Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese

Need to add a little excitement to your day? This sandwich delivers in all the right ways. In lou of steak, ground beef is studded with green bell pepper and caramelized onions. Sandwiched between two layers of melted provolone cheese on perfectly toasted bread, this Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese is the sandwich thrill-eaters have been longing for. 

Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese 3 Read more

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Love cheeseburgers? Love quesadillas? Then you’re going to love their beautiful, yummy union in this quick and easy recipe. That juicy, cheesy burger you’ve been craving is now sandwiched in between two layers of crisp, golden tortillas. Cheeseburger Quesadillas are delectable, dip-able hybrid you’re going to want again and again.

Cheeseburger Quesadillas 3 Read more

Chipotle Chicken Bacon Ranch Paninis

Paninis are the contemporary grilled cheese. They’re the adult name for one of our favorite child hood comfort foods, and the combinations are often as modern and forward thinking as we are at this point in adulthood. Embrace the best of both worlds with these Chipotle Chicken Bacon Ranch Paninis. Crisp bacon, strips of grilled chicken, sliced tomatoes, and a spread of ranch dressing are sandwiched between two cirsp layers of grilled sourdough bread and secured between layers of chipotle seasoned cheddar cheese.

Chipotle Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini Read more

Apple, Red Onion, & Cheddar Panini on Naan Bread

There’s nothing quite like the fresh air of the mountains, and living in Virginia we’re fortunate enough to be only a hop, skip, and a jump from the nearest range. A kind of peace comes over me and my heart is so full when I watch my boys be boys, especially the older they get. And our local (ish, it’s only 40 minutes away) orchard offers them every opportunity to embrace everything innately boyish about themselves.

apple picking 2015 7

Running up and down mountain sides? Check.

apple picking 2015 4

Climbing trees? Check. (bonus points for ones over looking or over hanging mountain sides)

apple picking 2015 3

Eating fruit fresh picked from the vine? Check.

apple picking 2015 6

Dad letting you carry and use a (very dull) pocket knife to cut your own fresh slices of fruit? Check.

apple picking 2015 5

(and obviously extra, extra bonus points for the use of sharp objects)

apple picking 2015

Every year we have a blast, and I love being able to look back on our memories forever captured in photos, but ever year we come home starving, and that’s despite the fresh cider and fresh cider donuts we gorge on while there.

This year, I dug right into one of our several bushels and had a piping hot batch of grilled naan-witches ready to serve in no time. Meltty, tangy sharp cheddar, the bite of red onion, crispy, sweet apple slices, and a bit of sass from our favorite honey mustard made this the perfect grilled cheese sandwich to celebrate one of our favorite Fall traditions.

Apple, Red Onion, Cheddar Panini on Naan Bread

Apple, Red Onion, & Cheddar Panini on Naan Bread

2 pieces of naan or other bread (use four pieces if the slices are small, I had 2 large naan pieces)
1 Apple, cored and sliced
sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
your favorite honey mustard

Directions

  1. Place a layer of cheddar cheese slices on the bottom piece of naan. Layer on sliced apples, then the sliced red onion, and then top that with another layer of cheddar cheese.

2. Spread a layer of honey mustard on the inside of the top piece of naan and then place that on top of apple, onion and cheese, closing the sandwich.

3. Place the sandwich in the panini press until heated through, about 6 minutes. Cut the sandwich in half (if you’re using larger slices of naan) and serve.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

We love Chicken Cordon Bleu. And how could you blame us? I don’t know many people who could resist a crispy chicken breast stuffed with ham and oozing melted Swiss cheese? And while most people are familiar with at least the basic concept of the original stuffed and pan fried version, we haven’t stopped there. We love all things cordon bleu. All. The. Things.

 Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis 3

Especially our pinwheels version, and in the colder months we really enjoy turning it into a hearty bowl of soup for supper. But we can’t ever seem to stop. We’re always on the lookout for those fun new ways to enjoy old favorites. And thank goodness for it, because it’s how we stumbled onto this sandwich idea.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

This recipe is basically everything you love about Chicken Cordon Bleu and its flavor profile, stuffed into a crisp, crusty grilled panini.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis 2

1 lb chicken cutlets
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
oil, for frying
4 ciabatta rolls, or other bread (we also like thick slices of sourdough)
softened butter
dijon mustard
1/4 lb thinly sliced swiss cheese
1/4 lb sliced deli ham

Directions

  1. Preheat your panini press to high.

2. Place the flour, egg, and panko each into separate, shallow bowls. Whisk the egg slightly to blend it together.  Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper, and then coat each piece in flour, egg, and panko, in that order. Set the breaded chicken aside.

3. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and golden and crispy on each side, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.

4. To make the panini, take the ciabatta rolls and slice them in half lengthwise. Butter the top and bottom of each roll, yes the OUTside. Next spread a little mustard on the bottom half of each roll, the inside of the bottom half. Layer on the cheese and ham by placing a slice of cheese on both the bottom and top pieces, and a piece of ham on just the bottom. Next, place a piece of chicken on the bottom half of each sandwich. Top the sandwiches and move to the panini press.

5. Pressing down on the panini press, grill until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about five minutes. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

While most Southern dishes have long since jumped the Mason-Dixon line and can easily be found on menus and store shelves from New York to L.A., pimento cheese is one that’s still firmly stuck in the South. I blame the nasty cheap-store bought containers containing slimy orange goo occasionally peppered with flakes of things that vaguely resemble pimentos. To anyone else who grew up with Pimento cheese… move away from the soulless, processed stuff sold in supermarkets. Come home to the wonderful, chunky and flavorful hand-made version.

If you read this blog on the regular, you have probably gathered by now that I like cheese. And if you’re especially perceptive, you know that I like melted cheese. It’s like a hidden message I have buried deep within the posts. Subtlety is my forte.

This sandwich is a cheese-lovers dream. In fact, it’s so mind-blowingly simple — so forehead-slappingly perfect — that I couldn’t believe I’d never of it before:  grilled pimento cheese.

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich.

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich 2

recipe adapted from Magnolia Days

1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon grated onion
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of fresh ground pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 jar (4 ounces) chopped pimentos, drained & smashed
Thick slices of hearty white bread
Butter, softened for easy spreading

Look at all that melty, cheesy goodness oozing out. My sandwich runneth over.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Directions

1. In a food processor, using the knife-blade attachment, process cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic powder, salt, and peppers until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
2. Add in the other cheeses and pimentos and combine without over-processing. This time chunky is good. Transfer pimento cheese to a bowl and stir if needed to combine ingredients thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
3. Heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat. Be careful not to let it get too hot or it will burn the butter and bread before it even melts the cheeses.
4. Butter one side of two bread slices. Spread a thick layer of pimento cheese on the un-buttered side of a bread slice.
5. Place the pimento cheese covered bread slice butter side down in the skillet/griddle. Cover the sandwich with a lid and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until pleasantly browned and cheese has begun to melt.
6. Remove lid and top sandwich with the other slice butter side up. Cook until bottom is lightly browned and toasted.
7. Flip sandwich over and cook until the other side is also lightly browned and toasted.
8. Transfer sandwich to a plate and allow it to cool slightly before slicing it in half.
9. Repeat with the remaining bread and pimento cheese or grill 2-4 sandwiches at a time, depending on size of skillet. Be careful not over-crowd the skillet.
10. Refrigerate any extra pimento cheese for up to one week.

Got a thing for all things grilled & cheesy? Try these recipes next:

Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: White Pizza Grilled Cheese

White Pizza Grilled Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken & Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Chicken & Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

Although it only requires three ingredients (bread, cheese, and butter), grilled cheese is one of the most popular comfort foods in the world. The Ancient Romans were the first civilization to make a cooked bread and cheese sandwich, but many cultures have invented their own take on this ‘classic’ dish. In France, people enjoy Croque Monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich) while in Switzerland it is customary to melt the cheese and toast the bread separately before combining them. The American grilled cheese sandwich emerged in the 1920s when inexpensive cheese and affordable sliced bread became available. It is now a staple in cafés, diners, and school cafeterias across the country.

Despite this noteworthy past, and it’s longevity, today, it’s a sad world for the grilled cheese sandwich. Somewhere along the way it has been demoted from a classic comfort food to the dismal realm of the kid’s menu; thus, making it ‘socially’ off limits to the older-than-15-crowd. And when you’re an adult who just wants some melted cheddar between two buttery, toasty slices of bread…that’s a sad, sad thing. Being that I have the four sons, I jsut don’t care. Social norms be damned. If I want a grilled cheese, I’m having grilled cheese. Even if the waitress looks at me funny when I place an order for not 4, but 5, kid meals.

Still, being that April is ‘grilled cheese month’ and all, and I saw that waitresses’ questioning arched eyebrow,  I thought it was time for a revival. An upgrade, if you will, to make it worthy of a place in the world of socially acceptable adult fare. I know I’ve mentioned this in several posts before. I will never be to old for grilled cheese! At it’s most basic, it’s totally awesome. At it’s fanciest adaptation? It’s still freakin’ awesome!!

This is a far cry from your typical grilled cheese sandwich. Kick things up a notch with the salsa and chiles. If you happen to have a babysitter, enjoy it out on your patio with a margarita to make it REALLY good!

Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: Tex Mex Grilled Cheese

recipe adapted from Julie’s Eats & Treats

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco season
1/2 c. salsa
1/4 cup diced, canned green chilies (optional)
12 slices bread
1 tbsp butter
1 lb Velveeta

Directions

1. Brown ground beef in medium sized skillet. Drain fat. Mix in taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add salsa & green chiles.
2. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Cut Velveeta into 6 pieces.
3. In a large skillet place two pieces of bread, buttered side down. Top each piece of bread with one slice of Velveeta. On top of Velveeta spoon 1/6 of hamburger mixture. Place another piece of bread on top of beef with the buttered side up.
4. Cook over medium heat until bread is golden brown. Flip sandwich and repeat on other side. Repeat until all sandwiches have been made.

Chicken & Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwiches bring back the memory of staying home from school, sick on the couch with a potentially fatal math-class-hating fever, watching my grandma’s favorite soap opera, and eating white bread and yellow cheesefood-slice filled grilled cheeses dipped in Campbell’s tomato soup. All these years later, now with my own kids stuck on the couch, there’s still something super comforting about the crusty concoction. As time has gone by though my grilled cheese obsession has managed to mature a bit since my elementary, middle, and high school days.

Here’s out latest version of what the sons call a ‘grown-up’ grilled cheese. All the familiar ooey,gooey cheesy bits you love, but filled with real ingredients and flavors fit for any sophisticated adult palate. I’m lucky the sons love them too, even with the addition of veggies. Yes sons, your Mom can and will attempt to try and ruin one of your favorite ‘classics’ by making it a tad bit healthier.

Chicken & Broccoli Grilled Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken & Broccoli Grilled Cheese

recipe adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips

1 cup shredded or finely chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup steamed broccoli, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
¼ t garlic powder
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt & pepper, to taste
8-10 slices of your favorite bread
2 tbsp butter, plus extra if needed

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, cheddar, Parmesan, garlic powder, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and salt & pepper.
2. Divide the mixture evenly between four of the bread slices, and top with another slice of bread.
3. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat.
4. Cook the sandwiches for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the cheese has melted. Covering the pan with a lid during cooking will help the inside get all warm and gooey before the bread gets too browned.

Sous Chef Sunday: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

These little grilled cheese ‘sticks’ are easy, delicious, and dippable. For all of you fellow double-dip offenders, you know exactly what I mean when I say, it’s ten times better if it’s dippable. Son # 3 dubbed these his favorite ‘eggrolls’. All the sons thoroughly enjoyed dunking them in their bowls of creamy tomato soup.These were so much more convenient than our old grilled cheese sandwich.   Son made, son tested, and son approved.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

6 slices of your favorite sandwich bread, any kind will do
6 slices of American or Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
tomato soup

Directions

1. Lay out pieces of sandwich bread on a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten. Then, if you’re anti-crusts, use a knife to cut the crusts off of each piece of flattened bread.
2. Place a slice of cheese on top of each slice of bread, then roll up tightly to form a grilled cheese
3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat until melted. Place the grilled cheese rolls (about 3 at a time) seam-side down in the skillet, and cook on all sides until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. You can press the rolls down with a spatula to be sure that they do not unfold while cooking.
4. Remove and repeat with the remaining sandwiches, adding more melted butter if necessary. Serve immediately while the cheese is still warm and gooey with extra delicious dipping sauce tomato soup.

White Pizza Grilled Cheese

I know I’ve mentioned my families’ love, er obsession, with cheese before. (By the way, is there a support group for that? ‘CA’. Cheese-aholics Anonymous, or something along those lines?)

I’ve also touched on our love of grilled cheese, a holdover from childhood on my part. Let me introduce you to this gem. White Pizza Grilled Cheese!

Cheese lovers, UNITE (behind this recipe)! This is the recipe for you. Don’t hesitate, don’t think, and don’t over-analyze this delicacy.

Find time. Make this. Your family, and especially your cheese-prone taste buds, will thank you profusely.

White Pizza Grilled Cheese

4 Sons 'R' Us: White Pizza Grilled Cheese

  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • fresh, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices white (or wheat) bread
  • butter, softened

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 24 hours) to allow the flavors to develop.
  2. Lay down the bread slices and, using a butter knife, spread the ricotta mixture evenly on each piece. The ricotta mixture should coat the insides of both pieces of bread.
  3. Lay the mozzarella slices evenly on every other piece of bread (one side of each sandwich). Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and close the sandwiches by place both cheesy insides together.
  4. Butter both sides of the ‘outside’ of the sandwich generously.
  5. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the sandwiches, flipping often, until they’re golden-brown on the outside and the cheese is melted inside, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve.