Strammer MaxYears ago, someone told me about Strammer Max which are open-faced sandwiches. But for the life of me, I cannot remember who that was. These sandwiches were originally popular in Berlin and other areas of eastern and southeastern Germany. Now, I understand that they are available practically all over Germany. This recipe is a good example of pub food, but because of the ingredients, I feel that you can savor the Strammer Max morning, noon or night.
Swiss FondueSwiss Fondue is one of my favorite things to serve over the holidays. One year when my sister and I were young, my family visited friends in Bavaria at Christmas time. The woman who hosted us was German and she made Swiss fondue and shrimp cocktail. That combination has been my go-to ever since. Making Swiss fondue from scratch is quite a bit of work. I prefer a good quality store packaged fondue mix. It is simple to make, and it tastes just as good as homemade. If your local grocery stores does not have it in the cheese department, you can also order it online. Look for the classic ingredients that have two cheeses including Emmentaler and Gruyere. My recipe is for dinner, but you can serve it as an appetizer. I have catered this as a small plate food paring for wine tastings at local wine shops. No matter what, you need to keep stirring the fondue while it is consumed to keep the creamy consistency. Serves 3-4 as a meal and 12 as an appetizer.
Fair Style Corn DogsWhen you go to a county or State fair, you are sure to see vendors selling corn dogs. These are easy to make and delicious with mustard or ketchup. I also wondered what you might want to serve with them. What I found is that baked beans, macaroni and cheese or french fries are some of the favorites. What is fun about making corn dogs from scratch is that you have a better control with the ingredients, like choosing a healthier hot dog. They also freeze well and you can reheat them in a 350-degree oven straight from your freezer.
Pork Sliders with Comeback SauceI enjoy a good, juicy hamburger but sometimes it’s too much food. That is why these Pork Sliders with Comeback Sauce are appealing to me. Also, because the burgers are smaller, they are quick to make. But where does the term slider come from? The name comes from the 1940’s, when US Navy sailors would refer to the mini-burgers as “sliders” because they were very greasy. In just one or two bites, the burger would slide right down. The comeback sauce, or fry sauce, is a staple in the south. Comeback sauce recipes vary but the main ingredients are mayonnaise, chili sauce and a touch of honey. As far as the name “comeback sauce” as near as I can tell, after you have some, you will want to come back for more. That was certainly is the case for Dave and I.
Teriyaki Lettuce WrapLettuce cups originated in China. They have since migrated throughout Southeast Asia. Lettuce cups are very popular in Thailand and Laos and they are called “Larb” or “Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps”. Now, they are so popular now that you can order some version of them in many restaurants in the United States. My Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps are a combination of several recipes. What I like about these wraps are that you can use any protein, vegetable and even fruits (like pineapple) that you like!
Garlic Toasted French DipWhen it’s lunch time and I am in the mood for beef, a Garlic Toasted French Dip sandwich fits the bill. Many recipes add garlic to the beef broth. But since I enjoy this sandwich toasted, I decided to broil the baguette using garlic butter. Most recipes also include some cheese (like provolone) melted on the sandwich, which is perfectly fine. But, since this recipe is fairly rich with the garlic butter, I opted to put gorgonzola crumbles on our Italian salad as the side dish. Without a doubt, this really is the king of sandwiches with tender roast beef, a crunchy bun and delicious beef broth for dipping!
Cauliflower PizzaTwo things motivated Dave and I to learn how to make a Cauliflower Pizza. The first is my gluten sensitivity and the second was Dave’s Keto diet. I found this dough to be very simple to make. You are also getting a fair amount of fiber as one pizza contains a whole head of cauliflower. Sometimes we don’t have bottled pizza sauce at home. So, I have added my easy homemade pizza sauce to this recipe under a separate link. It is nice to have a healthier version in this pizza with less calories and guilt!
Classic Grilled CheeseThe perfect grilled cheese sandwich is not fancy. With very few ingredients, this is one of the easiest and most delicious bites we can enjoy. The standard grilled cheese is usually white bread with American or processed cheese in the middle. This classic grilled cheese recipe bumps it up a notch with little extra effort. I think the reason sourdough has become so famous for this sandwich is because of the flavor and texture with the melted cheese. Be sure to serve it with a hot cup of tomato soup!
High Tea PartyHigh tea is a British tradition and a great way to enjoy a special occasion. In England, it usually happens around 2 p.m. in the afternoon. It’s a wonderful time to chat with friends and family over an assortment of tea, small sandwiches, and sweet treats. There is no single way to do a festive occasion like this for Mother’s Day, birthdays or even a day out with friends. It’s such a flexible and fun party to prepare. My suggestions are just for my favorite tea sandwiches, but there are other goodies you can include. I like to go back to Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) advice, that no matter the occasion, make some things from scratch and buy a few others that are well made. I am not as gifted as a pastry chef so I buy those items from my local favorite bakery. Making the small tea sandwiches is easy to do. Have some varieties of tea on hand and some champagne if this is a special get together. There really is no hard work in having a high tea party for your family and friends!
Shrimp RollsWho doesn’t love a lobster roll. The simplicity of lobster with just a few ingredients on a nicely toasted roll is my idea of a great lunch. Dave and I have spent summers in Maine for a good number of years now. And we have enjoyed their classic lobster roll. But I have found a love for a shrimp roll as well. They are less expense, not as rich and the fresh crunch is consistent throughout the whole sandwich. And this is such an easy recipe to please a crowd.
Reuben Sandwich with Thousand Island DressingSo how did the Reuben get its name? The earliest account for the invention of the Reuben sandwich was by Arnold Reuben in 1908. He was a German Jewish owner of Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York City. Another possibly, is Reuben Kulakofsky from Omaha, Nebraska. He was a Lithuanian born grocer who invented this sandwich for his weekly poker games at the Blackstone Hotel around 1920. What is for sure, the Rueben Sandwich is so popular that you can find it at nearly any deli or lunch time restaurant. The classic Rueben is made using rye bread, corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and dressing. But you can use pastrami or turkey as well. And two dressings come to mind, Thousand Island Dressing or Russian dressing. Both are popular for this type of sandwich. The difference between the two are that the Russian has horseradish and paprika and the Thousand Island is milder with pickle relish and shallots. A final note on the naming of Thousand Island Dressing is the visual of minced onion and sweet pickle relish resembling thousands of tiny islands in the ocean!
Egg Salad SandwichWhen I find I have a lot of eggs in my refrigerator, Egg Salad comes to mind. In the spirit of the famous Danish smorrebrod (“butter and bread”) or open-faced sandwich, I like to do the same with my egg salad. And it seems popular to marry a nice sandwich with soup. Do you ever have a craving for something such …as tomato soup … but you don’t have any at home? That is one reason why I keep cans of peeled San Marzano tomatoes in my pantry all year around. They are perfect for making homemade Tomato Soup or sauces without having to leave the house to head to a grocery store last minute. Both the egg salad and tomato soup…I make ahead of time and take to our boat to finish up the meal. And these two recipes also just happen to be one of Dave’s favorite lunches.
Kentucky Hot BrownsIf you are a horse lover, you are going to go crazy over this story. A hot brown is an open-faced sandwich that is a craving for me on a regular basis. Leave it to the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. That is where this dish became famous. So much so that it is the food of choice the first Saturday in May each year at the Kentucky Derby. But not to forget that the Mint Julep goes hand in hand. The Kentucky Hot Browns is literally layers of goodness. Let the race begin!

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