Since the economy is down the bidet, now more than every before folks are getting by and a few slices of American Cheese and buttered bread set to a sizzling, non-stick pan. So this year's Grilled Cheese Invitational promises to be its most creative yet.

The NorCal Regional Grilled Cheese Invitational, for those of you not in the know, is an official sandwich competition with trophies awarded for three different categories of competitive Grilled Cheese. All are welcome to attend the competition and judge which sandwich is tops

The rules for making the sandwiches, according to, are simple.

Bread: Any leavened or unleavened, flour-based and baked thing that looks like bread, you idiot.

Butter: For the purposes of simplicity, all sammich-grilling lubricants will be hereafter referred to as "Butter." You can use oils or margarines if you prefer, but make sure it fits within the sammich category you've chosen. FLAVORED BUTTERS AND OILS (MAYONNAISE, INFUSED WITH GARLIC, ETC.) ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE MISSIONARY POSITION CATEGORY.

Cheese: Made from milk, be it mother's, goat, cow, cat, rabbit, soy, or almonds (although why would you make a grilled cheese with almond cheese? Bleahhh!).

Oh, and another thing, they ask you not to burn the place down. "No flame-throwers! Yes, this means you. No ice-melters, Molotov cocktails, you name it. If you bring something that even vaguely resembles a flame-thrower you WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE." Whoa.

The exact location will be announced, but it will be held in SF on Feb 21. Registration is now open. Bah! It's closed. But have no fear. People cancel all the time, so there's a good chance you can still enter. Email [email protected] to get on the waiting list.

Until then, allow us to whet your appetite with your editor's favorite grilled cheese recipe, The Comfort Diner's 'Boursin Cheese and Bacon,' which you can find after the jump.