Monday, April 11, 2011

The Perfect Cereal Bowl

OMG. Who likes soggy cereal? I don't. No. I really don't.

The Obol solves the whole problem. It keeps your cereal and your milk separate! Hello!!!! The answer to my prayers! Check it out. This thing keeps your cereal all tucked away, perfectly dry. Then just when you think all you have is dry cereal, you can dunk your spoonful o'cereal in the milk! LOVE!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taking Pictures and Playing with Color

I took some pictures at Grammy's house this weekend. Her star magnolia was in bloom and I couldn't pass up snapping a couple o' shots. I don't like the shots as they originally came out, so I threw them in my photo editing software, cropped them down and livened them up a little.

Original #1

Retouched and Recolored

Original #2

Retouched and Recolored

Original #3

Retouched and Recolored

Original #4

Retouched and Recolored Version 1

Retouched and Recolored Version #2

So the point of this whole post is, you can be an ok photographer, but learn your favorite photo editing software. You can turn mediocre shots into something a little more special!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Updated Links

I updated my Read, Shop, Cook & Enjoy links in the right hand menu. Be sure to check them out. They're all quite fabulous and will contribute to hours of wasted time. You don't have to thank me. :)

Friday, April 01, 2011

How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I'm so excited. April is National Grilled Cheese Month. OH! You don't believe me? Well then Google it! Don't worry about it. I thought it was too good to be true, too!

So, I'm a real lover and connoisseur of a good grilled cheese sandwich.

I don't require exotic cheeses like Gruyere, Fontina or Gouda. I'm Kraft American Singles all the way! Sure I know it's "cheese food" and contains less than NO nutritional value, but what does that really matter? I like it. My mom made them for me. It's good. It's melty. And it's yellow.

Good enough for me!

I've been on a grilled cheese kick for a while now (I didn't really need this holiday to celebrate the deliciousness of a grilled cheese samich). I'm not usually that hungry at night and a heavy meal never sounds good. So I just whip up a grilled cheesy and plop down on the couch to enjoy it while I watch E! News or whatever is on at the time.

I have to say. I'm very meticulous about how "grilled" it gets. I butter (with real butter) the bread. I put a light scraping of butter on the bread. I don't like it too greasy or buttery so a light little scraping of butter is all it requires. I pre-heat my favorite stainless steel skillet on around medium-high heat while I butter the bread. Oh and even though I just scrape butter across the outside of each slice, I cover every. square. inch. of the bread. I want a nice golden, brown crunch on the outside of the sandwich (as shown below).

Then, I put the first piece of bread in the skillet, butter side down (duh but some people need explicit directions).

You'll hear a little sizzle. You don't want it to sizzle too much, or you'll get too much browning and not enough melting of the cheese. Might need to dial back the burner.

Then I tear the cheese into strips and place them on the slice of bread in the skillet. I'm convinced it melts quicker and better than a solid slice. I am sure to cover every. square. inch. of the bread with not one and not three pieces, but 2 slices of Kraft American Singles. Then I cover the cheese with the other slice of bread, paying close attention to making sure the bread slices match up. Butter side up of course.

Time to let the bread, the heat and the even cooking of my trusty skillet to marry into each other. Be patient. You don't need to cook this on overdrive, even though I know you're dying to sink your teeth into it. Don't rush this excellence. It's worth the wait.

Check for your favorite level of browning frequently. It's important not to flip the "wich" too soon. You've got one chance to get the first slice just right. This is it. Let side one do it's thang. Get it to the level of perfect brown that you want, then and only then, is it ok to flip it.

There's no reason to flip and flip and flip your cheesy bread. This is a one flip sammy. When slice number one is perfect. Flip it. Then slowly grill slice 2 to perfection.

Keep your eye on this one, my friend.

By now, your skillet is a little hotter and slice 2 will brown quicker than slice #1 did. (You may need to dial down the heat ever so slightly) There's no time to pour a glass of milk. I hope you planned ahead and got your plate out cause perfection happens pretty quick on slice 2. Check, check and recheck.

Now I do one last thing before I dive into this scrumptious little delicacy. I gently remove my sammy from the skillet and place it on a paper towel. If you take it straight from the fryin' pan to the plate, you'll create steam from the heat and guess what steam does to bread. Yes, it makes it wet. Do I really need to tell you this?

So place your perfect grilled cheese on a paper towel for a minute or two, to let it rest. Then do just exactly what your mommy did, cut it diagonally, while still on the paper towel. Remove your sammy and place it on your plate. Walk to the couch, turn on your favorite show. Sit back.

Look at that perfection you just created. Then sink your teeth into it!