Pear, Ham, and Gruyere Melt with Pesto

I unfortunately did not get to eat this sandwich.

It has now been three days since I got my wisdom teeth removed, but I am still unable to open my mouth properly.  The only way I can eat is by taking the tiniest baby bites of food, chewing them carefully with my front teeth like I’m a rodent nibbling on a seed, and mushing that food around in my mouth until I eventually swallow the entire thing, still partially whole.  It takes me approximately an hour to eat a single meal.

With this dilemma in mind, it probably would have taken me an entire afternoon to eat this sandwich.  Instead of wasting away at the kitchen table listening to David Suzuki talk about decomposing bodies (seriously, this was what was on CBC  at lunch time), I decided to instead make this sandwich for my mom.  This sandwich was inspired by the leftover gruyere we had sitting in our fridge from the mac and cheese I made earlier this week.  The pear, gruyere, ham combination came flitting into my mind one day, and a quick googling told me that the three together would produce wonderful flavours.  My mom’s verdict of the sandwich was that it was really good, so I’ll have to take her word for it until I can eat solid foods again and make myself a duplicate of this sandwich back in Ottawa.

Anatomy of the sandwich:

Bread: focaccia or ciabatta bun
Layer 1: Two slices of black forest ham
Layer 2: Approximately six thin slices of gruyere cheese
Layer 3: One pear, sliced thinly
Layer 4: Pepper, to the max
Layer 5: Arugula
Layer 6: a dabbling of pesto

Voila! A delicious and quick lunchtime melt that is suitable for feeding mothers, significant others or, most importantly, yourself.  Grill all these things together and you have a savoury and filling sandwich.  I made my mom’s sandwich in our fancy convection microwave since it has a special “grill” button.  If you don’t have one of these high tech devices, you can always just melt everything in your toaster oven or oven.  Gosh I wish I had tried a bite.

PS: This whole wisdom teeth thing isn’t all bad.  Case in point: I’m currently eating a homemade chocolate milkshake with a spoon.  Life is grand.

Continue reading

Spinach Strawberry and Pear Salad

On a warm, reminiscent of summer day, I rejoiced in the fact that I got to eat at a barbeque.  My attendance at this afternoon event meant that I could resist the delicious outdoor supper smells as I returned from my afternoon journalism story covering.  Since I was full of delicious hot dog and cotton candy goodness (I ate the latter on the bus, which is an extremely difficult task), I wasn’t that hungry for supper, so I decided to just make myself a light salad.

As of the late, I have discovered my favourite types of salad always involve baby spinach and some sort of fruit.  With this knowledge in mind, I decided to use these two key elements to whip up a quick and delicious spinach strawberry and pear salad.  The baby spinach I used was the stuff I had sitting in the fridge after I neglected to include it in my last blog post meal.  As for the strawberries, Britt and I went to the local farmer’s market at Lansdowne Park this morning, and had the most wonderful time browsing through the fresh produce and eating AMAZING macarons (the first time I’ve ever tried them).  The strawberries came fresh from the market (I also got peaches and carrots!) and cast a magical “fresh strawberry” spell over me.  I know I’ve been slacking on posting recipes lately, but here is the one for this salad:

Salad
– 1 cup of trimmed baby spinach
– 1/2 cup of strawberries, pitted and halved
–  Half a pear, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup almonds, toasted (or not, since I burnt my first batch in the toaster oven and decided to settle with them un-toasted)

Dressing
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
– 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
– pinch of salt and pepper

Toss and enjoy!

I hope this salad has the same magical effect on you that it had on me!

Oh, one more thing… I took this picture at around 7:17 this evening.  Please note that the sun now sets at 7:05, which meant that this picture was taken in the semi-dark at the end of my street under a streetlight.  People walked by and saw me crouched down beside the sidewalk, photographing my food.  I’m starting to think my entire neighbourhood thinks I’m off my rocker… I may have to think of alternative arrangements for darkened photography.