Tag Archives: grilled cheese

Cheese Frenchee Revisited

Nebraska cheese frencheeRemember when I posted this recipe for a Cheese Frenchee?  My mouth is watering at this very moment as I start thinking about these and looking at the pictures.  I guess they’re going to be on our menu this week! 🙂

One of the really fun parts about writing a blog post is when I receive comments from readers.  Because of Google search, Facebook, Twitter and all the other techie ways we connect these days, a blog post I wrote in June of 2013 may pop up when someone Googled “a long random sentence” about cheese sandwich, midwest, maybe frenchee.

This comment came from a woman in Arizona and was left on my blog post about a cheese frenchee sandwich.

“I have craved these sandwiches since I left Denver in 1969. Got them from a walk-up, hole in the wall, shop on the back side of the block from The Denver Post where I worked. Walked up to the half door, placed my order and if it was payday added ham, few minutes later off I went with my sandwich.

Didn’t even know or remember what the official name of it was and pretty sure the little hole in the wall didn’t have a name either (must have been one somewhere). Anyway, finally got serious and googled a long random sentence and up popped all these memories from people in the midwest talking about that darn sandwich.

I scanned down and sure enough people from Denver were adding their messages as well. They all talked about some place like a Denny’s, not my little hole in the wall but it’s the same sandwich.

I am an AZ native and never heard of it before or after living in Denver. I married a man from Kansas and he didn’t know what it was either. I DON’T REALLY CARE I HAVE THE RECIPE NOW AND I AM AT PEACE!!!!!!!”

cheese frenchee bite
Thank you Joyce for taking time to write to me about your Cheese Frenchee walk down memory lane!  Before I could even hit the SEND button on this post my taste buds got the better of me and I couldn’t think about cooking anything for dinner except these …

Cheese frenchee 2014-2
However, it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include a little BIG RED …

Cheese Frenchees 2014
Oh my word these are good!


Philippians 1:3-5

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

Ham and Fig Grilled Cheese

grilled ham, fig, and cheese
Since being gifted with fresh figs from our friends Joan and Ed, I have three figgy recipes I plan to share with you.  Fig Preserves was the first one.  This Ham and Fig Grilled Cheese Sandwich is the second and you’re darn tootin’ you’ll love the third one!

sliced figs
The Chief was very skeptical about a ham and fig sandwich but these freshly picked, beautifully ripe figs, some Black Forest sliced ham, and fontina cheese made a believer out of him!

figgy sandwich ingred
The recipe called for ciabatta bread.  I bought a loaf of sourdough bread at the bakery and it worked well.  Rosemary infused olive oil really cranks these up a notch.  It is easy to make and can be also used to baste chicken breasts before grilling or combined with balsamic vinegar for dipping Italian bread.

ham fig cheese upclose
These grilled cheese sandwiches can be placed on a griddle or in a non-stick skillet for grilling.  But a Panini press is ideal as it grills very evenly, both sides at once.  Love my Panini press!  If you don’t have one, you might want to consider letting Santa know … oh my gosh, I am NOT thinking of Christmas already, am I?

If fresh figs aren’t available, fig jam will work in this recipe as well as a couple preserved figs on each sandwich.

Happy Grillin’!
Blessings, Catherine

The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes! Psalm 119:64 ESV

Ham and Fig Grilled Cheese
A mix of interesting flavors meld together to make this an outstanding and memorable panini sandwich.
Serves: 4 sandwiches
  • 8 slices sourdough bread, between ¼" and ½" thick
  • 8 slices fontina cheese
  • ¼ lb. shaved ham
  • 4 to 6 fresh figs, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fig jam, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary oil
Rosemary Oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Combine oil, rosemary, and red pepper in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Let stand at room temperature until the oil has cooled and the rosemary has infused the oil, about 1 hour.
  2. Strain oil through a fine sieve. Oil may be used immediately or stored in a covered container. Refrigerate until use.
  3. Heat a griddle or panini press.
  4. Spread each piece of bread with fig jam. On four slices of bread layer: 1 slice cheese, ham, figs, and top with a slice of top. Enclose with a second piece of bread. Brush each sandwich with rosemary oil.
  5. Place on panini press for about 4 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  6. Slice and serve immediately.



Cheese Frenchee and A Walk Down Memory Lane

Nebraska cheese frenchee
If you were luckkingsfoodhostsigny enough to grow up in the Midwest in the 1960’s or 1970’s you just may have fallen in love with the Cheese Frenchee.  I was and I did.  Just the name evokes fond memories of sitting at the King’s Food Host in Scottsbluff, Nebraska or sometimes in Lincoln munching away on their cheesy creation and their famous onion rings.

white bread
It’s remarkable how many people still pine for Frenchees of days gone by. Recipes for the most cherished of these, the Cheese Frenchee, a battered, deep-fried cheese sandwich with a crunchy cornflake exterior, are all over the internet.  I found this website, inthe70s.com where lots of folks, just like me, fondly remember the Cheese Frenchee or its sister, the Tuna Frenchee.

ingredients cheese frenchee
On a recent trip back through Nebraska I ate at a restaurant in Omaha with Cheese Frenchee on the menu.  I immediately knew what I would be eating for dinner that night.  Even though they over-fried it slightly, it was still a delicious reminder of how much I loved these as a kid.

mayo on cheese frenchee
Frenchees, were the creation of King’s Food Host, a fast food chain catering to families and college students in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of the chain’s units were located in the middle of the country, with headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska, where there were once nine units. The first – King’s Drive-In – was started by James King and Larry Price in 1955, on North Cotner in Lincoln. I wonder if the first one had telephones at each table that patrons used to send their orders to the kitchen?

dip cheese frenchee
Since King’s went out of business in the late 1970’s I didn’t even think the Frenchee was available anymore.  Back home in Tennessee I knew I needed to share this childhood memory with my Chief Culinary Consultant.  He is a grilled cheese connoisseur and quite interested in my description of the Cheese Frenchee.

dip x 2 cheese frenchee
After surfing the net and comparing many recipes, the recipe I used seems to be the most popular among those who say they worked at Kings!

corn flake crumbs on sandwich
Requirements include, white bread (crusts removed), mayonnaise, American cheese, a flour, egg, and milk batter, and crushed corn flakes.

frying frenchee
I don’t have a deep fryer so I made my frenchee grilled in butter.  This worked beautifully.

cheese frenchee on wht plate
I didn’t cut off the crusts but next time I will.  I also didn’t cut the bread in half before cooking and next time I will.

cheese frenchee bite
All in all the flavor is exactly as I remember it to be.  Is the cheese frenchee a fond memory for you too? If so, at what King’s Food Host location did you dine?

Happy Eating!
~Blessings, Catherine

Cheese Frenchee
This Cheese Frenchee will take you on a walk down memory lane if you were lucky enough to eat these fantastic sandwiches when King's Food Host sold them throughout the Midwest during the 1960's and 1970's.
  • 6 slices American, Cheddar, or Velveta Cheese
  • 6 slices white bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups corn flake crumbs, crushed fine
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons butter, for frying
  1. Prepare 3 sandwiches, using mayonnaise and 2 slices of cheese for each. Cut each sandwich in half.
  2. Combine egg, milk, flour, and salt.
  3. Dip each triangle into egg mixture and then coat with the corn flake crumbs.
  4. Lightly fry each sandwich in 2 tablespoons butter, turning to brown each side.
  5. Repeat with each sandwich.

Crock Pot Tomato Basil Soup

SONY DSCJohn 3:16
For God So Loved the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ESV

As Christians all over the world are preparing to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, March 31,  I am humbled by this opportunity to share scriptures that are meaningful to me during this time.  Reading the inspired Word of God is one of the greatest gifts in my life and I am thankful to be able to share with you.  This cross sits atop the Cumberland Plateau and is located in the rural community of Sewanee, Tennessee and on the college campus of The University of the South. The cross is surrounded on two sides by wooded areas. In the front is a view of the Franklin County Valley and in back is the campus of the University.

tomato soup grill cheese finished
Do you have room for one more awesome soup recipe this winter?  Even though the promise of spring is showing signs around my yard, the temperatures are still playing yo-yo.  72 degrees one day and 26 degrees the next!  Last week was a perfect example.  My cousins, Jill and Jeff, were on their way from spending time jeff jill alice cat leein the warmth of the Florida sun heading back to the Midwest.  We were so excited about their overnight stop with us.  They were due to arrive about 10:30 in the morning so I got to fix a light lunch and then dinner that night.  I was in cooking heaven!

I decided to pull a stunt my mother taught me when company is coming.  Fix  something new!  Something I had never made before.  Live on the edge.

That is when I found a recipe for Crock Pot Tomato Basil Soup.  Set it and forget it until lunch, that is exactly what I was looking for.

grilled cheese open faced
Jill and I grew up in Nebraska.  When we eat tomato soup there needs to be a grilled cheese sandwich somewhere in close proximity.  I hope you will forgive me for the lack of preparation pictures on this one.  I was busy — company coming! 🙂

crockpot tomato soup bouillon
Five to seven hours before serving the tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, and broth go into the crock pot.  I only use Better Than Bouillon for starting my soups.  Unless of course I have some homemade chicken stock, which I didn’t.

The recipe calls for 3 -15 oz. cans of petit diced tomatoes, with juice, which I think would be fine.  Since I had homemade spicy tomatoes and sauce canned from last year’s garden, I started with 2 quarts in place of the diced tomatoes.

shredded cheese open face grilled open face broiled

For these toasted cheese sandwiches I used Sharp Cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of Swiss cheese. The flavor combination works. A few minutes under the broiler turns each bite into a warm, melted mouthful of perfection.

tomato soup cheese wine
Thirty minutes before serving, a roux is made with butter and flour and some of the hot soup is added.  This is all blended back into the pot along with fresh basil and some half and half.  A little Parmesan cheese and soup’s on!

Just in case you are wondering what kind of wine goes with Tomato Basil Soup and Toasted Cheese?  Any kind you want! 🙂

Check out the recipe listed below for complete details on making this outstanding soup.

~Blessings, Catherine

Crock Pot Tomato Basil Soup
Prep time
Total time
Homemade soup is one of the pleasures of life in the winter. Fresh basil melds with the other flavors in this soup to make it a real people pleaser!
  • 3 - 15 oz. cans of petit diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet peppers* optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, minced
  • 4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable or a combination
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups half and half*, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. Place tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, peppers and broth into crock pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.
  3. Thirty minutes before serving make a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and whisk in flour. Stir constantly for a couple minutes.
  4. Slowly add in 1 cup of hot soup. Stir well, adding in 2 more cups of hot soup.
  5. Pour roux/soup mixture back into the crock pot. Mix well, continue to heat on low.
  6. Stir in Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half*, salt and pepper.
  7. Add in oregano and basil.
  8. Cover and let cook on low for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with a sprinkling of additional Parmesan cheese.
*Whole milk or 2% milk can be used in place of the half and half.

Fresh basil is available in tubes in the produce section and will last for up to 3 months. This basil works beautifully in this soup.

Chicken broth, vegetable broth or a combination may be used. I use half chicken broth and half vegetable broth, Better Than Bouillon brand.

*Home canned tomatoes or tomato sauce can be used in place of the petit diced tomatoes.

Recipe adapted from www.yourhomebasedmom.com



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