Kitchen, Meet George. George, Meet My Kitchen. The New Sandwich Press and Grilled Ham & Cheese!

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For the longest time, I have been pining away for a sandwich grill or press.  Not necessarily a panini press per se, but anything that would grill my sandwiches in the kitchen.  Much like the mini food processor we recently bought, a little grill for the kitchen has always been something I’ve wanted for a very long time.  I’ve daydreamed about monte crisco sandwiches, grilled cheddar and avocado, fresh buffalo mozzarella and grilled peppers, and every other delicious sandwich combination I can think of. 

I know you can make a grilled sandwich on a skillet or out on the grill, but it’s not the same.  I want those awesome grill marks, I love the way the sandwich press grills our sandwiches without the flipping, and I want to be able to do it anytime during the year.  I know some very dedicated grillers out there who haul their barbeque out even in the winter (one of them being my mum’s longtime barista at the coffee shop), but that wouldn’t fly in my house so a portable kitchen grill was only saving grace. 

Just yesterday, our dreams of crunchy grilled bread and ooey gooey melted cheese were fulfilled when we introduced our little George Foreman grill to our kitchen!  On sale for $15!  Our kitchen was very ecstatic.  And by that, I really mean me and my mum and brother 😀  We finally had our beloved sandwich press and we put “George” to work right away.  Even though I’m sure many people use the grill for vegetables and meat and the like, this baby here is fully being utilized as a sandwich press and quesadilla maker in our kitchen.  Apologies for the lack of the grilling-in-process photos though, I was too preoccupied watching the cheese melt and oohing and ahhing at the grill marks on my bread to snap photos of it all happening.

First up: the classic ham and grilled cheese!  We used blackforest ham, swiss cheese, and two kinds of bread to make our sandwiches: thick multigrain and caraway rye which we bought at the farmers’ market at David Pecaut Square on Thursday.  Sweet mother of pearl do I ever love this sandwich press!  It only takes a few minutes to preheat and our sandwiches literally took 3 minutes for each of them to be perfectly melted and grilled.  It’s so incredibly easy to use and it doesn’t take up much counter space in the kitchen at all.  I cannot wait to bust out a gazillion more kinds of sandwiches, and don’t even get me started on how excited I am about making quesadillas!  George has done very well his first time up and I can see him being a longtime friend of ours and our kitchen for many years to come.

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This Is How Summer Should Always Be – Green Beans, Yellow Zucchini, and Bags of Market Groceries!

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I’m not going to lie.  I have every intention of visiting as many different farmers’ markets as possible, but there are some markets that I can’t resist going back to again and again.  I went back to North York to grab some more potato and cheese dumplings from the market at Mel Lastman Square last week and just today I went back to the market at David Pecaut Square.  You know, the market I went to last week for the first time.  Yes, the one I was raving about yesterday.  I know, I know, this is completely unorthodox of me to make two related posts in a row without clearly stating Part I and Part II in the post titles.  But in my defence, I had no idea today’s market visit was going to be as amazing as last week’s and thus, I didn’t know I would essentially be writing up a Part II follow-up to yesterday’s post.  Considering how much I enjoyed my first visit, it really shouldn’t have come as any surprise, but you never know what the pickings are going to be like the second time around. 

Anyway, I actually wasn’t even planning on going back so soon after, but my family enjoyed the blue potatoes I bought last week and my mum really wanted me to take her today so she could go market grocery shopping crazy.  And did she (and, well, we, as my brother and I had our fair share of food grabbing too) EVER go crazy!  My mum loved the market here and she said so herself that if she could take the whole market home with her she would.  We had such a great time talking to the people there and picking up amazing vegetables and baked goods left and right at the same time.  By the time we were finished perusing the market, we were totally loaded down with market groceries!

We picked up a large pint ($3) of gorgeous wax green beans (check out those yellow and PURPLE ones in the photo up top!), a large pint of adorable red skin fingerling potatoes ($3), four bright yellow zucchinis ($2 for four big ones!), a loaf of caraway seed rye bread, a plum sauce filled donut sprinkled with powdered sugar, a giant ginger molasses cookie and peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookie from More Than Pies Baking Co. Ltd (remember those lemon pecan crisps I mentioned yesterday?), and a dozen oatmeal cranberry pomegranate cookies.  I am so excited to put those yummy vegetables to use for tomorrow’s dinner and those cookies won’t stand a chance of lasting very long in my house.  The ginger cookie was so delicious I scarfed half of it down after lunch and the other half on the bus ride home.  I have never had a ginger cookie that tasted this good and you can bet this won’t be last one I eat!

Today, in my opinion, has been the nicest, most beautiful day of the summer so far and it felt so exhilarating being out in the park in the city picking up groceries at the market.  It was as sweet as the little orange heirloom tomato I was given to try this morning (no really, this tiny orange tomato tasted like a peach!) and I’m really happy I went back.  I’ve become quite the farmers’ market monster over the past several months and after today, I think I might have created one more 😉

*****

The farmers’ market at David Pecaut Square is located at 55 John St., at the intersection of King St. West and John beside Roy Thomson Hall.  The market operates every Thursday from 8am-2:30pm, and will be open until October 20th, 2011 for this year.            

*Formerly known as Metro Square, David Pecaut Square was renamed in honour of David Pecaut, co-founder of Luminato, who passed away from cancer in 2009.