Friday, July 19, 2013

Basil, Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Sandwiches

We are well into July (how did that happen?) and in the midst of the third heatwave of the summer.  Some say it is the second because the one last month didn't technically have three 90+ degree days in a row.  It had two.  Which is two more than I would prefer so it constitutes as a heatwave to me.

I am in full-on prevent-blackout mode given the 90+ degree weather forecasted to last for a seventh day.  One of my biggest fears is being in the city when there is a blackout.  I don't fear getting trapped in the subway or the city in darkness, I fear sweating with no opportunity for relief from an air conditioning unit.  So I have convinced myself that if I take precautions, I can single-handedly keep a blackout away from this city.  These precautions include:
  1. Not cooking (much to Robbie's irritation).
  2. Raising our air conditioner from the usual 68 degrees, to 72 degrees. (Just kidding - we turned it up to 75 - but only during the day. We turn it back down at night.  Baby steps.)
  3. Living in darkness and with minimal electricity which means -- no blow dryer, showering in the semi-dark since our windows' light doesn't reach our bathroom very well and minimizing my lamp usage.  I've basically given up looking decent for these past few days.
I have been cooking when the weather hasn't been sweltering though. There was a tres leches cake, some banana pudding and a few dinners here and there, including some fish tacos that were quite summery. But in an effort to keep everyone's kitchens cool, I wanted to share with you this sandwich-turned-appetizer recipe of my mothers.  This is her go-to small bite to bring to a party or bridal shower.  In the summer, when basil runs rampant, it is especially good for a light lunch or dinner when the thought of turning on any sort of appliance in your kitchen makes you start sweating.

This past weekend, one of my dear friends had a baby and Robbie and I attended the wedding of another friend.  So we have much to celebrate.  

I, personally, may make these tomorrow to celebrate the breaking of the heatwave.

Basil, Cream Cheese and Cinnamon Raisin Bread Sandwiches
From My Momma
This recipe is very lax.  I don't have many specific measurements but I can tell you that one packet of turkey should make about 6-8 sandwiches (so 24 - 32 mini-sandwiches) depending upon how much turkey you use on each sandwich.

Cream Cheese with Chives (The kind that comes in a tub, not the block)
Cinnamon Raisin Bread (we use the Pepperidge Farm brand - it holds up well)
Fresh Basil
Turkey (I prefer the thinner sliced turkey that comes in the reusable Ziploc containers.  You get thinner slices that work well on these sandwiches so they aren't so meaty.)

Get your assembly line going by laying out about ten slices of the bread.  Wash and pat dry your fresh basil.  Smear a light layer of cream cheese on all slices of the bread and layer a couple slices of turkey on top of the cream cheese of half the slices. Add three to four basil leaves on top of the turkey and close the sandwiches with the other slices of bread.  Cut each sandwich into four quadrants.  Stick a toothpick in them if you are feeling fancy.