When we’re in Winnipeg, which is often these days since that’s where the doctor is, we’ve been frequenting Fresh Cafe.  They have lots of tasty things on the menu but I can only bring myself to order their version of grilled cheese because it’s so dang good.  I have mixed emotions about finding a better version of a much loved food.  On the one hand it’s delicious but on the other you can never go back to your old, let’s say Kraft cheese slice and white bread, version again.  But when it comes to grilled cheese there’s not that much you can do to make it a chore so I’ll never go back to the sorry excuse I grew up on.  It’s so easy to reproduce at home!

For starters you need really good ingredients.  I’ve recently been converted to Alicia’s Oatmeal Bread and it’s a big hit around these parts.  It makes a great sandwich but it you want a quick fix sourdough is always great or Ace’s Organic White Oval (sadly, Ace products don’t seem to be available in this province). Then, I thinly slice a granny smith apple and place a single layer on my bread.  Pear would probably be good too but I haven’t tried it yet.  Next comes cheddar.  I really think you should use a sharp, aged cheddar.  The next and final layer is the most fussy.  I had some carmelized onion left over from a pizza. I added a teeny tiny bit of dijon (I’m not a huge mustard fan) and a slight splash of cider vinegar and scooped that on.  The restaurant uses a jarred onion preserve of some type so if you can find that instead you’re set.  Then I just butter the bread and grill it on each side until it’s golden and the cheese is melted.

I think I might even like this version better than the cafe’s.  Their sandwich is delicious but a bit heavy.  I feel like I need a mouth shower when I’m done.

I’ve been eating this often with Amy’s ice tea concentrate made with standard Orange Pekoe. Although, I don’t follow her exact process. I usually boil the water first, pour if over the bags and leave it an hour or so instead of overnight.  I was just too lazy to look up her actual instructions, not trying to improve her version.  I can’t get enough but I try to since too much caffeine is a no-no right now.  I’m not quite mature enough for an unsweetened version so I made some simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar, boil to dissolve) and use a little splash of that.  I also add lemon slices to the concentrate.  I’m planning on making some raspberry syrup soon since I spied a recipe in this month’s Martha Stewart Living and mixing that in. Yum.

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