¼ t. coarsely ground black pepper
4-6 slices of deli ham (can substitute turkey, if desired)
1/3 c. shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1 T. Dijon or spicy brown mustard
Melt one teaspoon of butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Toss the sliced apples and onions into the melted butter then sprinkle the pinch of salt and black pepper over the pan. Fry the apples and onions, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and the onions taste mild, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Heat a Panini press, waffle iron or heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle over medium high heat. Divide and spread the remaining butter over one side of both slices of bread. Lay one slice of the bread, butter side down, on the hot surface, then quickly assemble the sandwich. Spread half of the mustard over the bread that is on the hot surface, drape the ham around the bread, spoon the apples and onions over the ham, pile on the grated cheese, and spread the remaining mustard on the non-buttered side of the last piece of bread. Cap the stack with the bread, mustard side down, then -if using the Panini press or waffle iron- close the top down over it. If you are using a frying pan or griddle, you’ll need to flip the sandwich after the first side is crispy and deep golden brown. Fry until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Slice in half and serve while still piping hot.
Don’t forget something sweet and creamy for dessert. Cold weather requires warm beverages and if you play your cards right, a warm drink can double as dessert. You know where we’re going with this, right? Let me introduce you to the ultimate Peppermint Stick Mocha. If the classic coffee and chocolate combo isn’t your bag, feel free to omit the coffee and “Hey, presto!” you now have a glorious Peppermint Stick Hot Cocoa. This Peppermint Mocha is made with the help of Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce made from commonly available pantry ingredients. I think we’ll all agree that having a jar of that in the fridge would not be a bad thing at all.