Steered in a positive direction


For as much as I love cheese – which, trust me, my devotion is infinite and everlasting – I rarely eat grilled cheese.  Chalk it up to just another childhood overdose – I never eat peanut butter & jelly, either.  Grilled cheese lost its appeal before Clinton took office.

Which is why it was shocking that yesterday, I had the chance to eat a grilled cheese for lunch – and I jumped at it.  Like, I literally sprung out of my chair and made a beeline for the kitchen.  See, my co-worker Delaney is a dazzling maker-of-all-foods, and she brought a griddle!  To work!  To make grilled cheeses!  And if this woman makes something, it is a guaran-freaking-tee that I will love it.

I’m serious.  Remember how Ritz Cracker Cheese Sandwiches are my secret shame?  Delaney has actually taken these bite-sized wonders and made them into a gourmet snack.  She shakes some sort of herby goodness all over them, and I swear, they could be served to the Queen of England.

After experiencing this woman’s brilliance yesterday, I can positively say that I am back in the saddle when it comes to grilled cheese.  She has renewed my hope, my faith, my confidence in the sandwich.  Thank you, Delaney, for pointing me toward the truth.

Now, to make my own.  I’m looking for grilled cheese tips, if anyone has any…



  1. Val on October 27, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    You should talk to Ginger. She has cornered the market on awesome ideas for fancy grilled cheese sandwiches.

  2. Greta on October 27, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Mixing yummy cheeses is a good thing– Zoka’s grilled triple-cheese is scrumptious. Also, use artisan bread. Dish delish.

    What I’m really trying to say is that I love you and you’re awesome.

  3. Christina on October 27, 2009 at 10:01 AM

    I’m going to back to Silvertone with Chloe this very night to order, what else, but a grilled cheese. Their’s is the best in town, paired with homemade tomoto soup? BLISS.

  4. Emily on October 27, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    I am a diehard grilled cheese fan.

    My very favorite grilled cheese combo is extra sharp white cheddar, turkey, dijon mustard and green apple slices (make sure to slice them very thin). Add bacon if you want to die and go to heaven.

    My second favorite, if you want to go slightly more traditional is to use basil and feta with something that gets really melty (provolone or cheddar are usually what I have on hand).

  5. Mary on October 27, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    About twice a year, I have this variation of a grilled cheese at a tea shop on cap hill: cinnamon bread, apple butter, cheddar cheese, grilled to perfection.

    Also delicious: Beecher’s (in the market) Flagship Grilled Cheese Sandwich. AH.


  6. Mandy on October 27, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    Try dipping it in mustard. That is my fave.

  7. Sarah on October 27, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    At work we make our grilled cheese with cheddar, swiss, and parmesan sprinkled between. It’s delicious. And as always, pair it with tomato soup!

  8. Nicolas on October 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    I agree with Emily and Sarah, except:

    1) I use slightly poached pears instead of apples
    2) I do not allow the omission of the bacon

    But you gotta tell us what Delaney did so special!

  9. SarahKate on October 27, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    You must try the Fancy Grilled cheese from Bongo Java. Fabulous and easy to make at home. Involves pesto, purple onions and tomatoes with a fantastic salad on the side. It’s actually not that fancy but tastes fabulous together.

  10. SarahKate on October 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    They’re also really good at The Food COmpany with their fantastic TOmato Basil Soup. I’m thinking I need to start bringing a griddle to work now.

  11. luke on October 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    i have found that the key is in the bread. some bread pairs better with certain cheeses, like sourdough with a sharper cheese etc. you have to find the pairings you like best. but don’t go for plain ole standard white sliced bread–mix it up.

    find some good gourmet cheese too. sometimes it’s good with apples (granny smith) or other mix-ins, but for my money they usually just detract from the main flavors.

  12. Tad on October 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    The key to an amazing grilled-cheese sandwich is putting in a number of different cheeses at once. They have to work well together though, so there’s lots of room for adventure and experimentation. I like to mix Medium Cheddar with Baby Havarti. I’ve heard that putting in some sheep’s milk cheese adds a nice flavor too. A sprinkle of thyme is nice too.

  13. Tad on October 27, 2009 at 1:50 PM

    Sarah Kate is right too. The Tomato-Bazil soup is AWESOME w/ GCS’s!

  14. hootenannie on October 27, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Do I have to put butter on the bread? I’m so nervous!

    How do we feel about the possibility of avocado on grilled cheese?

    Yay? Nay? Because left to my own devices, avocado is always invited.

  15. Emily on October 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    Yes, yes and yes to butter on the bread. It is essential to get the butter all the way to every edge.

    I have hesitations about avocado. In general I love them, but I feel like the creaminess of the avocado will get lost in the melted cheese and possibly just make it feel slimy in your mouth.

    But by all means, give it a try. I could be missing out on the greatest addition to grilled cheese ever.

  16. Carly on October 27, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    DEFINITELY butter the bread. I love grilled cheese SO MUCH.

    Avocado on grilled cheese is good…expecially with a good crusty bread.

    I have an entire grilled cheese cookbook if you’re interested…

  17. Katherine on October 27, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    Glad to hear you have a renewed appreciation for grilled cheese! These suggestions sound delicious!
    I am going to have to try avocado! Now I must add my favorite fancy recipe: Caramelized Onions and Gruyere,mmmmm!

  18. Mom on October 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM

    You can also brush olive oil on the bread – especially with fresh mozz. cheese and chopped, fresh basil. either sun-dried tomatoes or fresh. pure heaven. all these years it was cheddar-jack cheese on wheat bread, which was an upgrade from the velveeta on white bread served to me as a child. Guess what I’ve decided to have for dinner tonight?

  19. Kristen on October 27, 2009 at 7:07 PM

    My friend puts jelly on her grilled cheese. Ewwwwwww.

  20. Lyla on October 27, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    Swiss cheese and bacon bits is my favorite version. Has to be the crunchy fake bacon bits, though.

  21. Lyla on October 27, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    Oh yah, and on dark rye. Swiss cheese, dark rye, and fake bacon bits.

  22. Deborah Barnett on October 27, 2009 at 11:43 PM

    I haven’t made you my Grown Up Grilled Cheese? Oh he shame…

    Ask Duane and Javier… both have called me on occasion with special requests, Duane even said a little prayer about them once during a Neighborhood Group Meeting. It may be time to break those out for NG again… the secret is the Bleu Cheese Butter Wash that goes on the outside of the wheat bread and the light layer of cream cheese on the inside. Along with sharp cheddar & Jarlesburg. They’re not for the faint of heart.

  23. dn on October 27, 2009 at 11:54 PM

    When I visited Albuquerque, I ate a grilled cheese with green chilies added inside the sandwich. Pretty good. Better than Albuquerque itself, anyway.

  24. Erin on October 28, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    A always do cheddar, tomato & avacado…but the secret is to put parmesean on the outside. Sprinkle it on top of the butter and it gets all golden and crispy and delicious when it’s grilled!

  25. Duane on October 28, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    yes. debbie’s ‘grown up grilled cheese’ is the closest thing to the fully perfected kingdom come that i have ever experienced. (well, except for maybe making out with amy davis in the parking lot after my first david wilcox concert. but i digress.) you need to have some of the creamy blue sharp cheddary cheesy grilled goodness that deb creates. truly amazing.

    debbie promised me a batch after my jaw surgery – and im still waiting.

    p.s. – im a fan of avocado in any circumstance.

  26. Jodie@The Sky Is Only Dark Between the Stars on October 28, 2009 at 11:37 AM

    Sounds like you should talk to this Delaney. She’s your Ace in the hole.

    Also, please pass along the recipe to the ritz delights. Thanking you.

  27. Delaney on October 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Y’all. I’m seriously humiliated to reveal this information here. That grilled cheese that Lovely Annie enjoyed? It was Sunbeam Thin white bread with two slices of Kraft American Cheese in between. Liberally slathered on both outsides with butter. Real butter, at least I can say that. Cooked hot on a well-seasoned griddle. That. Is. All.

    But I swear I’m a good cook! The tomato soup I served the sandwiches with was amazing! With lots of thoughtful instinctive details that don’t brand me as a lazy ass. Homemade croutons! A slowly crafted roux! Siigh.

    I will say, the best grilled cheese I’ve had was when my friend Agnes brought gorgeous mini sandwiches made with manchego and some kind of fruit preserves. Fig? Cherry? Something like that. This was for our Spanish-themed book club, and it made me want to cry.

    Also, I vote yes on avocado. My mom makes an open-faced cheddar and avocado toasted sandwich. Yum!

  28. hootenannie » Blog Archive » Late Wednesday on October 28, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    […] Steered in a positive direction […]

  29. meg on October 28, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    Try gruyere + applewood smoked bacon on ciabatta bread in a panini press (or put your sandwich on a hot skillet and top it off with a brick that has been wrapped in foil – it’s a panini press, recession style).

  30. ShesthatOneGirl on October 29, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Two Favorites:

    Thousand Island = Heaven

    Cholula for dipping = Heavenx2

    And.. I always do butter on the outside..

  31. SarahKate on October 29, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    Deborah, why dont’ we live closer? Next time you come to Dallas will you make me one?

  32. Dad on October 29, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    Uh, is it just me, or is it not, well, at least consternating that the most responded-to-blog-of-all-time is about “grilled cheese”?

    I mean, yes, it’s a great food. And well, it’s made better by personalizing it. And, yes, it gives me hope for a better life. Sortof.

    But for this to be the magnus opus of all blogs. . .

    I will say, however, that our youth workers do what they call “grilled cheese” every Tuesday, and about 300 students from neighboring Palmer High School come and eat grilled cheese. Maybe this is kinda like the key that opens the door.

  33. Penny on November 7, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    Hmm this all sounds yummy, but ,,,I want to know what seasonings were put on the Ritz crackers! Good to see you. Prayers going out for your family.

Leave a Comment