Apple Cheese Sandwich

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Let’s face it – for most of us, sandwiches are a part of life. However much we may dream about sitting down every day to a delicious, beautiful, and decadent yet healthy meal prepared by our own personal chef, chances are it’s not in the cards.

Now that I’ve gotten the bad news out of the way, let’s move on to the good news. Sandwiches don’t have to be boring! It’s time to break out of that deli-turkey-and-swiss rut and embrace the joys of creative sandwiching. As a child, the definitive sandwich was probably peanut butter and jelly on Bunny Bread; maybe you got crafty like Mr. Rogers taught you and made faces out of banana slices and raisins on peanut butter. Maybe that doesn’t sound so great now, but the key is to channel that same sandwich excitement that you had then and bring it to the lunch table now.

For this sandwich, I started off with the old staple (for me, at least) of a cheese sandwich. This has sort of become my new PB&J recently: fast, easy, and tasty with some good potato chips. I decided it could use a little something different, though. My solution not only lightens it up a little, but updates the humble cheese sandwich for fall.

I started off my new sandwich adventure with some great, flavorful bread. The cranberry walnut wheat bread that I used gave a nice blend of sweet and tart and some good nutty depth. I got my bread at Earth Fare, but whatever bakery or grocery store with a bakery that is near you should have options that will work. I switched out the usual mayonnaise and mustard for some honey mustard sauce, which is nothing but a mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, and honey.

The extra sharp cheddar that is the basis of the sandwich stays the same, but I added slices of apple to it. It gives it a satisfying crunch, refreshing juiciness, and a nice blend of sweet and tart. I used honeycrisp apples for mine, but you can substitute any you would like. I suggest a variety that has plenty of flavor somewhere between sweet and tart, but if you are a devotee of the golden delicious or granny smith apple, go ahead and give it a shot!

So there you have it: an absolutely delicious sandwich that is no trouble at all to make, but will liven up your lunch in no time! If you want a little more to eat, pair this sandwich with some butternut squash soup for a rich autumn feast.

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Healthy Pie?!

I got the book Lessons from Madame Chic (Jennifer L. Scott) for Christmas, and as I devoured it over the next couple of days, I was fascinated by the descriptions of the French meals prepared by Madame Chic. It was like a description of paradise, right down to tarts for dessert every night, with the tart from the night before for breakfast.

Basically, this translates to lots of pie. Confession time: I love pie. Really the only kind of pie that I don’t like is chocolate, which most people think makes me certifiably insane, but still. I just prefer the lemon pies (remember my tarts?), the pecan pies, the apple pies, the peach cobblers, the fried pies – well, you get the picture.

The problem with pie, of course, should be obvious. There is usually a lot of butter or sugar or both involved, and while I believe that you can’t worry about every little calorie, you have to draw the line somewhere.

Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I was watching Laura Calder one day and she made this Applesauce Tart. There is very little butter or sugar in the filling, and if you use a good old oil crust instead of a sweet crust, there won’t be any in that at all.

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This tart is delicious and completely addictive, and you don’t even have to feel bad about what’s in it. And you guessed it – I even had a leftover slice for breakfast this morning. It just goes to show that maybe you can have your cake – or rather, pie – and eat it too!

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