Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mushroom Melts with Quick Tomato Soup, Catching Up, and SLT

Hey readers!
It's Thursday, and that means I have a quick recipe for you and that it's time to link up your posts to the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop!
I've made a lot of grilled sandwiches on this blog, and today I'd like to share a savory, hearty vegetarian version that we've been making often around here, the mushroom melt.
I served it with tomato soup, because that's what all grilled cheesy sandwiches want.
I used this recipe for my quick (15 minute!) tomato soup from home canned backyard tomatoes.  (Boy that post makes me miss peonies.)
The players:  canned tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, milk, and bouillon for the soup, and good potato bread, crimini mushrooms, soy sauce, mustard, and cheese for the sandwiches.  I've also got some ghee here for frying.  I started making my own ghee in this post and haven't looked back since. It's the perfect fat for high temperature frying, and is so much cheaper to make yourself.
Start with some criminis that you rinse and rub with a towel to remove any grit.  (And don't worry about them absorbing water. That's a myth.)
DSC00326Cut the tip off the stem and slice thickly.  I marinate my mushrooms in watered down soy sauce, a little oil, and any herbs that I feel like using. 
Fry 'em up.
DSC00338They'll get nice and melty, like this, and the stuff on the bottom is a great place to begin your quick tomato soup!
Potato bread really is the best for grilled sandwiches.  The bread should be crispy and the cheese melted.  (If you have trouble getting your cheese to melt, you can heat it up in the oven BEFORE browning.)
These hot sandwiches take next to no time to throw together, but they're totally filling and delicious, so they make great weeknight dinners.
Now, a few randoms to catch you up with what I've been doing around here.
This photo is of a dinner we cobbled together from the fridge that turned out to be surprisingly great.  On the upper left we have a baguette from the Coop served with some quark from Milton Creamery with hot pepper jam.  This is one of our favorite flavor combinations.  Also on the left is toast with cheese, mayonnaise, and dill.  (I know, so much wrong, but my mother made it for me growing up and I can't get past the nostalgia of that taste.)  There are some leftover mashed potatoes, a romaine salad, and some lacinato kale chips.  Not a meal I ever would have planned, but totally satisfying and cleared out the fridge well.
DSC00752We had a visit from the niece this weekend.  You might remember her from this post, where she was still a brand new person.  Now she's four months old and she's gonna get that owl if it's the last thing she does.
DSC00960She's pretty beautiful.
DSC00969Finally, I got this exciting piece of mail:  my certificate for becoming a Master Gardener intern!  While the education was interesting, I have always been most excited about the volunteering part of the Master Gardener program, and this certificate let me know it's time to get started.  I updated my facebook page to talk about the first place I volunteered, the Prairie Preview hosted by the Johnson County Heritage Trust, which turned out to be a lot of fun.  If you're interested in gardening stuff, *like* my page on facebook and you'll get updates and hopefully we can meet sometime!
DSC00981Finally, it's Simple Lives Thursday!  There were tons of great links last week, won't you add yours and have a look around?
Simple Lives Thursday is a blog hop hosted by me and these three inspiring women:
and Annette at Sustainable Eats

If you're a reader, check out all the exciting posts that are linked up after the jump.  If you're a blogger, grab this badge, put it at the bottom of your post, and link up!  

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