Baby, it’s cold outside! Comfort foods 101: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

the perfect grilled cheese

It hasn’t gotten above zero degrees here as I’m looking out my window over the frozen Mohawk River canals, and I don’t know about you, but I want something hot in my hands, warm in my belly, and positively cozy around my shoulders. We’ve still got a long way to go before birds start singing in those barren trees, but the last thing I want to do is spend half an hour making comfort food! If your mom was anything like my mom, she’d have grilled cheese and a hot mug of tomato soup waiting for me and my brothers when we came in with numb fingers, toes, and frostbitten cheeks after she kicked us out of the house for the morning.

But we’re not kids anymore…so let’s spice things up a bit and go on a mission. For the Ultimate Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup combo. Forget about those processed cheese slices and canned soups. We are sophisticates, versed in palates that a child can’t possibly comprehend ;) but let’s make it easy, too.

sourdough bread

FORGET ABOUT THE WHITE BREAD. you want a nice sourdough bread. it contrasts with the richness of the cheese and rounds out the full flavor of your sandwich.

cheddar and gruyere

If you can’t find them conveniently intermingled into one block like this beauty, buy a block of cheddar (i prefer extra sharp) and a block of gruyere. You’re going to want about a cup of cheese total, cut up into 1/2 blocks. For your food processor. Assuming you HAVE a food processor. If not, grate a half cup of each cheese and throw it into a bowl.

squeezable spices

These are awesome. You can find them in the vegetable aisle of your grocery store. Since you’re going to be pairing your sandwich up with an epic tomato soup, find a nice italian herb blend and a minced garlic to keep on hand. Just a dab! To taste, mix it in with your cheese, but remember, your soup is going to have those flavors, too.

McCormick Gourmet Collection - Black Ground Pepper

Pepper to taste in your cheese mix (blend in food processor or blend with fork if grated!), and you are ready to spread your cheese in between your slices of bread.

HERE’S WHAT I DO *****MOMTRICKMOMTRICKMOMTRICK***** I have my griddle heating on the stove prior to putting cheese on bread or anything (MEDIUM HEAT, VERY IMPORTANT FOR EVEN GRILL!!!), and i butter one piece of bread, put it in my pan, layer it with cheese, and top it with the other buttered piece of bread. less mess, less fuss.

HERE’S ANOTHER TRICK!!! Use mayonnaise instead of butter! it still grills up, but instead of burning, it leaves a nice even crisp browning

gruyere and cheddar grilled cheese.


gourmet tomato sauces

Take a 29 ounce jar of your favorite gourmet tomato sauce (start collecting them!)

Mix it with

– 1 cup heavy whipping cream

– 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

– remember that Italian seasoning you used in your sandwich? 1 teaspoon of that

– little bit of pepper

-hot sauce (a dash, a plop, a smidgen. Chipotle tabasco would be my go to)

Throw it all in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes until it’s hot, but don’t let it boil (the cream will scald).

How easy was that? Comfort food in less than half an hour, all from scratch. Throw a dollop of sour cream on that soup with a scallion garnish, and you’ve officially won the game. Or at least the remote for the next two hours.

These savory flavors pair well with the richness of a CABERNET or MERLOT. Pick something more earthy than fruity to really bring out the fullness of the cheese and tomato. Or if you’re more into BEER, a dark hoppy flavor will play off of the saltiness in the sandwich, the tang of the sourdough, and hit different tastebuds than the hint of sugar in the soup. I would go for a PORTER or LAGER and stay away from an IPA or blonde beer.

Bundle up and come see us tonight to have us cook you some comfort food and serve up belly laughs and beverages!

Stay warm, #madcatters!

Welcome Friends and Cityfolks!


Here they are! 25 White Street, Cohoes, NY, serving up fine food and even finer company from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. You can like their page on Facebook here for event updates and also follow them on Twitter here for fun tweets throughout your day!

So, if you tried to get food yesterday, chances are, you ran into a whole lotta NOTHING until well into dinner time. But look —–>


Their kitchen is looking brand new and ready to keep on keeping on what you’ve come to expect from the comfort food of their cook, Joanne. And they have a new member of the team!


That’s me in the middle (yeah, short stuff), my name’s Genny, and social media is kinda my “thang”. I’m gonna be working my ass off to turn Black Cat and Cohoes into the hoppin’ city I know it could be. You’ll see me a lot…come over and say hi! Tell me your favorite Black Cat story, share your favorite cocktail recipe, and smile pretty, ’cause you know you’re going in the album!

I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you!

#madcatters :)