***Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Arla Dofino. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.***
Cheese...It's seriously one of the greatest pleasures in life, in my humble opinion. You know how many women have an obsession with chocolate? Well, you can keep the chocolate. Hand me a nice block of cheese and I will be one satisfied gal.
I have had an ongoing love affair with cheese for as long as I can remember. In fact, my parents had to lock the fridge at night when I was a child, since I would routinely get out of bed to sneak a few slices of the good stuff. Of course this completely ruined any recipe plans for the week that called for cheese, so the padlock was pretty much a necessity. Sad, but true. This "cheese restriction" growing up is probably why the HUGE middle drawer of my fridge is full of cheese in many types and varieties. Now that I am grown, I can have all the cheese my wallet allows!
Since school has started and we're adjusting to life after summer, I decided it would be a good idea to find some easy after-school recipes that would satisfy my picky teen son. Kyle just started high school, and it seems that his more demanding schedule has only increased his appetite. Or, it could just be the fact that he's got 2 hollow legs where his food winds up. I'm telling you, this kid can EAT!
Kyle is much like me, as he loves experimenting with different types of flavors. We watch cooking shows together, and he loves helping me in the kitchen. He also loves learning new recipes that he can prepare himself.
So I decided to teach my son to make a truly gourmet grilled cheese, using my absolute favorite cheese, Arla Dofino Dill Havarti. I LOVE Havarti. No, really....One of my cats is actually named Havarti. That's how deep my affection for this cheese goes. If you haven't ever experienced the amazingness that is Havarti, get off the computer, run to the store, and buy some....NOW! Yes, it's that darn good. It's creamy, buttery and mild, with a hint of sharper nuttiness to finish. So. So. Good.
Anyway...Back to our after-school snack recipe. I taught Kyle how to make a sophisticated, Tuscan-inspired grilled cheese sandwich that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palates. It's rumored that this is actually Oprah Winfrey's favorite grilled cheese, and if Oprah likes it, you know it's GOT to be good. And it's super-easy to prepare, as well!
All you'll need are a few simple ingredients: Arla Dofino Dill Havarti, (You can use plain, too...I just like the added herb-y flavor of the dill variety.) a nice, ripe tomato, some fresh Sweet Italian Basil leaves, and some honey. Yes. Honey. Just trust me on this one. The honey is what takes this sandwich over the top!
First, prepare your ingredients. Slice the tomato into thin slices, and set them aside. Then you'll want to slice the cheese. And maybe steal a slice or 2 to nibble on while you work. That's okay. I won't judge. You will want to slice the cheese about 1/4 inch thick.
I like a LOT of cheese, though. If you aren't as big a cheese enthusiast as I am, you could certainly use thinner slices. I have found, though, that thicker slices help to keep the juices of the tomato from making the bread soggy. And no one wants soggy bread.
Once all your ingredients are prepped, it's time to start assembling the most delicious sandwich you'll ever eat. First, drizzle some honey on each slice of bread. You'll want a nice, thin coating of honey that spreads across the entire slice of bread. Trust me on this. Honey is a good thing, as long as you don't go overboard with it.
Next, place some Havarti on each slice of bread. I like a lot of cheese, but you could definitely use less. Then add a slice of that juicy, ripe tomato. You don't want to use too many tomato slices, especially if you go easy on the cheese. Like I mentioned before, no one wants soggy bread, so you'll want to make sure you have a decent layer of melty cheese acting as a barrier.
Finally, add some fresh, fragrant Sweet Italian Basil to the mix. Just plop it down on top of the tomato. I absolutely love the flavor of fresh basil. It's absolutely divine in this sandwich, too. Paired with the creaminess of the cheese...Absolutely to-die-for! So definitely don't skimp on the basil, folks. I use 2-3 decently sized leaves for this recipe.
Then top with the other slice of bread, cheese side down, of course. You want that juicy tomato sandwiched in between 2 layers of cheese.
Then prepare just as you would any grilled cheese. You can use butter or olive oil. I like using olive oil for this particular recipe, since it goes along with the Tuscan-inspired feel of the sandwich.
Once your butter or oil is heated in a skillet, add your sandwich. (You should have the heat set to medium or medium-high, depending on your stove. Mine gets super-hot, so I stick to medium.) Cook until the cheese has melted and one side has browned nicely. This should take only a couple of minutes. Then flip and repeat. Once all of your cheese has melted and both sides of the bread have browned and are nice and crispy, you're all set.
Now it's time to dig in. I think you'll agree, this is one of the simplest, most delicious sandwiches you'll ever have the pleasure of devouring. These are some HUGE, fresh flavors. The creamy, nuttiness of the Havarti, the herb-y bite of the Italian Sweet Basil, the juiciness of the tomato, and the sweet surprise of the honey...O.M.G. Ahhh-MAY-zing.
So if you're looking for an after-school snack that's anything but dull, bland or boring, definitely try this Tuscan Grilled Cheese. It's so simple, and is bursting with fresh, vibrant flavors.
Here's the recipe, if you'd like to make one of these babies, yourself!
Tuscan Grilled Cheese
Through October 4th, Arla Dofino is hosting a Snack to School Giveaway where you can win an entire semester’s worth of free Arla Dofino cheeses! (Now THAT is a LOT of cheesy deliciousness!) You could make so many amazing school lunches and after-school snacks with this amazing prize!
To enter just CLICK HERE to be taken to the official entry form!
To find Arla Dofino in stores near you, be sure to check out their store locator.
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For more cheesy inspiration, follow Arla Dofino on Pinterest!
What are YOUR favorite after-school snacks? I'd love to hear about them!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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