I'm not going to lie, I was definitely ready to come home from Yosemite. Not because Yosemite isn't wonderful and beautiful, because it is.
But "vacationing" is hard enough with 2 little guys. Add in a bunch of inlaws and well, a week can seem like a year.
I was also looking forward to spending some time with just my guys, who I completely adore. And without worry of every parenting move being scrutinized. We decided to head home via the Eastern exit of the park. Which meant a brief stop in Tolumne for burgers and ice cream!
The Tioga Pass is at the whim of the weather. Which means it is often closed through the winter and into the spring. But when it's open, during the summer, it provides a breathtaking scenic trip back home. Traveling along the Sierra Nevada mountain range, dotted with lakes and cute little towns.
Thatboy and I did something very smart at the end of this trip. We took off another day from work, and sent the boys in to school/daycare. That meant that when we got home we weren't scurrying to get ready for work, unpack, clean the house, and get groceries. Instead, we had a child free day to do all of that at our leisure. We even snuck in a movie.
And I could get a little fancy with our weekday lunch, because we had the time. I have fond memories of the day when I used to cook right before we ate, instead of prepping everything ahead of time. Although I'm not really sure you can call making a sandwich cooking. Does it count if it's heated on the stove?
There are certain sandwiches which I will always order when I see them on a menu. At the top of that list is the Cubano, or Cuban sandwich. The traditional Cubano has ham, cheese, and pickles, on a toasted roll. It's heaven. This pickle-free version is equally as enticing. Not as salty as the original, it adds some sweetness with sliced mango, and some spice with a bean spread. Something about it feels very grown up to me, which is probably why I saved it for a day alone with the other grown up in my life. No kids allowed!
Nuevo Cubano (From Cooking Light)
2 whole wheat submarine rolls, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz thinly sliced reduced-sodium ham
1 peeled mango, thinly sliced
3 oz thinly sliced provolne cheese
1 tsp olive oil
- Hollow out the top and bottom of the bread halves. Combine the cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, garlic, and black beans in a food processor until almost smooth.
- Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom halves of the bread.
- Layer ham, mango, and provolone on top halves of the bread.
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add sandwiches to pan.
- Place a cast iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches and press gently. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the sandwiches are golden brown.