Friday Food: Melissa d'Arabian Shares Recipes

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We've been talking a lot about giving back via cooking. In addition to nourishing our families, many media mavens are using food to spread a message. Melissa d'??Arabianthe host of Food Network'??s '??Ten Dollar Dinners!'? has teamed up with the nonprofit Grain Foods Foundation. Together they supporting the Bread Art Project, benefiting Share Our Strength.

As a mom of four, Melissa knows all too well how important it is to feed families healthy, well-balanced meals that satisfy and provide nutrition. Melissa has developed simple tips and recipes to work bread and grains into meal-planning (click here for more recipes).

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Melissa says, "My kids like sandwiches without crusts, so I am constantly cutting them off sliced bread. Instead of throwing them away, I save them in resealable freezer bags. I turn them into 'dippers' which my kids use for dunking in jam (crusts are apparently completely delicious, just not on a sandwich when you are five), or I use the crusts to make fresh and fluffy bread crumbs. And the color of the crust makes for nice browning when I cook with the breadcrumbs."

In addition to this tip, Melissa is sharing a recipe she developed for the Grain Foods Foundation called: Crispy Ham, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich

2 T olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
1 t dried basil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
4 thin slices ham
4 slices sandwich bread
4 slices mozzarella cheese
½ tomato, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mix 2 T of the olive oil, basil, smashed garlic clove and salt and pepper with a fork to release flavors and let sit while preparing the rest of the sandwich (at least five minutes). In a small sauté pan, cook the ham in a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat 2-3 minutes per side, or until beginning to crisp. Toast the bread. Lay the cheese on one slice of the toast and brush generously with the flavored olive oil, using a pastry brush. Add the ham, and top with tomatoes. Brush the tomatoes with the olive oil, and top with the second piece of toast. Repeat for the second sandwich.

Don't forget to enter the Momtrends Recipe for Giving Contest to win a $500 Amex gift card.

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