Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Pursuit of the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich


I just noticed that today or tomorrow my blog will hit the 100,000 page views milestone.  This makes me as happy as that pug.  Thanks for caring and reading.  This blog as been a wonderful creative outlet for me and I hope I can continue to make you want to keep clicking.  In honor of this milestone and to have an entry for a grilled cheese sandwich contest, I decided to work on creating a very tasty grilled cheese sandwich just for you.  Here’s my recipe.  I hope you like it.  Nothing says, “Thanks for reading my blog” better than a savory sandwich. 

I had a basic idea of what I wanted to create.  Here is what I started out with…I later added Miracle Whip (not because I didn’t plan to use it initially, but because I forgot to get it out of the fridge for this picture) and English Muffin Bread.

I took a picture of the Miracle Whip separately…to give it the honor it deserves.

The bread choices I used were Sourdough Bread, European Style Waffles and English Muffin Bread.  Ultimately, the Sourdough Bread won out. The cheese choices were mild Gruyère and Wisconsin Swiss.  In the end, I decided there was really no need to chose one cheese and that there was a home for both cheeses on my sandwich.

The European Style Waffle option was too sweet.  I will revisit this idea; however, I’ll make it an egg and maple-flavored bacon sandwich.

The English muffin bread option was actually really good.  It just wasn’t as good as the Sourdough bread option.

The Whistle Stop

Loaf of Sourdough Bread from the bakery
Mild Gruyère, shredded
Wisconsin Swiss, shredded
Parmesan, shredded
Butter, room temp
Bacon (crispy fried)
Green Tomatoes
Panko Bread Crumbs
Cayenne Pepper
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice green tomatoes.  One slice per sandwich.  Grease cooking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. In a bowl crack two eggs and whisk.  In another bowl, mix handful of panko, handful of Parmesan cheese, dash of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.  Drench tomato in egg and then cover completely in panko mixture.  Place tomatoes on cooking sheet and cook until golden brown (about 30 minutes).  I baked the green tomatoes instead of frying to keep the sandwich less greasy.  Trust me…you won’t be disappointed with the baked green tomatoes.

While your tomatoes are baking, fry your bacon.  You’ll want it to be crispy friend because it is just better that way.  Slice your sourdough bread (avoid slicing it too thick because it will take too long for your cheese to melt).  Butter both sides of your bread and heat up a skillet or griddle (spray with butter flavored Pam cooking spray or add butter).

Build you sandwich like this:  first add Gruyère, then baked (but fried tasting) green tomato, a bit of Miracle Whip, bacon and then Swiss.  Place in skillet or on griddle and grill until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.

Click Here to Print Recipe!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mega Millions $500,000,000 Jackpot

It is hard to not imagine how you’d spend your millions if you won the lottery.  Since hearing about the record $500 million jackpot for the Mega Millions drawing tomorrow, I’ve been spending the money in my head.  My plan would be to take the lump sum and put ½ of it in the bank, because living off the interest will be important after my spending spree.  I would then take half of the half not in the bank and donate it to the MS Society , Human Rights Foundation and educational institutions (including building a children’s museum in Oklahoma City and unrestricted funds to McWane Science Center and Science Museum Oklahoma).  With the rest of the money, I would take care of my family and friends.  Money would be handed out at a giant barbeque (catered by Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in Kansas City).  The barbeque would be on board a cruise ship rented for a week just for the party.  We’d cruise the Mediterranean, of course.   Obviously…air fare would be included for all family and friends and there would be an open bar.  Next, I would buy one of everything on Think Geek.  After that I would buy Tiffany a completely restored vintage 1966 Mustang convertible.  The dogs would go spend a month with Cesar Millan while Tiffany and I traveled the world to eat at all the best restaurants.  Then we’d come home to our current house (with upgrades including a pool) or our beach house and live happily ever after drinking Millionaire Cocktails.

Millionaire Cocktail (No. 1)

The juice of 1 lime
1 dash of Grenadine
1/3 Sloe Gin
1/3 Apricot Brandy
1/3 Jamaican Rum

Shake well and strain into a cocktail or martini glass

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Demonic Possession and Mac and Cheese According to Pat Robertson - WTF and WOW Recipe Wednesday

Death, taxes and Pat Robertson saying something really stupid are the constants of life.  Instead of dwelling on the actual sin of adultery, Robertson needs to casually throw out the fact that Shawn’s “trolling the streets”  for men is probably some sort of demonic possession.  After watching this video, I checked my yearbook photos for any signs that my homosexuality was a possible case of demonic possession.  Other than the ridiculous hairstyles from the 1980s, I think the picture of me in the center looks just fine. 

And, in case you didn’t realize this little tidbit about mac and cheese…

The Neely’s Mac and Cheese

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, warm
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash of hot sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
3 cups shredded Cheddar
1 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
I cup crushed potato chips
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepot over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil, continue to whisk constantly.  The mixture will thicken as the heat increases.  Continue to stir while adding the dry mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire.  Stir in the 3 cups of Cheddar until it melts.  Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and add to a 3 quart casserole dish.  Sprinkle the chips, bacon and Parmesan on top and bake for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Invention of Draw Something – “True” History Tuesday


The currently popular game Draw Something was actually invented in Egypt around 1500 BCE.  The Ancient Egyptians were all about hieroglyphics.  They drew on everything…walls, ceilings, floors, each other, their bald cats, etc.  This obsession with draw writing pushed the 18th Dynasty New Kingdom Pharaoh OMGPOPotep II to order the creation of a new app to be used on all the iPhones in his kingdom (the Android phones were used by the Greeks and Romans and didn’t arrive in Egypt until Marc Antony gave a Droid to Cleopatra on Easter 31 BC).  The app that was created was called Draw Something and everyone starting guessing and drawing.  Sadly the game was lost to the sands of time…until it resurfaced recently and is once again the latest game craze.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Fake Vomit

I took my two girl dogs for a walk this morning.  We decided to have a girl’s morning out.  We walked around and peed on things (the dogs, not me…well there was that one time).  We thought about getting our nails done, but realized we didn’t have time so we headed back home.  I have a neighbor.  She’s nice, but crazy and will talk your ear off if she sees you.  She caught me tip-toeing by her house this morning.  She zoomed by in her car and forced me to stop by rolling down her window and screaming, “HEY DOG LADY!!” at me.  She jumped out of her car and proceeded to talk at a rapid fire pace about her cat killing her son’s hamster.  She then moved on to fleas and how her cat was a slut.  The conversation lasted 15 minutes and I maybe said two words.  Even my dogs, who are insane, were looking at her funny.  At any rate, I finally said, “we gotta go, the dogs need to wash their hair.” 

Something fun and gross to do with the kids is make fake vomit.  This is a nice rainy day activity.  Plus it is just fun to place your dried fake vomit all over the house or even take it to the grandparent’s house!  Give it a try.

Fake Vomit

What You’ll Need
A bowl
Elmer’s glue
A wooden craft stick or plastic spoon
A sponge
Food coloring (red, blue, green, yellow)
Wax paper

What You Do
Tear up part of your sponge (small chunks) and place in your bowl.  Pour glue over sponge chunks (enough to somewhat cover chunks).  Add a few drops of each color of food coloring.  Stir until color is completely mixed.  Tear off a sheet of wax paper and pour your sponge, glue and food coloring mixture on the wax paper.  Spread out some in a nice vomit shape.  Let dry for several days.  Once your vomit is completely dry, peel it from the wax paper.  If you desire, you can trim up the sides of your vomit with scissors.  Presto!  You have your very own fake vomit!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hot Tub Time Machine

Good morning.  It is 3:33pm and I just got out of bed.  One thing about my shrimp/crawfish boils is that you lose time.  Almost like the turkey fryer is actually H.G. Well’s infamous time-machine.  It is either that or the ridiculous of amount of alcohol that is consumed, but I’m betting on the time-machine.  Another thing about my shrimp/crawfish boils is that everyone must end up in the hot tub.  The temperature must be so high, in said hot tub, that you can feel what the shrimp and crawfish felt when they first entered the boiling water.  As usual, good times with good friends.  I discovered Three Olives Dude vodka yesterday.  It was pretty tasty mixed with sprite.  Give it a try.  K…I’m going back to bed now.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mommie Dearest Shrimp Boil

Tonight we’ll be celebrating my birthday (I like to celebrate the entire month).  We are doing a shrimp boil.  If you want to make an amazing dinner that doesn’t cost that much to feed a group, give the recipe below a try.  After dinner, we are going to watch Mommie Dearest on my outdoor movie projector.  In preparation for the party, I planted a rose garden.  If we feel compelled, while viewing the movie, we make hack down the new rose bushes.  Ideally, we should make rare New York strips, but we wanted shrimp more.  I also got rid of all the wire hangers in my house.  I’m betting all of us will say, “NO WIRE HANGERS, EVER!” at least 643 times tonight.  I’m also thinking about inflating our family fun pool so we can all compete with each other for the fastest laps around the pool…obviously, we’d all wear swim caps.  I also have put some Comet out on the patio, my guests will need to scrub the floor and then I will scream at them and said they didn’t clean it enough. All these things considered, the most important part of having a shrimp Mommie Dearest boil, are having some really great friends to join in on the fun.  I have no doubt we will have a blast and “TINA! Bring me the axe!”

Shrimp Boil

Red potatoes (2 potatoes per person)
Mushrooms (large package)
Onions (2 large)
Andouille sausage (1 to 2 pounds)
Frozen corn on the cob (2 to 3 per person)
Frozen raw jumbo shrimp (1/2 pound per person)
2 lemons
Package of Zatarain’s complete crab, crawfish and shrimp boil
Old Bay Seasoning
Bottle of beer

I use a 30 quart turkey fryer with strainer for my boil.  Fill ¾ full of water and bring to a boil.  Add bottle of beer, lemons (cut in half) and Zatarain’s complete shrimp boil package to water.  Slice potatoes in half, cut up onion, sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning toss in water and boil for 8 minutes.  Add Andouille sausage and boil for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle corn with Old Bay Seasoning, add to water and boil for 7 minutes.  Sprinkle Old Bay Seasoning on shrimp and mushrooms.  Add to water.  Turn off heat and let the shrimp and mushrooms cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until shrimp is pink.  Spread newspapers on your table, strain boil and then pour on newspaper.  Guests just pick a place to sit and start eating. 

Click Here to Print Recipe!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Damn Karma

I did all sorts of stupid shit when I was a kid.  It is funny how karma always comes around and bites you in the ass.  In 10th grade, we had a substitute teacher when we did fetal pig dissections (why the hell a teacher would ever submit a substitute teacher to that is beyond me).  Fetal pigs ended up all over the school.  It became fetal pig prank day.  I ended up throwing mine out the second story window.  Stupid.  Then later, I was a substitute teacher and scheduled on crawfish dissection day.  Crawfish ended up everywhere.  Served me right.

I've always been a clown, albeit a shy clown until I got publicly obnoxious starting in 5th grade. I should point out by clown, I don’t mean the creepy ones with painted faces that you find at the circus or birthday party.  Those types of clowns scare me.  I just mean, I was a cut-up.  So, invariably, in any class or camp I teach, I get an overabundance of clowns (again not the painted face ones because an overabundance of those would be found in a car and not a classroom).  I even watch these clown children do some of the very same things I did.  I can’t help but laugh at their craziness and then curse karma for being such an asshole.