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it's not easy being cheesy - adventures of a red-headed stepchild in the house of love
mermaid on the mic
it's not easy being cheesy
so... tonight was the first NorCal Grilled Cheese Invitational - grilled cheese sammich cookoff, here in Oakland!

they've done it for two or three years down in socal but this was the first one up here. I'm not a gourmand (I'm really still just learning my way around a kitchen) but as soon as I heard about the contest I just had to enter.

I had these awesome miniature portobello mushrooms which I'd roasted in the oven, with good olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper, which turned out really delicious. I figured I should be able to build a sammich around them.

next, I went to a local gourmet cheese shop, explained my project, and asked for their advice. I talked to the staff, tasted a bunch of samples, and wound up going with a fancy testuno de barolo - a delicious aged cheese flavoured with grape must (the stuff that's left over from winemaking) so the cheese tastes like red wine, along with it's own aged cheese flavours. incredible!!!

I crumbled it (as is its wont) and blended it with a grated asiago (a mellow, younger and softer white cheese - almost like a more technical jack) for meltability, and added my roasted portos, plus garlic chives (which I grew myself on top of the fridge, under our rad kitchen skylight.) the bread was a locally baked sourdough, and I used organic butter as the "skillet lube". Jovino helped me out immensely by managing the grilling. I'm really glad he did - I would have probably pulled my sammiches off the grill too soon (before the cheese was fully melted!) he was totally not afraid of that - he left them on for the perfect amount of time.

my lil' sis Bethy (a Dr from Iowa!) and her husband Tony (also a Dr from Iowa!) happened to be in town for the weekend, and we invited them to come out for the GCI. they had a great time - they said they'd never seen anything like it (which I totally believe, since *I* had never seen anything like it either!) %-)

the grilling took seemingly forever, and the judging took forever and a half! I was pretty much ready to go home, but I had to wait for the results. tick... tick... tick... finally, they announced my category. 3rd prize - a friend who is a total foodie! at that point, I figured I had to be out of the running, so I relaxed. after that, I was barely listening to the announcements. imagine my surprise when they announced first prize and called my name!

Jovino hugged me, and I went up to the stage, in shock. (at least I didn't cry like a beauty pageant girl.) I grabbed my trophy and whooped!


I've NEVER won anything like this, and I have to say, I'm pretty stoked! I almost thought it was a dream. I do have to admit it was a delicious sammich. there's no way I would have won it without Jovino's help. he is the master griller!

so, now it's time for me to head to bed, for some real dreams. :-) I hope some of you reading this will be able to join us for our Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Meeting on Saturday night (aka zombie film festival/marathon) need deets? comment here, call me (@ 4one5 sixnineninie4DJM (4156994356yo); talk to Jovino, or contact us through whatever means works for you. hope to see you!


I'm feeling: happy victorious

15 smooches or Gimme Some Love!
(Deleted comment)
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: October 27th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
thank you! glad you liked it!!
jetkat From: jetkat Date: October 26th, 2007 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I told you that you were in first place with most of the votes counted when I left.

I am glad that you won!!!!

You can haz Grilled Cheeze Championship!!!!111!!
docsloft From: docsloft Date: October 26th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congrats your a Fucking Grill'd cheese champion!!(tm)

luffing From: luffing Date: October 26th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's so awesome. You're like...famous and stuff. Can I touch you? ;-)

By the way, my 6'3" friend Ben wore PlatypusMan's black Bunnwarez puppy hat at Portland Decom, and had girls falling all over him (and asking where the hell he got that hat!!)

I need some of your business cards to hand out!
ducktapeddonkey From: ducktapeddonkey Date: October 26th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congrats on taking first place!

Sounds like a really interesting recipe too. We'll have to give it a try. :)
theassassinnox From: theassassinnox Date: October 26th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sammich envy! That sounds awesome. <3


Wish I could come to the zombie thing, but we've already got stuff going on.

sabotlours From: sabotlours Date: October 26th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bear demands that you make him one at FC! *drools*
starchy From: starchy Date: October 26th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
My salivation is currently unstoppable. YUM.

From: jovino Date: October 26th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sorry I was sad last night. I was certain that I would at least take home ONE miserable trophy, and getting beaten out by Mr. Narc just made it worse.

I'm estatic that it was YOU who brought home the first place for the most difficult category to win too. It's like awesome on top of awesome.
robotter From: robotter Date: October 26th, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sounds delish!

Perhaps we can tempt you into making some next time we're at C&S?

Hell, I'm tempted to fly you out just to grill for us! We've got a pretty rad propane grill (making me, apparently, a real Texan now!).

Congrats! I heard the competition was FIERCE!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 27th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
That is the best and coolest thing I have heard in a long time. Congratulations!

From: (Anonymous) Date: October 29th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)


I want to try that sandwich! It sounds heavenly! Kudos to you, my dear M.

DrunkenHousewife (forgot my password)
xoxoxtc From: xoxoxtc Date: October 29th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)


Just wanted to say that just the description of your sandwhich was food pron, so I can't even imagine the taste!
thecatsmeowww From: thecatsmeowww Date: December 15th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Meeting........AWESOME!!! My Beauty would love that if we lived in CA... :)
15 smooches or Gimme Some Love!