Roast Beef & Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese you grew up with might not be enough to fill you up these days. No worries! This Roast Beef & Smoked Gouda Grilled cheese sandwich is hearty enough for the hungriest men in your life, whether it’s lunch or dinner, and so good- that they might not believe you when you tell ’em it’s homemade.

Roast Beef & Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Running up and down mountain sides? Check.

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

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Eating fruit fresh picked from the vine? Check.

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

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(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

I didn’t think my beloved grilled cheese from childhood could get any better, and then someone introduced me to paninis. My adult self has since upgraded with these scrumptious Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis. They combine crispy, fried chicken cutlets, melted Swiss cheese, and sweet ham slices into a gourmet sandwich that’s a beauty to both behold and to savor.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

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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.