Euro Sandwiches and Cucumber Wraps

Always the connoisseur of easy and quick, I thought I might provide you with another tasty treat after Sunday’s Chicken Soup. This time, for a light, fast, and economical lunch idea that even the kids will love, I’m going to introduce you to the world of open face sandwiches and cucumber wraps. Prepare to be amazed!

Tartine Open Faced Sandwich

Open faced sandwiches, appropriately nicknamed Euro Sandwiches, are a great way to show off your culinary sophistication in under 6 minutes. I’m going to walk you through the steps to making amazing Euro sandwiches that will leave both your guests and your family asking for more – more – more! Restaurants such as Le Pain Quotidienne sell these on large white plates; you can go casual or formal just by choosing your cutlery.

Firstly, the secret is always good bread. Find a tasty, crunchy-soft ciabatta, reliable French baguette, locally baked loaf, or sour rye. Use Parmesan toast (butter and Parmesan cheese, shredded, then toasted in a broiler) or cherry-hazelnut bread for a more exotic and sophisticated palette.

Secondly, spread the bread with some sort of condiment. Mayonnaise, guacamole, butter, jam, or salsa can all be used based on the nature of your open faced sandwich. Savoury or sweet, don’t be afraid to try sour cherry jam under turkey.

Open Faced Sandwich  But that’s not even all! Next, you’ll want to add some sort of meat. Cold cuts that you use for double-faced sandwiches will do. Turkey and ham are staples that most people will enjoy, and this is a great way to use old chicken.

And then, toppings! A thin slice of cheese, diced tomatoes, cut avocadoes, sliced cucumbers, apple thins, pepper strips, roasted pine fruits, pecans, and even sprouts and chick peas are all acceptable ideas. Match up a dijon with avocado and taste the interesting combination. Or perhaps try hazelnuts with that cherry-turkey combo I suggested.

From there, it’s whatever you make of it! For a more breakfasty style, go with a fluffy white bread (always use one with a stiff crust, since it will need to support the toppings without the help of the upper bread piece Americans are so accustomed to having), a jam with nuts and sour green apples. A dollop of Nutella, anyone?

To accompany your tasty Euro sandwiches, throw together some Cucumber wraps. These simple little vegetable groups can be made of the same ingredients used in your sandwiches, and are perfect for appetizers or colourful sides. Start out by chopping off a large (4-5 inch) slab of cucumber and then cutting it very thinly along the grain, so that you get a stripe of seeds.
Cucumber WrapsNext, fill these thin strips with pieces of vegetables (perhaps even meats!), such as strips of pepper, as demonstrated, avocado, pine fruits, apples, mangoes, more cucumber, sprouts… Add a dollop of peanut butter with a few raisins for picky, confused eaters.

If you’re having trouble getting them to stay in rolled-up form, try removing a few items and then sticking them through with a toothpick. They should stay for a while, and throwing one on a large plate next to a stylish open faced Euro sandwich makes you look like you’ve got the French bistro style down pat! If you used a jam, water it down a bit and spiral a large white plate with the new raspberry sauce, then put your minimalist, light, easy lunch down and amaze your friends! Serve with a cappucino or other beverage.

-A.

Photos Courtesy of:

Billions of Bracelets!

So, over the past week or so, I decided to try out making bracelets I found online to inspire me for summer. I found lots of styles and how-to’s, and I’ve included a couple of photographs of the ones that I did. I didn’t do all of them, but I’ll link you to the best ones that I found so that you can decide for yourself what you want to try. Bracelets are a fun, summery trend that last just long enough before they go out of style when the weather gets cold — tailor them to boys or girls, everyone appreciates this easy gift. Let’s start off with one that I fell in love with and made 3 of — in 2 days.

Simple Wrap Bracelet

 Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Okay, so as it turns out, I am absolutely in love with these bracelets. I have oodles of old buttons that I have no idea what to do with (unless I want to start the huge project of ripping off other buttons and putting these ones on things). Plus, I’m always doing beading things, so the amount of glass beads in my beading box is endless. Plus, I have these strings of leather and twine that turned out perfect for this project! I followed the directions exactly as the lovely lady in the video instructed, and, attaching it with ropes of tape to the back of a Tupperware lid, I was able to get one of these done in an hour and a half by the third time I did it. I bet, with practice, I could get it down to an hour with the a bit of practice.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ok, the next bracelet, I have not tried, so I’m providing you with another image of the Wrap Bracelet.

Summer Zipper-Style Bracelet

http://pm-betweenthelines.blogspot.com/2010/06/summer-bracelets-diy.html

Okay, so these aren’t called Zipper-style bracelets, but they really remind me of zippers. Is that just me? Maybe that’s just me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicFashion Forward Bracelets

http://www.rtroncampus.com/2011/09/15/diy-fashion-forward-bracelets/

There are two bracelets on this blog post, one of which involves knuts and bolts, the other of which involves a gold chain. I thought they both looked interesting, but my arms are really starting to get cluttered. I’ll let you decide if they’re worth making!

Beaded Bracelet

http://blogalacart.com/2011/07/beaded-bracelet/

A beaded bracelet that will give you a similar look to the wrapped bracelet.

Friendship Bracelet

http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-friendship-bracelet/

Sailor’s Knot Bracelet

http://www.moredesignplease.com/moredesignplease/2010/8/4/diy-sailors-knot-bracelet.html

I’m going to comment on these at the same time, because they have a joint picture since they are both fastened tightly to my wrist. Don’t mind the scrabby little blue string. It’s a charity bracelet from Cotton On.

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Now, some of the more astute-minded might be wondering why my friendship bracelet is only half-length. That’s because I thought that I might be a smart-arse and do a shortcut. As it turns out, you can’t do that shortcut because it keeps you from making an entire bracelet.

So I won’t even tell you what I did wrong. But I do like the bracelet, and the smaller size keeps my wrists from being completely cluttered. This Sailor’s Knot Bracelet (also called a Turk’s Head Bracelet) has become one of my favourites, especially since lots of people I know go to Nantucket and the Vineyard, where I’ve heard you can get them.

In other words, it makes me feel cool.

All of these were rather simple and easy to do! Tada! With a lazy summer afternoon and some bored friends, you could really churn out some new fashion. I hope you pick out one or two of these ideas and decide to make Billions of Bracelets of your own! Cheers!

-A