Monday Mealtimes: Grilled Cheese!

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We're all about those monthly holidays, and it would appear that April is ALSO National Grilled Cheese month! That certainly made this Monday Mealtime an obvious choice for our featured recipe, but it's simple, it's easy, and it's delicious. And since it's so simple, we're going to do more than one recipe to add a bit of variety to your every day grilled cheese sandwich. Ok, so maybe we're taking the easy way out here this Monday, but who doesn't love ooey gooey grilled cheese? It's like a childhood staple, right?

The best part about this sandwich is that it's so incredibly versatile that you can just make it your own. Do you like the bread squishy? Cook it less. Crunchy? Cook it more. Don't care for American Cheese? Use cheddar, swiss, or havarti! Or, use all three. *wink* We're a big fan of cheese around here, so it's a surprise we haven't had to board up our bottoms to keep the mice out. (Sorry, had to insert a bit of humor there - my mother used to say that very quote to me many years ago as a child. Fun fact: I was a cheese thief!)

Anyhow, we're going to feature our top 5 favorite grilled cheese sandwich variations!

The Basic, Standard, Simple Grilled Cheese

Two slices of your favorite bread (wheat, white, sour dough) 1-2 slices of American cheese 1-2 tablespoons butter, salted (Because salty butter is yummy butter)

Apparently the starting steps for this vary from person to person. Some put the butter in the pan to melt, and then put the sandwich in. If that's you - go for it. We butter our bread first and then put it in the pan. Cook until the outsides are golden brown and the inside is a cheesy mess. Enjoy!

The "Adult" Grilled Cheese

Two slices of bread (we like sourdough or french for this one!) 2 slices cheddar 1-2 tablespoons butter, salted 2-3 slices of fresh tomato Handful of spinach (optional) Salt and pepper to taste (very little for us)

Butter your bread (or put it in the pan), put a slice of cheese on each side, and pile the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and spinach in the center. Cook it in a skillet (or on a cast iron) until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve with some homemade tomato soup and enjoy every last bite. (Because, you know your kids probably won't eat this one - it's ALL yours.)

Caprese Grilled Cheese

Ciabatta bun or 2 slices sourdough 4-6 slices of tomato (depends on how much you like tomato) Fresh mozzarella (as much as you want, but at least 2-4 healthy sized slices) Extra Virgin Olive Oil A little dash of parsley (fresh or dried) Balsamic reduction (optional), for dipping or drizzling Fresh spinach (optional)

This one is a little different, but it's no less amazing. Cut your ciabatta in half, or take your two slices of sourdough, and put them on a cookie sheet. Pop them under the broiler until it's toasted (keep an eye on it - the broiler works really quickly!), and pull it out. Top with the olive oil and tomatoes first, and then put your mozzarella on top. Keeping it open faced, put it back under the broiler until your cheese is a melty mess. Take it out, top with your parsley and spinach, if you want it, and balsamic reduction if using it, and put it together for a delicious sandwich.

Ham and Swilled Grilled Cheese (Or Hot Ham and Cheese Melt)

Bread of choice, 2 slices 1-2 tablespoons of butter 2 slices Swiss cheese 2-3 slices of good quality ham Condiment of choice (a good dijon or honey mustard or homemade mayo is good on this)

Prep your cooking style as desired (butter the bread or smear butter in your skillet), pile your ham between two slices of cheese and cook until golden and melted. Dip it in your condiment, or pull it apart to slap it on. Or if you're feeling froggy, cook it with the condiment on it already! Just enjoy it, whatever you do.

Pizza Grilled Cheese

2 slices of bread (Italian works beautifully for this one!) Provolone, 1 slice Handful of shredded mozzarella 2 pieces of pepperoni, optional Pizza sauce 1-2 tbsp butter

This is, by far, my favorite one ever because I love pizza, of course. It's also the only grilled sandwich that I don't butter the bread first! I put the butter in the pan after I assemble my pizza sandwich how I like it. Typically, that's sauce on both pieces of bread, provolone, pepperoni, mozzarella, sandwich. Cook until golden, and enjoy that pizza-sandwich hybrid, because it's incredible.

(Other fun additions to the above recipes would be bacon, eggs, mushrooms, or peppers. We'll let you decide which additions go on which sandwich, though. That's the beauty of grilled cheese - it's YOUR creation!)

So there you have it. Our first ever tribute to National Grilled Cheese month is in the books! Don't see your favorite recipe, or loved one of ours? Tell us! We're always looking for new foods to try, and love hearing that ours was enjoyed.