Basil and Blackberry Grilled Cheese and Sucanat Strawberries

A foodie date night has to include at least 2 hours in the kitchen; I’m pretty sure that’s some kind of law.
I have been drooling over this pin on pinterest ever since I saw it last month!

794f3f65f9057b7416cf91d77fef4a6eThese grilled cheeses from How Sweet it Is are made with fontina, blackberries and basil. I was so excited to try them! I was trying to figure out what to make for dessert that fit in with both of our intentions to eat more healthily. Then I remembered my boyfriend saying how his mom used to dip strawberries in sour cream and brown sugar and how delicious they are! So I made a trip to the farmer’s market to get some local, organic produce.

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The blackberries got all smooshed in their paper bag and the colors looked so pretty!

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My dad has been making masterful grilled cheeses my whole life. I’m sure I learned how to make my favorite grilled cheese from watching him.

Here are my directions for a perfect grilled cheese every time:

Lightly oil a frying pan and sprinkle the oil with a dash of paprika, some sea salt and fresh pepper. Warm it on medium heat. Toss in two slices of bread. Flip them over so both sides get paprika and oil on them. Let toast for a minute, then flip. Put the cheese and other ingredients on the toasted sides of the bread. Put the other piece of bread fried-side down onto the cheese and press with a spatula, compressing it like a panini. Always be heavy-handed with the paprika, salt and oil. Flip your sandwich over and make sure the pan has enough oil to prevent burning before covering with a lid for a minute or so. This will help the cheese melt. If your pan is really cooking at this point, you may want to turn the heat down to ‘low’. Be sure to keep an eye on your grilled cheese to make sure it isn’t burning under the lid. Remove the lid and flip a few times to make sure both sides are crispy. Serve and experience bliss!

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I got this gorgeous salad mix from Earthworker Farms. It’s full of edible flowers, sunflower sprouts and arugula. I think it is the prettiest thing I’ve ever bought at the market. I mashed the remaining blackberries left over from the sandwiches and added olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper to make a dressing for the salad. I also got some great heirloom tomatoes at the market; I love the ones with stripes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe dipped these juicy, locally grown strawberries in low-fat sour cream and instead of using brown sugar, we substituted sucanat. Sucanat has a more complicated, molasses flavor. Sucanat is dehydrated cane sugar and has nutrients that aren’t found in white sugar, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin A.

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