Grilled cheese with tomato marmalade, Wisconsin cheddar on Pullman… it’s good advice

How old do you have to be to start giving advice?  You know that kind of advice that old wise people give because they’ve lived and learned?  I turned 42 last Saturday and I woke up with a peaceful, zen kinda vibe.  I didn’t wake up feeling old and I didn’t  even think twice about being 42. To tell you the truth,  all I could think about was a grilled cheese sandwich.  I had been dreaming and planning to make this sandwich all week, and the day had finally arrived.  Of course there was cake, presents, and all kinds of birthday surprises from my family, but in the back of my mind all I wanted to do was go home,  and eat buttery toasted bread, with thick melted cheddar, and tangy sweet tomato marmalade.

You know life is good when all you really want for your birthday is a grilled cheese sandwich.

Now at 42 looking back over my life, I think I have made enough mistakes to actually give some pretty solid advice on the subjects of :

Being married…   My advice on keeping him happy?  I wear the perfume he likes, try to look pretty when he comes home from work, and I keep his tummy full.   Old fashioned you say?  Yes, absolutely, but it works…  Who can be mad at you when you spent too much money on  a vintage dress when you have filled their tummy full of biscuits and honey?

Raising children… My oldest is 20 and the youngest is 7.  Stop worrying about what teacher they will have,  the right soccer teams, and dance lessons.  Children who are experience “rich” can end up character “poor”.  Nothing shapes the character of a child like the influence of a parent who loves them.  Instead of signing them up for 1 more activity, take them to serve the poor.   Sit and eat dinner together every night, wash dishes together, and teach them be responsible to the family first.  Children will learn who to be in this world  by who you are, not by what you say,  but what you do – they are always watching.  Oh, and don’t forget to bake them homemade chocolate chip cookies, they like that.

Taking care of yourself…  Young women chase after beauty, education, and success to validate their worth in this crazy world, I know this first hand.  True beauty shines from within and gives you a soft glow of  beautiful confidence. It’s all about knowing  who you are, whose you are,  and then living  from that place of truth.  Nothing is more attractive than a gentle and quiet spirit,  and kindness is gorgeous.  In my late 30’s  I began to truly know and love myself, all my flaws and imperfections.  It wasn’t until my spiritual inner self was healthy,  that taking care of my physical self  became a priority for the right reasons.  Now,  eating right, exercising, and having balance is a result of me loving me, because I matter, not because I’m going to catch somebody’s eye.

Being happy… I’ve been happy and sad, elated and depressed – twice today.   True happiness is a gift from God.   You can have all the riches in the world, chase after success and achieve it, but you will still want more, it’s a never ending cycle.  Nothing satisfies our soul like God.  He has a plan, purpose,  and will for each one of us, and when we are in line with that… now that is the purest definition of JOY.

Eating grilled cheese sandwiches… Eat foods that make you weak in the knees… sometimes, and when you do,  make it count.  Don’t settle for fast food, or a plate full of fried nonsense, it’s just not worth it.  This is no ordinary greasy diner grilled cheese, it was made with extra care, and the comforting flavor is in the details.  I’ve been eating grilled cheese sandwiches since I was a kid, and now at 42…  I think I would consider myself an expert.  And my advice?  Don’t even think twice, make the marmalade,  it’s definitely worth it –   because you’re worth it.

1. Extra thick Pullman loaf bread

2. Imported French butter,  86% butter fat

3. Wisconsin white cheddar

4. Fresh Burrata cheese

5. Tomato Marmalade


Sweet Tomato Marmalade

1 28 oz can Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes

1/4 of a medium white or yellow onion – about 3 ounces – finely chopped

1 small clove of garlic – minced

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

zest of 1 orange

1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon of dried red chili flake

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • In a medium non stick sauce pot,  combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat – stir to combine
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer the marmalade for about 20-30 minutes – stirring often.
  • Marmalade is done when almost all the liquid has evaporated and the marmalade is thick and sticky.
  • Remove from heat and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
7 comments… add one
  • Lana January 18, 2012, 11:00 pm

    What a perfect birthday “cake”, Louise! Soft and crunchy, creamy, warm, slightly sweet, mmmmm! I have a soft spot for a good grilled cheese sandwich. I am looking forward to making your tomato marmalade – I crave the taste of tomatoes and have no patience to wait until summer:) I have some Romas slowly roasting in the oven right now:)
    A lot of good advice there, too:) I try to teach my kids that a smile is the best weapon in the world!

    • ChefLouiseMellor January 18, 2012, 11:24 pm

      I chose canned tomatoes because I didn’t want to wait until summer to make this. So easy, and no chopping…

  • Dina January 20, 2012, 6:13 pm

    i’d like one right now. sounds good!

  • sarah January 21, 2012, 6:49 pm

    i cannot believe you are 42. dang girl whatever you’re doing, it is WORKING.

  • Lentil Breakdown January 22, 2012, 1:25 am

    Even though there’s no sage in your sandwich, that is some sage advice! Very inspiring (the sandwich too)!

  • simple tips for learning cooking September 22, 2014, 5:22 pm

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