pop of orange with minimal cheese. I had some leftover sauce and froze it…it sounds ideal before trick or treating!
There is also plenty of time for more Salted Caramel Apple Smoothies.
The Little One:
I can’t get over what he can remember! He’ll make connections to a book we haven’t read 1-million times, or something we saw 1 time and it takes me a second to get there. He just told Mr. J about a his best friend at daycare. I didn’t know he knew that concept -it was really sweet! When he sees 2 of something he counts it as one for him and one for his cousin Nate. Food wise, this month he’s been wanting bagels, though his love for waffles hasn’t gone anywhere. He hasn’t gravitated to meat as much lately but I was thrilled to see him eat chili. Sometimes he hasn’t been into foods cooked all together, even when he likes the components – think: chili, pot pie, baked pasta. All fruits and all veggies are still a-go. He liked getting edamame out of the pods too. In October he ate at a few more restaurants than usual and other diners commenting on the volume he can put-away!
Year of the seasonal decor: I am stocked for Halloween and fall so I used October to prep for Thanksgiving to grab this cure Thankful sign. Thus, no photo yet.
do more dinner prep more in advance: Yup! The crockpot got some action with chili!
read more (and always carry my book on me): I am mid-way through 2 books. Stay tuned for a big November recap! I’m super excited for a pajama storytime I’m taking the little one to!
watch more movies: we watched The House which was funny – Amy Poehler is so amazing.
cook more fish: ummm, nope
focus on clothes that I really like: I have purchased so many work pieces, though I’ve been good about returning anything I’m not 100% into…which included 2 blazers & a sweater. I should be good for work clothes until after I’ve done holiday shopping!
My grocery store’s grain offerings are scant and uber expensive so amazon prime came to the rescue! I love texture and nuttiness of different grains and had leftover farro from a lunch I packed. The beauty of this breakfast bowl is the base could be any leftover grain.
Here’s by bowl formula:
grain: farro; cracked wheat; brown rice; lentils; bulgar, wheat berries, quinoa, cauliflower rice
greens: baby spinach; kale; chard
meat: bacon; sausage; ham
topper: fried egg; soft boiled egg; avocado; sauteed mushrooms; cheese
So much of this can be prepped in advance, which is perfect for breakfast, or dinner! I used leftover farro and made some everything bagel seasoning in advance. My spice drawer does not need one more jarred spice so I make my own seasoning, but I’ve seen this for sale.
Farro Breakfast Bowl with Egg, Bacon & Everything Bagel Seasoning
~1 cup prepared farro (or other grain)
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
dash kosher salt & cracked pepper
3 strips of bacon
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Cook the grain or use leftovers.
Add minced onion, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt & pepper to a small dry pan to medium heat for 2-5 minutes. Then remove from the pan immediately (that minced onion goes from toasted to burnt quickly!)
Then pan fry the bacon until crisp and remove to drain on paper towel.
Drain the bacon grease from the pan and saute the greens for 3-5 minutes with a tiny bit remaining in the pan.
Assemble the bowl with the farro, greens, half of the bacon, and a teaspoon of the everything bagel seasoning all mixed together.
Fry or soft boil the egg and add on top, with a last sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning and remaining bacon.
I looooved this. It has some of my thinking of a bacon, egg and seasoning breakfast grain bowl, but was sooo much better because of the greens and the runny yolk. You are winning your day if you eat something green before 9am.
I’ll totally want to get a sausage, egg, and cheese with everything bagel seasoning variation going because that’s my go-to bfast sandwich choice.
As the only mushroom-eater in my house, I alone can testify that these have such great flavor. The marsala wine is unique and a fun addition to salads, as a side, or anywhere! Mushrooms are like little sponges for the flavor around them so marinating them is perfect!
Marsala Marinated Mushrooms
8 oz mushrooms
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
In a glass jar, mix together the marsala wine, oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme.
Boil the mushrooms for 2 minutes then add into the jar.
Refrigerate 6+ hours.
They pack a punch of legit flavor. I put a few into salads and plan to use the rest in some meatless lunches.
This mac and cheese is veggie packed while still delightfully cheesey. Plus, the squash adds that iconic orange pop of color! This would be the perfect fuel before trick or treating!
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
1/2 pound pasta
1 1/2 cup butternut squash puree (10 oz frozen, or 1/2 butternut squash, roasted)
2 tablespoons cream cheese
4 oz Velveeta mini-block
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar
Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the pasta in and cook until al dente.
In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the squash puree, velveeta, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Stir until smooth and all combined. Spoon 1/2 – 3/4 of the sauce onto the drained al dente pasta.
Mix well and add in more sauce, as desired.
Add in the shredded cheddar.
Serve hot, or bake with cheese or breadcrumbs on top.
This was a good meal to feel like a treat, like true comfort food, without guilt. The little one loved it. I had some extra sauce so I froze it for a quick dinner another time to throw over some pasta.
My palate for fall is endless. Apples, maple, cheddar, and a hint of mustard made this the best breakfast sandwich ever. Ever. I could liiiive on breakfast sandwiches and definitely have my favorites. The apple provides the crunch and freshness with a little kick from the mustard in the sauce.
Maple Sausage, Egg, Cheddar, and Apple Breakfast Sandwich
Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 everything bagel
3 maple sausage links, casing removed and formed into a patty
1 slice white cheddar
1/2 macintosh apple, sliced thin
1 teaspoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple
Pan fry the sausage patty until cooked through.
Toast the bagel.
Mix together the mayo, mustard, and maple spread.
Fry the egg in the pan from the sausage. Flip and add the cheese. Cover to melt the cheese.
Assemble the bagel with some mayo/mustard/maple spread, then apple slices, then sausage, then egg and cheese.
This was a treat for a day off. I really loved the sweetness of the sausage, and the sharp white cheddar. The sauce was subtle and a nice touch. Everything bagels from my town bagel place are even better when they’re day-old and less than half off!
Fall to a T! Apple, caramel, cider, yogurt, and ginger all come together for a breakfast treat, or dessert! This one is a bit sweeter than I usually make for breakfast, but it was so fall, and so delicious.
Caramel Apple Smoothie
Ingredients: (1- 16oz serving breakfast, or 2- 8oz snack or dessert servings)
1 apple, chopped & frozen (optional: peal it for a perfectly smooth smoothie)
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup apple cider
1-2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup ice
Add apple, yogurt, cinnamon, and ginger to a blender.
Add cider, caramel sauce, flaxseed, and ice.
Blend well and serve with a drizzle of caramel. Enjoy!
I loved this! The cider and the caramel made it super sweet but the frozen cool-factor made this so perfect for this surprisingly warm fall. This would make a great dessert too.
The little one munched these and then asked “what is it”? Crispy rice patties were such a fun side dish, and became a perfect dish to prep in advance! I saw Catherine McCord make a really plain crispy rice cakes on an Instagram story but I see her website has some fun flavors in these rice cakes. I wanted mine to really highlight some herbs and cheese. The herbs are going bananas out back so I put ’em to work!
Crispy Herbed Rice Patties with Cheese
1 cup brown rice, cooked
3/4 cup smoked gouda
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
Add together the rice, eggs, cheeses, and herbs, with salt and pepper.
Mix well until well incorporated.
Form into patties and fry in a shallow pan of oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side OR heavily spray a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
These would be great in lots of flavors. Maybe next time I’ll have to include some bacon and top them with an egg!
I loved these! I was prepping them in advance so I undercooked most of them and popped them into the toaster oven to warm and toast for dinner. They were a hit! Of course I cooked the rice in my pressure cooker- hello 15 minute brown rice! I pan fried a few and they stayed together! Woohoo! I also put some into a whoopie pie pan and baked them. Both methods worked so well! I’d skip frying them next time