The Homemade “Hot-Mess” Grilled Cheese- An Anniversary Lunch

by on February 13, 2013

grilled cheese sandwich recipe

This is what happens when you’ve shared your life together with someone for 17 years, The Homemade Hot Mess Grilled Cheese. Inspired from this Jack-in-the-Box commercial and our grilled cheese shoot with LA Brea Bakery a few weeks ago.  It’s this week, 17 years ago that we had our first conversations about food, gardening and camping together.

So how do we start celebrating? By making a sexy grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

To celebrate our 17th anniversary, it seemed quite apropos to start off a lunch with a sexy grilled cheese sandwich. But this isn’t just any grilled cheese sandwich. It’s loaded with pepper jack cheese, spicy pickled jalapenos, thick onions rings and really good crusty bread. It’s a sandwich for bad boys and naughty girls, or those daring eaters who don’t care about calories.

This is how we say, “I Love You. Now, let’s eat!”

It’s all homemade, it’s a hot mess and it’s a grilled cheese that’s super decadent, dripping with spice, grease, flavor and love. It’s the week of Valentines and our anniversary that get us in this mind-set to let loose and not take ourselves too seriously. After 17 years of sharing your lives together, it’s crazy culinary times like these that bring us closer. And if it means getting a little messy in the kitchen, well, it’s all worth the pile of dirty dishes.

To laugh out loud, joke around and still love each other regardless of our imperfections is what our purpose is in life.

Last year we made cake pops for our 16th anniversary. This year we made a mess of ourselves with a crumbly, drippy grilled cheese sandwich. What does all this mean? When we hit our 20th year anniversary are we going to go sky-diving?! Oh yes, what a fantastic idea.

In celebration of this week with all those that you love deeply, let’s cook good food, make a mess in the kitchen and join the Hot Mess Club!

Happy Valentine’s Day for everyday,

diane and todd

grilled cheese sandwich recipe

grilled cheese sandwich recipe

The "Hot Mess" Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Yield: As many as you like

Total Time: 10 min

We're not sure if this sandwich really even requires a recipe, but below are the ingredients and you can certainly make it your own hot mess!


  • Slices of bread
  • slices of pepper jack cheese
  • onion rings
  • pickled jalapenos
  • butter


  1. Butter outside slices of bread. Layer in cheese, onion rings and pickled jalapenos.
  2. Grill sandwich on both sides till crispy brown. Enjoy!
Recipe Source:

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dervla @ The Curator February 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Happy anniversary, you two!! You’re still as fresh faced as you were 17 years ago.


2 Joy @ OSS February 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

This looks fabulous! your story sound so sweet :)


3 Ashley February 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Aww, happy anniversary! My husband and I are celebrating our 10 year dating anniversary this week (and 5yrs married later this June)! Love the idea of a hot mess sandwich. Enjoy,enjoy, enjoy!


4 Emily February 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I’m wondering if 9:14pm is too late for one of these babies…


5 Gastronomer February 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I love this post so much. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, you crazy kids!


6 Kimberly February 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Mmm…that looks good. Happy Anniversary!


7 Averie @ Averie Cooks February 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Happy Anniversary and I remember the cake pops – wow, time flies! I have been married 12 and we don’t have any food traditions but I wish we did. Need to start! Congrats you two on such a successful, wonderful, and loving partnership. It’s a joy to see you two interact, too :)


8 @CaterhamHill February 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm

The Homemade “Hot-Mess” Grilled Cheese- An Anniversary Lunch


9 Garrett February 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Love it. Congrats you two. Here’s to another 17. XD


10 Allie @ The Nutritional Epiphany February 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Happy Anniversary! How fun that it’s at the same time as Valentine’s Day. I have never heard of putting onion rings in a grilled cheese! I suppose they are used in other sandwiches and burgers, so why not. I love using my panini press for grilled cheeses!


11 lynn @ the actor's diet February 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm

yay yay yay!


12 Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas February 14, 2013 at 5:18 am

Awwww happy anniversary you two! You guys are a beautiful couple and such wonderful people. And PS I love this sandwich LOL.


13 Alicia @ Alicia Carlson Photography February 14, 2013 at 6:44 am

Happy anniversary! xo


14 Molly February 14, 2013 at 7:50 am

Love this–Happy anniversary!


15 Nik@ABrownTable February 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

Happy anniversary!


16 saVUryandsweet February 14, 2013 at 8:03 am

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY you lovebirds <3


17 Christi Nielsen February 14, 2013 at 8:08 am

O M G!!! There, you made me do it again. ;-)
Happy Anniversary!


18 JulieD February 14, 2013 at 8:10 am

Happy Anniversary!!! love you guys! xoxo


19 Tom M February 14, 2013 at 8:58 am

Belated Happy Anniversary, kids!

Great looking grilled cheese.


20 Abbe@This is How I Cook February 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

After 31 years I will tell you that any anniversary is a good thing to celebrate. And grilled cheese looks mighty fine to me! Happy, Happy!


21 Angie @ Big Bear's Wife February 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

Happy Anniversary!!!!


22 Cassie | Bake Your Day February 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

This is so sweet! Happy anniversary. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate – grilled cheese are my favorite. xo


23 February 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

A beautiful reason to celebrate – and a tasty way to do it. Happy Anniversary!!


24 Carie February 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

Happy Anniversary! And by the way, I’m drooling over this sandwich.


25 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Awww you guys are the best! Happy anniversary! What a fabulous way to celebrate.


26 thyme (sarah) February 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

What a fun article! Have a wonderful celebration! Um…calorically speaking…


27 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious February 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Happy Anniversary!! And here’s to many more amazing food experiences, skydiving I could not do though…. :)


28 Colette @ JFF! February 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Happy anniversary!
Love the sandwhich and the string of lights outside.


29 Larry Gaian @BBQGrail February 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm

An excellent sandwich!


30 Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} February 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Happy Anniversary!! We celebrated Valentine’s Day with grilled cheese sandwiches too, lol.


31 Wild Child February 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

What a beautiful love story ~ Happy Anniversary!!!


32 Heather February 14, 2013 at 8:56 pm

This is so cute! My boyfriend is a chef and I make him a grilled cheese every night when he comes home from work. There’s nothing better than a great grilled cheese!


33 Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking February 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm

This is a good kind of hot mess. I love everything going on in this post!


34 elizabethranger ( February 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm

happy anniversary!! 17 years… that’s really impressive! And with an expression of love that includes gooey cheese and peppery fried crusty bread concoctions, it seems pretty obvious it’s meant to last in infamy. happy <3 day, too!


35 Trevor Sis. Boom. February 14, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Super decadent, dripping with spice, grease, flavor and love is a good description of every relationship worth having. Lucky you both! XXOO, T.


36 harveys mom February 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! May you have 100 more, fun,happy, healthy anniversary years ahead!!
Have fun


37 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel February 15, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Happy anniversary!! I’m totally thrilled you put onion rings in there. Now I have to try that ;)


38 Steve-Anna February 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

You two are the best kind of hot mess there is going! Congratulations, and enjoy!!


39 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm

What a happy time and a lovely milestone. Love the shot of you surrounded by loved ones. Very happy anniversary to you both, Todd and Diane!


40 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots February 16, 2013 at 3:55 am

What a perfect way to celebrate! I hope it was an amazing anniversary! :-)


41 Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence February 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

Love the photos! Especially the throwback. Happy Anniversary you two :)


42 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen February 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

Hot Mess omg!! Happy anniversary- what a perfect way to celebrate!


43 Jeff @ Cheeseburger March 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Wow! 17 years! Happy Anniversary to you guys! I’m loving this sandwich.


44 TidyMom March 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

What a fabulous way to celebrate!! Congrats!! we will celebrate 27 years this June! that’s crazy to think about…….but I agree with you “To laugh out loud, joke around and still love each other regardless of our imperfections is what our purpose is in life.”….that’s totally us too!


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