Kimmie Bee’s 4th of July Sandwich

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I started making these sandwiches, years ago, to take to our church’s annual celebration on the 4th of July weekend and rarely make them any other time of the year. I always take extra, because I think the word is out about these scrumpdilocious sandwiches, and someone always happens to stop by our spot on the hill just as the sandwiches are being served. I’ve even been known to call the people, who I know will end up on my blanket, for their special order … no cheese or no onion or ham only. So, when one of my very best friends called me and said, “Kimmie, tell me everything you put on your 4th of July sandwiches. They are SO yummy and I want to make them for my sisters.”, we both laughed. I’d never thought about naming them. Patty, you get credit for this one, my beautiful sister.

The key to these sandwiches is the quality of ingredients. Trust me! I buy Applegate Organic deli products from Whole Foods. FYI: They have $2 off all of their deli meats and cheeses on Sunday. You’re welcome. And, the bread that I use for these sandwiches is KEY! This is probably the only time of year that I buy the La Brea Bakery Torta rolls from Costco because I would eat them ALL myself. SO GOOD! You will find them on the tables in front of the bakery. They will NOT be Kimmie Bee’s 4th of July sandwiches without this bread! Okay, I suppose you could use ciabatta rolls or your favorite bread, but … yah … get the bread from Costco.

You will need:

torta rolls

turkey (I prefer oven roasted)

ham (I prefer black forest)

salami

sharp cheddar cheese

havarti cheese

tomato, sliced (I prefer beefsteak or heirloom)

baby greens or baby romaine lettuce

red onion, sliced

mayonaise

extra virgin olive oil

balsamic vinegar

oregano or Italian seasoning

freshly ground black pepper

To assemble the sandwiches, put your desired amount of mayo on each half of the bread. Sprinkle each half with oregano or Italian seasoning. Then, add lettuce, ham, cheddar and turkey on one half and havarti, salami, tomato and onion on the other half. Notice, I didn’t specify amounts. If you like turkey more than ham, put more of that. Don’t care much for onion? Omit it. I add one slice of turkey and ham and two to three slices of salami; one slice of each cheese and two slices of tomato. We happen to like all of the ingredients, but … you get the idea. Drizzle both halves with olive oil, balsamic and pepper.  Carefully place one half on top of the other and get ready to have a party …. fireworks … in your mouth.

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Easy Corn Cakes

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Occasionally, I like to make these corn cakes instead of baking cornbread. They take a fraction of the time to cook. And, let’s face it, sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table. QUICKLY. You won’t sacrifice one bit of taste. In fact, my Mom and son prefer these little cakes. You can add in cheese, chilis, corn or whatever your heart desires. They are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.

You will need:

3/4 cup of ground cornmeal (I prefer yellow)

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

3/4 cup of milk

4 tablespoons of honey (can use 1/4 cup of sugar instead)

1/4 cup of butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten

butter for the griddle

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add the milk, honey, melted butter and the egg. Mix until just blended.

Heat a griddle or pan over medium high heat and add a pat of butter. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each cake. Cook two minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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This soup is, hands down, my husband’s favorite. It’s hearty and DELICIOUS! And, it is SO easy to make. No, really, it is. You do need to chop a few ingredients, but it can be on your table … start to finish … in less than an hour. I promise! I always double this recipe because it’s even better the next day. Serve it alone or with cornbread, corn cakes or crusty bread.

You will need:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in 1/2 lengthwise and cubed)

1 cup of carrots sliced or cubed

1 cup of celery chopped

1 large onion chopped

1/2 cup of flour (you can omit and it will still be just as yummy)

1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp of dried thyme

olive oil

6 cups of chicken stock

3 cups of half and half

1 box of long grain and wild rice (I like Whole Food’s 365 brand)

Heat a heavy Dutch Oven or large stock pot on medium high heat and add about one tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and saute in the oil until no longer pink. Add all of the veggies and the thyme. Saute for three to five minutes.

Add a little more oil if the pan is dry and whisk in the flour. Cook for one to two minutes to cook the flour. Add in the rice, seasoning packet and broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for twenty minutes. Whisk in the cream, taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Heat for another five minutes and ENJOY!

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