The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches (Random House) by Susan Russo and photos by Matt Armendariz

I am already a fan of Susan Russo since my experience with her bacon guacamole. Oh, my! That was one amazing dish. And now, she has a book with the super talented Matt Armendariz. And guess what: this one will make your mouth water like nothing else. It is a fun and fantastic collection of simple to whimsical sandwiches and is filled with trivia and fun facts. My eleven-year-old adores making sandwiches and this has become his go-to book for making dinner now ( I help when he lets me!) And we all are the beneficiaries of terrific meals.

So my favorites so far: the potato chip sandwich (it tastes as good as it sounds), the Nutella sandwich (if you know anything about me, you know that this is me) and of course, the classic grilled cheese with potato chips. I think I gained ten pounds the week I cooked from this book and they were all worth it.


Pound Cake Sandwich– The ultimate dessert sandwich.
By Susan Russo from her book, “The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches

A pound cake is a buttery white cake with a golden crust. Its name was derived from the measurement of ingredients originally used: one pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, according to British and American cookbooks dating back to the 1750’s. As for the pound cake sandwich, it was most likely invented by ingenious moms and grandmas looking for ways to use up left over slices of cake. It is currently back in vogue thanks to celebrity chefs such as Gale Gand and Martha Stewart, who have offered their own sweet versions.


Macerated Strawberries: 2 – 2½ cups fresh, ripe strawberries, thinly sliced
¼ cup granulated sugar, or to taste
3 tablespoons orange juice
The zest of 1 small orange
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

About 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound cake, sliced thin
1 (8-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese or mascarpone

1. A few hours beforehand, prepare strawberries: In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients for macerated strawberries. Toss well. Let rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

2. Butter both sides of cake slices. Place on a hot buttered griddle; cook 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Remove from heat. For each sandwich, spread 2 tablespoons ricotta on 1 slice of grilled cake, top with a spoonful of berries, and close sandwich. Serve warm.

Makes 4 to 6, depending on the thickness of the bread.

Note: Frozen strawberries can be substituted for fresh; just reduce the amount of orange juice since frozen berries will release more liquid.

Photo for A life of Spice by the lovely Sala Kannan.


(The original version of this post was a giveaway. That giveaway is now closed)

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  1. laviza shariff (eclectic gourmet)

    there’s nothing like a yummy sandwich to satisfy the tummy!…. the strawberry dessert looks delish….. I made a similar “sandwich” with pound cake, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream/mango pulp/sugar….

  2. I want to win this book for many reasons: having just moved to Nairobi, I’m homesick and craving comfort foods and simple, familiar recipes (my Ugali with Sukuma Wiki was a disaster); I’ve not yet adapted to little surprises in the local produce (cocoons underside lettuce leaves are fine to look at, but furry to taste); and finally, who knows when – let alone if – this book will arrive in Kenya? Wiil you deliver? Regards, Sandra Nolan

  3. mmmm, this is as yummy as sandwich can get!

  4. I make sandwiches out of everything and can’t wait to see my competition! Since I don’t eat much bread, many of my “sandwiches” are between other things like lettuce and wedges of hardened polenta.

  5. New to me but will definitely try this.

  6. Monica, my almost 9 year old is on a quest to make sandwiches on his own and is a sandwich freak of late. 🙂 I’m not complaining. Waiting to lay my hands on Susan’s book. :):)

  7. nothing better than a good sandwich…the idea of a dessert sandwich, and Sala’s photography–fantastic! Paulette Mitchell has a fantastic book of vegetarian sandwiches (also for soups) if anyone is interested!

  8. I love sandwiches and love to play with different sandwiches. I want to win! Me! Me! Memememememe!

  9. I love sandwiches – but 2 of my 3 kids aren’t huge fans. Maybe what I’ve offered them have been too boring? Would love the book so that I can try to entice them with new offerings/pictures to enter the sandwich world!

  10. Hi Monica,
    I am a big sandwich girl. I love my sandwich lunches and eat them almost everyday. For me its more about the number of carbs I get, Eating a sandwich always helps me to count my carbs by using the best whole grain and light breads too. Thats why I can eat anything in between 2 pieces of bread! 🙂 and love variations and new in betweens!!
    I would surely love to win this book! The book looks awesome!

  11. Monica,
    I adore sandwiches which is why I am constantly on the lookout for expanding my “sandwich horizon”. Looks like this book would be a great addition to my small collection of cookbooks. Hoping to win~

  12. I love sandwich at any time of the day. I find them easy to fix and something to munch on the go. I would love to win a copy.

    Your pic of this sandwich makes me crave for one. I make a similar version by toasting thick white breads with grilled strawberries and banana drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with whipped cream.YUM!

  13. I love that Sailoja’s son has embarked on a sandwich quest! I really like “sandwich freaks.” 🙂

    Thanks for the great review, Monica. And good luck, readers!

  14. I love Susan’s work and am so excited you highlighted her book. This sandwich looks AWESOME!!

  15. Now that IS a sandwich! So one can have sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! 😀

  16. I would *love* to win this book because my husband and I frequently dine on sandwiches with soup or salad for dinner since we don’t eat as much food as we used to, especially in hot weather. It is true that as you get older, you eat less.

  17. I would LOVE to win this! I’ve been making more of an effort to bring my own lunch to work…combo of money and health, more health! But really, 5 diff sandwiches a week? 20 sandwiches a month? With repeats even 10-15 a month…run out of idea super fast! Would love some help here!

    Thanks for the offer…

  18. I would love to win this book because I need to mix up my sandwich routine for lunch, and it looks like Ms. Russo can definitely give me some good ideas!

  19. This looks just amazing! As a college student I eat A LOT of sandwiches. They’re portable, inexpensive and delicious! I would love to have this cookbook for inspiration and recipes!

  20. I would love to have this book. Sandwiches are one of my favorite meals. There are so many possibilities, what a great food!

  21. I’m a medical student and often take sandwiches to work because sometimes I only have a few minutes to eat and sandwiches are just convenient and delicious! The book looks awesome!

  22. At first I thought that strawberries and cream on toast seemed like an odd choice but strawberries and cream on pound cake toast sounds to die for.

  23. Cool Lassie wins! Please email me your addy so I can get the book to you!

  24. what a delighted foodie sandwich, yummy and i am craving now.

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