Tag Archives: Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches – Instant Pot

If you’ve never had a Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich, you’ve been missing out. Really, Italian Beef Sandwiches are a bucket list recipe; everyone should experience them at least once in their lifetime. Fair warning: once you’ve had Italian Beef Sandwiches, you’ll want them all the time!

Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches Instant Pot
Chicago Italian Beef Sandwiches Instant Pot

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Copycat Panera Steak & White Cheddar Panini

In an unexpected twist, I fell in love with the Steak & White Cheddar Panini at Panera Bread. See, I have another “go-to” sandwich but when I was out with a friend, I followed her lead. Yeah, I’m a rule breaker these days! A rebel! It was so good, I’m glad I got out of my “rut” and I recreated it here, for you.

Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef
Copycat Panera White Cheddar & Steak Paninis, made from 30 minute Instant Pot Roast Beef

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Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders = so good, so easy! Perfect for dinner or game day.

In the Twin Cities, we’re getting all psyched about hosting the Superbowl this year, in our nifty new (ish) Stadium. It’s a big deal. There’s a new layout in our Meet Minneapolis guide. Every day there’s a new article and new happenings.

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

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Maid-Rite Sandwiches – Instant Pot or Stove-top

and then paste this after the imagemaid rite sandwiches, sometimes called Tavern Sandwiches or Sloppy Joes

I grew up in the Midwest in the 60’s eating various and assorted “loose-meat” sandwiches, mainly Maid-Rites or Tavern Burgers. I never heard the word Sloppy Joe until I was an adult and moved away, and then no-one seemed to know what a Maid-Rite was!

Maid-Rite Sloppy Joe Tavern Burger old Church Cookbook recipe
This is the old family, Church Cookbook recipe for the Maid-Rite made with Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup.

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Original Cheese Zombie Sandwiches

The Original Cheese Zombies: Baked Cheese Sandwiches full of ooey, gooey deliciousness and an easy home-made dough (use store bought in a pinch) these are fantastic for a crowd and freeze well. The classic is cheese but add what you'd like inside!

It might have been the name that drew me in. The Cheese Zombie. It was the wholehearted endorsement of those who had grown up on Cheese Zombies that hooked me. A Cheese Zombie is a sheet tray of home-made bread layered with an oozy, gooey American cheese and Cheese Zombies are sooo much better than they sound.

Original Cheese Zombies
The last time I made Zombies, I made 1/3 plain cheese, 1/3 with pickled Jalapenos and 1/3 with ham. The possibilities are endless.

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Spicy Chicken Sandwich, BA’s Best

Yanno, I’m always trying new recipes and this Chicken Sandwich from Bon Appetit’s March issue caught my eye. See, I was just down in Georgia and had an opportunity to eat at Chick Fil A for the second time, ever. I think it’s the best fast food – and I don’t usually quite lower myself to eat fast food! I know, I know, I’m a snob about some things…life is just too short for mediocre food.

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich
Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

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Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf – A favorite!

I seem to be getting nostalgic in my “dotage” and have been leafing through my recipe box; hello, old familiar friends! I had to dust off this Cook’s Illustrated/Pam Anderson’s Meatloaf, long a family favorite – and the best part of all is the sauce. Oh, that sauce! Double it, triple it, bathe in it, I don’t care,  just make the sauce.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf
Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

good to know stuff about the cook’s illustrated meatloaf

This is my “go to” recipe for meatloaf and I’ve been making it for years. It’s always moist and flavorful and cuts like a dream. My son goes nuts over this every time I make it! After all, what’s better than an old-fashioned Meatloaf, potatoes, and your favorite vegetable?

The original recipe had a lot of thyme. We really didn’t care for the way it hijacked the flavor or for the bacon on this, either. The bacon itself was ok, but the way the flavor seeped into the loaf was bizarre. It’s one of those “sounds better than it is” ideas. The instructions are there if you want to go for it.

The original recipe calls for meatloaf mix – I actually like this best made with a mixture of ground beef/ground pork instead of the hard to find meatloaf mix (a third each of ground beef, pork & veal) or all ground beef. The pork adds a lot and keeps it nice and moist.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf
Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

optimize your time when making the cook’s illustrated meatloaf

If you’re looking to speed along dinner, try baking your meatloaf in little free-form oblong football shapes or use a muffin pan. It cuts the baking time down considerably! I’d go about 30 to 40 minutes for a football shape & 20 to 25 for a muffin shape.

If you want to maximize your time, double and freeze a meatloaf before baking. Meatloaf freezes very well. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (let it hang well over the sides), then pack in the meatloaf. When frozen, remove from the pan, use the overlapping plastic wrap to cover it well, then wrap a second time with foil.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf
Meat Loaf Sandwich, using our adapted Cook’s Illustrated Meat Loaf

cost-saving tips for the cook’s illustrated meatloaf

From a frugal standpoint, try to eke out two meals from this meatloaf. Meatloaf isn’t “cheap” to make and this one ran about eight bucks with sales priced ingredients. (Warning: it’s so good you might have to fight to set aside a bit.)

My fave way to bring meatloaf back to the table a second time is a meatloaf sandwich: A slice of cold meatloaf, yellow ballpark mustard, lettuce, onion and pickle, and a good slathering of the incredible sauce. It makes me happy just thinking about it. 🙂

You’ll want to make this meatloaf with sales priced ground beef, obs, but shave off a few bucks by using the ground beef/ground pork combo. Ground pork can be hard to find and pricey. Pick it up at a low (89 to 99 cents a pound) cube & pulse in your food processor. It’s the freshest and best tasting ground pork, ever.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf
Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf – A favorite!

Adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated/Pam Anderson recipe, this meatloaf is the pinnacle of Classic Meatloaf!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk, buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt (yogurt preferred)
  • 3 pounds ground meat: use meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork) or 50% beef & pork
  • 2/3 cups crushed saltines (about 16) or 2/3rds cup oatmeal or 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (oatmeal preferred)
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley, optional
  • 1 pound bacon, optional (instructions at bottom of recipe)



Glaze has been doubled. Divide into two portions, 1/2 for glazing and 1/2 for serving.

  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce (chili sauce is best!)
  • 4 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cider or white vinegar

Mix all ingredients, set aside. May be warmed briefly in the microwave if your sugar has hardened and doesn’t mix in.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and garlic, saute until softened, about 5 minutes; set aside to cool.

Mix eggs with salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco or hot sauce, and your choice of milk, buttermilk or yogurt.

Add egg mixture to meat in a large bowl, along with either crackers, oatmeal or bread crumbs, & the cooked onions and garlic; mix lightly with fingertips until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture does stick, add additional dairy, a couple of tablespoons at a time, and continue mixing until mixture stops sticking.)

To make in a free-form loaf: Cover a portion of a wire rack with foil a little larger than the formed meatloaf will be (use a sheet of foil the length of the roll, and width of about 8 inches); prick foil in several places with a fork so excess grease can drip down. Place a rack on a shallow roasting pan lined with foil for easy cleanup. Turn meat mixture onto foil-lined rack and pat mixture into a loaf approximately 9 by 5 inches.

To make in a loaf pan:  Place meatloaf mixture in loaf pan but pat into shape so it has a rather high dome and is flat for 1/2 inch around the edges. This will allow the glaze to cook nicely on top. When the second coating of glaze is ready to go on, you will probably want to pour off any accumulated fat into a can or container, (refrigerate to harden to make it easy to dispose of) which is a messy proposition but worth doing.

For both baking methods:

Brush loaf with 1/2 of the glaze set aside for glazing then bake for about 30 minutes. Remove carefully (I drain grease if using a loaf pan) then gently add the remainder of the glaze without disturbing the first coat.

Return to oven and bake until the loaf registers 160 degrees, about 30 to 40 minutes longer. (1 hour to an hour and ten minutes total.) Cool for at least 20 minutes – it really does make a better meatloaf. Slice and serve with reserved sauce, if you’ve doubled.

To use bacon:

To use bacon on this recipe: Use the foil on rack method of baking. Form loaf, then brush with 1/2 of the glaze. Top with the bacon (going over the short sides across the loaf) overlapping each slice slightly. Tuck any excess under the loaf.


No need to saute the onions: place oil and onions in a small, microwave-safe container and microwave for about 2 minutes, covered.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings and most coupon sites alert you to great sales whether coupons are involved or not!
  • Follow my 12 Strategies! Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Sometimes {Heritage Recipes} don’t give you the best bang for your buck when you factor in the nutritional numbers. Just something to think about.

Cook's Illustrated Classic Meatloaf - simply the BEST!

Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This is a fun little Chicken Salad recipe with a few Greek twists! Full of lean chicken, a lightened dressing and crunchy vegetables, this is a great recipe for early spring through summer. I like to serve these in a Pita, just for fun.

Greek Chicken Salad
Greek Chicken Salad

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Health Nut Avocado Sandwiches

Way back in the late 70’s I fell in love and lived in the quaint little town in the Colorado Rockies, Georgetown. Young and single with a new adventure every day, I really did have the time of my life. Hiking, backpacking and biking all summer, skiing all winter, I could pretty much eat anything I wanted, and I often wanted these delicious sandwiches! Healthy, fresh, filling and best of all, cheap!

Health Nut Avocado Sandwiches
Health Nut Avocado Sandwiches

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Healthier Tuna Salad or Tuna Melts

Canned Tuna – its such a pantry staple and so cheap during Lent I always pick up some for a pittance. But then – what to do with it! There’s a casserole or two, and maybe a salad, and the old standby, sandwiches made with mayo, but Tuna can get boring pretty darned fast.

Healthier Tuna Melt or Salad
Healthier Tuna Melt or Salad

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Make Your Own Hummus & Vegetarian Wraps

Hummus, here in the US, is often spelled as shown, but I suspect this is a phonetic rendering and in most areas of the world is spelled just like Elaine over at Foodbod does, Homous. See, Elaine and I got to talking about Hummus/Homous after Ginger from Ginger & Bread and I did dual posts about her Viennese Schnitzel compared to my Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.

Hummus bi Tahini
Hummus bi Tahini

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The Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich & Some Friendly Fire

Sometimes called the Breaded Pork Tenderloin = so classic, so good!

I recently came under some “friendly fire” from Ginger of Ginger&Bread. She threw the kitchen mitt down with a challenge, given innocently enough. It went something like, “Why don’t you make a recipe of German origin as it is made in the States, and I’ll make it as it is traditionally made in Germany?” “What great fun it would be!” I replied.

The Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich Breaded Pork Tenderloin BPT
The Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwich – a classic

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