Grilled cheese sandwich day is April 12. I’ve no idea why it’s so late in the year. April is usually nice weather. Now is the time for grilled cheese sandwiches and good hot tomato soup. At my table, grilled cheese and tomato soup is good any day in any weather. My every day tomato soup is good, easy and most of the ingredients are always in the pantry. Today’s version is easy, and takes only a little more planning. Traditional grilled cheese sandwich ingredients are always in my pantry as well. However, it’ll be worth the trip to the grocery store to serve these for family suppers and special luncheons for friends.

You can buy both aiolis at the grocery store. However, I prefer to make my own. I think both versions will be good on other sandwiches. I am especially anxious to try the chipotle with rotisserie chicken sandwiches.

I’m pretty sure why I have all of your bread machines. I made the cinnamon raisin bread in one of them. Took two and a half hours, it was hard on the outside and there was a huge torn place in the middle where the paddle was. I had to prize the finished loaf out of the canister. I was in the kitchen anyway, so the time didn’t matter.

The damage to the appearance was minimal. I wrapped it in plastic wrap whilst it was still warm to soften the crust and ate the ugly pieces. I love your bread machine.

Tomato Soup with Basil and Parsley

1 cup chopped onion

6 tablespoons butter

1 (29-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

6 cups V-8 juice (original or spicy)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons chicken base

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup freshly chopped basil

1/4 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is tender. Add tomatoes, V-8, sugar and chicken base. Bring to low boil; reduce heat and stir in heavy cream. Heat through. Stir in basil and parsley. Serve.

Sandwiches

For each serving:

2 slices cinnamon raisin bread

Very thin slices of sweet-tart apple to cover bread slice

3-4 thin slices of ham

1- 1 1/2 slices Swiss cheese

Butter

For each serving:

2 slices sour dough bread

1-2 teaspoons garlic aioli

1-1 1/2 slices mozzarella

4-6 roasted red bell pepper strips

Layer of fresh basil leaves

Butter

For each serving:

2 slices whole grain bread

1-2 teaspoons chipotle aioli

1- 11/2 slices pepper jack cheese

Sliced tomatoes

Layer of fresh spinach leaves

Butter

Spread aioli on one or both slices of bread as desired. Spread outer sides of bread with soft butter. Layer filling on one slice. Place buttered side on hot griddle or heavy skillet. Grill one side until golden. Turn sandwich and grill second side. Turn off heat: cover with lid and leave until cheese is melted.

Garlic Aioli

6 ounces mayonnaise

2 large garlic cloves, grated

2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors.

Chipotle Aioli

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons adobo sauce or to taste

2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro

1 teaspoon grated garlic

1/2 teaspoon cumin

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors.

Miss Olivia Sipe is the owner of Miss Olivia’s Table in Maryville.

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