Sandwich #249–“Mirroring Happiness” Beet Pesto and Roasted Artichoke Grilled Cheese

By 300 Sandwiches

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249beetcheeseLO E wakes up as if he’s gotten a promotion every day—smiling, happy, singing. This sounds horrible, but it doesn’t make me instantly happier to see him happy.

It makes me insecure to see him so happy, because I realize just how gloomy I can be.

I asked him this morning, because I had to know: “Why are you so happy all the time?”
E asked, “Why are you so pissed off all the time?”

What an absolutely jarring reality check.

I try to be grateful every day. I try, as Oprah said, to live my best life. Years ago in one of her many issues of her magazine she recommended writing down five things you’re grateful for every morning to help you stay upbeat. Well, okay: Health in tact, roof over head, food on table, money in bank, man by side. Not a bad list. I have no reason to be pissed off.

Even more reason to be happy: you know you need to crack a smile in the morning when your man asks you why you are pissed off all the time. No woman wants to be the pissed off one. Just repeating that statement makes me laugh. Who was I, Alec Baldwin?

One thing I can do to feel better about the day ahead is make a grilled cheese sandwich. I know, you’re like, “really?” But after nearly 250 of them, making a sandwich is somehow therapeutic (Wow, I never thought I’d say that when I was struggling to learn to cook a steak properly). Alone in the kitchen, constructing a good meal that looks beautiful and tastes great. It’s an accomplishment. Something to check off of my to do list. And when I can check things off the to do list, I’m in control of my day. When I’m in control, I’m happy.

Plus, the beet pesto I was going to use made me happy. It was purple. Purple always makes me happy.

I roasted an artichoke, though it took me an hour to do so this morning, and made a beautiful, purple and white grilled cheese sandwich. And I enjoyed it, with E, on a grey Tuesday that, while gloomy, didn’t keep me from cracking a smile.

2 pieces bread
2 tablespoons beet pesto
1 artichoke, roasted (or canned, I guess, but I roasted mine, per below)
4 to 5 slices monterey jack cheese
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
1 pat butter
fresh ground black pepper

First, roast an artichoke. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut off stem and 1/3 of top, then shove a garlic clove or two into the flower. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on aluminum foil and a bit on top of the artichoke, and wrap artichoke in aluminum foil. Remove from oven, let cool, then open. Remove leaves until left with heart, and slice into small bite sized pieces.

Assemble sandwich: on bread, layer cheese on one side, beet pesto on another. Layer artichoke hearts and parsley on cheese. Top with beet pesto side of other slice of bread. Melt pat of butter in medium skillet, and brown sandwich until cheese is melted. Slice and serve.

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