Monday, December 19

Fran's Holiday Cheese Ball Recipe

Cranberry coated Cheese Ball
We've purchased or made from scratch and tried many different types of cheese balls.  A cheese ball is nothing more than a mixture of cheeses, maybe chopped veggies and a few spices rolled into a ball and served as a dip with crackers.

It's an appetizer that has been in and out of popularity many times but still seems to hang in there.  Even though a cheese ball may be considered sort of retro by some, it's one appetizer you can be sure of.  And there's an entire book devoted to it.  The book, Great Balls of Cheese by Michelle Buffardi has more than 50 savory and sweet cheese ball recipes!

This cheese ball recipe is our favorite and was created by my sister Frances. It has great flavor and can be easily changed to make many different cheese balls.

My sister Fran is a wonderful cook and I have been lucky enough to acquire a few of her recipes. She even wins numerous first place awards and ribbons (plus second and thirds) every year for her desserts at the Ohio State Fair!
Here are a few ways we have slightly altered this recipe in the past.

Monday, December 12

Cookie Cutter Christmas Ornaments

I make Christmas ornaments every year for my kids and now my grandkids and to give as gifts. It started out as making ornaments only for my kids, but then I started making two or three extra to give as gifts, and that has now grown into a yearly Christmas Ornament Exchange!

For me, it takes lots of planning and looking to find just the right ornament I want to make.
A few I've made in the past are Vintage Paper Ornaments, Vacation or Beach Ornaments with sand and shells from St. Augustine, Florida, a Flag of Ohio ornament and Felt Snowman ornaments.

And last year I created ornaments using vintage cookie cutters.
I was in a beautiful little antique store and gift shop in Grove City, Ohio and found a basket full of cookie cutters for $1.00 each.
I decided to use them to make little vintage – Victorian looking ornaments.
I of course, kept the old cookie cutters I didn't already have and added them to my collection.

Thursday, December 8

Elizabeth's Breakfast Casserole

I created this Breakfast Casserole by changing a recipe I found in an old Betty Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook years and years ago.  The original recipe was for an Impossible Taco Pie or Impossible Seafood Pie, something like that.
And we seem to go back and forth on the name, either calling it a Breakfast Casserole or a Breakfast Quiche.

I usually make this recipe around the Holidays, for Thanksgiving morning and Christmas and New Year's Day. It's easy to make, a breeze to serve and clean up and it can be made for a few guests or a house full.

Sunday, November 27

Grandma Coy's Caramel Chocolate Bars

This recipe came from my mother-in-law Coy. She cut it out of a magazine years and years ago and had been making them for holidays and her grandkids ever since. My son Daniel especially loved these delicious cookies and Coy always made sure to bring him a special container of his own.

Sadly, Coy recently passed away, so I wanted to share her cookie legacy and recipe.

An easier version of this recipe uses a 12-ounce jar of caramel ice cream topping mixed with flour in place of the 42 caramels, but I haven't tried it yet.
I for one like an easier version of a recipe as long as it doesn't compromise the taste.

Friday, November 18

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

I had a request to do a blog post on this cheesecake (yea, it's that good). 

I found the original recipe for this decadent cheesecake in a Paula Dean Cookbook , but for time and convenience sake, I made a few small changes to make it a little easier.
For one, I use a pre-made graham cracker crust and I use a bottled caramel sauce. I also add a little vanilla.  We love our Homemade Vanilla.
And I'm sure using real caramels would taste better but I usually just don't have the time to spend an hour melting them!
But even with the changes, this has become one of our favorite desserts for Thanksgiving! Everyone just loves it and there's usually none left over.

Thursday, November 3

Maple Leaf Quilt Block

I'm in the middle of sewing a Farm Quilt, using patterns from Lori Holt's quilt book, Farm Girl Vintage.  I'm making the quilt blocks that relate to my own little farm, like a bee, black cat, chicken, strawberry, pumpkin, tractor, etc.

I have multiple sugar maple trees and in late winter I tap those trees to make real maple syrup. So, of course, I want a maple leaf block in my Farm Quilt.

There are many patterns out there to make a maple leaf  and I almost used the one from Farm Girl Vintage.  By the way, I love Lori Holt's books!!
But although her maple leaf is super cute and really easy to make, it's missing the top part of the maple leaf. Here is the scrappy leaf by Lori Holt (Bee in my Bonnet).

Monday, October 24

DIY Costume Awards

We have a fall / Halloween party every year and many people come in costume although it's not mandatory.
Our Halloween parties started when the kids were little but it has now evolved into a mostly adult party, although kids are encouraged and welcomed to come and I always have kiddy food, drinks, and treats.

When my kids were little I would give out prizes for top voted costumes but we haven't had a costume contest in years.
My daughter Alexis asked me to revive the tradition. So this year we had a costume contest, complete with voting jars for each category, and slips of paper and ink pens for everyone to pick their favorites.

We also decided that if you win an award in one category, you could not win in another.  That rule just allows more people to take home an award, but feel free to make up your own rules.

Wednesday, October 19

Halloween Costume Ideas #4

At the Circleville Pumpkin Show
Well, here we go again!
It's everything fall and pumpkin at our house this time of year and getting decorations set up for our annual Halloween Party.  We encourage everyone to come in costume (but not mandatory) and surprisingly, many people create costume themselves, which I love.

I've homemade my kids costumes for years and years and now that they're grown, they're carrying on the tradition.
If you've read any my previous posts on costumes, you know I have nothing against store purchased costumes, except that they are usually expensive but cheaply made, repetitive and many are just trampy.
So here are a few costume ideas and recent ones that have stood out.

Friday, September 16

Child's Batman Quilt

My most recent finished quilt was a request for a one-year-old boy's Batman quilt.

I'm not really into Batman (or any super hero) fandom so after finding a batman print fabric, I used Google to come up with coordinating colors.
The original request was just no blue colors.

There are actually a few Batman costumes, with the newest one clad in all black. I'm old school and I grew up with the vintage batman.  A plain black batman quilt or a gray-black one was just not very interesting in my opinion, so this quilt is inspired by the vintage batman costume.

Wednesday, September 7

Sausage Corn Chowder

I make this soup 3 to 4 times a year during cool fall days and cold winter months and it's usually requested for our Annual Fall Party.

The original recipe came from a 1992 cookbook called Campbell's Simply Delicious Recipes I found at a second-hand store. I changed the recipe a little, making it a little more natural by leaving out the Campbell's soup and substituting my Homemade Chicken Broth and a little cornstarch for thickener, which also happens to make the soup Gluten Free.  

The directions are for making the original recipe and also how to substitute ingredients to make the soup Gluten Free; the soup is excellent either way.

Wednesday, August 24

Canning Kidney Beans

Having precooked jars of beans on the shelf is a great convenience and canning dried beans yourself is really easy. Also, knowing what's in the food I'm eating, or NOT in the food is really important to me. Plus there's the money saving side to canning, and the great fresh taste and the sense of accomplishment knowing I did it myself.

Then there's forgetting to soak the beans the night before to use the next day. And freezing them poses the same problem. It happens. So having beans already cooked and ready to go means I can whip up something at the last minute if needed.

I like to can beans at the end of summer, right after finishing up canning my garden harvest. Canning the beans in late summer means they are ready to go for autumn and winter cooking of soups, stews, and casseroles.

These directions can also be used to can navy, pinto, peas and other dried beans. 

Tuesday, August 16

My Newest Project: A Farm Quilt

So here is what I have been working on for a few weeks.
Recently I discovered a blog called Bee in my Bonnet.  I found the blog and blogger, Lori Holt while pinning away quilt ideas (and recipes, and DIY's, and fall decor, and.....and.... the list is endless) on My Pinterest and happened to see Lori's Hen Quilt Block.  I just looove it!

And then, early this spring my husband and I stopped at a quilting shop in Indiana on our way home from Wisconsin.
And there in the shop, hanging on the wall was a completed Hen Quilt! It's a poor quality photo taken with my cell phone, but isn't it so amazing  and cute?  And even more exciting, they had the book with the hen pattern in it.

Tuesday, August 2

An Old Favorite: Parmesan Chicken

I have about a gazillion chicken recipes, but this recipe for Parmesan Chicken seems to get requested again and again. 
I love collecting and trying old retro recipes, like Chicken A La King, WWII Chocolate Mayo Cake, and Johnny Marzetti but this Parmesan Chicken is one of the best. 
It's quick and easy to make, the coating is light and very flavorful and the ingredients are items I usually already have on hand.
We like to pair this with roasted rosemary red skin potatoes and a fresh garden salad.
The recipe comes from an old cookbook I found at a local thrift store.

Cooking the chicken in the butter along with olive oil really adds lots of extra flavor so don't be afraid to use the butter!
For breadcrumbs, I like the 4C brand best and I use the Japanese Style Panko seasoned  bread crumbs. But use whatever is your favorite.  
This is not Chicken Parmesan with the red sauce and topped with cheese, although you could turn it into that dish.  This recipe is flavorful enough to stand on its own. 

Monday, July 25

How to Make a Quilt Label

I recently picked up the art or craft of quilt making and I love it. I've been sewing and crafting for years and years but just never attempted a quilt.
In the last few months I've made quite a few quilts, like a Patchwork Quilt for our camper, a Large Block Quilt with sashing as a graduation gift for my granddaughter, quilts for two other grandchildren, a Hexagon Quilt (the hardest so far) for my daughter Alexis the beekeeper, and an ocean themed quilt for my son Daniel.  All those in between working on a Reproduction Civil War Ohio Star Quilt and a Farm Girl Vintage Quilt for myself.

After completing the second or third quilt, I read somewhere that a quilt should have a label. A label that will tell generations to come why and when the quilt was made and who made it.

Wednesday, July 13

Vintage Display Shelves

My daughter Alexis at our farm market booth
My daughter Alexis and I decided to try our hand at running a booth a the local farm market. We wanted to sell eggs, produce, and vintage kitchen gadgets, while also advertising our farm and showcase Alexis's beautiful Champagne D Argent rabbits she breeds.

We decided right off to go with a “farm vintage” look and had plenty of time to come up with ideas for displays and gather together needed items like chalkboard signs, vintage tablecloths, a journal, baskets, etc. 

And I made really inexpensive homemade price tags from brown paper grocery bags and twine. We also each wore a flowery skirt/dress and vintage apron.

Thursday, July 7

Apple Pie Moonshine

Recently I read a popular book called "The Wettest County in the World," a 2008 historical novel by Matt Bondurant, an American writer who features his grandfather and two great-uncles as the main characters. (The movie is titled “Lawless”). The book tells of the trio during the Depression and Prohibition in rural Virginia, who made a living bootlegging moonshine.
The book again renewed my interest in the “moonshine culture” and historical events and places surrounding moonshining and stills.

And a few months ago, on one of our adventures off-roading with our ATVs and Polaris Ranger we ran into a group out riding the same trails, (we usually do).
After small talk and introductions, they asked us if we'd like a taste of their homemade Apple Pie Moonshine. I'm a light weight when it comes to booze and usually never venture far away from a glass of wine or a cold beer. And I usually never taste someone else's home brew, I'm just too leery of their process and standards, but that day I took a little sip. It was extremely smooth and yes, tasted just like apple pie!

Monday, June 27

7-Up Biscuits

Someone sent me this recipe for 7-Up Biscuits, probably one of my kids. They are always asking me to try a new recipe they have found on-line or from a magazine.

It's hard to believe that these biscuits only have 4 ingredients, especially after tasting them! They come out light and fluffy and mix up easily so are great if you're in a hurry or short on time.

We rarely have soda (or pop as we call it in most of Ohio), and try to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, which is what 99% of soda is made with. I did find a soda made with real sugar called Sierra Mist so I used that in the recipe instead of 7-Up and the biscuits still came out delicious.

Tuesday, June 21

Easy Block Quilt with Sashing

I started making quilts for the first time in January 2016, and I love it! I have been sewing for years and years, but never attempted a quilt. (Baby quilts not included).  
My first full-size quilt was a Patchwork Quilt for a Camper Remodel I was working on.
And after making 5 or 6, my granddaughter Kelsey asked me to make a quilt for her as a high school graduation gift. She wanted purple and “hulk” green fabrics and NO floral prints. 
I used a lot of Batiks fabrics in her quilt, which is really trendy right now and black as the sashing to make the blocks stand out.

The pattern I decided to use to make the quilt is large blocks with sashing between each block.
I cut 8 ½ inch square blocks, 2 ½ x 8 1/2 inch sashing strips, and 2 ½ inch square intersection blocks.
This is a pretty easy quilt to make and you can make the blocks and sashing any size you want, bigger or smaller.

Monday, June 13

Retro Recipe: Chicken A La King

I love old kitchen utensils, vintage aprons and old recipes from family and friends. I fondly remember this dish from my young adult years but haven’t had it in ages.
I decided to track down a Chicken A La King recipe that would bring back the deliciousness of the dish and this one nailed it.

Many really good recipes have been ruined over the years by all sorts of shortcuts and substitutions and this dish is no exception.
Many recipes also fell out of favor because of trends, fad diets or just people more willing to buy convenient processed foods and not bothering to cook fresh.  
But many people are beginning to realize that a lot of the foods we were told were bad for us maybe are not so bad. And that all that convenient processed food comes with a price:  Americans are sicker than ever.
We try to eat a more natural diet, one which includes many vegetables (and meat) we grow ourselves,  home cooked meals with real ingredients and purchasing organic or foods with very few ingredients. 

Tuesday, May 10

Ohio Star Quilt Block


I am in the middle of making multiple quilts. I made my very first quilt, a Patchwork Quilt to go along with our Camper Remodel in January and have since been asked by most of the kids and grandkids to make them all quilts! 
In between all those quilts, I am trying to make one for myself from the Ohio Star quilt pattern. And I just love how they are turning out.

Let me state that I am not a beginner sewer, only a beginner quilt maker. I have sewn for years making numerous different items (Halloween Costumes are my fav) but I never attempted a quilt. I have regrets! Why didn't I try this before! Oh well.

Tuesday, May 3

Cherry Pie Filling

Growing up we had a large, really old cherry tree and every year my sisters and I would climb the tree to pick as many cherries as we could. We would rush the cherries into my mother who made the best Cherry Pie ever. My mother's pie crust was hands down my favorite and I have never been able to duplicate it nor have I tasted one as good.

That old cherry tree we had growing up finally split down the middle and died and that was a sad day indeed.
I now have my own cherry tree and it was beautiful this year in full bloom.  I'm hoping the crop is plentiful and I'm able to pick lots of fresh cherries! Cherries are usually ripe in June in my area of Ohio. 

Legend has it that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree when he was very young.  I tend to believe the story and that he was truthful about it.  I have a similar tale about an axe, my son, a group of young boy scouts and cutting trees they shouldn't have. My son was very truthful about what happened and who all wielded the ax, including himself, but that's a story for another day. 
Fresh cherries are always best, including home picked or from a farm market but store purchased cherries will work too (even frozen).

Monday, April 11

WWII Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

My daughter Alexis always wants a homemade chocolate cake for her birthday.  In the last couple years, she has bugged me to try a recipe she got from the mother of a past boyfriend.  Alexis lived in Kansas for a couple years with a young man she met in college. He was working at a dig site at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, Ohio, where Alexis was working as an intern in her job field.
The relationship with that young archeologist didn't work out but she did walk away with a great recipe from his mom for this Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. 

The Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake became really popular during War World II when some food staples such as eggs and butter were in shortage and housewives had to make do with what they had on hand.  

This is a rich, slightly dense but wonderfully moist chocolaty chocolate cake.  The chocolate lovers in your family will rave about this cake and ask for it again and again!

Friday, March 25

Savory Meat Pie

I think I found this recipe in an old Food Network Magazine and it has gotten rave reviews from my family every time I make it. 
In fact, my husband asked me to never ever share this recipe. He doesn't know that thousands of people have already seen it in that magazine, haha. 
This is an absolutely delicious savory beef, veggie and cheddar cheese pie. I use store-bought puff pastry or pie crust but you can use your favorite pie crust recipe.

This pie is similar or along the same lines as an Irish Potato and Beef Pie, a Cottage Pie or Shepard's Pie or an English Beef Pie. All usually employ meat and potatoes of some sort. This was a popular staple dish in medieval times and was eventually called "pyes" or "pies". The origin of this name "pie" comes from the type of meat commonly used as filling. Beef, lamb, and duck were employed, but a majority of the time it was the magpie, a bird that was the main ingredient.

Monday, March 21

Making a Patchwork Quilt

I have been sewing for years, various crafts, curtains, pillows, kids clothes and Halloween Costumes. I have even made small baby quilts but never a full size quilt.

Recently I did a Camper Remodel and wanted to use the leftover fabrics from reupholstering the cushions and sewing new curtains in the camper to make a camper quilt.

One of the easiest quilts to make and one of my favorites is a patchwork style quilt.
Patchwork is simply sewing pieces of fabric together to form a pattern or blocks that when all together form a quilt top. When the quilt top is finished, it's then quilted, meaning the top, the batting and the back cover are sewn together.
When deciding on what pattern or style of quilt to make as my first, I took a look at my quilt collection. Of all the quilts I have, patchwork is my favorite it seems and the one I have the most of. I gravitate towards it every time I find quilts for sale. It's the style of quilt I am currently using as a blanket on my bed.

Saturday, March 12

Camper Remodel, Part 2

This is the second post on remodeling our little camper. The first post you can find here:
Camper Remodel, Part One.

We purchased our used little camper a couple years ago. We love to tent camp and will continue to do so but I always wanted a little camper. I am in love with small vintage campers and although our camper is not vintage it works great as our first. Our camper is 16 foot long but very cozy and just right for us and our three dachshunds.

As stated in my first camper remodel post the interior color scheme was light blues which is not my favorite interior color.

Friday, March 4

Jamaican Jerk Pork Tenderloin

I asked for this wonderful recipe from our friends, David and Beth in 2010 after attending a dinner party they hosted. 
We just love this recipe! 
It's one of my favorites and a hit each time I serve it. 
This was the main course I served for our Women's Only Dinner Party and it's great for a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day or other occasions.
The recipe was created by Lori Welander and won the first place prize in McCormick 2002 Cook-Off Contest.
This is one of those great recipes that makes it appear as if you slaved in the kitchen, but it's really easy to put together. On the occasions I make this recipe, it makes me feel as if I am more than just an average cook......

A tenderloin is a lean, delicately flavored meat, is the most tender cut of pork and takes well to marinades.

Wednesday, March 2

Camper Remodel, Part One

We purchased our used little camper a couple years ago. My husband Bill and I love to tent camp, (and will continue to do so)  and have even tent camped around Lake Superior, while doing the Lake Superior Circle Tour.  
But I have always wanted a little camper. 
I like the idea of having all our things with us and room for our 3 Dachshunds. 
And I just love all the remodeled vintage campers I see, they're so romantic!
Our first camper is not vintage but we did get it at a fantastic price for being in like new condition. Little as in it's only 16 feet long.  But it packs everything we need into that 16 feet: stove, microwave (haven't even used that) a pretty big refrigerator, toilet, sink & shower, stereo, furnace and A/C.  That A/C part is one of the best features in August! 

Thursday, February 25

Red Peppers and Sausage Pasta

Penne D'Allessandria
I found this recipe years and years ago in a magazine and still have the partial torn out page glued on a recipe index card! I have since made a Scrapbook Cookbook and added this recipe.

The recipe is relatively easy to make, is pretty much fool proof, looks great and tastes wonderful. I can almost guarantee that if you try it once you'll want to make it again.

Penne are cylinder shaped pasta and Allessandria is a city in Piedmont, Italy which was founded in 1168. 
So the name of the recipe Penne D'Allessandria, means a pasta from Allessandria.

Olive oil research is ongoing but so far there seems to be many health benefits.  And Olive oil is the cornerstone of Mediterranean diets, the world's longest living culture.

Tuesday, February 16

Easy Homemade Rice Heat or Cold Packs

This is one of the simplest sewing projects you will do, it's right up there with making pillowcases.
These packs can be heated in the microwave for a heat pack or placed in the freezer for a cold pack.
And they can be made into any size you want. 
 I use the size in these instructions for placing on a shoulder, knee or other similar area with an ache and pain. You can sew long thin ones to place around your neck or wrap around an ankle. Or make small ones to fix inside mittens for hand warmers!

These instructions include a rice heat pack removable cover.

Friday, February 5

Olive Cheesy Bread

Some people are olive lovers and some people are not. 
When my daughter Alexis was about 5 or 6, she had an obsession with black olives.  She liked to put one black olive on each finger and then eat them.  Concerned about the ingredients, I wrote to the Heinz Company who replied back with a letter, enclosed the ingredient list and a coupon for a free jar of olives. 
I recently looked up the nutritional valve of olives (because now there is Google) and it turns out olives are pretty healthy!

Not to say this recipe is healthy, this Cheesy Bread is not what I would exactly call healthy but it does have olives, which are good for you and it's Oh My Gosh delicious.

Wednesday, January 27

Easy Baby Burp Cloths

Homemade Burp Cloths
We had a new granddaughter born in December! Her name is Lilly and she is the daughter of my youngest child, Daniel. 
Late last summer we came up with our own design for their Pregnancy Announcements which we think turned out great and very unique.

Daniel, Jennica and Lilly live with us while they save to build a house so I'm getting my sewing machine back to work!
When my kids were little I used to sew Halloween Costumes for them, along with pinafores, outfits, Christmas dresses, doll clothes and various other things. 
 Sadly, I haven't sewn much for my grandchildren, the newest ones live in Texas and I only see them a couple times a year. It's difficult to sew little outfits without trying them on for sizing as I make them. And being so far away it's hard to keep up on what they're into at the moment.

Friday, January 22

Grandma Elder's Carrot Cake

This is a moist and delicious carrot cake that's not too sweet and gets raves each time I make it.
I usually make it as a sheet cake but it is so much prettier as a layer cake!

My mother-in-law Coy Lynch handed down her mother's Carrot Cake recipe to me many years ago. Her mother was AnnaBelle (Sharer) Elder from Alexis, Illinois. 
 I never got to meet Annabelle but the cousins all talk fondly of visits to her house. Annabelle and husband John H. had 5 children, one of which is the famous and highly successful high school coach John K. Elder. 

It has nothing to do with the recipe but here's a little horn tooting for my husband’s side of the family: John K. Elder has been inducted into both the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Hall of Fame. In 2008 John received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Organization of Coaches Association Directors and in 2003 the Gerald Ford All-American Coach Award from the All-American Football Foundation.
Pretty cool!

Saturday, January 16

Holland, Michigan and the Tulip Festival

  
Looking for a great weekend trip this spring? I have just the place: Holland Michigan. And if you time it just right you could be there for The Holland Tulip Festival held in May.
Holland is a beautiful little town loaded with wooden shoes, statues, quaint shops, lots of Dutch heritage and countless tulips and other spring flowers.

Holland was settled in 1847 by Dutch Calvinist separatists, under the leadership of Dr. Albertus van Raalte. Their desire for religious freedom led them to unite and settle as a group along with dire economic conditions in the Netherlands compelling them to emigrate.

Holland is known as the "City of Churches."There are 170 churches in the greater Holland area, many of which are with the Reformed Church in America and Christian Reformed Church in North America denominations. A Holland church youth group leader started the trend of the "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets in the 1990's.

Saturday, January 9

Make Your Own Hamburger Buns

There is something very comforting about the smell of freshly baked bread.

This past Christmas I received a few new cookbooks and one of them has a recipe for Hawaiian Grilled Cheeseburgers. We have been grilling pineapple and putting them on cheeseburgers occasionally, but that recipe took the sandwich to new heights.

To keep on the level of awesomeness of the cheeseburger recipe, I decided to try my hand at making homemade buns.
And let me tell you I was amazed and overjoyed at how easy they were and how well they turned out! It doesn't take much to make me happy, but a good recipe always does.

Here are a few things to consider before starting:

Sunday, January 3

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Who doesn't love a good grilled cheese sandwich? On cold winter days grilled cheese sandwiches and hot soup is a staple at our house.
But in the middle of winter I am constantly craving (and dreaming about) the fresh garden vegetables that were huge a part of our meals in warmer months. I do can most of our garden produce but it's just not the same.

I came up with this sandwich to add a little more nutrients and vitamins to a traditional grilled cheese sandwich but it's also just darn delicious!
Caprese is typically a salad of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
For an over the top grilled cheese sandwich I always, always start with a really good bread. It and the quality of the cheese makes the sandwich, in my opinion. I got that tip when I was very young from my sister Julie. She could make the best sandwiches in the world and the bread was always a key factor. Thanks Julie.