cuban sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

I have been meaning to make a Cuban sandwich for quite some time now, as it is one of my favorites! It’s one of those things that when I see it on a menu, I have no choice but to order it. That said, there are many variations I have come across — like using different meats, different breads, no mustard… — so, unless I’m dining at an authentic Cuban restaurant, the results can often times be disappointing.

With skepticism that I’d be able to find a satisfying version of the sandwich, I decided to once and for all make it at home! I figured I may as well make it myself and leave nothing to chance (I even went all out and ordered Cuban bread online from Miami — it was surprisingly difficult to come by here in Philly)!

Cuban Bread

As soon as I opened the bread delivery I was reminded that there really is no substitute for authentic Cuban bread. I thought I would get the order and realize it’s just like a loaf of French bread and not worth the wait — but I was wrong! It’s a simple bread, but a unique one, so definitely worth getting at least one time you decide to make this sandwich.

Cuban Sandwich Ingredients

Bread shenanigans aside, I found a great pork tenderloin that was already prepped in a mojo marinade (which is made up of garlic, oil and citrus), so all I had to do was roast and slice and I was ready to assemble the sandwich!

Cuban Sandwich

  1. Slice bread open
  2. Smear butter on both halves
  3. Add mustard on both halves over the butter
  4. Layer 4 pickle slices on bottom half
  5. Add pork
  6. Add ham
  7. Add swiss cheese
  8. Close sandwich and heat on a panini press

It. was… I know there’s a word that can describe it… um… Delicious? Amazing? Perfect? I dunno pick your fave, it will work here!

The different textures of the pork and the ham smothered in the melty swiss cheese was rich and delicious. Those flavors cut with the acidic dill pickle and yellow mustard were just perfect. The butter made the bread so crispy and amazing. *Swoon*

I am only sad that this sandwich is now a memory of a week past. It was great to have an authentic tasting sandwich. Luckily for me, the Cuban bread I ordered came with 3 loaves, so I still have one sitting in the freezer just waiting for my next Cuban sandwich craving!



rolled flank steak

Rolled Flank Steak

Mirza and I have been on a bit of a creamed spinach/kale kick these days. Its richness and warmth is fitting for the nippy weather, and it’s something Mirza, especially, loves.

After enjoying it on a few recent occasions as a side dish, I wanted to change things up a bit and make it so it’d be more than just a side. I decided to take a couple of our other fave ingredients (mushrooms and steak) and make a wonderful stuffed & rolled flank steak.

Rolled Flank Steak Ingredients

The oven does most of the work in this meal — the only big thing to prep is the actual creamed kale & mushroom mixture that stuffs the steak — and that’s pretty easy!

An infused garlic oil and some fresh thyme really add a lovely layer of flavor to the kale/mushroom mixture.

Creamed Kale & Mushroom

Once that’s done, there’s just a lot of roasting action that takes place for about an hour — which gives you plenty of time to clean up and prep for this delicious dish! I used sweet carrots and parsnips, starchy potatoes, and onions for the vegetables (roasted in high heat allows the flavors to intensify making an absolutely amazing side!)


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Rolled Flank Steak Prep

If I’m being honest, I really had no idea how the rolled flank steak was going to turn out since it was stuffed with a more liquidy, than usual, mixture, but I was pleasantly surprised! It kept the meat really moist and tender, so I’d say there was definitely an upside to the amount of liquid from the cream.

This dish is more than perfect for the Winter weather — it’s easy enough for any night of the week and elegant enough to serve at dinner for guests! You’ll have to give this recipe a try and let me know if you enjoy just as much as we did!

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blt omelette

BLT Omelette

While I’m more of a fried eggs kind of girl, I occasionally dabble in the world of the omelette!

One type of omelette I absolutely love is a reuben omelette — filled with sauerkraut, corned beef, russian dressing and swiss cheese — it’s crazy and it’s delicious. I love how it’s a play on the reuben sandwich, so I thought I’d make an omelette the other morning based on another yummy sandwich: BLT

BLT Omelette Ingredients

I was not about to add lettuce to my omelette (no offense if anyone is into that, but warm lettuce is just not my thing), so in lieu of the traditional ‘L’ I substituted leeks! They stand up great to the heat and have a mild onion-like flavor that goes really well with eggs.

Now, I know there’s not usually cheese on a BLT, but there is usually mayo (again, wasn’t really feeling the mayo in my omelette) — instead I used cheese. Pepper jack to be exact, simply for the little kick of heat it provides.

BLT Omelette Prep

So, I don’t have any fancy omelette flipping techniques; I’m really scared to do that actually, I’m certain it would not go well. Instead, I cook the eggs over a lower heat and just allow them to set really slowly. I carefully tilt the pan and lift a part of the omelette with a spatula allowing the uncooked eggs to run underneath (since I only have 2 hands, I couldn’t do this and take pictures of it at the same time — so sorry! — BUT here’s a photo example from another site to make up for it!)

All in all, this is a pretty straightforward, simple dish to make! The bacon, leek and tomato mixture is wonderfully reminiscent of a BLT sandwich and the pepper jack cheese is a nice addition that I highly recommend. I served the omelette with some pan fried potatoes that I cooked in the same pan the bacon was fried in (um yummm!).

This omelette is perfect for breakfast, but also filling enough that it’d make a great breakfast-for-dinner dish!

What’s your favorite type of omelette?

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cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Merry Christmas Eve!!

I can’t believe Christmas is one day away — despite us having snow storms a week or two ago, we just had a weekend that reached 70ºF outside (make up your mind Mother Nature!!), so the warm temperatures have made it feel like anything but Christmas-time.

With the change in weather, I thought I’d turn to something else to invoke the holiday spirit — cinnamon rolls!!

Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients

I have always loved a good, warm cinnamon roll.

Growing up, if I was ever in the mall walking by a Cinnabon, I was bound to stop and get one — even if it meant that I only got a mini-cinnabon to feel better about it (oh, and extra icing please!). But, outside of the random mall encounters, I have only really baked/eaten homemade cinnamon rolls around the holidays which is why I think they make it feel like the holiday season.

Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

Cinnamon Rolls Dough

This was my first time making cinnamon rolls completely from scratch, so I was pretty excited/nervous to see the end result! It’s a bit of a process (and by process I mean, there’s a lot of down time when you have to let the dough rise), but luckily there was laundry to be washed and dishes to be cleaned!


Cinnamon Rolls Prep

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WHEW!!! A bunch of pictures later, they are done…that wasn’t so bad!

First, before I even talk about how AWESOME they tasted, I have to say that my kitchen smelled like a magical, cinnamon-sugar kingdom that I only wish I could have preserved for more than the afternoon…(reason enough for me to bake these again very soon!)

They tasted better than I could have hoped for. There was just enough butter, cinnamon and sugar to make the rolls ooey and gooey, and the cream cheese icing complimented the rolls perfectly. It was pretty difficult to only eat one (errr two), but I managed to pack up the rest to share with some coworkers.

These cinnamon rolls are perfect for your Christmas morning — or any morning for that matter — and they also make a fantastic gift!

Happy Holidays!!

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peppermint spiked hot chocolate

Peppermint Spiked Hot Chocolate

We have been having some crazy weather for the end of the Fall season! Within the past week and a half we have had an unexpected snow storm and several smaller snow showers — I almost feel as though I’m pretty much over Winter already, and it isn’t even officially here until Saturday.

I will say that the first unexpected snow storm did get me fairly excited though. I always enjoy the first snow of the season and it’s one of Kia’s favorite elements to be outside playing in (I took her out that morning as soon as there were a few inches of snow on the ground). We were outside until my feet and hands were essentially numb, so when we got back inside I knew immediately I wanted to have some hot chocolate. For something a little more special, I ended up making peppermint spiked hot chocolate.

Peppermint Spiked Hot Chocolate Ingredients

Hot chocolate is super easy to make and I usually always have the ingredients needed on hand. I had recently made homemade marshmallows which made me even more excited to make this hot chocolate — it was going to be delicious!

Peppermint Spiked Hot Chocolate Prep

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Peppermint Spiked Hot Chocolate

I am a huge fan of the cooling bite that peppermint brings to this hot chocolate. That perfect pairing combined with the gooey homemade marshmallows made the most special cup of hot chocolate I have had in a long while!

By the end of the day, it had snowed 8 inches in the city and there wasn’t much chance of venturing outside to go anywhere. If you happen find yourself cooped up in the house on cold and frigid day or night, you’ll have to try this peppermint spiked hot chocolate that will warm you up in one sip!

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