Archive for the 'Sandwich' Category

Challah Back Girl


Well this is the first post of my own after a long absence, and even though I have records of some pretty decadent meals, I thought one of the best ways of welcoming my return was giving a recipe for this humble yet absolutely delicious challah bread. My mom used to buy us challah bread when I was a kid, and something about it only being available on Friday made it extra special. Some people might claim that bread is bread is bread, but challah’s sweet simplicity really takes it beyond your normal bread.


I’m still not super experienced with bread baking, so this recipe made me a little nervous (especially since our house is so cold and drafty, I didn’t think it would rise well), and I think I used a little too much yeast, but it turned our phenomenally. The smell of the bread baking is enough to drive you crazy, and one of my favorite things has got to be slowly tearing apart the bread’s woven strands. It’s perfect by itself or with some butter and jam.


Want to use your challah like sliced bread? It also makes a gosh-dern good grilled cheese sandwich.


Challah Bread
(original recipe Neiman Marcus Taste)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 1/2 packages)
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional) [but awesome!]

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the water, 1 1/4 cups of the flour, the salt, and the oil. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. (Alternatively, the dough can be mixed by hand in a large bowl.) Add 2 of the eggs, the remaining 4 tablespoons sguar, and half of the remaining flour and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes; if the dough is too wet, add a little more flour until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a slightly damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a 12-inch baking sheet.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll them into strips about 8 inches long. Press the 3 strips together at one end and then braid the dough strips, crossing the strop on the left under the middle strip, then the right strip under the middle, and so on 6 or 7 times, until you complete the braid. Pinch the ends together and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Let rise for another 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining egg in a cup or bowl and brush the load with the egg wash; sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Note: Feel free to add a little more sugar if you like a sweeter challah. Also, you can make unbraided mini-loaves for sandwiches.



Bison Burgers with Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Jay here. I haven’t done much writing on this blog, but I think I will be getting more into it in the near future, after having participated in the pizza challenge last weekend. Jenny was at class and the gym until late tonight, so that gave me quite a bit of time to come up with something tasty. No pictures tonight though, since everything was scarfed down no sooner than the meat hit the plate.

Jenny had mentioned a couple nights ago that she was craving a bison burger, so off to the store I went. After getting the usual provisions, I grabbed a pound of ground bison from the meat section. It was on sale for $4.49, so I saved 50 cents! I picked up some light whole wheat buns as well – they are a little smaller than usual, so that gave me an idea.

There was a bar back in Charlottesville, VA, called Coupe de Ville’s that we would sometimes go to on Thursday nights after a night out, where they would serve 2 dollar fresh grilled cheeseburgers to hungry drunks (and us). These thin, chargrilled burgers were my inspiration for this meal. I added a gourmet twist rather than your typical ketchup and mustard with American cheese.


  • 1 lb ground bison, split into 8 equal portions, flattened into circles
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • Cavender’s Seasoning
  • hamburger buns
  • herb chevre (goat cheese)
  • sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips

Heat a large pan over high heat for a few minutes. Season each mini burger on one side liberally with salt, pepper, and Cavender’s. Spray the pan and each burger with Pam cooking spray. Put 1/2 of the burgers seasoned-side down into the pan, and let them site for a minute, then turn the heat down to medium. Continue cooking for another minute or so; while they are cooking, season the top of the burger the same way as the bottom. Flip the burgers and cook for 2 minutes or until desired doneness. (This will give you a nice medium to medium rare burger. Be careful, bison can overcook quickly due to less fat in the meat.) Do the same thing for the second batch of burgers.

Toast several hamburger buns, and spread some chevre on the bottom bun. Julienne some sun dried tomatoes (I put them on a paper towel to dry off some of the oil) and put them on the bottom bun as well. Put two mini burgers on each bun.

Eat to combine.

The simple things in life

Hi everyone, Jay here. Jenny’s gone to Washington, DC for the weekend, so I’m home alone. She cooked an amazing dinner for me last night, which I’m sure she’ll want to write about when she gets back, so I thought I’d start out in my first real post with something simple.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to cook complex, tasteful dishes. But when I’m home alone, I often find myself not wanting to do anything very involved when cooking. I seem to have a lot of sandwiches, be they egg with cheese, a hamburger, etc. My childhood favorite of peanut butter and jelly always hits the spot. For some reason, just the simple act of making a double decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich makes it taste so much better. Maybe it’s the extra chewiness that the extra piece of bread gives… I’m not sure, but there’s a significant difference between this version and the traditional single-decker sandwich that just gives me more satisfaction.

Does anyone else indulge simple tastes when they are alone? Or do you prefer to make something special for yourself that you wouldn’t normally have?


March 2019
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