Everyone loves a PB&J sandwich or grilled cheese. However, it doesn’t take much to turn these childhood delights into sophisticated meals fit for royalty (or at least grownups). Try making these changes for a rich, nostalgic treat.
Grown-up Grilled Cheese
Few childhood memories accompany cold winter days better than grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. While the tomato soup of days gone by may have come from a can and the cheese for your sandwich from a plastic wrapper, your adult comfort meals needn’t follow tradition. With ripe tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and plenty of flavor, this grown-up grilled cheese is just the rainy day meal your evolved palate desires.
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread
- 1 large, ripe tomato, sliced
- 1 round of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs blend
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Divide the ciabatta bread into sandwich-size portions and then slice each portion to create equal sandwich halves.
Brush the inside of each bread slice with the olive oil. Divide the tomato and mozzarella slices between the bottom sandwich bread halves. Sprinkle the dried herbs and fresh basil over the cheese and tomatoes. Position the top sandwich bread halves on top.
Heat the sandwiches in a Panini press until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Rich and Delish Mac n’ Cheese
When you mention macaroni and cheese, most children instantly associate the treat as coming from a blue box. While the prepackaged meal may have suited your taste buds just fine as a child, your grown-up tastes deserve a richer and more delicious side dish. With freshly grated cheddar, whole milk and a hint of ground mustard, this mac n’ cheese is sure to delight everyone in the family, young and old alike.
- 8 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- Salt and pepper
Cook the macaroni according to the package directions and drain.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until blended with the butter. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the cheeses and mustard and continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the sauce thickens. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
Not so Innocent Popsicles
Childhood summer days are best spent under a shade tree with a melting popsicle in hand. While popsicles are delicious treats, even for grownups, they can also be remade into fun party indulgences. This not-so-innocent popsicle recipe calls for a little alcohol in the frozen blend to shake up your next get together.
- 3 cups strawberry/banana juice blend (or your preferred variety)
- 2 ounces flavored rum
- 5 diced strawberries
Combine all ingredients and then divide the mixture between popsicle molds. Freeze for 4 hours. Gently stir the slushy liquid inside the molds to redistribute the fruit pieces. Continue freezing for an additional 4 hours or until solid.
The Adult Pizza
You hear kids squeal with delight when they know it’s pizza night. While pepperoni or cheese may have been your preferred childhood pizza toppings, bring a refined side to adult pizza nights with this remade pizza recipe. Olive oil, goat cheese and roasted peppers blend for a slice of pizza pie that is best accompanied by a chilled glass of white wine.
- 1 freshly-made pizza dough round
- 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the red, yellow and green bell pepper slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
Remove from oven and leave oven heat at 400 degrees.
Place the pizza dough on a baking stone. Drizzle the top of the crust with olive oil. Arrange the roasted peppers on the dough and sprinkle the goat cheese on top.
Bake the pizza for 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
You needn’t visit the local diner to enjoy this delicious milkshake recipe. Put the kids to bed and enjoy the mixture of chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and a swig of coffee liqueur in this reshaped childhood milkshake.
- 3 heaping scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 4 tablespoons coffee liqueur
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large glass and, if desired, garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Update your childhood treats to match your evolved adult palate. From spiked popsicles to sophisticated pizzas, you’ll soon be viewing childhood delights in a new and exciting way. Still stuck with your limited childhood taste for food? Expand your palate with these 4 foods you only think you do not like.