Tag Archives: hunger relief

5 Simple Summer Sandwiches and a Note About Hunger Relief

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is infinitely fond of variety and options on the table. For whatever reason, I become even more so in the summer. I just don’t want too much of anything (that’s not ice cold watermelon). Enter the open-faced sandwich plate.

Summer Sandwich Platter

Summer Sandwich Platter

I can’t even call this crostini, because I didn’t toast the bread. This is slices of bread with interesting toppings. Here’s what’s on the plate, starting with the tomato sandwiches at 9 o’clock and going clockwise.

1. Tomato. Just thick slices, a dab of mayo, a sprinkle of salt, and a healthy grind of pepper.

2. Cucumber, goat cheese, and dill. This was my favorite. I’ve eaten it three more times since.

3. Tangy Tuna Melt. Initially we melted some colby jack on the bread for tuna adherence, but dropped it in the second round. The tuna is just chunk light mixed with a touch of mayo and a very healthy dollop of sweet hot mustard from Trader Joe’s. Top it with sliced green olives, and The Practical Cooks Junior ate it up. This is shocking for the Eldest, who is not a fan. Give it a try.

4. Hummus with roasted red peppers. The Juniors love this combo.

5. Pickled beets with goat cheese and dill. Thinly slice some pickled beets and you’re on to something. This is a beautiful sandwich, and another favorite of the Juniors.

The Practical Cook's Table in the Summertime: Simple and fruit-filled.

The Practical Cook’s Table in the Summertime: Simple and fruit-filled.

What are your favorite sandwich combinations? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way with your ideas!

Special Note About Hunger Relief:I Support Kids Summer Stock Badge

I obviously think about food a lot. The converse, I also think about people who don’t have food a lot. Kids who are hungry can’t really enjoy the simple pleasures of summertime. When school is out, a key source of  nutrition is often missing for those in need. You can help.

Find ways to give back in your area if you’re outside North Carolina. Thanks for listening.

Send your kitchen confessions, challenges, and food questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Believe it or not, and I do not, it’s almost time for Sunday Weekly Menus!

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3 Things I Love (in the Kitchen)

Gentle Readers, Valentine’s Day has never been a favorite occasion. There’s a narrow selection of foods that are highlighted, and I am over the roses thing. However, The Practical Cooks Junior are huge fans, from the ritual dipping of strawberries in chocolate to the crafting of homemade cards. There are hearts and glitter on every surface in my home. And not all of it is mine.

Glitteriffic X and O Valentine's Cupcakes!

Glitteriffic X and O Valentine's Cupcakes!

If you can’t beat them, join them. I am celebrating their joy of the day this year. I may not have a school mailbox in which I’ll receive a card from every classmate, but I can share some love.

Sliced Strawberries on Almond Buckwheat Pancakes

Sliced Strawberries on Almond Buckwheat Pancakes

Here are 3 Things I Love in the Kitchen:

1. Help. The Eldest Practical Cook Junior can set herself up for breakfast now, and does so without complaining. Both of them clear their dishes, and The Youngest presents herself repeatedly with a “Mama, what can I do?” This is truly a gift.

The Youngest Practical Cook Junior Hard at Work: Because Green Beans Don't String Themselves

The Youngest Practical Cook Junior Hard at Work: Because Green Beans Don't String Themselves

2. Fearlessness. What is better than the joy of discovery? I know not everyone likes to cook without some guidelines, but I love the freedom of pairing things and seeing what happens. Yes, there have been some colossal failures. But there are wins, too. This same drive led me to try Beet Root Halwah this past weekend. And the Juniors and I are pondering Pancake Croutons for a salad we’re testing. Why not?

Beet Root Halwah from Udipi Cafe in Cary, NC

Beet Root Halwah from Udipi Cafe in Cary, NC

3. Generosity. Food is better when you share it. Cook for someone you love. Never do I feel more proud than when the Juniors ask before finishing something, even if it’s an irresistible treat. And, of course, thinking of people who don’t have as much. If you’re not much of a Valentine’s fan, perhaps you could redirect the energy to a worth cause, like fighting hunger. I’m an advocate and ambassador for The Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina. Show your food love this season: volunteer or donate to them or to your local food pantry.

Strawberry Taking a Chocolate Dip

Strawberry Taking a Chocolate Dip

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If you’re at home without a reservation, that gives you extra time to post a comment below!

Challenges, thoughts, good ideas? Email me at practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Tomorrow, Can this chocolate be saved? How not to have a seizure when your chocolate does.

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy