spooky good grilled cheese-boo

I totally don’t care that I have burned every grilled cheese sandwich that I have ever made…I’m so used to the taste of burnt grilled cheese that I don’t know if I even like unburnt grilled cheese anymore. That is not going to stop me from making grilled cheese a lot…I’m going to try some of these:

How To Make A Fantastic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 slices bread
1 tablespoon butter
Generous 1/4 cup grated cheese, like cheddar, monterey jack, or any other melting cheese
Skillet, large enough to fit your sandwich (non-stick, stainless steel, or cast iron)
Lid, which can be the actual skillet lid or another pan’s lid or a handy baking sheet
Melt the butter in the skillet: Place the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Let the butter melt completely. When the butter begins to sizzle, that means your pan is hot enough for the sandwich. Spread the butter around the middle of the pan with the spatula.
Rub the bread in the melted butter. You only need to rub one side, but I do both. Remove one of the slices and keep it close by.
Pile the cheese on the bread: Pile the grated cheese in an even layer over the entire surface of the bread, go right up to the edge.
Cover the pan: Cover the pan with a lid. Let the cheese melt until it’s almost entirely melted, but you can still see some whole unmelted cheese pieces, 2 to 3 minutes.
Take the cover off the pan and top the sandwich with the other piece of bread (buttered side out). Squish slightly so the top adheres to the melted cheese. Flip the sandwich over.
Continue cooking until both sides are toasted: Let the sandwich cook on the other side until toasted golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes. If the first side wasn’t as toasty as you like, flip the sandwich again and toast until golden brown, eat immediately…
Grilled Sandwich Variations:
Olive Oil Grilled Cheese: Replace the butter with olive oil.
Bacon & Cheese: break the bacon into bits before assembling, or any slices of meat.
Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese: Along with the cheese, add some caramelized onions.
Three Cheese Sandwich: Grab three random cheeses from your fridge that seem like they will all melt at about the same time.
so many great ideas from thekitchn.com

don’t look

Mom, it’s starting to get crazy around here and I’m panicking already.  It’s not even Halloween and there are sales, decorations and ads for “the holiday season”. It is making me dread the whole thing, instead of looking forward to it. Am I being a Scrooge?
I haven’t seen any ads, yet, and I hope that I don’t…try not to think about it, yet.

it could have been handled better

Dear Ask Mom, I was with a friend having coffee and another friend showed up. She sat down and the two of them took over the conversation. I purposely didn’t join in because I was not happy and felt excluded. The second friend finally got up and left. Nothing terrible happened, but I still keep thinking about it. Was I rude? Was she rude?
Both of you were, a little bit…

leave it alone

hi mom, I have a friend who is busy, but she is always “fitting me in”. When ever we do anything together she is the one who decides what we are doing every time. Should I try to take over the plans sometimes?
Why? Just to show that you can be in charge? Don’t you like the plans that she makes? If there’s no problem with the way things are why are you making one?

try once more

Dear Ask Mom, I ran into an acquaintance that I haven’t seen in a few years three or four times lately. Each time we see each other she says call me and we’ll get together. I have called twice and each time she said that she was busy, but would call me back. She has not called. Should I call again and invite her to something specific or just drop it?
Renewing this friendship seems to be important to you than to her, but if you really care it’s worth another try. When you come across a good event, or movie, or new restaurant contact her and make it a real “date”.  If that doesn’t work out, let the next invitation come from her.

woky woky woky

want to wok?

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Stir-Fry
Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Salt and pepper
6 slices fresh ginger
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 450°F. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the cauliflower in a single layer and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast until crisp and golden, about 30 minutes. Stir the cauliflower halfway through baking.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and cook for 2 minutes until caramelized. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, making sure they don’t burn.
Turn up the heat to high, and add the cauliflower and scallions. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the crushed red pepper flakes (if using), sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, and sugar. Toss everything together, stir-frying for about 1 minute, and serve with steamed rice.

get out there

OK Mom, here goes: I’m stuck in my life. I have no real friends and I’m not happy. What should I do?
You didn’t get there by accident. People who have friends put work into it, friends don’t just appear. People who are happy don’t just sit there waiting to be happy. Got it? Go out there and do whatever you have to do to change your life. No little fairy is going to do it for you. Get out there…

no show/no invites

Ask Mom, I must be crazy. I get offended when I find out about some party or something that I didn’t get invited to and when I get invited to something I never want to go anyway so I try to think of excuses to get out of it every time. What’s wrong with me?
It sounds like you want to be included because it makes you feel special, but you would rather not actually have to make any effort to participate. It’s not exactly crazy, but it doesn’t make much sense either…you also won’t get invited if you never show up.

your permission is not needed

Dear Ask Mom, I sit very close to someone at work that wears 12 kinds of perfume or something. The smell is strong and not good. Can I say something?
Is it a small closed room, with only the two of you? If it is then you can say something that’s not rude. If it’s a large room, get a fan, open a window, rearrange your furniture so that you’re not too close or grin and bear it…she doesn’t need your permission to smell as offensively as she wants to smell.

pick a better battle

Mom, I have a friend who only calls me when she has time to kill, like walking into a store or driving to do errands. The call usually ends with “gotta go I’m getting into an elevator” or “I’m here, talk to you soon”. She only calls when she wants to waste time. Should I say something?
It’s not exactly an insult and she probably could have called someone else, at least she chose you. Maybe she’s very busy and takes advantage of every free minute she has. Pick a better battle…