Last week, we were eating our way through Boston and falling in love with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich like no other. We love Boston. I love the rich history and the big city vibe. I love the friendly people and the smell of salt air and food trucks. In fact, there is nothing that I don’t love about Boston. The girls love to eat and shop their way through Boston and the Big Guy, well, when his girls are happy; he’s happy.
Unfortunately, for the first three days of this year’s annual Boston trip, I was sick sick. Like running a fever, eat a bite of your dinner, cry sick. Thank God and the Boston Hyatt Regency for a comfortable bed and a beautiful view or none of us would have survived the ordeal.
But by day 3, come hell or high water, I’d promised the girls I’d make the 3-minute walk through the Hyatt Lobby that was connected to Macy’s, out the door and across the street to Primark. My girls are legit crazy for that place. Hey, I can’t blame them. I love a good bargain on cute clothes too.
However, in the time it took me to walk to Primark, I had gone sheet white and was covered in cold sweats. I was seriously going to pass out. Did I mention that Primark is 4 stories tall? The girls were in heaven. It really is a tween/ teen girls shopping mecca. I tried to last as long as they needed me to be upright but once I started to hear the blood rushing around my head, I knew it was time to get out and find some food. At that point, I had consumed a total of maybe 1 bite of aforementioned sandwich, a granola bar and 3 cheez-its in 72 hours.
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We headed to Pret a Manger. It was our first time but hey, “ready to eat” to a woman about to pass out in public sounds like the best place to be. The girls could see that I was fading fast so we headed to the selection and made our choices; chicken noodle soup for me, a grilled ham and cheese for each girl, a couple of iced chai lattes for the girls and some fruit because mama was in desperate need of some vitamin C.
We paid, got the heck out of dodge before mama went timber and returned to our hotel room. No sooner had I relinquished 2/3 of my soup to the girls before I heard “oohs” and “ahhhs” explode from the other side of the room, like fireworks. I couldn’t imagine what basic option I had just purchased in my haste that was making my children lose their minds. It was the grilled ham and cheese, btw.
It’s hard for me to understand as ham generally turns my stomach inside out. In fact, the very thought of the smell of it makes me want to heave. They begged me to try a bite but seeing as this 1/3 of a cup of chicken noodle soup was the first thing I’d been able to keep down in 3 days, I graciously declined their offer.
But they couldn’t stop talking about this Pret a Manger magically delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwich. In fact, they insisted on having it again that night for dinner. As we have no Pret a Manger anywhere near us, I made it might mission to figure out how to make this magical sandwich. I mean, dang, I want them to rave about my cooking like that.
I scoured the Internet and did some sleuthing and found the recipe for the Pret a Manger grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Well, everything except the secret sauce that is. But you know me, I figured that out too! So guess what my girls have been having for lunch every single day since we got home from vacation? Mommy’s Pret a Manger copycat grilled ham and cheese sandwich recipe. Made with love, by yours truly. It’s so good that all the “oooohs” and “aaahhhhs” at my own kitchen counter convinced me to take a bite and guess what? It truly is magically delicious.
So if you are sick of your kids asking what’s for lunch and then replying that they don’t want “that” again or you’re just plain chicken nuggeted out, I’ve got the super-secret recipe for you. My gift from me to every mom on the planet.
2 slices of sourdough bread
1 slice of Vermont white cheddar cheese
1-2 slices of your favorite thick sliced ham (my girls love wildflower honey ham)
*shhhh secret sauce ingredients
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoons of whole ground Dijon mustard (depending on your personal preference)
Mix secret sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Heat small frying pan to medium heat
Slather one piece of bread with the secret sauce
Top with ham and then cheddar.
Add top piece of sourdough.
Butter both sides of the sandwich.
When the pan is hot, place the sandwich in the pan.
Cover sandwich with lid (to help melt cheese).
Toast to your liking.
When cheese is melted, remove from heat.
Cut in half and serve warm.