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:


Nine Grain Bread

Golden Glen Creamery Farmstead Butter

Saxon Homestead Saxony Alpine-Style Cheese

Bartlett Pears


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.


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”.


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…

April is Grilled Cheese Month as proclaimed, most likely, by my friends at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and a great proclamation this is!!

To honor this much revered month, I’ll be posting a new grilled cheese sandwich recipe everyday… not complete instructions because anyone who can find this blog, is smart enough to assemble and grill a cheese sandwich…

#1  will be posted a bit later today… I’m starting with a dessert grilled cheese… stay tuned…

The Lady made a new mac n cheese (something she does a lot… making new mac n cheese recipes) using cheeses she had in the fridge: President Comte (a more-detailed review will be posted later today), Bellwether Farms Carmody and Kirkland Signature Cave-Aged Vermont Cheddar. It was divine; these three cheeses complimented and made for a sweet, nutty and complex flavor combination. The Lady is constantly searching for the “Perfect Mac n Cheese” and I must say her journey may have ended right here, with this one… The Man swooned and after my half-share, I had to nap before the fire… of course during the winter my favorite napping place is in front of the fire… but I digress.

Here’s how The Lady made this mac n cheese recipe:


½ Stick Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter

¼ Cup minced sweet onion

1 minced garlic clove

¼ – ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper flakes

1/3 Cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ Cup Half and Half

1 ½ Cup 1% Milk

6 ounces President Comte – grated (1 ounce reserved for topping)

6 ounces Bellwether Farms Carmody – grated (1 ounce reserved for topping)

6 ounces Kirkland Signature Cave-Aged Vermont Cheddar – grated (1 ounce reserved for topping)

½ teaspoon Cyprus Flake Artisan Salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

½ – 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs for topping

8 ounces of penne pasta

Non-stick Spray Oil


Preheat oven to 350°.

Prepare pasta per package instructions. Time to remove from heat when cheese sauce is ready to use. When you drain the pasta, do not rinse. Sauce will stick better to unrinsed pasta.

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chipotle pepper flake and sauté lightly just till onion becomes translucent. Whisk in flour and continue whisking for 2 – 3 minutes to cook and release the starchy taste.

Slowly add the half and half and milk, whisking constantly (The Lady used this combination because that’s what she had available – you can use whole milk or your own combination). Cook until the sauce thickens which will be several minutes. Make sure and continue to whisk to avoid lumpy sauce.

When thick, add the cheeses (reserving one ounce of each to top the dish), the salt and the pepper. Stir until incorporated. Remove from heat and stir for a minute more until very creamy.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spraying oil. Add the cooked pasta to the dish and pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. It will look like a lot of cheese sauce but not to worry… the pasta will absorb enough to thicken it slightly.

Mix Panko Breadcrumbs with reserved three cheeses and top the mac n cheese mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to Broil setting and brown topping until golden brown. Watch it carefully and don’t let it burn.

Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Serve to grateful family. Enjoy.

We apologize that “play-by-play” pictures aren’t available… The lady and I review cheese and don’t consider ourselves Chefs… and when cooking… The Lady and I have one primary goal: to eat!!

From the post at our sister blog, you know that The Lady and I have fallen back in love with the Dutch cheese, Parrano, an aged Gouda that thinks it’s Parmesan. It’s quite a terrific cheese!! The Lady made Chicken Primavera Alfredo using Parrano instead of the traditional Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Parrano added a depth and complexity to the sauce that has led me to crown Parrano Alfredo Sauce, “The Best Alfredo Sauce… Ever… Seriously… The Best Ever!!”

And here’s how she made it:


Preheat oven to 275°.

Pasta: Use what you have in the pantry: we used Farfalla. Cook according to directions. When you drain it, do NOT rinse. The sauce sticks better to unrinsed pasta.

4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs (we use ONLY Foster Farms, home of those great Imposter Commercials) Cut into small chucks and/or strips.

Fresh Veggies: Use what you have in the fridge: we used mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus

Murray River Flake Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Tellicherry Pepper to lightly season the chicken thighs

EVOO (for sautéing the chicken thighs and veggies)

1 Cup Heavy Cream (This is the cream that The Lady treats me to every morning: she buys it just for me; I was happy to share for making The Best Alfredo Sauce… Ever… Seriously… The Best Ever!!)

½ Stick Butter (1/4 Cup)

1 Cup Shredded Parrano (Divided)

Fresh Ground Tellicherry Pepper


Heat a deep sauté pan.

Add the EVOO.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

Sauté the chicken thighs until almost cooked through.

Add the veggies and toss all to cover with the EVOO and juice of chicken. Sauté all for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Place in oven to finish cooking and remain warm.

In another sauté pan, heat the heavy cream. Add the butter and whisk to melt. Add ¾ cup of the Parrano and continue whisking. Grind fresh pepper on top.

Remove chicken and veggies from oven. Remove top. There will be extra liquid. Put over high heat and evaporate liquid without burning or further cooking.

Add cooked and drained pasta.

Top with sauce.

Toss and serve immediately. Use remaining Parrano to top individual dishes.

Enough for 2 with just enough left over for The Lady to take to work for her lunch.

And this how you make “The Best Alfredo Sauce… Ever… Seriously… The Best Ever!!”


Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Grandma Maroni’s 100 Year-Old Meatball Recipe

The Lady is really good about using ingredients she has in the kitchen rather than rushing off to Freddy’s every time The Man issues a last-minute special dinner request. Last night it was “Just some good ole spaghetti and meatballs”. The Lady headed to the laptop and found the above referenced recipe and adapted it as follows:



Mix all ingredients, except the EVOO, thoroughly in large bowl. If mixture seems a little loose add more bread crumbs.

Roll meatballs loosely about the size of a golf ball.

Heat saucepan to medium heat.

Add EVOO to saucepan.

Add meatballs to EVOO and brown well without over cooking.

Serve with your favorite pasta and simple marinara sauce.

6-8 Servings