Oct 7, 2011


I know this will come as a major surprise to all of you, but I can be pretty obsessive about stuff.

(Stop that snickering, please.)

(Oh. And Aunt Chrissy? If you keep rolling your eyes that hard, eventually they'll stick that way, and then where will you be?)

This week has been all about the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. And because I'm really trying to reduce my size from that of a small condominium to that of a normally-sized spinster, I have only allowed myself to eat said grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup once so far this month.

(I know it's only the 7th, but I'm pacing myself, K?)

So today I woke up and started thinking about grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and nothing else has been accomplished.

(Would it BE so wrong to eat lunch at 7:30 in the morning, I ask you? Would it?)

Tomorrow, just because I can, I'm going to make another root beer bundt cake, and I might even preceed the damn thing with grilled pierogi and kielbasa for good measure.

(Somebody pass the Tums and defibrilator paddles, please.)

So here's the recipes (that I finally fished out of the recipe basket that is just begging to be categorized, re-organized, and finalized this winter). Both of these recipes are from the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine, so please put the little "c' thingie after this in your head so that I won't get sued for copyright violations. Tank you beddy mutch.

  • 1 pound kielbasa cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 pound frozen potato and cheddar pierogi (do not thaw)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1. Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until smooth.
3. Toss the onion and pierogi with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogi thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogi and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogi are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter.
4. Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Roughly chop the onion and add to the bowl along with the pierogi and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

(Please note that I doubled this recipe and then proceeded to eat enough of it to feel the effects for days. Moderation, people. Trust me.)

Now here's the recipe for the root beer bundt (or boondt, if you're the mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding):


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/2 cups root beer
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan, tap out the excess flour.
2. Heat 2 cups root beer, the cocoa powder, chocolate, and 1 stick butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the granulated and brown sugars and whick until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Combine 2 cups flour, the baking soda, allspice, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Whisk the eggs into the root beer mixture, then gently fold in the dry ingredients (the batter will be slightly lumpy).
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer to a rack. Gently poke the cake all over with a skewer and pour 1/4 cup root beer over the cake; let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate and let cool completely.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup root beer, a pinch of salt, the confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.

Geeze, Louise, if I made a nice little green salad with pecans and cranberries, and opened a lovely little Merlot, this would be a perfect autumnal meal, n'est pai? I could even serve it at the dining room table, amidst Aunt Chrissy's beautiful Fall decorations and perhaps use cloth napkins and the good china!

Alas, I suspect that I'll open a nice little diet Coke instead and will eat this in my underpants while screaming at Air Force to beat the crap out of Notre Dame. (I'm almost back in the fold and will probably revert to cheering for my Irish by the end of the season, but for now I'm still mad at them and reserve the right to wish for them to lose. I know it's not very alumna-ish of me, but until they get their heads out of their heineys over there, I'm rooting for the other guy.) So there.

Happy, happy weekend to all! Do something I wouldn't do and then tell me all about it! Woo Hoo!


  1. OMG, Coni! I've already had TWO grilled cheese sandwiches this week. Since I get home so late from work (due to a miserable commute), I rarely feel like cooking a full dinner (unless I have leftovers from a weekend binge of cooking), so this past week, with the cold and dampness, the grilled cheese and tomato soup was my go-to comfy food!!!! So delicious.

    And thanks for the 2 recipes...since I'm a root beer/Dr Pepper kind of girl, the bundt cake sounds DEE-lish! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Thanks for the rb bundt cake posting - I will have to put the items on the list for next week's groceries. I am going to make it for a retreat weekend with friends coming up soon.

    Hmm - something you wouldn't do...I will have to see. I am planning on cleaning but I know you do that. I am hoping to get to some finishing work in my sewing room, but I know you do that too.

    Have a good weekend. We are having beautiful (almost too warm) autumn weather here in lower Michigan - hope you are too.

  3. Thanks Coni, I was wondering what to have for lunch that isn't yet another cold ham sandwich.

    Going to try your cake sometime. My husband makes his kielbalsa and peirogi all the time.

    This weekend I'm working a horrible schedule. Would rather stitch and watch my British shows on PBS and Netflix.

  4. Does going to the wedding of the next-door neighbor (who I know since before she was she) count?
    Or are you going to a wedding this weekend too?

    The recipes look delish!

  5. I myself have been known to eat grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast, so I say have at it! The Polish part of me is also now thinking, more like obsessing, about pierogi and kielbasa...thanks very much. Perhaps if I have a grilled cheese right now, I will stop thinking about it.

  6. So many people think I'm weird for eating grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. I once heard one of my local newscasters say that you can't have a grilled cheese sandwich without tomato soup. So, Coni, you are the second person in my life that eats the two together. When I was a kid my mom did it that way; I do it that way; my boys do it that way - but when I was a kid we always had some sweet gherkins with the pair as well. Ever tried it? Yummy! Thanks for the cake recipe!

  7. Yep. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup is pure perfection on a cool fallish day. I usually only get to have it once a week during the fall, but I rarely miss that opportunity!! I am going to have to try both recipes - thanks.

  8. That root beer cake recipe is making my mouth water, but there's no way I'm gonna make it. I'd "sliver" it to death in a day and then be in a binge shame spiral for days. Life is so much safer without cake in my house.

  9. I probably shouldn't contribute in this way, but I took Grilled Cheese, Please out of the library and there are some to-die-for recipes in it! The dude loves the V-8 tomato soup (comes in green cartons in the soup aisle). I, otoh, will stick with the sandwich, thankyouverymuch.

  10. I made this last night. Everyone is still applauding you and wanting your autograph. You're a family hero now! :D

  11. Hi Coni, thx for cake recipe~have GOT to try it! Happy Thanskgiving:)