The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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SURFACING // GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH APPLE + SAGE

Wow. What a month this has been. When I embarked on this blog, there was a certain hope that it would be a path to something viable in the pursuit of the things I am most passionate about. But I didn’t know what form that would take, or when it would happen, or what it would feel like. This month, I began to get a sense of that. My life went from a rather steady and reliable pace to one of breakneck speed. Some things had to be sacrificed, and for a few weeks, this was one of those things. This month there was a lot of meat. After cooking, shooting and styling ten dishes with ground beef for Bon Appetit’s site and a ridiculous thirty dishes with bacon for another project, there was little appetite left for much of anything. Except, perhaps, a bowl of broccoli and an episode of Friday Night Lights. I continued contributing to Etsy’s awesome blog; I started a new monthly venture with Oh Happy Day. (Yay!) I also hopped on-board with Foodzie, helping them out with both photography and sourcing new artisan vendors. It’s a great fit and I’m thrilled to be involved with them. And I spent an epic Sunday shooting the Good Food Awards judging panels along with a bunch of other talented photographers. It was such a remarkable and rewarding day and totally reinforced that this is absolutely the community and the people that I want to spend my time with. That’s the edited version of this month. It’s been exciting and gratifying and stressful and exhausting.

There were the frazzled phone calls to my dad. (Thanks, Dad!) I found a little comfort in an incredible podcast about quitting from Freakonomics, a great reminder that we don’t need to say yes to everything. And if I’m gonna be really frank, I took solace in Coach Taylor. All those slogans and phrases, for whatever they’re worth, have a great purpose when you’re essentially trying to coach yourself through some high tides. Clear eyes, full hearts. Seriously.

Now, the pace has slackened some and the appetite has returned. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to revisit really simple foods that emphasize the produce of the season after working with so much meat. And if ever there is a time of year to enjoy apples at their best, this is it. So here’s a little sandwich that is everything great about fall. Get the sharpest cheddar you can find, the crispest apple and a few sprigs of fresh sage, slather some bread with butter, plop it in a hot skillet, and you’re set.

GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH APPLE + SAGE

For each sandwich:

2 slices whole wheat bread
3-4 slices sharp cheddar
3-4 slices crisp apple
1/2 teaspoon (roughly) chopped, fresh sage
1 teaspoon butter

Warm a cast iron (or similar) skillet over a medium flame.

Spread butter over outer side of each slice of bread. Layer the sandwich first with cheese, followed by apple, and finished with a sprinkle of fresh sage.

When the skillet is nice and hot, place the sandwich in the pan, and weight it with a small plate and a bowl (a la Mark Bittman.) Let sit, undisturbed, for about 3-4 minutes, until the bread has crisped to a golden brown.

Flip once, and let brown in the pan for another 3-4 minutes.

Enjoy with a huge salad or a cup of tea.

  • tami - so happy for you! i know what it’s like to be beyond busy…and be busy with stuff that you love. congrats! also: i need this sandwich *now* :)
    – t*ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - Wow, what a month! Congrats on it all. I’m glad you’ve surfaced because I’m lovin’ the sage/apple/cheddar combo!ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - Woo hoo, busy lady! Amazing projects you have going there. I am all for a sharpest cheddar/crispest apple sandwich :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - Many congrats, friend. I think you’re great. Just for the record.ReplyCancel

  • erin - Mmm.. this sandwich looks delicious! I love all the projects you have going on- congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - That Freakanomics podcast spurred me to make some very necessary decisions, too. Know when to say when! Amen to that!ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - Welcome back, my dear! You sure have been busy! Sending you warm wishes and a big congrats on all of these wonderful things.ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - What a month indeed – welcome back and congratulations. And thanks for the recipe that keeps everything real.ReplyCancel

  • SG - Congratulations to you! So happy to hear you are doing so many awesome things. I can’t tell you enough how much I want to eat this sandwich right now. like right now!
    you rule.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - Major heart Friday Night Lights…it’ll get you through some busy times, I can vouch for that! I was devastated once I was finished. Congrats; so happy things are going well!ReplyCancel

  • Joy - What a busy month! That’s crazy but in a good way :) This would make for a great simple meal :DReplyCancel

  • Kasey - So happy to see you back here, friend! And congrats (again) on all of your new, awesome adventures. Can’t wait to see you!ReplyCancel

  • Candace Karu - Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that soothe the soul. Sounds like your soul needed soothing and this is just the sandwich to do it. The cheddar and apples are a perfect combination and the sage adds a hint of sophistication. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • nicole franzen - grilled cheese is always appropriate :) I eat more then I would like to admit. hahaReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane - You forgot to mention your inclusion in Saveur’s “Sites We Love”! Congrats again on everything! I know how hard you’ve worked to get here, so I couldn’t be happier for you. Like I’ve said before, I can’t wait to see how far you go!ReplyCancel

  • Laurel - How wonderful and congratulations! I know what I am having for lunch tomorrow ;)ReplyCancel

  • Season with Reason - Welcome back! Had no idea you were undertaking so much – will have to check everything out. Including that podcast you mention – too many offers is truly the blessing and curse of working for yourself. I think Henry’s going to like this sandwich – he eats the two separately, so why not together/ReplyCancel

  • renee@sweetsugarbean - Clear eyes, full hearts, no kidding! You’ve been busy! There’s nothing better than melted cheese on buttery, toasty bread. Okay, having Tim Riggins make the sandwich for you would be better…ReplyCancel

  • Martha - Such a winning flavor combination, and a great representation of the season! It’s great to hear that someone who’s recipes I admire is getting their due. Congrats on all the new projects!ReplyCancel

  • caitiln @ thesubletkitchen - one of my favorite flavor combinations! i can’t wait to try this fall flavored grilled cheese. thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Welcome back! So great to hear about all the projects. Things have been busy here, but we always make time for Coach Taylor. I’m trying to learn from his brevity.ReplyCancel

  • leela - so glad your engine is revving and you are doing what you love!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn O - Congratulations on all your new adventures! Just clicked over to bon appetit and your photos are absolutely gorgeous! It’s really inspiring to see someone living their passion and I’m looking forward to following you along the way :)ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - Congratulations Kimberly on all your hard work and new opportunities! And yes to Coach Taylor and a little shout out to Tami Taylor too who also is a pretty rad lady as well. I’m not even going to get started on Tim Riggins. Sigh. But I would love a bite of this sandwich. Totally.ReplyCancel

  • Laken - I’m so happy for you and that good things are coming your way! Very well deserved :)ReplyCancel

  • anna - Love Cheese and Apples – Interesting choice with the sage – I will surely be trying this out. Thank You for sharing!

    ~ Cookery for Two

    ReplyCancel

  • marget - just discovered your site via your etsy recipe, love it!
    lovely recipes and photos…and i agree with your coach taylor reference, there should be a t-shirt reading ‘what would coach taylor do?’ReplyCancel

  • Observation Point - […] Snack time! This apple slicer has made my life just that much easier. And while we’re on the topic of apples, I think I need to make myself this for dinner tonight: YUM. […]ReplyCancel

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