Lazy. It’s what’s for dinner. And fake butter sucks at grilled cheese.

Last night I made the following menu for my family:

  • Grilled cheese (with provolone)
  • Vegetable soup

Overall, this was just a normal, lazy dinner night menu that I indulge in when either 1) I’m not feeling great; or 2) Family hunger is impatient. I had a combination of both going on, so I busted out the bread (frozen because we don’t use sandwich bread often – popped in the microwave on defrost for a minute), pulled out the provolone slices, put the pan on medium heat, then plopped a bit of Earth Balance “butter” in the pan.

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I started up the grilled cheese like normal, i.e., in my time-tested and perfected golden bread method, and… WHAT?! The bread is black!

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Ugh. Seriously…ugh! I worked really hard perfecting a beautiful-looking grilled cheese sandwich! Did my cookie curse now transfer to this?? Okay, so I didn’t freak out that much. But I did make a noise and sigh loudly. Take that blackened bread.

Three sandwiches in, I realized it was the butter I was using – one of the “heart healthy” Earth Balance spreads, I forget which one. I was trying to get rid of the last of it since I’d converted back to regular butter (sorry if you’re a margarine/fake butter fan) but didn’t want to waste it. I noticed that shortly after I put a scoop in the pan, it melted, stopped sizzling, and turned dark. Blah.

At least it wasn’t me. Whew. The sandwiches tasted fine, just lacked their usual beauty.

The cool discovery of the meal, though, was the soup. Grilled cheese and soup is another staple since I almost always have the ingredients on hand; however, the last time I’d bought soup, I guess I was aiming for variety and only picked up one can of some 6 different soups. Not very convenient when you want to dump 3 cans in a pot and heat for self-serving.

I had a thought (uh oh) that maybe…just maybe…I could add stuff to one of the soups to make more of it. Tomato-basil seemed to be the best contender, and since tomatoes and beef go well together, I added a pack of beef stock concentrate with the required 3 1/2 cups of water. For “bulk” I added two half-bags of frozen corn and peas I had in the freezer along with a can of diced tomatoes.

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It worked! Between the existing seasoning of the tomato-basil soup and the flavors of the stock, I didn’t have to add anything else. We even had leftovers after seconds! I thought it was pretty slick of me.

Pretty boring on the creative-scale, I know. But that’s my share! Talk to you soon.

-DJ

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