Strawberry Picking & Grilled Cheese with a Twist!

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Happy Spring everyone! I love this time of year in the Raleigh area. It seems like there is something fun going on every week, even though the weather is still somewhat confusing (cold mornings, hot afternoons and recently several hail/rain storms). The past two months I’ve been dragging Grace to farm tours, nurseries, gardens, arts festivals etc. She doesn’t seem to mind if there is any sort of food or animals involved. Plus I’m really trying to relish these last few weeks with just the two of us before another baby comes along. I can’t believe it’s already May!

A few weeks ago we met some friends at Vollmer Farm, in rural Bunn North Carolina, for a strawberry picking extravaganza. The farm has certified organic strawberries fields to pick from, a cute country store, ice cream shop and a fun playground. Grace loved riding in the wagon out to the strawberry fields and playing in the play ground, but her favorite thing was berry picking (well berry eating). How does one explain to an 18 month old who LOVES strawberries that we really don’t need to eat every single berry we see? Very few berries she picked made it into her basket and most of the ones that did had bites taken out of them. I don’t blame her for eating so many. Have you ever tried a juicy, ripe, almost warm strawberry that has just been picked? So sweet! They are totally different than the ones you get in the store. After picking we enjoyed some burgers, strawberry ice cream and took a scenic drive home with a flat of the sweetest strawberries, albeit some half eaten. Since then I’ve been making Grace’s new favorite, strawberry grilled cheese sandwiches. Scroll down for the recipe and have a great weekend everyone! -Addie

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Strawberry & Brie Grilled Cheese:

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 vidalia onion sliced
  • 1 dash granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 slices good quality hearty bread
  • Softened brie cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Handful of thinly sliced strawberries

Method:

  • Preheat your panini press of whatever your use to make grilled cheese. Can also use a skillet and spatula or the oven.
  • Caramelize the onion. On medium heat melt the butter and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir, cooking until onions are incredibly soft, dark brown and almost a mashed consistency. Takes a little bit!
  • Smear a generous amount of brie cheese on the bread slices, then add a thin slice of cheddar.
  • Portion out the caramelized onion and sliced strawberries on three of the slices of bread.
  • Assemble the sandwiches and press until cheese is melted and bread has become a bit crispy.
  • Enjoy outside!

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