I’m still not 100% sure if putting an entire sandwich through the tempura process was a stroke of genius or madness. See I have a very strong passion for hot ham and cheese sandwiches. I touched on it years ago with my croque madame recipe, but I needed more.
Part of the inspiration for this dish comes from the famous Disney parks monte cristo with blackberry preserves. The other half of the inspo comes from my love of Japanese techniques and flavors I tend to use more when I cook for myself vs. for the blog.
As soon as I took my first bite I was taken on a journey. This sandwich has crunchy, salty, sweet, fruity, spicy, and gooey all in one. It’s one of those things that’s perfect, but also its mere existence is terrifying at the same time.
Back when I was about 20 I worked at the Lush store in Old Orchard mall right outside of Chicago. For those of you who don’t know, not only is it the mall they hang out in Mean Girls (even if the set is NOTHING like the real thing), but it’s bougie as they come. So bougie in fact they don’t even have a food court, just random nice restaurants scattered randomly throughout.
Most of these restaurants were the type of situation where you pay $15 for a burger at lunch time, and the fries and drinks are a la carte on top of it. But the main beacon of hope for my broke ass was the Auntie Ann’s located around the corner from Lush. It was literally the only thing I could afford in the whole mall to eat, and because of it I developed a weird addiction, maybe even passion for pretzel wrapped hot dogs. To this day I still get pretzel dogs almost any time I go into a mall. It’s in my code at this point.
Since a big point of cooking at home is having stuff you can’t just get anywhere, I added togarashi into the pretzel dough, and on top as well. For dunking I recommend either sweet chili sauce or Chinese hot mustard. This recipe got me 10 hot dogs and a few little pretzel nuggets. Continue reading “Togarashi Pretzel Dogs”→
Picture it: Belton 2001. One day when the Marshall Primary School menu for the next week was released everyone’s attention was immediately captured by something we never heard of, bird dogs. None of the other kids knew what it was, and to add insult to injury none of the adults did either. Not even the lunch ladies!
What we got was a total game changer. Bird dogs consist of chicken fingers, bacon, honey mustard, and cheddar tucked into a hot dog bun. When I explain it to people who never lived in Anderson county, South Carolina they never seemed to get it, but honestly it’s so perfect. Somehow the hotdog bun proportions are so much more satisfying than the normal chicken sandwich and I will die on that hill.
Clearly I’m not the only one to think so because these little buns of glory became a cultural icon in my hometown. They worked their way into mom and pop restaurants, sleepovers, and I even went to a banquet where they were served!
If you ever wanted a super obscure southern dish that you can’t even find on Google that doubles as stoner food then look no further! I mean come on, look at that!
There was a time a few years ago that I was broker than broke. Like try and sell everything you own broke. During this time I had to rely (even more heavily than usual) on pasta. On top of that it was definitely a no ingredient left behind situation.
I consider myself to be a pretty busy woman. I only go to the store once every two weeks, I work hard, and when I do have time off it’s nearly impossible to pull me away from my pool. I’m actually writing this post poolside!
I think anyone who reads my blog at this point knows I am a garlic junkie. Have I even posted one recipe that does not use any garlic other than the dessert I posted? To be honest I don’t think I have. And can you blame me? Garlic is absolutely delicious! There is nothing better than that sweet, almost nutty flavor you get from beautifully browned garlic. Well this pasta recipe here is an ode to all the fellow garlic lovers out there, and even better, this recipe is unbelievably cheap and simple to prepare and is friendlier to the figure than a lot of the recipes I have posted.
Earlier this week my best friend who lives several states away informed me that he was having a small dinner party type thing. I said good for him, but he immediately got flustered and said he needed help. He has had my spicy chicken alfredo before and loved it, and it only made sense to send him to my post with the recipe. He was grateful for the help but very nervous at the same time. To be honest, it made me very nervous because this was the first time that someone else would be cooking one of my recipes.
Well as soon as he had the chicken hit the pan he messaged me to tell me how amazing the house was smelling. Throughout the process he continuously called, snapchatted, and texted me updates. It turns out that neither he nor I had any reason to be nervous. He sent me the above photo of his recreation of my dish and informed me that the pasta was a massive hit and everyone absolutely loved it.
This was such a thrilling experience for me because like I earlier mentioned, no one’s cooked one of my recipes before. All the dishes I’ve made have been viewed almost as enigmas among my closest friends. It made me so happy that my best friend who constantly talks about how much he misses my cooking was able to successfully recreate one of his favorite dishes at home, and even happier that he was able to share the dish with people that he cares for deeply. It definitely felt like my “Ina Garten Moment.”