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Posts Tagged ‘grilled cheese’

There is a routine I have in those free times when I turn on my computer. It is usually accompanied by supper or a bowl of Extreme Moosetracks chocolate ice cream.

The first thing I do is pull up my Outlook Express and get it started downloading my emails. Then I open a window of Facebook (more recently via Google Chrome) and log in. While that is loading, I open two more tabs and send them to Blogger and WordPress.

Facebook is a between times activity. When a separate page is loading, or between tasks, I go scroll through my friends’ status updates, commenting on a few of them. I check to see who is listed as “online” at the moment, but hardly ever start chats with them. If a friend wants to chat with me, however, I’m usually up for it.

My Blogger Dashboard has my blog reader listed on it, so I begin scrolling through recently updated blogs for any that look interesting. I always click on the first post from A Holy Experience. That beautiful site plays the most peaceful music in the background, a soothing atmospheric playlist that can repeat for hours without growing old. It is also one of the blogs on which I will read every post until I am caught up. The other blog for which I do that is my brother’s, Silence Spoken. We’re like best friends, so I know most of what he says, though his poetry is a removed perspective, a picturesque turn of words to express the big ideas in his head and heart. Usually I will go through and open all the eye-catching blog titles in their own new tabs, so that I can read them later.

My email takes a while to download, but by this time they should be viewable. I start by deleting the emails I don’t want: updates from Amazon.com, Avon, weather forecasts from the week prior, Human Events ads and articles that I get because they are kind enough to email me Ann Coulter’s articles each week. Then I start at the earliest unread email and begin reading. Most are little Facebook notifications: someone commented on my wall. Another person added a comment to a wall-post or status on which I had commented. Friend requests and acceptances. Every month or so I collect all these into a separate file for archived Facebook notifications. The best things to read are emails sent just to me by a real live friend. Life ponderings, prayers and prayer requests, encouragement, or invitations to get together, these are my computer priority, and almost always earn a reply.

Blogger and WordPress will tell me if I have comments to approve for my blogs. I’ll read those, post them, and reply to them. On Blogger I will check out their profiles and their blogs if they have any. Then I stick in my USB thumb drive to upload the blogs I’ve written during my breaks at work. You can observe for yourself how frequently this happens. Finally I check WordPress for my blog stats, to see which posts are the most popular and if there are any surges of traffic. My most popular articles are about auto warranty telemarketers, chivalry and romanticism, making grilled cheese sandwiches Sometimes I’ll get a hit on a post I forgot I wrote, and I go see what the post was about.

Next I open an additional Internet Explorer or Google Chrome window. I use that to do my projects. Maybe I’m going to search for some information. See if a book I heard about is at my library. Renew library items. Shop. Check my Etsy.com shop, Mi-Re-Do.com website, Googleads, or ebay. I like to download “Let My People Think” at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Maybe I’ll be researching for my blog or my business.

IMDB is the best website for information on movies and actors – unless you want to buy a movie, and then Amazon is the place. When I post book reviews, I post them to Amazon.com as well. To see a decent review of a recent mainstream movie, Plugged In is pretty good. They do have spoilers, and I don’t always agree with their assessments or interpretations, but they have accurate objectionable content evaluation. For Bible Study, I use Blue Letter Bible, which has multiple versions, an online Strong’s concordance that can cross-reference the Greek words and root words too. Del.icio.us is on my toolbar so that I can quickly bookmark any awesome but singular articles I find and want to remember. (WordPress’s widget allows you to see my recent tags on Del.icio.us.)

If I am bored or lonely, I will frequently refresh Facebook and go searching for more than status updates on my friends, looking through their new photo albums especially. The best are babies and weddings, followed very closely by scenic pictures of far-off lands. When inspired, I update my own status. It usually has to do with what I did that day, will do tomorrow, or have been thinking. For some reason movies make frequent appearances.

When it seems my favorite blogs have been insufficiently updated, when I am craving a good intellectual read or a warm, encouraging girlfriend read, I’ll go to blogs that have lots of links and start exploring. Carolyn McCulley often has good links. WordPress has a tag surfer feature to find like-topic blogs. Or I can search places like Ligonier Ministries or Boundless for interesting articles. When I find a blog I may want to follow, I do follow it, pasting its URL into my Blog Reader on Blogger. It’s an eclectic list, as you can see if you look on my Profile.

Before I turn off my computer, I refresh Facebook one more time and check for any new emails. Then I minimize any windows I want to keep open, close the rest, and put my little laptop into hibernation.

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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On a chilly day in late autumn or winter, a lazy day when you “get around to” lunch at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, on a grey day when no sunlight dares cheer your kitchen, what you need is the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, and the homescent exercise of preparing one. 

 

What is a perfect grilled cheese sandwich?  There are three ingredients to a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  Bread is the first ingredient.  When the sandwich is done, the bread is crisp, light brown, and buttery on the outside while remaining mostly soft on the inside, moving toward cheesiness nearer the center of the sandwich.  Cheese is of course the second ingredient.  At eating the cheese should be liquid in the middle, with the soft rubbery texture of cooled cheese on the edges.  Finally the crowning ingredient to a perfect grilled cheese sandwich is the margarine that coats, for full effect, the surface that will touch your tongue.  After grilling, the margarine should be fully melted and resting in the crevices of the toasted bread.  

 

How to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich using my stove.*  Turn on one of the burners to medium high and immediately place a pan on top.  Let it preheat while you prepare the sandwich.  Take two relatively thick  (3/4 inch) pieces of wheat sandwich bread and spread a thin layer of margarine over ONE side of each slice.  Place butter-sides together.  On top of this pre-sandwich, place one slice of Velveeta cheese (pre-sliced or self-sliced).  Check temperature of pan by flicking room temperature water into the pan.  If the drops bounce and sizzle quickly away, the pan is preheated.  Lift the pan and use a non-stick cooking spray to coat it.  Replace on stove. 

 

All together take the top slice of bread and the cheese on top of it.  Lift straight off the second slice of bread and set gently in the pan.  Add the top slice of bread in the same way, ensuring that the buttered side is on top.  Have ready a spatula for turning the sandwich.  After about two minutes, flip the entire sandwich.  At this point the cheese is not melted to the bread, so your sandwich will fall apart if you do not flip it quickly.  Align pieces of bread, and ensure that no cheese is protruding over the new bottom slice of bread.  If new top is now golden-brown, that side is done.  Turn down stove to just above medium.  Continue to cook for about two minutes.  If both sides are golden brown, use spatula to remove from pan.  If either is not golden brown, place that side down in the pan and cook for 30 seconds to one minute more. 

 

At this point your sandwich should match the description at the top.  I would not recommend slicing the sandwich, as it compresses the bread you intentionally left soft in the middle.  My favorite serving suggestion is to add slices of grilled chicken such as you would put in a chicken salad, only warm, buttered**, and spiced (at least with pepper).  Have oranges for the side and drink grape juice, preferably in a glass cup. 

Lady with Electric Stove, Retro
Lady with Electric Stove, Retro

 

*If you are not using my stove, temperatures and times may vary.  The idea is that you cook the outside quickly enough to make it crisp and golden brown without drying the inside of the bread.  One difficulty in this is that at the same time you must be melting the cheese, so you must find a balance.  Heating the sandwich in the microwave because the cheese was insufficiently melted is very unsatisfactory, as it turns the crisp outside edges of the sandwich soft. 

 

**A health conscious person may decline butter in this instance and rather increase the herbs and spices to taste.  For this I recommend one’s favorite blend of Mrs. Dash. 

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