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Kids Recipe: Waffle Ironed Grilled Cheese

Jenny Rosenstrach, coauthor of Time for Dinner: Strategies, Inspirations and Recipes for Family Meals Every Night of the Week (Chronicle Books, 2010) and creator of one of our favorite food blogs, DinnerALoveStory.com, gives up recipes for whipping up the perfect--nutritious, easy and, most importantly, adorable--spring lunch.

You wouldn't think that a gooey, melty grilled cheese would be too hard a sell on a kid, right? You also wouldn't think that a grilled cheese is nutritious enough to warrant Kasparov-ian strategizing from that kid's parents. But the Phoebe-wants-this-Abby-wants-that routine can wear on me (have I mentioned that each daughter requires her own brand of salsa when served with chips?) especially during something as supposedly simple as a weekend lunch. Why does Abby have to have a peanut butter sandwich and Phoebe have to have a grilled cheese? Why can't both of them have a grilled cheese? It's lunch! Why can't I just make the same thing for both of them? Why? Why? Why?

That's where the waffle iron came in. As soon as we discovered this neat little trick (from the "Sandwiches for Dinner" chapter in Time for Dinner ) where the iron plays the role of panini maker, Abby was finally willing to eat a grilled cheese. Sorry, I mean Abby was finally willing to eat a "Waffle Sandwich."

I made these with seven-grain bread and cheddar. You can use any bread you want, as long as the slices aren't too thick -- otherwise you might have difficulty clamping down the waffle iron top. (The top doesn't have to close completely -- you'll probably have to manually hold it down for a minute or two.) Another tip: butter the outside of the bread before you cook instead of coating the waffle iron with butter or cooking spray. It makes for an evenly crispy toast. To round out the plate, we added a handful of garden peas we picked up at the farmer's market that morning. The girls like to split open the pods and compete over the number of peas they find inside.

To see more great recipes from Jenny Rosenstrach, please visit her site, DinnerALoveStory.com.

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