Normally, we only post recipes that include cheese, but this fresh salsa came out so good, we served it with a small cheese plate and deemed it qualified for inclusion… of course, as master of this small universe in the Pacific Northwest, I can pretty much deem whatever I choose…

As you know, The Man has been gardening in earnest this year, starting with his small greenhouse and moving to the great outdoors when the weather permitted. We feared the weather would not deliver bounty but the last few weeks have brought us lots of veggies and herbs for The Lady to use when she cooks.

Today she made a salsa with a peach, not grown in The Garden of The Man, but the rest of the ingredients were “home-grown”:

Ingredients:

1 Large, Ripe Peach, Chopped

2 Small Red Tomatoes, Chopped

Handful of Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped

1 Jalapeno Pepper, Chopped  – Kitchen Tip: Do NOT scrape the seeds out with your nail; it leaves a lingering burn… just saying…

Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Fresh Mint, Chopped

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground Pepper, to taste

Truvia, to taste

Preparations:

Pick fresh veggies and fruit from garden. Rinse under cold water.

Chop everything and toss together in a bowl.

Sprinkle with salt and truvia – The Lady used ½ tsp of salt and about 1 tsp. of Truvia.

Grind fresh pepper to taste.

Toss again.

Marinate in fridge for an hour before serving.

 

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The Lady brought home a new (to her kiosk new…) 70% Butterfat Brie from Lactalis of France: Grand Margaux. You can read my review by clicking here.

If you follow our original blog you know that The Lady is involved in a 12-week contest at work to win a one-week trip to France which is sponsored by Lactalis. We are reviewing all the cheeses featured in the contest and this grilled cheese features one of the “Send Marcella to France” contest cheeses…

April 4th Grilled Cheese Special

Ingredients:

French Bread

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Lactalis of France’s Grand Margaux Brie

Bonne Maman  Strawberry Preserves

For 10 Easy Steps to Build a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, please click here.



Today is Jason’s Birthday… Jason is the son of The Lady and The Man and lives with his family in the Upper Midwest. He, too, has an observer… more on this later… in honor of his birthday, we cooked up this grilled cheese for him:

Ingredients:

Nine Grain Bread

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Saxon Homestead Saxony Alpine-Style Cheese

Bartlett Pears

Cinnamon

For simple instructions on how to assemble a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, please click here.

You can visit Saxon Homestead Cheeses by clicking here.

Also, please visit Golden Glen Creamery by clicking here.

Okay, I get it… some of you have sent notes stating that even though you are smart enough to find my blog and grilled cheese sandwich choices, you aren’t necessarily smart enough to know the ins and outs of building and grilling the sandwich properly.

So here we go, in 10 easy steps:

1. Remember, you want your cheese to be a bit higher proportion than your bread… it’s a grilled cheese; not toast.

2. Pick pan, grill, griddle or panini pan and heat to medium.

3. Assemble your ingredients and prepare them: slicing cutting, etc.

4. Schmear butter or mayo on outside of each slice of bread.

5. Place one slice of bread on heated pan and build sandwich; cheese first and last ingredient. Top with second slice of bread, buttered/mayoed side up.

6. Wait 2 minutes and check underside with a spatula; we’re looking for golden brown, not burned bread.

7. Flip and grill other side which usually takes less time. Cheese should be oozing out the sides…

8. Remove from grill.

9. Eat.

10. Clean-up after yourself.

Ta da… that’s it… now go forth and get more grilled cheese sandwiches…

In our continuing celebration of “April is Grilled Cheese Month”, our second grilled cheese choice is:


Ingredients:

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter (for the bread)

Dave’s Killer Bread: 21 Whole Grain Killer Light (only 65 calories per slice)

Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda

Boar’s Head Prosciutto di Parma

For simple instructions on how to assemble a perfect grilled cheese sandwich,please click here.

Also, please visit Golden Glen Creamery by clicking here.


Tip: Schmear the butter on both slices of bread and build the sandwich on first slice after placing on griddle or panini grill.

As mentioned, anyone who can find my blog knows how to assemble a grilled cheese sandwich. Therefore, instructions will not be included only ingredients and “tips”.

Ingredients:

Crave Brothers Mascarpone

Fresh Blueberries

Dark Chocolate Shavings

Cream Cheese Pound Cake Slices

Golden Glen Creamery Butter (for Pound Cake Slices)

This is a dessert grilled cheese and would be great in the afternoon with High Tea.

Tip: Cheese should always be of a bigger proportion than the bread.

As we begin our month-long tribute to the ubiquitous Grilled Cheese sandwich, I found an article that features several local Portland Restaurants and Food Carts that feature or offer Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. My thanks to Kyle O’Brien and The Oregonian for sharing this “Grilled Cheese Guide”:

By Kyle O’Brien, Special to The Oregonian

The lure of melted cheese is difficult to resist. It hearkens back to childhood, when mom used to take two slices of bread, slap some cheese in the middle and grill it to gooey, melted perfection. But some see grilled cheese as starter food, something easy to make that’s only fit during your younger years, before your palate has matured.

For so long, the grilled cheese sandwich has been relegated to the kids menu, a culinary afterthought for those in the single-digit age set. But, lately, grilled cheese has been pulled from the back of the menu and given a loftier status, on par with panini and brisket. The NBC show “America’s Next Great Restaurant” even features a contestant who sees the power of cheese as so strong that he’s pitching Meltworks, a restaurant that boasts grilled cheese for grown-ups.

The downturn in the economy has found people eating in more, or searching out comfort foods at restaurants. This helped spawn the latest interest in the simplicity of the grilled cheese sandwich. More restaurants are including a version, often adding grown-up flourishes, such as smoked jalapeños, sauteed mushrooms and fancier cheeses.

Portland has options all over the city — at retro diners, upscale cheese bars and a few requisite carts. This trend has clearly gone beyond Wonder bread with Velveeta.

With April being National Grilled Cheese Month, and April 12 National Grilled Cheese Day, this spring is the perfect time to get your grill on.

For the list of restaurants/carts and grilled specials, click here for the tour – it’s well worth the click…

Photo Copyright 2011 by Doug Beghtel for The Oregonian

Up next: #1 of 30 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches created by The Lady featuring cheeses reviewed on our cheesemonger blog…