Cheddar-Peach-Dijon Gourmet Grilled Cheese and the CA Food Literacy Center

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Peach Dijon Grilled Cheese on – Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, one of my favorite, makes an amazing gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Here it’s paired with peaches, Dijon mustard, and sourdough bread. –

Over the past month or so, I’m been working with my friend and food blogging colleague Amber Stott to help support her nonprofit, the California Food Literacy Center. Amber recently helped pass an initiative approved by the state, which declares the month of September “Food Literacy Month” in California. This is a HUGE step for her organization, whose top priority is “to inspire change today for a healthy, sustainable tomorrow through enduring community food education.” Amber started the CFLC because only 25% of Americans eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Low intake of vegetables in childhood is linked to health problems throughout the life span, including allergy, asthma, heart disease and diabetes. In Sacramento, 40% of children are overweight.

To gear up for this groundbreaking event, I recently teamed up with Amber to help teach young kids how to get more comfortable preparing food in the kitchen. I spent an afternoon helping teach a bunch of urban Sacramento children how to make pizza dough from scratch, which was hugely educational not only to the kids, but to me, too. (I was shocked when only two out of 20-something kids knew what a yellow squash was, and only one knew that flour was made out of wheat… wow!!).

Later that week, Garrett and I worked with a little girl named Michael to teach her the finer points of how to make a grilled cheese sandwich – and of course, since we were the ones running the show, we had to add a little oomph to the sandwich. The dish Michael created was a gourmet grilled cheese with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar cheese, fresh peaches, and Dijon mustard. Even though her dad said she was normally a picky eater, Michael was a great sport and dove into her sandwich like a champ. After making sandwiches, Garrett took Michael outside and helped her pick some fresh veggies from the garden.

Below you’ll see a handful of photos that were taken with me, Garrett, and Michael as we enjoyed our time in the kitchen. It was a lot of fun!


Cooking with Kids for the California Food Literacy Center on

– Mom voice: You need to TUCK your fingers, like this, so you don’t cut them off! –

California Food Literacy Center presents the Kids Recipe Contest

To celebrate California’s first Food Literacy Month, on September 7 the California Food Literacy Center will launch their Kids Recipe Contest, which encourages children to get into the kitchen and learn about the food they put into their bodies. Only kids can enter the contest, and the recipes they submit must be created entirely by themselves with no adult involvement. The recipe contest will run through the month of September. In early October a team of local chefs and food writers will select the winning recipes, and the lucky winning kid will get a certificate for a CSA box from Farm Fresh to You and their recipes will be posted on our California Food Literacy website.
Besides the Kids Recipe Contest, the Food Literacy Center will also be announcing the Veggie of the Year, with one vegetable being chosen by the K-5th graders at Capitol Heights Academy. Their choice will be the featured vegetable for the recipe contest. How cool is it that a bunch of elementary school students will be selecting their favorite veggie? That just tickles me.
More info: The California Food Literacy Center is a non-government 501c3 nonprofit. The organization helps kids develop healthy food habits while they are young by celebrating vegetables, teaching 2,400 low-income K-5th grade students annually through local nonprofits and schools. Founded in 2011, their mission is to inspire change today for a healthy, sustainable tomorrow through enduring community food education. Want to find out more about Food Literacy Month or get involved? Click here for more details. I’d also like to take a second to thank the sponsor for the contest, Elise Bauer and

Cooking with Kids for the California Food Literacy Center on

– Oh the cutes, they kill… –


5.0 from 4 reviews
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Peaches, and Dijon Mustard on Sourdough Bread
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Sourdough bread, caramelly aged cheddar, tart peaches, and a touch of Dijon mustard make this the perfect gourmet grilled cheese sandwich for grownups. I only spread Dijon on one slice of bread per sandwich or the mustard tends to take over the flavor, but if you really, really like mustard, feel free to add more. Makes two hearty sandwiches.
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread
  • Butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 yellow peach, peeled, pit removed, and sliced
  • 1/4 pound Cabot Clothbound Cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Spread butter on one side of each piece of sourdough bread and lay the slices butter-side down on a plate. For each sandwich, spread the un-buttered side of only one slice of bread with Dijon.
  2. Cover just the mustard-spread slices of bread with a generous amount of shredded cheese, then follow with a layer of sliced peaches. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread, butter-side up.
  3. Place the sandwich in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Cover with the lid and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden. Watch carefully - grilled cheese sandwiches go from golden to burnt in the blink of an eye!
  4. Lower the heat to medium and very carefully flip the sandwiches, making sure they does not fall apart while flipping. Cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. The second side will cook faster than the first, so keep an eye on it. Slice each sandwich in half and serve immediately.


Cooking with Kids for the California Food Literacy Center on– Me guiding Michael’s hand in a way to cut small slices of cheese –


Cooking with Kids for the California Food Literacy Center on

– Carefully spreading the butter, making sure to get every corner –

Cooking with Kids for the California Food Literacy Center on

– Garrett and Michael picking cucumbers in G’s new garden –


Cooking with Kids for the California Food Literacy Center on

– Isn’t she the cutest? But I think she already knows that. 😉 –



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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. Amber says

    I loved reading about your experience with our food literacy class. It’s hard to get over how many kids haven’t seen or tasted some of the fruits and veggies that seem so common to us. Thank you for helping spread the word about our recipe contest! Let’s get these kiddos back to the kitchen! :) Happy Food Literacy Month!

    • Steph Stiavetti says

      I know, right? They liked it once they ate it, but it definitely took some coaxing until one brave kid decided to be the brave one. 😉

  2. Kim Beaulieu says

    Awe, I think it’s awesome you are teaching young hooligans to cook. It’s something more people should do. And what cute photos, I love them all. The grilled cheese is amazing, I have a soft spot for peaches.

    • Steph Stiavetti says

      Hooligans is the correct word, for sure! If we could harness all that energy to helping out in the kitchen, the world would be a better place. :)