Fried Fish Sandwiches

This recipe was inspired by summer – there’s nothing like a lazy meal on a hot day (preferably by the water). These sandwiches take me to one of those typical fish joints on the beach where they call your number over a loudspeaker when your order is ready – because of course, who wants to be indoors in the summertime? Easy, quick, fresh and delicious; and honestly, not that bad for you compared to other fried things you might imbibe in this summer (Deep Fried Twinkies?).

If you want to class up your homemade fried fish even more, I would recommend pairing these with a bright Rosé. I am beyond obsessed with Villicana Winery’s 2010 Rosé – I literally take it to every summer social event and drink it at home, too. The wine goes great with spicy foods and while this fish isn’t particularly spicy, if you wanted to up the cayenne to a full teaspoon or sprinkle some on while cooking, you’d definitely get a nice kick. Cheers!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Quesadillas

pbj quesadilla

For ten years, I thought I didn’t like peanut butter and jelly.  It’s true. One day in sixth grade, I declared that it was the worst combination ever and didn’t eat it for TEN YEARS.  I liked peanut butter.  I liked jelly.  But I did not like them touching. Up until two weeks ago, I had unknowingly deprived myself of the deliciousness that is the combination of PB&J. Sad but true.

This all changed when I was making a peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat for a little girl I babysit for.  She told me she didn’t want the crust, so I cut the crusts off of her sandwich and promptly ate them.  There was peanut butter on them.  There was strawberry jelly on them. They were touching. I was amazed at the deliciousness of it all.  It turns out that PB&J is not the worst combination ever.  It’s one of the best! (This is probably not news to you…most people are normal!)

My cousin Erin recently suggested that since I have two cousins with one-year-olds (Hi Erin and Liam, Amber and Savannah!!), I should probably post some kids recipes.  GREAT idea, since I’ve been cooking for kids for the past 4+ years.  First on the list are these peanut butter and jelly quesadillas.

This recipe is a great alternative to the classic PB&J, and the fact that you can call it a quesadilla adds a novelty factor – kids think it’s the coolest thing!  This is especially good for school lunch, because as it sits, the tortilla gets softer and infused with the peanut butter and jelly…yumm.

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Fig, Brie, and Spinach Sandwiches

fig brie spinach close up

Do you ever feel fancy?  Patent leather Mary Janes when you’re three, tea parties in second grade, senior prom, dinner date in the big city…that kind of fancy.

Spinach is fancy because Popeye eats it, and he’s a cute sailor.  Brie is fancy because it’s creamy and rich.  Figs are fancy because they look like jewels when you slice them open (!!).  This little sandwich made me feel fancy, even as I ate it while driving the three kids I nanny for around in the minivan after soccer camp (I kid you not – I am a soccer mom in training!).

The sad thing about fancy Figs is that not many Americans have ever had fresh ones! This is funny, because Fig Newtons seem to be a beloved snack.  I have a secret: I had my first Fig Newton exactly one week ago.  For most people I know, the opposite is true – they’ve never, ever tried a fresh fig, but have been eating Fig Newtons their whole lives!

Give yourself a little dare this week. Visit your farmer’s market, or Trader Joe’s, and pick up some figs.  They are delicious alone, with cheese, quartered on salads, or drizzled with honey. If you’re feeling extra-brave, leave me a comment with your thoughts!  I dare you – let me know what makes you feel fancy.

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Grilled Gruyère-and-Zucchini Sandwiches with Homemade Pesto

zucchini_gruyere

Confession: I’m a vegetarian.  I eat eggs, cheese, chicken broth, and ahi tuna, but no actual meat (besides the raw tuna).  My family grills out a lot, especially in the summer, and sometimes I get sick of the old veggie burger routine (although I’ll never say no to a Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Burger…so delish).  Tonight was one of those nights, so while the kids I nanny for were at swimming lessons, I looked up some good grilling recipes and found this gem.  Swiss Gruyere, Grilled Zucchini, Pesto, and an English muffin – sounded like perfection to me, and then I saw the wine pairing.  Robert Mondavi’s Fume Blanc!! My favorite wine!!  Just let me tell you, it was amazing, and so easy to throw together.  ENJOY!  You definitely will!!

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