Monday, March 1, 2010

Grilled Cheese - Three Ways

The three WINNERS of Hank Phillippi Ryan's guest blog book giveaway are:


Peg, Janel and Marie A.

Ladies and everyone, thanks for your comments!
Scroll to the bottom of this post and find out how to choose your "Time" book from Hank.

And now...


Do you love grilled cheese sandwiches? I do. I have fond memories of vacations at Lake Tahoe (one of the finest lakes in the whole world! Clear blue, super deep, extremely cold).

After a chilly swim in the lake, my sisters and I would meet on the porch and our mother would make us a warm lunch that included grilled cheese and tomato soup. A tiny slice of heaven.

But I digress. Back to grilled cheese.

[If you haven’t guessed by now, because I’m writing A Cheese Shop Mystery, I’ve become obsessed with cheese. I dream cheese. I Google cheese. I savor cheese.

[*My protagonist, Charlotte, would be very proud of me!]

By the way, did you know there are grilled cheese competitions? They’re sort of like Top Chef for the masses. People from all over the country attend the competitions offering up their versions of a grilled cheese.

I’ve got to include a competition in an upcoming book, don’t you think? Charlotte will be a judge. Her pal, Delilah Swain, who runs The Country Kitchen diner, will be a contestant. I’m seeing big possibilities here.

In the meantime, I’m trying my hand at a variety of grilled cheese combos. The best one will make it into the book as a recipe.

I’d use the same basic ingredients in all the cheese sandwiches -- turkey, cheese, bread -- but they’d taste decidedly different.This week, while I was making a grilled cheese with Wensleydale cheese and turkey, I thought, hey, what if I made this sandwich three different ways. My own version of Iron Chef.

And I’d rate them, with the help of my family and friends.

Here are the results.

An open-faced Wensleydale cheese and turkey broil.

A grilled Wensleydale cheese and turkey and ham.

A regular sandwich, not cooked, with Wensleydale cheese and turkey and homemade raspberry jam.


Wensleydale is produced in North Yorkshire, England. The pastures in Wensleydale give the cheese a lovely flavor of wild honey. It’s crumbly and moist and melts like a Caerphilly

The Wensleydale I’ve used actually came from Costco. Yes, you can buy good cheese at Costco. It is laced with cranberries and tastes incredible on a cracker or just by itself. It’s lovely with a glass of Pinot Grigio. The acid in the wine brings out the acidity in the cheese.

Here's how I constructed the sandwiches:

Grilled Cheese


2 slices of bread

1 Tbs. butter

2 oz. sliced Wensleydale cheese

2 oz. sliced turkey


Heat skillet. Butter the bread on one side. Lay butter side of one slice in skillet. Layer with cheese and turkey. Put other piece of bread, butter side up, on top. Grill for about 3-4 minutes until bread is browned. Flip the sandwich. Grill another 3-4 minutes, until bread browned and cheese melted. If necessary, put a lid over the sandwich to help the cheese melt.

Open-faced Grilled Cheese


1 slice bread

2 oz. Wensleydale cheese, sliced thin

2 oz. sliced turkey

1 Tbs. Italian or raspberry vinaigrette dressing


Toast bread by itself first.

Remove from oven. Baste with dressing. Layer with turkey and then cheese.

Put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until crispy.

Serve warm with sliced fruit or small green salad.

Regular Cheese and Turkey Sandwich


2 slices bread

2 oz. Wensleydale cheese

2 oz. sliced turkey

2 Tbs. raspberry jam [I used my sister Kristy's homemade jam! Fabulous!!!]


Spread jam on 2 slices of bread. Layer cheese and turkey on one slice. Top with the other slice of bread spread with jam.


As for the taste test, my husband and I both agreed that the grilled cheese was the best, but the "regular" sandwich is fabulous and would taste great grilled. And the open-faced sandwich was a lovely morsel of good flavors. Go figure! We love grilled cheese.


If you want to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series or the first in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, click on my website: Avery Aames.


We have a NEW CONTEST. Win a set of
Wilton. To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment!

Check back on March 2, when the cookie cutter winner will be announced -- oh heck, check back every day! There's always something fun going on ;-) But that's when Jenn McKinlay will launch her new book Sprinkle with Murder, as well as a new CONTEST. One you won't want to miss!

Also, don't forget to enter Jenn’s
Name the Cupcake Contest. Go to her website to enter. You and your cupcake might be the lucky ones to be written intoBUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF.

Last but not least -- Hank Phillippi Ryan's THREE BOOK GIVEAWAY. Peg, Janel and Marie A. Please Just email Hank directly by going to her website HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN, and click on contact in the upper left. (The little animation will resolve, and then it’ll say contact.) Enjoy a good read!!!


  1. All 3 sandwiches sound good. I'd never thought about preparing the same sandwich in different ways like this. You know you get use to preparing a sandwich one way and only one way.

  2. I love all kinds of grilled cheese but my favorite is plain old cheddar and ham. Yum.

  3. I LOVE grilled cheese! There's just nothing like a grilled cheese sandwich and a small bowl of soup. Thanks for the ideas for some different ways to fix it!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. That open face is BEAUTIFUL... So hard to get cheese down here... well, easy, but sooooooo expensive. But, looking for the goat cheese that must be here

  5. Hi, everyone! So glad you have enjoyed the sandwiches. Pam, I have to admit I love cheddar and ham! That makes a great quiche, as well!


  6. Wow! Who would've thought a grilled cheese sandwich could be so "gourmet"??? The fanciest I've ever gotten is adding tomatoes and a slice of ham! If I presented anything other than Kraft slices on toasted white, my kids would be like "what the heck is this?"! LOL.

  7. A Cheese Shop Mystery? Sounds adorable and delicious :)

  8. Jeanne, I'll be having different kid sandwiches in each of my books in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, so check them out. They're very kid friendly. One involves peanut butter and cheese and raisins. Not grilled. :)

  9. I think the honey flavor in the cheese would be wonderful with the cranberries. I'll have to check out the cheese selection at Sam's Club the next time I go (we don't have Costco's here).

  10. Not fair! Now I'm really hungry. I love jam with meat in a sandwich. Kind of like a dollop of cranberries in a turkey sandwich. Yum!

    ~ Krista

  11. slkchk23@yahoo.comMarch 1, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Mmmmmmmm C-H-E-E-E-E-S-E! Yummy. Now I'm going to have to make a grilled cheese (with bacon) for dinner.

  12. So glad everyone had a good grilled cheese day! Lovely! Now I'm hungry and I'm going to eat. Enjoy the evening!

  13. Grilled cheese is a gift from God!!!! A sharp farmhouse white cheddar on sourdough is amazing. And I love the idea of a cheese store mystery, I can't wait to read it!

  14. Yummm...I love a good grilled cheese sandwich. these are way beyond good. Excellent!

  15. Mmmm...I love grilled cheese sandwiches and have cooked it with several different cheeses, but this is so very unique. Thanks for sharing! I think I'll have grilled cheese for lunch.