Anyone who knows me at all can tell you that I’m an avid fan of 30 Rock. My response to a situation is, more often than not, “Blerg” or “I want to go to there.” Where most people decorate their homes with inspirational proverbs, I prefer phrases like “Live every week like it’s shark week” and “It okay, don’t be cry.” I frequently toss obscure quotes into conversations, which usually make those a little less familiar with the show (approximately 99% of people) think that I’m either a) a comedic genius or b) straight up insane. I personally like to believe that I’m a little of both.


Photo by Tarika Narain

I could provide hundreds of arguments for why I think 30 Rock is one of the best TV shows of our time. However, I’m pretty sure there are two main factors that contribute to it being my personal favorite, both food-related. One, the twenty-ish minute episodes are the perfect length to pair with any meal, and two, the main character, Liz Lemon, is one of the most avid foodies to ever not exist. Rather than focus on those popular health fads flying around these days (gluten-free-paleo-vegan juice for dinner, anyone?!?), Liz always remains true to the good ol’ junk-food-and-wine, don’t-eat-right-but-eat-a lot diet that’s as good for the soul as it is bad for the body.


Photo by Tarika Narain

I try to live my life according to the facets of Lizbianism: working on my night cheese (aka consuming large amounts of dairy while watching late-night TV), writing extremely mediocre jokes that no one really thinks are funny (please keep up the unconvincing facade, though, Mom), having an extremely cynical view of the world and other people and, finally, saying yes to love, yes to life, yes to staying in more! We also share a very important belief: that “all anyone ever wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”


Photo by Tarika Narain

Because I idolize Liz Lemon (yes, I have spoken to my therapist about the fact that my number one role model is fictional, thank you for your concern), I took it personally when I saw the flavor Ben & Jerry’s rolled out in her honor. This fruit-flavored Greek yogurt concoction is offensive to everything Liz stands for. In retaliation, I’ve decided to dedicate a much more appropriate recipe to my main gal: the grilled version of Liz’s all-time favorite food (and rightly so), the sandwich.


Photo by Tarika Narain


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 1 (Liz Lemon does NOT share, and neither should you.)


Photo by Tarika Narain


2 slices Salubre tomato-basil-parmesan bread (start workin’ on that night cheese)
2 tablespoons black bean hummus (a much better ode to Liz/Tina Fey’s Greek heritage than yogurt; plus it has a hint of lemon)
3 slices Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese
3-4 slices Taylor Brothers Cloverland Lemon Colby (LEMON-FLAVORED CHEESE. Perfection.)
1 slice ham (I used turkey because I don’t share Liz’s passion for ham)


Photo by Tarika Narain


1. Preheat your panini maker to medium heat.

2. Evenly spread the black bean hummus on one slice of bread.

3. Layer cheddar on the slice of bread without the hummus.

4. Layer the Colby on top of the cheddar slices. Cheese on cheese on cheese, baby.

5. Slap on the ham/turkey/cold-cut of choice.

Optional: “Put potato chips on a sandwich!”

6. Assemble your sandwich and pop it in the panini maker.

7. Sit in peace and eat a sandwich while watching an episode of 30 Rock and sipping lemonade and/or Liz’s favorite drink, “Funky Juice” (ice, white wine and Sprite…killin’ it, Lemon style).


Photo by Tarika Narain

Looking for something a bit greener? Check out last week’s The Big Green-ini.