Sausage and Waffles Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

This sandwich was a great idea. I mean, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Sausage links and waffles with maple syrup – this sandwich had everything going for it. Until I actually made it.

It turned out, um, odd. The combination of syrup and cream cheese tasted weird, almost curdled. And the waffles never crisped up – they got a little soggy. Based on this experiment, I think I’m going to abandon the chicken and waffles grilled cheese sandwich idea. Sorry, the South.

For general grilled cheese tips, visit the inaugural grilled cheese sandwich post.

Continue reading for the Sausage and Waffles Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe

Continue reading

Apple Cake

This cake broke my heart.

It baked in the oven for a full hour and a half, filling my apartment with the enchanting, homey scent of apples and cinnamon and whiskers on kittens. With such a glorious aroma perfuming my home, I was convinced it would emerge from the oven absolutely perfect. When the timer finally rang, I was horrified to find, well, a mess.

The cake batter bubbled over the sides of the pan and dripped in messy, brown glops down to the cookie sheet underneath (thank goodness for the cookie sheet!). The remaining edges were done when the timer rang, but the center was completely raw.

Still, I have a really hard time calling this dessert a failure. The truth is it was delicious – sweet and moist, with crispy-chewy, golden brown edges. I made it for Handsome Greg’s birthday dinner, and we all loved it. Well, we loved the parts that were baked through. We ate the edges then put the center back in the oven to finish baking it through, about 40 minutes.

And the failure? Is my fault. The original recipe from Smitten Kitchen is perfect. I wanted desperately to follow it as written, but I didn’t have a tube pan, so I used a 9 x 13. And that was my downfall. I read the many reviews that said, “Oh, I made this in a 9 x 13-inch pan, and it came out perfectly.” I’m convinced those bakers have not only raw, runny apple cake, but also pants on fire.

Continue reading for the Apple Cake recipe

Continue reading

brie ice cream with blackberry red wine reduction sauce

I wanted this ice cream to be spectacular. How could it not be? Y’all, I made Brie Ice Cream.

I wanted it to be creamy and decadent, buttery, slightly savory, complex.

And if it couldn’t be a spectacular success, I hoped for a spectacular failure – inedibly salty, thin and watery, a mess of long, stringy brie glops, with an off-putting sweet aftertaste.

Sadly, my brie ice cream was not spectacular at all. The brie flavor was so subtle, it was nearly undetectable. It tasted like extra rich vanilla ice cream, but with an odd, grainy texture. Not inedible, but not company-worthy.

This was supposed to be a great picture, but almost all the yolks broke.

It wasn’t a complete loss, though. The blackberry sauce was delicious — next time I’ll try it drizzled over pound cake and sweetened mascarpone.

Recipe below the fold

Continue reading

bacon scallion cornbread muffins with cheddar and honey butter

Dear Cornbread,

I will not let you break me.


These muffins had everything going for them: cheese, bacon, honey butter, bacon. I took all those things for granted.


The original recipe came from Cook’s Illustrated, and it called for cornmeal, as nearly all corn bread recipes do. I didn’t have cornmeal, but I did have corn flour. I took a chance and substituted one for the other (WHAT?! Improvised baking!), and they turned out… mostly fine.

(I also substituted brown sugar for granulated sugar, and bacon fat for some of the butter. I’m truly living on the edge.)


Fresh out of the oven they were wonderful – maybe a little less coarse than regular cornbread, but awfully tasty.

Upon reheating, the texture was off – a little rubbery, somehow. The flavor was great, and the whipped honey butter was earnest in masking the texture funk, but they still weren’t good enough for company.

When I toothpick-tested them, they seemed underdone. So I put them back in the oven, and they got a lot darker than I wanted, and yeah. Rubbery. Next time I’ll make them smaller, and take them out sooner.

I was punished for my recklessness with rubbery corn muffins. But I’ll make the adjustments and try this cornbread again.

Goonies never say die!

Recipes below the fold

Continue reading