Saturday, May 28, 2011


We're moving. Not just locations but I'm moving directions too. I have loved my spontanious time where MCA over the past few years, but my life has turned into so much more than cooking. So here I go, I'm moving to Run.Dream.Cook.
I hope to see some of you over there, it feels like starting all over again....There will still be some delicious recipes, but I will also be adding in some running stuff, fashion, event planning and all things pretty!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

School Spirit Cupcakes

My cousins are seniors on their varsity soccer team and each year the younger girls do something for the seniors as sort of a senior appreciation at their last home game. This year, the last home game actually got cancelled and they rescheduled a scrimmage in it's place. But because it wasn't a real game, the girls didn't plan anything for them! So to perk up some school spirit and help the girls stay up beat I made mini cupcakes and brought the cookies from this week's Christmas cookie project.

They are the Highland Huskies and the colors are blue and yellow. I made chocolate and vanilla mini cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla buttercream. I dyed the vanilla cupcakes blue and the vanilla buttercream yellow. They were very festive and delicious. I'm sharing the cake recipes today, stay tuned to tomorrow for the buttercream recipe!

Dark Chocolate Cake
Makes 3 dozen mini cupcakes

1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini cupcake pan with pan liners.
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together sugar, four, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low (careful - it can poof out!) until well blended.
Add in egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract then mix them into the batter. Once well combined add in the hot water.
Batter is very liquidy, I put it into a liquid measuring cup to pour into cupcake pan.
Bake 11-13 minutes until baked throughly

Best Vanilla Cupcake
Adapted from Smitten Kitten
Makes 3 dozen mini cupcakes

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Mix together vanilla extract and eggs and add into butter mixture. Once very light and fluffy add in baking power, baking soda, and salt. Mix in flour, alternating with buttermilk. This is when I added in the blue coloring.
Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pan half way through.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chewy Caramel Chocolate Cookies!

It is week 2 of 10 in my Christmas cookie adventure. This week has been a very busy one for baking! I posted a picture of my Biscotti to my facebook page last week and my Aunt Tink left a comment on it telling me how delicious they were, and how she hoped that they were fat free because she had been eating the package of them that I gave her all day. My Aunt Barb responded to that asking where she could find some of these "fat free Biscotti!" I then remade the Biscotti on Monday and sent some out to her and the rest of my family that lives in Colorado. Hopefully they traveled well and she is enjoying the treat.

This week's cookie was inspired by a cookie that I saw while surfing around the Internet. The cookie called for a chocolate dough wrapped around a Rolo. They reminded me of these brownie bites that my Aunt Cindy makes. She makes her favorite brownie batter and bakes it up in mini muffin pans and then immediately out of the oven she presses in either Rolos or Reese's peanut butter cups. They are delicious and all of my cousins love them.

I ran with the concept and I made my own caramels this week (see the previous post! They were amazing!) I made a chocolate cookie dough and wrapped the caramel in it, they were really delicious!

Chocolate Cookies with Chewy Caramel Centers (That is a very alliterative cookie name!!)
Adapted from: Two Peas and Their Pod - I love this blog!

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Caramels (home made preferably!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream together butter and both types of sugar in a stand mixer. Once it is light and fluffy add in the eggs one at a time. Then mix in the vanilla extract. Add in cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, mix until well combined. Mix in the flour and mix until smooth-ish. Some lumps are ok, they will bake out.

Take a tablespoon or so of dough and wrap it around the caramel. Place it on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with silicone mats - it helped when some of the caramel oozed out!)  Bake for 11-13 minutes.

**Let cool completely before eating - while they are still warm the caramel is kind of dissolved into the dough, but once cooled there is a chewy caramel consistency in the center. Delicious!!**

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Salted Chewy Caramels

In order to prepare to make this week's cookie, I made salted caramel. I actually had to make it twice because my first batch wasn't soft and chewy, it was hard as a rock. Although still very delicious, it wouldn't work for my cookie recipe, so I tried again, this time with a different recipe.
These turned out beautifully and even more delicious than the first recipe. Yum!

Salted Chewy Caramels

5 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Line a 9x9 baking pan with foil and spray foil with vegetable oil spray.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter, once melted add in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a slow boil stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

In a 4 quart sauce pan with high sides mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Boil without stirring (a gentle swirl of the pan occasionally is helpful to avoid hot spots) until a light golden color, approximately 310 degrees. On my gas stove this takes about 10 minutes.

Add in the heavy cream mixture. BE CAREFUL! It will boil up violently!!! Return to heat and stir frequently until mixture reaches 248 degrees, it took about 8 minutes on my stove. Pour into the lined baking pan and let cool.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10 Weeks of Christmas cookies!

I decided to jump on a bandwagon I saw while surfing the web yesterday...Some bloggers I saw are doing 12 weeks of Christmas cookies to test out different recipes. I loved the idea so I jumped right on. Since I go to Connecticut on Fridays I'm making the cookies to post on Thursdays.

This week I started with my favorite Christmas cookie, biscotti. Yum! This is a tried and true recipe. I use it every Christmas season and all of my family and friends adore it. I think I've been making it for 4 or 5 years at this point.

Traditional Anise-Almond Biscotti
(Adapted from Epicurious)
Makes approximately 30 cookies

1 1/3 cups sugar
10 tablespoons butter, melted
3 extra large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons anise extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup slivered almonds

1 extra large egg white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
In large mixing bowl combine the sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla and anise extract. Mix until a light yellow color.
Add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined.
Add almonds and stir until well distributed.

Separate the dough into two balls. Form each ball of dough into a 13 inch long, 2 inch wide log. Place side by side on the baking sheet leaving space between them, they will spread.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a wire rack and allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes. The logs should be cool to the touch. Slice each log using a serrated knife. I get approximately 15 slices per log.
Arrange cookies on the baking sheet and return to oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Turn the cookies over and bake for 8 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Keep in a air tight container.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Chicken wings are a favorite in my crowd, but they're terrible for you! Dark meat, deep fried dipped in a butter filled sauce! Oh my! Delicious, but not realistic for a regular meal. But with a few changes, you can have a similar flavor outcome, with way fewer calories.

Buffalo Chicken Strips with Blue Cheese Salad
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

Buffalo Chicken:
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used franks red hot wing sauce because it was in the fridge!)
1 cup flour
1 large egg
3 chicken breasts cut into 3 strips each
vegetable oil

In a small frying pan mix together butter, ketchup and hot sauce, heat and mix thoroughly.

Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large pan. Put flour in a bowl and fluff with fork. In another bowl beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Coat chicken in flour, tapping off extra before coating in egg and dredging in flour again. Fry until internal temperature hits 160 degrees. Toss cooked chicken in the heated sauce and set aside.

Blue Cheese Salad:
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon water
pinch of course salt
1/4 cup blue cheese
romaine lettuce
2 carrots thinly sliced
2 celery stalks chunked

Mix together sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, water, salt and blue cheese until well combined.
Place lettuce, carrots and celery in a bowl.

Top salad with chicken and dressing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Breakfast foods

I love making breakfast for people. It is by far my favorite meal to make. Unfortunately breakfast comes VERY early. So that leads me to enjoy brunch. The funny part about though is that I actually don't like very many breakfast foods. One that I do really love is yogurt and granola. I love strawberry or peach yogurt with granola mixed in. Yum!

I did a brunch for my sister's engagement party in November. One of the foods we had was yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. So delicious.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Super Bowl Cake

It has been far too long since I have updated my blog. Life gets crazy around the holidays! I know it is a lousy excuse, but a true one nonetheless.

So onto the cake. I made this cake for a friend of the family, he asked for it to tease a friend of his on Super Bowl Sunday. The friend was certain the Jets were going to make it this year, so when they didn't my friend wanted to rub a little bit of salt in the wound. He asked for a Jets team football. After some extensive googling, this is what I created. I am not a football fan, much less a Jets fan specifically, so I did my best recreating something I am only vaguely familiar with.

Typically I would have covered the whole cake in fondant but they specifically wanted it to be covered in buttercream. I had to add some fondant accents to make the football have the right look. I am pretty happy with how it came out overall. It was dark chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse filling. I heard it was delicious.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lime Mini Cakes

One of my favorite foods that I've made so far this year is a lime curd recipe that I found on Salt and Chocolate, via tastespotting. We eat a lot of lime flavored food around here and this dessert is creamy, tart and just sweet enough to be satisfying.

I've done many things with the lime curd, I've put it in phyllo shells and topped it with raspberries, I've used it as cake filling, and as a fruit dip. After a failed attempt to make this month's daring bakers challenge, I used the rest of the sponge cake batter to make this dessert. I poured it into a pan and let it bake just to see how it would come out. The result was a light, spongy cake, with a texture similar to an angel food cake. I really enjoyed the flavor and texture of the cake, so I didn't want to let it go to waste. I whipped up a batch of the lime curd and made individual lime cakes as part of a dessert bar that I was making for my cousin's birthday dinner.

Lime Curd
(from Salt and Chocolate)

105 g lime juice
zest of 2 limes
72 g sugar
164 g eggs*
72 g sugar
206 g butter

In a medium (non stick is helpful) saucepan mix together the lime juice, zest and the first amount of sugar. Bring it to a boil.
In a seperate bowl mix together the eggs and the second amount of sugar.
Temper the eggs with about 1/3 of the lime juice mixture, and then add the egg mixture into the pan whisking constantly. Cook on a very low heat until the mixture reaches 165 degrees (hot enough to cook the egg). You'll be able to tell it is ready when it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove the mixture from the heat and put it in a mixing bowl, let cool slightly. Stir in the butter. Once the butter is nearly completely incorporated, pour into a blender and blend. (An immersion blender would also work well here!)
Put the blended mixture into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap resting on the top of the lime curd, so it doesn't develop a skin. I use a 16 ounce solo cup, it fits the entire batch of lime curd, and it nearly fills the cup so the plastic wrap rests on the top easily.
Chill for at least 2 hours, but I usually chill over night.

*Eggs - 164 g of eggs is a hard thing to get. I find that it is approximately 4 large eggs. A large egg is between 57 and 64 grams. Something near 164 is fine, it doesn't have to be exact.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Galette

There is nothing I like more than a fruity dessert after a hot summer day. The only downfall to any of these desserts are that you have to turn on the oven to make them. But in the end, it is completely worth it. Especially when the dessert is topped with a side of ice cream.

Summer Galette

5 ripe peaches, sliced
1 pint raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package premade pie crust
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In a large bowl mix together peaches, raspberries, sugar and vanilla. Mix lightly as to now crush all the raspberries. Let the mixture sit for a couple minutes and it will become syrupy. Roll the pie crust out slightly. Place on a cookie sheet and pile the fruit mixture onto the rolled out dough. Fold edges of dough up onto the pile of fruit. Whisk egg and brush over dough.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Most indulgent brownies

Brownies are my second favorite dessert, second only to ice cream. I'm a little picky about my brownies. I like them fudgey and dense. Sometimes I like nuts in them, but most of the time I'm a purist, and don't want any add-ins involved. I have made many different from scratch brownie recipes. This recipe is by far one of my favorites, it is a little involved, but nothing too outrageous.

Outrageous Brownies
(Recipe adapted from the
Barefoot Contessa)

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Melt together butter, 1 pound of semisweet chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate and set aside.

Stir together eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Add in the chocolate and butter mixture.

Mix together one cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in the chocolate mixture.

Stir together remaining chocolate chips with remaining flour, once they are fully coated, add into the batter, stirring gently.

Bake in a 9x13 pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. DO NOT OVER COOK. I actually liked them a tiny bit undercooked.

Once they cool, store them in the refrigerator, it makes them even better the next day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

DB - Better late than never.

I actually did complete this month's daring baker's challenge before the end of the month, I just haven't managed to post about it until now.

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

The challenge this month was an apple strudel. I grew up in apple country in New York so this definitely caught my attention. I was a little bummed that the challenge was in May, so I wasn't using fresh local produce, but I will definitely be trying it again when apple season rolls around in October. In order to make the recipe a little more "springy" I decided to make it an apple rhubarb strudel. In doing this, I had to change the recipe a little. I added a bit more sugar to combat the tartness of the rhubarb and I used a bit of nutmeg to add a bit more flavor, because I simply love apple and nutmeg together.

I found the dough to be fun to work with, I think that if I had let it rest longer, I would have been able to stretch it more, but I got impatient after the minimum 30 minutes. I had no trouble rolling it out and then stretching it with my hands. Once it got large, I did get a few sporadic holes, but nothing big.

Overall I thought that the crust was a bit bland and could have used more flavor (more fat?). I liked the filling I made, but I would have preferred a more flavorful wrapper for it.

Preparation time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes

15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Apple strudel
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

2 tablespoons (30 ml) golden rum
3 tablespoons (45 ml) raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Strudel dough
from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).

3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.
Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flatbread Caesar Salad

Warm weather always makes me eat more salads. I truly love a big bed of lettuce topped with different sides. Grilled chicken Caesar salads are a bit hit around here. How could any salad topped with chicken and cheese be bad?

2 heads romaine lettuce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
3 chicken breasts
1 loaf of bread
Caesar dressing

Grill chicken and slice thinly. Meanwhile, make bread and let cool.
Wash and dry lettuce thoroughly. Lay out lettuce on a platter and toss with dressing. Top with Cheese and chicken. Serve with warm flat bread.

Flatbread Recipe:
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups ice water
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
dried basil, oregano, chives and garlic

Mix together first 5 ingredients and then knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth. Let rise for 3 hours. Punch down and spread onto a oiled cookie sheet. Let rest for 1 hour. Punch down again, baste with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with dried basil, oregano, chives, and garlic.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until bread looks golden brown.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Breakfast cups

Brunch is my favorite meal for entertaining. Even though I don't generally like breakfast foods, I do love breakfast pastries and a brunch (almost) makes it acceptable to eat 3 or 4 of them in one day. I occasionally get stuck in a rut with which foods to serve. You can only make mini quiches or large bowls of scrambled eggs before the crowd gets restless looking for something with a "wow!" factor, something new and different.

Lately on tastespotting there have been tons of posts with adorable mini breakfast cups. These are muffin tins filled with an entire bite sized breakfast. For Easter I decided to test them out. There were 6 adults and 2 kids eating. Just too many for custom egg dishes and the perfect amount to actually do taste testing with.

Then came the hard part, deciding what in the world to put in these cups. I had seen it all, from what could basically be described as an omlette to simply a single egg on toast. I know that Jimmy Dean Maple Sausage is a favorite among the men I was cookng for, and that bacon is the favorite of the younger crowd, so I did half and half.

Recipe (serves 6)
1 package Jimmy Dean Maple Sausage
1 lb thick cut bacon (I used applewood smoked)
Shredded cheddar cheese
12 slices of bread (I used potato whole wheat)
12 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook bacon in a sautee pan. Once bacon is finished cooking, set aside and pour out extra fat and return the pan to the heat. Add in 1/4 of the package of sausage and cook (crumbling) sausage until cooked through, set aside. Form the rest of the sausage into patties and cook thoroughly.
Roll out bread with a rolling pin, making it thin and slightly longer. Remove the crust. Butter both sides of all 12 peices of bread thoroughly. Smoosh the bread into a muffin pan, making a cup out of the bread.
Crumble 4-5 peices of bacon and place a few peices into 6 of the bread cups. Fill remaining 6 cups with the cooked sausage. Top all 12 cups with cheese.
Crack 1 egg into each of the cups, gently shake the pan to help the egg settle and fill the cups completely. Top with salt and pepper.
Cook until the egg has reached the consistency of your liking. I cooked ours for approximately 11 minutes. 10 minutes will yeild very runny yolks and 15 minutes will yeild solid yolks.
Serve with remaining bacon and sausage as a side.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grilled Ham and Cheese

Spring has sprung in the northeast and our grill is getting one heck of a workout! I made home made artisan bread (in 5 minutes!) and with one of the loaves we made some gourmet grilled cheese.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Recipe:
2 slices artisan bread (home made or store bought!)
3 ounces gruyere cheese
2 ounces ham steak sliced very thin.
Spicy mustard to taste
Butter (softened)

I started by grilling ham steaks until heated through. I then sliced them very thin and put them on sliced bread with mustard and gruyere. I buttered the outside of the bread and put it on the grill. I grilled until the cheese was very melted and the bread was nicely toasted.

Grilled Cheese Recipe:
2 slices artisan bread (again - home made or store bought!)
2 ounces munster cheese
1 ounce sharp white cheddar cheese
Butter (softened)

For me, since I don't eat ham, I did a blend of sharp white cheddar and munster cheeses, approximately a 1:1 ratio. I didn't use any condiments on my sandwich, but I did butter the outsides. The saltiness of the munster against the cheddar was a divine combination.