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Food of the Day: 'The Dirty' Grilled Cheese at the Melt Shop

Food of the Day: 'The Dirty' Grilled Cheese at the Melt Shop

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New York City’s Melt Shop is the place for the ultimate grilled cheese

Today’s Food of the Day is the cheesy and delicious 'The Dirty' grilled cheese at New York City’s Melt Shop.

What dreams are made of, Melt Shop is the place to indulge in America's ultimate comfort food: grilled cheese. Melt Shop is not just in the business of grilling cheese sandwiches, but they're in the business of invoking nostalgia. Recall your fondest grilled cheese memories and bring them through the door because Melt Shop menu will not disappoint. OK, so maybe your mom wasn't in the kitchen grilling up "The Dirty," (pictured above) with pepper Jack and muenster with caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, sliced tomato, and crunchy potato chips, but hey, they are taking food memories and turning them into your cheesiest dreams. With a Chelsea and Midtown location, there is no stopping hungry New Yorkers from getting their deliciously cheesy sandwiches. They not only provide gluten-free bread at no extra charge, but they also have sweet potato tater tots! Enough said — if you're not convinced yet, then it’s safe to say you just don't like grilled cheese.

Do you have a travel photo that you would like to share? A mouthwatering food or drink and the perfect place to get it? Send over photos and tips to esaatela[at]

Emily Elyse Miller is a food & travel writer asking the question, "How far will you travel for the perfect bite?" Her site TrendsonTrends is here to help sift through the rubble and uncover hidden gems across the globe. Follow her adventure on Instagram at emilyelysem & Twitter @emilyelyse.

For the Russian dressing

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp horseradish sauce
  • dash hot sauce
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2 cornichon or ½ dill pickle, finely chopped
  • pinch hot paprika

For the sandwich

  • 2 slices light rye bread or sourdough , for spreading
  • 2–3 slices salt beef
  • few slices Swiss cheese, such as emmental or gruyère
  • 2–3 tbsp sauerkraut
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dill pickles, to serve

Monday, March 7, 2016

Refreshing Roses

Norma Boeckler, our artist-in-residence, wrote me a thank-you for showing how to refresh roses, in another post, so I am repeating the advice.

The moment roses and other flowers are cut, the stems begin drawing up air instead of water. To make cut flowers last longer, cut several inches from the bottom of the stems, just before placing them in fresh water in a clean vase.

Cut flowers can be put into a dishpan of clean water to hydrate them, or floated in a tub. I would do this before cutting the stems and placing them in the vase. I became an immersionist when soaking rather dry bare-root roses before planting. I also heavily pruned them upon planting them. They began growing at once and bloomed quickly.

Soaking Because
This is why soaking works. The stems and leaves take up water. When I water rose bushes outside, it is often through a soaker hose at the base. However, I still spray them down completely, to hydrate the stems and leaves. Plants are like people, as one book argued. If you feel great after a shower, so do they. The leaves and stems take up water fast, so they have a crisp look and grow better. Rose bushes are like sponges in taking up water, and they like to have their pores clean rather than dusty.

Change the Water Daily and
The decomposing process begins the moment the stems touch the water in the vase. If you looked at the water in a microscope, a lot of swimming little creatures would entertain you. Given a few days, that mildewing water will smell like death. God is reducing the death plant into new chemicals for the soil.

For maximum benefit and long-lasting cut flowers, change the water daily and make sure the vase is cleaned out thoroughly. I am much more a fan of clean water and vases than magical chemicals added.

Refresh the Flowers Again Each Day
The way to make the flowers stay fresh is to soak them again each day and pour water into the blooms. Simply spraying the flowers will help too. A very low water pressure will avoid the sink hose giving the budding a florist a free shower.

Roses have so many petals now that the bloom will cup the water and hold it in place for more hydration.

Trained, experienced, certified in Linux,
and confident in all matters rosarian.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 clove garlic, sliced, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chile pepper sauce (such as sambal oelek), or more to taste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Mash garlic to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Mix chile pepper sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce, mayonnaise, and rice vinegar into garlic until marinade is thoroughly combined.

Transfer chicken thighs to a large flat container (such as a baking dish) and pour marinade over chicken stir until chicken is coated. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 3 hours if preferred, let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature. Unwrap dish and sprinkle with salt.

Preheat charcoal grill to high heat.

Place chicken thighs onto the hot grill with smooth sides down. Cook until chicken shows grill marks, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook until other side shows grill marks, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, moving them occasionally and turning over every 2 minutes, until meat is no longer pink inside and the thighs are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, and serve garnished with lime wedges.

The cheese toastie is a comfort food classic: here’s where to find Manchester’s best

When it’s cold and miserable outside, comfort food is the order of the day – and for a lot of us, that means turning to the humble cheese toastie.

Let’s face it, oozing molten cheese sandwiched between wedges of crunchy bread is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Whether you’re after a modest, melted, grilled, retro or pimped up version to tickle your taste buds, we’ve got the toastie for you.

Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

You can’t talk about cheese toasties in Manchester and not mention Northern Soul Grilled Cheese. Founded by Dan Place, it’s become something of an institution since opening on Church Street in 2015. Earlier this year he opened a second place on Piccadilly station approach, and will be popping up again at the city’s Christmas Markets. A secret three-cheese blend is the ‘soul’ of sandwiches, priced from £4.50, such as The Holy Grain with thick cut gammon the Mac Attack with mac and cheese and The Soul Club with grilled chicken, streaky bacon and Cajunaise. Cheese fiends are spoilt for choice.

Trof’s one of those cosy, laidback bars that’s made for whiling away a few hours when the temperature plummets. Situated in the Northern Quarter, the menu’s packed with comfort food including the Dirty Grilled Cheese Sandwich, £8, made with a Dijon, honey and maple glaze and served with a side of fries. Compared to some options out there, this is a relatively modest creation, but you can expect a lovely bit of crunch, enough cheese to drip over the sides, and mouthwatering stringiness when you pull that bread apart.

Frankie’s Toasties

Frankie’s Toasties has just opened on Portland Street. It might be the newest kid on the block but it’s already captured customers imaginations, taking them back to a time when Breville toasties were the snack du jour. Managing Director Barry Chui states they’re a “straight-up toastie shop” but there are 16 different fillings to choose from, including the classic Cheap ‘n’ Cheeseful with a double cheddar and mozzarella mix Cheesy Bean with Heinz Baked Beans and Pig Dog with BBQ pulled pork, priced from £3. Vegan cheese is also available and there are another 17 non-cheese options on the menu, such as Mars bar and Caramac. But that’s a whole other story.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home doesn’t do understated. Whether you head to the Northern Quarter or the Great Northern, you’ll see cake counters filled with gluttonous creations and plates piled high as they leave the kitchen. While they’re known for sugary treats, there’s a heap of savoury snacks to tuck into as well, including the Cheeseburger Toastie, £8.50. It’s described as a “ fat and stacked cheeseburger melt” with ground beef, cheddar, onion, pickle, American mustard, ketchup and bacon mayo on grilled sourdough. It’s as epic as it sounds.

The Creameries

The Creameries opened in a former Edwardian creamery in Chorlton last year, and reently won Newcomer of the Year and Sustainable Restaurant at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards. Founded by chef Mary-Ellen McTague , baker Sophie Yeoman and interior designer Soo Wilkinson, the speciality is baked goods and delicious cheese. It’s little wonder they combine the two to serve up a beautiful grilled cheese, £8, during lunch hours. It’s understated, but this home-cured goat bacon, sauerkraut, mustard cream and Killeen goats’ cheese concoction is bursting with taste. There’s also a vegetarian alternative with Rosary goats’ cheese and homemade pickle, as well as a gluten-free option.


The Brewski bars on Mosley Street and over in Chorlton serve up North American grub. They’re known for the going that extra mile, whether it’s their pizza and burger-laden afternoon tea or poutine, a Canadian dish of chips topped with gravy and rich, cheese curds. Now they’ve introduced the ultimate cheese board, a huge platter for two, priced £40. It includes deep fried Babybel, Halloumi fries, rosemary studded camembert, beetroot crisps, burrata, goats cheese mousse, toasted brioche and candy cane grapes. But the piece de resistance slap bang in the middle of the board is the grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with smoked Applewood, red Leicester, cheddar. If that wasn’t enough, matching wines for two are thrown as well. Just don’t forget to pre-book.

Old School BBQ Bus

In an industrial estate in Oldham, you’ll find a touch of the Deep South at the Old School BBQ Bus. Inside the marquee, a large American flag and bunting hangs over hay bale seating and a small stage where country singers get the crowds going. It’s the brainchild of Mark Fairley, who served slow-cooked meat from his yellow school bus before finding this permanent spot. There are four grilled cheese options – Plain, Pulled Pork, Buffalo Chicken and Beef Brisket – which all arrive with a salad, seasoned fries and homemade sauces, priced from £6.95. The meat’s cooked in a smoking pit and is beautifully succulent – which when combined with hot melted cheese, really hits the spot.

This is what happens when you&rsquove shared your life together with someone for 17 years, The Homemade Hot Mess Grilled Cheese. Inspired from this Jack-in-the-Box commercial and our grilled cheese shoot with LA Brea Bakery a few weeks ago. It&rsquos this week, 17 years ago that we had our first conversations about food, gardening and camping together.

So how do we start celebrating? By making a sexy grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

To celebrate our 17th anniversary, it seemed quite apropos to start off a lunch with a sexy grilled cheese sandwich. But this isn&rsquot just any grilled cheese sandwich. It&rsquos loaded with pepper jack cheese, spicy pickled jalapenos, thick onions rings and really good crusty bread . It&rsquos a sandwich for bad boys and naughty girls, or those daring eaters who don&rsquot care about calories.

This is how we say, &ldquoI Love You. Now, let&rsquos eat!&rdquo

Loaded with flavor

It&rsquos all homemade, it&rsquos a hot mess and it&rsquos a grilled cheese that&rsquos super decadent, dripping with spice, grease, flavor and love. It&rsquos the week of Valentines and our anniversary that get us in this mind-set to let loose and not take ourselves too seriously. After 17 years of sharing your lives together, it&rsquos crazy culinary times like these that bring us closer. And if it means getting a little messy in the kitchen, well, it&rsquos all worth the pile of dirty dishes.

To laugh out loud, joke around and still love each other regardless of our imperfections is what our purpose is in life.

Last year we made cake pops for our 16th anniversary . This year we made a mess of ourselves with a crumbly, drippy grilled cheese sandwich. What does all this mean? When we hit our 20th year anniversary are we going to go sky-diving?! Oh yes, what a fantastic idea.

In celebration of this week with all those that you love deeply, let&rsquos cook good food, make a mess in the kitchen and join the Hot Mess Club!

7-Eleven is my Favorite Restaurant in Asia&hellipas a Backpacker

Based on cost, convenience, fun flavors, and easy access to beer, you can see why 7-Eleven is my favorite restaurant in Asia. Many of you may still be turning up your nose however to this day I still crave the Nori triangle wraps from Japan and the green been pastries of Thailand. Jalapeno popper taquitos and jelly donuts it ain&rsquot.

7-Eleven is my Favorite Restaurant in Asia & is hipster approved. Via @ noble.mare.milker Flickr CC

Friday, October 2, 2009

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

My sister-in-law, Deb Edwards sent me this recipe and said it was great for a cool fall dinner.

Adapted from Mable Hoffman’s Crockery Cookery
A hearty French peasant dish with chicken, sausage and beans.

1 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 lb broiler/fryer chicken, cut up.*
1 small leek, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1Tsp. salt
½ Tsp. pepper
2 15 oz. cans white kidney beans, drained (Cannellini beans)
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into ½ inch thick slices
1/2 cup dry white wine

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, leek, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Top with beans and sausage. Add wine. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours or until chicken is tender.

*I think the flavor would be even better with all dark meat.

Monday, February 13, 2017

CHOWMAGEDDON: Post Apocalyptic Author Leo Nix

1. How long have you been writing post-apocalyptic fiction or non-fiction?
6 months - 2 books published and one in final stages of first draft and loving it.

2. What kind of apocalyptic event do you find most interesting?
Terrorists, destruction of social structure

3. What kind of apocalyptic event do you fear the most?
An asteroid

4. Are you a prepper? At what level do you consider yourself?
Yes and no. Myy mind leans that way and I have plans if there is a catastrophe and talk with friends about where to go and what to do etc.

5. Where do you think the ideal place to live is prior to an apocalyptic event?
A farm, for sure.

6. Shelter-in-place, or bug out?
Bug out to the countryside and escape heavily populated areas.

7. What do plan to eat in the apocalypse?
Home grown food, but in the early stages I will have to scavenge and loot from houses and shopping centers.

8. What foods do you regularly stock in your home that would be adaptable to a post-apocalyptic situation?
Dried foods: nuts, mueslie, flour, beans, grains, seeds, rice etc.

9. What is your preferred preservation method for post-apocalyptic foods?
Dried for sure--can be stored forever. Freeze dried is too expensive unless you know how to do it at home. Dried foods can be home made with a simple dryer.

10. What's the primary factor for you in deciding on a survival food? Taste? Weight? Nutritional Value? Ease of preparation?
Has to be nutrition first then taste and ease of preparation.

11. What's the worst "survival food" you've ever tasted?
None really, I wouldn't eat something that didn't taste nice anyway.

12. What's the best?
Beef jerky and nuts/mueslie. And in fact, you can cook just about anything given raw ingredients and water on a gas cooker or wood fire.

13. Any special survival recipes you have up your camouflaged sleeves?
Easy recipes, just mix and add water. In fact, home made bread is perhaps the nicest.

14. What's the best survival food tip you've ever heard?
Swiss army knife/leatherman, good shoes and clothing if you have to live in them for any length of time. There's heaps of tips out there.

If you'd like to check out some of Leo's work, he has 2 post-apocalyptic novels set in the Australian deserts country in south Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory, with a third on the way:

Sundown Apocalypse -
Sundown Apocalypse 2: Urban Guerrilla -

Coming Soon:
Sundown Apocalypse 3: Homeland Defense - should be on Amazon by the end of February

Meet you at the Bacteria Bar?

For more more information, inspiration, webinars, workshops and co. visit:

Probiotic restaurant recommendation in Berlin:
“Oak and Ice, a beautiful shop in Prenzlauer Berg. I trained the staff to make a golden kimchi and now they are making weekly batches, because they sell out super quickly. Really good kraut, they’re acing it!” - Alexis Goertz, Edible Alchemy

Wait staff choices

We can't ignore front-of-house wait-staff, the restaurant employees who are on duty for 10 to 12 hours and often the last to go home.

Paige Henderson runs the front-of-house at Kitchener's Swine and Vine Charcuterie she likes to visit Arabella Park after work, but she also frequents Waterloo's Jane Bond.

"There's a nice, casual atmosphere. They serve good vegan food, and the staff are great," Henderson says.

For Chris Kim of Public Kitchen and Bar, Grand Trunk Saloon or Arabella are top choices.

"But there's also White Rabbit and Cheese's Murphy as go-to late-night stops, and now Harmony Lunch is open late," says Kim, who adds that he used to go to Crabby Joe's for "half-price apps super late."

Kim says there are "not a lot of options food-wise late at night," adding the after-work restaurant culture has changed dramatically. "That's in part because of the drinking and driving laws."


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    but yourself, you were trying to do so?

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