Saturday, July 9, 2011


Toasties, basically European grilled sandwiches, are incredibly simple, versatile and satisfying. A few summers ago, Bunker and I backpacked through Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. As I have stated before, I am a picky eater...and the further east we traveled...the more difficult it was to find easily identifiable foods!

View of Zell am See from the other side of the lake, a village perfectly tucked in among the mountains and heavy clouds.
Another picture from Zell am See during our hike.

One day in Zell am See, Austria (one of the most beautiful places in the world) after a long hike we stumbled upon an adorable little restaurant with a sweet little eating area overlooking the lake. The people next to us ordered "toasties" and we asked what those were...and I was just so happy to hear the description...basically a grilled cheese sandwich with ham! Yum! So, from that meal onward, I ordered toasties, and I was always pleased with each one. What was the most fun was how the format of the toasties stayed the same country to country, and yet even the slightest variation (different breads, cheeses, meats, spreads, accompaniments and environments) changed the whole experience.

 Restaurant where I ate my first toasty!

Dinner in Zell am See with our dear friend Eric who moved to Austria and met his beautiful bride Ilse!

Without further is our version of a delicious toasty!

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Hearty bread, sliced in to 4 thick sandwich slices
4 slices of honey ham
2 slices of smoke Gouda cheese
1 tablespoon of Durkee's Sauce (this is Bunker's favorite spread, kind of a mix between mayonnaise and mustard)

1. Heat a heavy skillet to medium high heat and coat with a small amount of olive oil or butter. Collect all of your ingredients while you wait for the pan to fully heat.

2. Place 2 of the pieces of sliced bread onto the skillet with the sliced cheese on top.

3. Heat the ham in another smaller skillet so that it browns slightly.

4. Place the heated ham on top of the cheese. The heated ham will aid in the melting of the cheese.

5. Spread the other two slices of bread with Durkee's Sauce.

6. Place the bread on top of the rest of the sandwiches.

7. Press down.

8. Flip the sandwiches over after about 5 minutes (from the time of putting the initial slices of bread and cheese onto the skillet), making sure that the bread has browned but not burned.

9. Cook for another 5 minutes, again, check to make sure the bread is browning, but not burning!
10. Remove and enjoy this fun and easy treat! Try out your own combinations of your favorite cheeses, meats, breads, and spreads!

Shafer loves to cuddle!

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