Happy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2018

Yes! It’s National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day again. I’m still addicted, but I have changed my recipe a little since last year.

Instead of using regular butter, I now use Chef Shamy Garlic Butter with Parmesan and Basil. Yes, I order this from Amazon because no store in my area carries it. One of my cousins (God bless my cousins!) posted about this product on Facebook last year. Thank you, Kevin!

Grilled cheese sandwiches with roasted red pepper and tomato soup have became a staple on the dinner table at my house.

How do you like your grilled cheese?

 

National Sangria Day

Why this observance is in December is one of life’s imponderables. I think of sangria as a summer drink.

When I was first old enough to drink, we would go to the Ground Round (a chain restaurant that barely continues to exist) and order pitchers of sangria. I have many fond memories. Hazy, but fond.

I’ve been trying to move my husband away from soda, juices, and other high-sugar beverages, so I’ve been making iced tea with my Celestial Sesaonings tea bags. I found this one at the store the other day. Can’t wait to try it.

Microwave Ovens

Yes, there really is such a thing as National Microwave Oven Day.  And yes, I am a spoiled American who is dependent on this appliance.

When TV Stevie and I were first married, I had a small, low wattage microwave oven. He had none. So we used my little one for nearly ten years. Then we bought a larger, more powerful one. The entire family was using it by the time we purchased the modern one.

My favorite part of a microwave oven is the timer. Back when I worked in TV and was writing promo, but before I had a stop watch, I would set the microwave timer to :29 (for :30 of copy) and read the spot aloud. Whatever works, right?

But like all appliances, it developed issues. We had to smack the door in a certain place to get it to start. The inside was starting to rust. My now-adult children refused to eat anything cooked in it.  Then one day, not even punching the door would start the machine. So I made list of my requirements and TV Stevie and I sallied forth into the world of Big Box Stores for a replacement.

There were two things about which I would not compromise: cubic feet and wattage. I was not going to go smaller, even though our family is smaller. (Have I mentioned spoiled American?) I still need a microwave in which a 9×13 pan can rotate. In addition to the cubic feet and wattage issues, we also had to purchase something that would fit in the hole the previous owner of our house had built.

We found what we wanted at the third Big Box Store.

A Cranberry Relish Day Recipe

Happy National Cranberry Relish Day!

A former co-worker gave me this recipe when I was looking for a festive side dish.

IRMA LEE’S SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 package orange (or cherry) Jell-O
  • 1 container cranberry orange relish
  • 1 can mandarin oranges

Directions:

  • Set Jell-O per package instructions
  • When slightly firm, add relish and oranges
  • Mold in muffin tins.
  • Chill until firm.
  • Unmold, serve on lettuce leaves.

“Mexican” Stuffed Shells

I found this recipe on Facebook and have seen it pinned all over Pinterest.

It’s a lot easier to make than it sounds. Trust me.

I tend to use the mild taco seasoning/salsa/taco sauce because some people aren’t into spicy. But if you want medium or hot, go for it!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese (remember when Philly came in 4 oz packages?)
16 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups salsa (I use a 24 oz jar)
1 cup taco sauce (I use an 8 oz bottle)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese (instead of cheddar and Monterrey jack, I use a Mexican blend my supermarket has.)
For toppings:

  • 3 green onions
  • sour cream
  • sliced black olives

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a pan brown the ground beef;
  • add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.
  • Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted.
  • Stir together and mix well.
  • Set aside and cool completely.
    While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to package directions; drain.
  • Set shells out individually on cutting board or baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.
  • Pour salsa on bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Stuff each shell with 1-2 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
  • Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up.
  • Evenly cover shells with taco sauce.
  • Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes with the foil removed.
  • Top with green onions or olives.
  • Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa!