Tag Archives: spinach

The Pizzawitch – White Pizza Grilled Cheese With Taleggio, Ricotta, Basil, Spinach and Bacon

I’ve spent my entire life horrified of the possibility of being scared but also completely obsessed with spooky things. I was the type of kid that rented Goosebumps from the library, proudly carried ’em around all week, ogling at the awesome cover art, only to return them unread because I would get paralyzingly scared of where my mind might wander. If I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I’d sprint. Taking trash out after dark? No effing way. If my mom didn’t go with me, it wasn’t happening. When I’d take off my coke-bottle lensed glasses at night, my super bad vision would create shadows and shapes that looked just like people or creatures sitting around my room, waiting to choke me out in my sleep. Maybe I have a demented mind, well… I’m pretty sure of that,  but I’ve just always felt like I was going to get murdered by a scary clown hiding in the bushes or something. I don’t know why or what made me so scared but I’ve just never been able to handle it.


It didn’t stop there though. I’ve been avoiding scary movies my entire life. I remember making the decision that I wasn’t ever going to watching anything scary again. When I was in 5th grade, My older neighbor friend made me watch Poltergeist with her and because I didn’t want to seem like a pussy, I did. What happened after? Well, I ended up sleeping on a cot in my parents room for 6 months because I was 100% sure that I was going to get swallowed up by my closet. I’m still this way. I always check my non-existent NYC  closets, under my bed, and behind the shower curtain just to make sure there’s no angry ex-boyfriends psychopaths hiding anywhere.

When I moved to NYC, something changed. Maybe it was the lack of scary bushes combined with constantly lit streets or something like that, but I was no longer scared of possible goblins with giant claws or a vampire with the need to feed. No, instead I decided that it was probably a good idea to focus my fear on real things like the possibility of getting mugged at 4am on Bushwick or some freak show pushing me into the subway tracks when I wasn’t looking. So since it’s Halloween and I’ve realized that I haven’t really felt that scared, panicky, heart beating in my throat kind of feeling in a while, I decided that it would probably be OK if I watched a scary movie… alone… without roommates or friends or a body guard.

And ya know what? I did it AND i slept soundly. I mean of course I woke up in the middle of the night a few times because it felt like someone was standing over me, but I calmly told myself “be chill girlfriend, you could seriously use some beauty rest, you’re lookin’ busted these days” and then there I went, back to sleep, without one horrifying care in the world. So because I’m super excited about this new development, I also thought it would be fun to revisit something else that I hadn’t done in a while. That’s how this pizza grilled cheese came to be. I did one a few years ago [HERE] but I wanted to make a fresh and new one so here it is – a white pizza inspired GC with taleggio, fresh ricotta, basil, spinach, BACON, and some red pepper flaked olive oil all on a sliced focaccia loaf.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:

-Taleggio
– Fresh Ricotta
– Spinach
– Basil
– Bacon
– Focaccia
– Red Pepper Flakes
– Olive Oil

I started with the fresh ricotta because if I hadn’t, I would have seriously just ate the whole thing before the sandwich was event built. I actually have an addiction problem with the fresh stuff. It’s seriously the best thing my body’s ever tasted.

So do as I do, start with the fresh ricotta, and smear on a super thick coat. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on top to make it have an extra pop of flavor.

Now it’s bacon time which I’m pretty sure is everyone’s favorite time ever in the whole wide world. Except for you veggies, I’m so sorry. Y’all should just omit it and then re-evaluate your life choices. JK sort of.

Ok, onto the next step. Basil time! Just add a few fresh basil leaves for some added herbal earthiness.

Pile on a ton of fresh spinach…

Then top with some semi-thick slices of Taleggio.

If you’re not familiar with taleggio, then let me fill you in. It’s a washed-rind cheese that has a texture similar to brie. Although mild to the taste, it packs a super strong flavor and a pretty serious aroma along with a fruity tang. It also melts perfectly and without much heat. It’s the shit.

Since that’s all of the ingredients, go ahead and top your sandwich with the other piece of bread.

Drizzle a little bit of olive over both sides of the sandwich and sprinkle on a pinch of red pepper flakes if you’d like. C’mon, you gotta do it – it’s pizza themed after all!

Now turn your burner to medium and let that baby cook. It”ll just take a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt and the the bread crisps up into an irresistible golden crust.

Once it’s done, take it out of the pan and let it sit for a sec. Because the taleggio melts pretty rapidly, you’ll need to let it sit  or else it’s all going to fall out all over the place.

So now that I ain’t scared of nothin’…except creepy babies, mean boys, psycho girls, spiders in my shoes, running out of fresh ricotta, the mad hatter from alice in wonderland, sharks, big snakes, getting frostbit, being trapped in a walk-in freezer, maggots, any bug that eats dead things, tiny cockroaches, big cockroaches, humans dressed up as clowns, people that put a slit in their tongue, zombies, vampires… wait I actually like vampires, never mind, alligators, crocodiles, mean bears, being alone when I grow up, being abandoned when I actually like someone, and the like…. let me know what scary movies I’ve been missing out on!

Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN BABIES!

xoxo,

GCS

The Buffer – Feta, Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Baby Spinach Grilled Cheese

So after writing last week’s post and reading all of your comments, I’ve been drinking a lot thinking a lot. Can failed relationships really that fun to read about? Although I think that y’all actually liked my sob story (seriously, thanks for the comments), I feel as if last week’s post may have pulled some heartstrings and might have made you feel bad for me. I know that everyone can relate to heartbreak, but that’s not what I want this blog to be about. I want it to be about ridiculous stories and awesome grilled cheese sandwiches. So here’s one funny breakup story to even me out from last week’s disaster.

When I was a junior in college, I was recently single and was inadvertently rebounding with hot, tall, kind-hearted pianist dude who was a super-talented with his mouth. Although I had no real interest in playing the piano, my id told me it was a good time to start. I’d taken lessons when I was younger but quit when my piano instructor, who was about three hundred years old, died – just days before my first recital. After telling him about my unfortunate piano history and how I had always wanted to know how to tickle the ivories, he told me he’d give me some lessons. Of course, being the opportunist that I am, I went with it. So after a sessions of hanging out on his bed piano bench, fluttering my lacquered lashes, perking up my boobs, and laughing like he was the funniest thing in the world, I had a few songs memorized and a certain someone off my mind.

As we started hanging out more regularly, we took a road trip with some friends to see  Radiohead. We had the cheapest seats possible and had snuck a ton of booze into the venue because there was no way in hell that we were going to pay $10 for a bud heavy. Half a water bottle full of tequila later, the boy and I totally tricked the bouncer into letting us snag some seats in the third row. At that I point was pretty wasted, but I can vaguely remember sloppily making out while they were playing “All I Need” and feeling like this maybe wasn’t a rebound after all. But then, as soon as we got back to Tallahassee, I guess I WAS NOT all that he needed because he totally dumped me for some spray tanned Hooters waitress.

Yes, a Hooters waitress. A shiny-orange-shorts-wearing-camel-toed-Hooters-waitress. She might have even been a stripper. At least that’s what my friends told me, but I think they were just trying to make me feel better. But I get it, I get it. Free chicken wings and big ole titties are very appealing, especially to a 22 year old man-boy. At the time I was truly devastated. How could some girl with frizzy bleach blonde hair, dark roots, and scrunchy socks be more appealing than me? I knew about cartoons, could cook amazing stuff when I was wasted, and I could even quote Mr. Show. Isn’t that what every boys wants? Hahaha. Yeah, right, not so much. Now that I’m 26 and haven’t seen a Hooters retaurant, let alone a chicken wing waitress, in like 5 years, I think it’s the funniest break-up story ever. I totally got dumped for chicken wings! Or maybe it was the blow jobs that he was getting in the parking lot after she hooked him up with a free meal.

And although this grilled cheese has absolutely nothing to do with Hooters or shitty boys, it is really good and I think you’ll dig it. Oh! And of course, you voted for it on Facebook.

Grab these goodies and go with it.

Ingredients:

– 1/3 cup of crumbled feta
– 2 tbsp of roasted red pepper relish
– 1/4 cup of fresh baby spinach
– 2 slices of seven grain bread
– 2 pats of salted butter
– 1 pinch of dried parsley

Just like the beginning of every single post I do, the first step begins with sprinkling on some cheese. This salty, moist Greek queso doesn’t really melt but it does get all soft and creamy. Just like your brain feels when you start to fall for someone. Then it hardens up to a dried mass of disgustingness that’s similar to when some dingdong dumps you for a Hooters waitress. Just kidding. I’m not bitter about it anymore, I swear.

Then spoon on some of the red pepper relish. Its tart, sweet bite contrasts nicely with the saltiness from the feta.

I think that opposites attract but I wouldn’t take dating advice from me.

Then for some freshness, add a few baby spinach leaves. I think these tender-hearted veggies add a nice textural variation and it’s a good ingredient when you need to switch it up.

Sprinkle on some more cheese for good measure… if you haven’t scarfed it all up yet. Emotional eater.

Add the top piece of bread and wait four years until you can laugh about that one time when someone cared more about buffalo sauce and ranch dressing than your chilled out demeanor and cool dance moves.

Turn your griddle to medium high, blast your sandwich press with some fire, and melt some of that butter alongside that dried parsley. Gah, her skin was really dry , too!  Place your sandwich on top of the melted herb butter. When your press gets super hot, carefully pick it up and sear the crap out of your grilled cheese.

It’ll look like this! No false intentions or misleading bullshit with food.

Now let it sit for a minute until it becomes a funny story that you can blog about in a couple years.
 
And in case this whole story made me sound like a complete bitch, there’s nothing wrong with being a Hooters waitress. Actually, if you are, I’m a little envious. I could totally use a boob job and some chicken wings tonight. Thanks y’all.

xoxo,

GCS