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

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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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. TidyMom

    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!

  2. Jeff @ Cheeseburger

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

  3. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

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

  4. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

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

  5. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots

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

  6. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    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!

  7. Steve-Anna

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

  8. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

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

  9. harveys mom

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

  10. Trevor Sis. Boom.

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

  11. elizabethranger (

    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!

  12. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

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

  13. Heather

    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!

  14. Wild Child

    What a beautiful love story ~ Happy Anniversary!!!

  15. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete}

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

  16. Larry Gaian @BBQGrail

    An excellent sandwich!

  17. Colette @ JFF!

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

  18. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

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

  19. thyme (sarah)

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

  20. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

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

  21. Carie

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


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

  23. Cassie | Bake Your Day

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

  24. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife

    Happy Anniversary!!!!

  25. Abbe@This is How I Cook

    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!

  26. Tom M

    Belated Happy Anniversary, kids!

    Great looking grilled cheese.

  27. JulieD

    Happy Anniversary!!! love you guys! xoxo

  28. Christi Nielsen

    O M G!!! There, you made me do it again. 😉
    Happy Anniversary!

  29. saVUryandsweet

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY you lovebirds <3

  30. Nik@ABrownTable

    Happy anniversary!

  31. Molly

    Love this–Happy anniversary!

  32. Alicia @ Alicia Carlson Photography

    Happy anniversary! xo

  33. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

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

  34. lynn @ the actor's diet

    yay yay yay!

  35. Allie @ The Nutritional Epiphany

    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!

  36. Garrett

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

  37. @CaterhamHill

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

  38. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    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 :)

  39. Kimberly

    Mmm…that looks good. Happy Anniversary!

  40. Gastronomer

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

  41. Emily

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

  42. Ashley

    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!

  43. Joy @ OSS

    This looks fabulous! your story sound so sweet :)

  44. dervla @ The Curator

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

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