Croque-Monsieur

Croque-Monsieur

My husband and I are big sandwich people, especially when cheese is involved! We love having grilled cheese and soup for dinner this time of year. Although it is starting to get really warm here in AZ, we like to pretend it’s cold inside.

I had my first Croque-Monsieur about a year ago at a cafe for lunch one day and I couldn’t believe it took me so long to discover this amazing sandwich. A Croque-Monsieur is a French grilled cheese sandwich made with ham and Gruyere cheese, but my favorite part? The Béchamel sauce on top! It makes the sandwich so creamy! This is a sandwich that you can make for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Serve it next to a light salad or a bowl of soup and call it a day! It’s easy to make, but it looks so much fancier than your typical grilled cheese.


Croque-Monsieur

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Easy Valentine’s Brunch

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There are so many things that I miss from Manhattan, having moved a year ago to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  The list is long and consists of friends and moments, places and music, smells and feelings.  I won’t bore you with the details, but near the very top of my list, is Brunch.  Oh dear lord, what I wouldn’t give for a proper brunch.  Meeting friends on the corner of this numbered street and that avenue and stepping into to restaurant all abuzz with the glory of brunch.  The smell of fresh baked goods, the sound of coffee being French pressed, the sizzle of thick sliced, maple glazed, bacon and the cocktails, oh the heavenly cocktails.  The cocktail is truly what makes brunch, well… brunch.  I mean, let’s be honest, without a cocktail, brunch is just a very late breakfast.  Oh how I long for the brunches of New York City.

Being a silver lining kind of girl, I realize that now that I don’t live in a tiny, but seriously amazing, apartment (on the corner of 87th and Central Park West that I miss so very much, so very often).  I now have a beautiful kitchen that you can, you know, actually cook in!  So I get to now share my joy of the proper brunch with my new Pacific Northwest friends at my very own home. I mean, I still rent but you get what I am saying.  So I thought I would share one of my brunches with you my readers for this Valentine’s Day.


I thought a lot about what type of brunch to do for this post and I landed on a fantastic one.  I choose this since it can be done in no more than 15 minutes after just rolling out of bed with the one you love.  Or perhaps you’re a gentleman reading this and you want an easy brunch but you’re not a big cook.  Well this is so easy anyone can pull it off and yet so classy it is sure to impress your love or all your girlfriends on this the holiday of love.  So, get in the kitchen and put a little love into this simple brunch and share it with whomever you cherish, Happy Valentine’s Day my sweet readers.

 

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Marshmallow Fluff Stuffed French Toast with Homemade Raspberry Sauce

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Are you kidding me with this recipe? It is crazy good and only takes just a few extra steps to make regular french toast into something truly spectacular.


I love raspberries. Even though it is not berry season (May – Aug,) it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy berries all through the year. I used fresh raspberries for the sauce, but frozen raspberries work just as good.

I made this recipe on a whim. I started with just a regular french toast recipe; eggs, splash half & half, dash cinnamon, dash nutmeg, splash and a half of vanilla. Mix together and dip in my bread and cook in a skillet of butter until browned and cooked through.

I then took two slices of french toast and spread one piece with marshmallow fluff and turned it into a sandwich. Cut in half and placed on plate.

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Raspberry Sauce (makes 3/4 cup)

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water (if using frozen raspberries, use 1 1/2 tbsp)
  • 6 oz. raspberries

Place water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and bring to a simmer and add raspberries. Mash with a fork or whisk until it starts to look like a sauce or until all sugar is dissolved.

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Enjoy!

 

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Huckleberry Yogurt Scones – Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Huckleberry Yogurt Scones

In the year or so prior to going gluten free, my breakfasts typically subsisted of a latte and a massive blueberry or lemon curd scone.  Aside from a bowl of yogurt and fruit – it’s one of the most fulfilling breakfasts I can think of.  So after going gluten free one of my first priorities was to learn to bake scones with a new selection of flours.

My first attempt at scones (actually the first gluten free thing I ever baked) was made with 100% white rice flour. They were fluffy but incredibly gritty – not what I remembered. So I continued to experiment and by year two, I got to what my husband and I call “scookies”. These were treats that tasted like scones, had the right consistency, but flattened out like a cookie. It was year three when everything finally fell in place after my mom gifted me a cast iron mini-scone pan. Turns out, this makes all the difference for well-shaped gluten free scones.


 

Sheep Yogurt U District Market

 

Compared to the other two Seattle neighborhood farmer’s markets I’ve shared with you so far (Phinney Ridge and Ballard), I find the University District Farmers Market to be serious business. Perhaps as the oldest and largest farmers market in the city – it’s built a strong reputation as the place to come for all sorts of unique finds. It starts earlier than most of the other morning markets and it’s so full by opening hour, signage gently encourages shoppers to allow the vendors time to get their stalls set up before pouncing on the goodies.

Even though it’s not practical for me to walk to this market, it’s unique set of vendors has drawn me in to making my way there early ever Saturday morning (but I patiently wait for opening hour before entering). On a recent visit, my haul included sheep milk yogurt (packaged in reusable and returnable mason jars) sold by Glendale Shepherd, foraged huckleberries from Foraged and Found, and another jar of honey from Seattle Urban Honey.

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