This month is the best month because it’s Grilled Cheese month. I’m not sure who comes up with these official months but instead of questioning it, I’m embracing it by giving you my dream grilled cheese on National Grilled Cheese Day: Spinach Artichoke Dip Grilled Cheese.
I thought the flavors of my all-time favorite dip in a grilled cheese would make eye-heart emojis go off in my brain and I was right.
I could write a dissertation on how I think shredded cheese is the ticket for grilled cheeses but I’ll keep it short. If you want a gooey, melty, irresistible grilled cheese, you need to do three things:
#1 Use shredded cheese. And use one that’s really melty. Enter: Fine Cut Shredded Mozzarella!
Club sandwiches should be on that VH-1 show Where Are They Now? because I haven’t seen one grace any sort of menu anywhere for a very very long time. I think it’s because they’re super 90s, like Nirvana and Blossom and no one really wants to remember. Except me.
I love a club sandwich. And I like the classic version, with its barely toasted bread, slices of Swiss cheese, turkey and bacon AND iceberg lettuce and slices of tomatoes. My favorite part is when they were cut into triangles and held together with toothpicks (see: around da stadium).
This version is a little different. The turkey and bacon have vanished and been replaced with ribbons of zucchini, carrots and sprouts. I know. You’re either shaking your head or you’re super stoked and want to try. I’m crossing my fingers it’s the latter.
As you may know, I’m what the world considers a grilled cheese enthusiast. I’m not sure there’s another sandwich that can make me feel all the feelings of warmth, comfort and just plain ol’ fun. For this post, I teamed up with Tillamook, the farmer-owned Co-Op from Oregon, to inspire you to create your own all natural, veggie-filled, gooey, delicious sandwiches perfect for a spring party with friends. Every single party in life should have a Veggie Grilled Cheese Bar. HELLO! This is the definition of comforting fun!
Spring is finally here, which means all of my favorite farmer’s market vegetables are back in season. I always miss them in winter. Winter veggies aren’t my favorite, but spring? YASS! These grilled cheeses aren’t difficult to execute, no, not at all, but like anything simple, the amazingness is in the details. This means paying attention to each and every ingredient carefully.
We’ll start with the most important part: da cheese. Tillamook cheese is naturally aged, made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones and contains no artificial ingredients. This is the real deal when it comes to cheese. Tillamook has actually been making cheese for over 100 years! I vote for giving people a few options. I went with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar (a classic), Tillamook Pepper Jack (for the people who love spicy a.k.a. me), Smoked Medium Cheddar and lastly, Smoked Black Pepper Cheddar (my favorite).
Also, don’t be shy to mix and match them. My favorite combo was sharp cheddar with the smoked black pepper cheddar—it was glorious!
My first introduction to the glory of French Dip sandwiches was after school at the fast-food chain, Arby’s, recently made re-famous by Pharrell’s hat that looked like its logo.
Remember his hat? It paved the way for unfortunate copy-cats. Don’t wear that hat, people, BUT please make this sandwich because it’s legit and tasty and this homemade version is a million times better and less scary than the drive-thru version.
For me the day after Thanksgiving is about celebrating leftovers. While some people decide to spend the day trampling each other for a discounted flat screen, I like to hang out in my pajamas and build the most important sandwich of the year.
You’ve made a version of sandwich before. But this year I’m making it a lil’ bit more special by teaming up with my favorite condiments brand, Sir Kensington’s. Their ketchups are flavorful and fresh tasting, without being overly sweet. Their mayonnaises are rich and smooth, taste homemade and use all-natural ingredients—very good stuff!
By mixing their delish mayonnaise with a few spoonfuls of cranberry sauce, you instantly have a beautifully-hued cranberry mayonnaise. It’s sweet and decadent and perfect for dry-ass turkey.
I also advise putting a bit of gravy on the turkey. That helps too. And you’ll need stuffing and some creamy mashed potatoes if you’re feeling crazy.
I like to use Japanese bread that I pick up from Little Tokyo. It’s perfectly square, almost like good pullman, it’s a little eggy and super soft. I luv it. Of course, brioche or even good wheat bread would also work gloriously.
There’s also a bit of microgreens dressed in olive oil and a pinch of salt for some added freshness. If you had green beans or any sort of leftover salad from the table, get creative and add those.
And since I’m always feeling a little crazy and sad that Thanksgiving is over, I like to build the sandwich higher than I normally would make a sandwich, which means three layers are an absolute must.
I had a bit of leftover cranberry mayonnaise and used it the next day as a dipping sauce for French fries and it was AMAZING. Tart and rich might be my favorite combination ever.
You can pick up Sir Kensington’s at your local Whole Foods. And since the jars are attractive, I also think these jars would be good gifts. I mean, if someone showed up to my holiday party and gave me a jar of Sir Kensington mayonnaise as a hostess gift, I’d know that person understands me as a human.
Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich with Sir Kensington's
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 Thanksgiving sandwich
Serving Size: 1
1/4 cup Sir Kensington's mayonnaise
2 teaspoons cranberry sauce
2 slices of good bread, such as pullman, brioche or soft wheat bread
Handful of micro greens
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Drizzle of gravy
Spoonful of stuffing
Spoonful of mashed potatoes
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Lightly toast the bread if you like. Next, slather three slices of bread with the cranberry mayonnaise. Set aside.
To a small bowl, mix together the micro greens with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. On a small plate heat up the turkey, if you like, I kinda like it cold. Drizzle on warm gravy.
To build the sandwich, add the stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and micro greens. Build it high! Add more cranberry mayonnaise, if you like.
I’m gonna be honest with you: there isn’t anything necessarily fancy about the ingredients in this grilled cheese (minus the brioche). This isn’t one of those grilled cheeses filled with expensive cheeses, spreads or meat like prosciutto or anything like that. This is more about the actual preparation.
Here’s why: The first time Josh and I made a grilled cheese together, I was shocked at how haphazard he was with the technique. The heat was too high, burning the bread! The cheese in the center wasn’t completely melted, and instead of butter, he used olive oil. THIS IS ALL WRONG!
Like all awesome things in life, grilled cheeses are ridiculously simple to make. And like all simple things, the details matter A LOT.
Here is a fun “how-to” on making our favorite childhood sandwich. And, as always, if you have tips on this matter that you feel passionate about, please leave them in the comments below; we’ll all benefit.
A few ex-boyfriends ago, I learned an incredibly valuable less: how to properly make a tomato sandwich. I am forever grateful.
During the summers we’d drive to Virginia to his family’s lake house. It was there where I’d buy big-ass tomatoes from old men who sold them out of their pick-up trucks parked alongside the road. They were beautiful and warm from the sun (the tomatoes not the old men). There’s something about a southern tomato that’s just really special. They’re kinda magical.
The first step to a glorious tomato sandwich is salting the tomatoes and allowing them to sit and drain on a few paper towels. This makes it so the tomato sandwich doesn’t end up being soggy. NO SOG ZONE.
I learned that tomato sandwiches MUST be eaten on white bread.
This my “towanda!” sandwich. If you’re unfamiliar with what “towanda” is, I forgive you. It just means I might be older than you and/or you don’t memorize scenes from movies that were made in the 90s. Regardless of what the reasoning is, you should watch this scene from Fried Green Tomatoes.
Kathy Bates is having a rough go and these two cute girls take her spot and instead of saying sorry like normal humans, they make fun of her. Instead of finding another spot, she does what all of us wish we could do: she smashes her car into theirs…over and over again. Right now that’s my dream in life. Since I can’t do that because I’ll likely go to jail? (that’s assault, brotha (another 90s movies reference, I’m sorry), I’m eating awesome sandwiches like these!
My love for BLTs has existed since I was in my mom’s tummy. Story has it that my dad was so obsessed with BLTs, while my mom was pregnant, that a day didn’t go by he wouldn’t make one. My mom slowly became repulsed by the smell of bacon to the point of nausea, to the point where my dad was forbidden to make his beloved sandwich.
My mom is now vegan and I’ve never met a BLT I didn’t like. My dad’s BLT obsession resulted in two very different outcomes!
This Blue Cheese BLT is a fun rendition of the traditional sandwich. The blue cheese is made into a spread that goes on both sides of the bread. Then it’s sort of normal from there: good-quality, thick-cut bacon, sour dough bread, butter lettuce and a few slices of perfectly ripe tomatoes.
But here’s the thing that you MUST add: potato chips. Yes, potato chips TO the sandwich. I know the recipe doesn’t say to add them but if you do you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Potato chips to any sandwich, PB&Js included, add so much. Texture, salt, flavor…the list goes on. And on.
This recipe along with a few others are a part of a batch of recipes I developed for the company Salemville. It’s a blue cheese company whose cheese are hand-crafted an Amish community in Cambria, Wisconsin. The blue cheese is funky and creamy and so so delicious.
A life full of grilled cheeses is a good life. If you can enjoy a grilled cheese and some tomato soup, I’m pretty sure it means you know how to chillax. I’m not gonna lie, this holiday season has beat me up. Being sick, alongside too much stuff to do, too many impending deadlines, too many social obligations and too many emails about sales ending soon, has beaten me up. It has all made me crave the week between Christmas and New Years. That week is my favorite week of the entire year; it’s the one week when the emails stop completely, and the thing we’re all supposed to be doing is nothing at all. No guilt about not working.
I recently read an article about guilt and it hit me to the core a bit. I think when you work for yourself, nothing is ever done; you could always be doing more work. This article talks about actually scheduling time in the day to do nothing—it seems strange, counterintuitive and honestly, kind of depressing. Have you tried this?