When the weather drops below 30 degrees and I’m snuggled up in my sweatpants and sweatshirt, the one meal I truly ever think about is grilled cheese and tomato soup. 

You may be thinking, “but Abby, that’s the most basic meal ever” and to that I’ll say, sometimes going back to the basics simply satisfies every hankering for the comfiest comfort food. Since we are in college, buying some boujee cheese from a cheese shop isn’t exactly in our budget. So, this recipe is quick and easy AND all from Trader Joes! 

The Perfect Grilled Cheese 

  • Two slices of the San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread (it is a game changer)
  • Raw Milk Cave Aged Le Gruyère
  • Cream Cheese 
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Mayo 

Start by shredding your gruyere, yes this seems extremely extra but I promise, this cheese will transport you to the melty goodness of fondue in Switzerland. 

Then, spray your pan with any kind of oil. Take your two slices of bread and lightly coat each slice with mayo, okay so I know that sounds weird but mayo gives a better toast than butter, trust me on this one. Light your stove up and put on a low heat, place one piece of bread on the pan. Spread cream cheese on both the pieces of bread on the stove and the other piece of bread. 

Then, take your shredded gruyere and shredded sharp cheddar and place it on the bread. Put your other piece of bread on top. Turn up the heat a bit and cover until the cheese melts. Once melted, occasionally flip the sandwich from one side to the other until you meet your desired crunch. 

The Perfect Tomato Soup

  • Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Yep. It’s just that easy. I could bore you with an intricate recipe on a homemade tomato soup butttttt let’s face it, we are busy college students with no time as it is. Pour your soup into a stove safe pot and heat it up. To add some greens sometimes I like to take baby spinach and wilt it into the soup. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

What is a winter meal without warm chocolate chip cookies? It’s just not a winter meal. Gooey chocolate chip cookies are everything and more. Though I’d say I am a chef most days, when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I follow the recipe on the back of the chocolate chips so copied is the exact recipe from Tollhouse. 

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or greasing them lightly.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy using an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts (if using) until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges but still slightly soft in the center.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

Like I said, this is the perfect winter meal. So snuggle up, make your grilled cheese and soup, and enjoy the warmth winter meals can bring!

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