GGCEx: Croque Monsieur

Full disclosure: I am a bit drunk.  There’s a mason jar quarter-full of cheap pinot in front of me and NSync’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” playing on the stereo (and yes, I am singing along passionately.  Duh.  Why would you ever wonder).  My roommates have disappeared.  Why does everyone decide to go to bed just when I reach the point of pleasantly tipsy?  Is it because it takes ages for me to arrive at that junction, or because I am an obnoxious drunk?  Jury’s out.

I threw a small grilled cheese party at my apartment tonight.  The croque monsieur turned out to be a team effort, and took twice as long to cook as the recipe claimed, but was ultimately delicious.


  • butter (unsalted)
  • flour
  • milk
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • nutmeg
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Parmesan (fake Parmesan-Romano works well)
  • country white bread, the kind with white flour on top
  • Dijon mustard
  • Black Forest deli ham

First off, this takes like an hour to make.  I don’t care who tells you otherwise, even if it’s Ina Garten.  And you have to grate a hell lot of cheese.  That being said, this sandwich is worth it.  Whoever looked at a loaf of bread and said, “We should put ham, cheese and a bit of mustard between two of these, and then blanket the top of our creation with what is basically alfredo sauce except with nutmeg added” is quite clearly the smartest person of all time.  S/he should have won the Nobel Prize of food.  S/he is the original Top Chef.  A Platinum Chef, even.

Also, I made double chocolate cranberry cookies and my friend brought over maple snap cookies.  After I wash dishes, I will probably eat one more of each, even though I ate like five tonight.

Where did my roommates go?  Do they have a problem with old-school NSync?  Are they robots?  Because who could have a problem with old-school NSync, amirite?

I am going to wash all the dishes.  Have a lovely Friday night.


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so here’s the thing

I don’t know how to make things up anymore.  And I don’t know how much I want to share things that are not made up.

That’s a problem that started more or less when my senior thesis ended, but that was May 2010, so….  I guess I’m stuck.  Also I have an enlarged spleen and most of my close friends have moved away, so there’s that.  But it doesn’t hurt to smile anymore!

I went to a hospital walk-in clinic about a week ago because I had been sick and couldn’t figure out why; turns out I have mono.  (WOMP WOMP.)  So my boss insisted I take all week off from work and my coworkers texted me to see how I was doing and the office even sent me a giant bouquet of flowers, which was all beautiful and touching and I felt loved.  But on Wednesday night, after a few days of being unable to eat or drink much (anything, really) and a solid week of a high fever, I realized I would have to go back to the clinic because there was clearly something wrong with me.  And I couldn’t think of anyone in my area who I could ask to drive me.

It’s not as pathetic as it sounds; my roommates would do it but they either have a 9-5 job or do not have a car.  I have a friend or two in the area who also would have done it, but (again) no car.  I couldn’t take myself to the clinic because it involves multiple transit methods and standing up was kind of a big deal for me at the time.  The Professor ended up rescuing me because she is a star and altogether wonderful human being — and thank god for that, since I had to be wheeled to the ER and pumped full of drugs — but all in all, it kind of sucks that I don’t have anyone I feel close enough to to ask a favor like this.  The Professor doesn’t live all that close, and she hates driving in cities.  The State lives twice as far as the Professor.  Both of them have lives.

It’s not that I don’t have friends here, either.  I have a lot of friends here, actually; it’s just that I am not on inner-circle terms with any of them (or vice versa).  I miss that.  I miss my close friends, but they have their own lives in their own cities.  I don’t want to go another year thinking I’ll make better friends than I did.

I also don’t want to go another year thinking I’ll write more/better/harder than I did, so there’s that, too!

Guess what I’m trying to say is: grilled cheese writing workshop party, my house, your wine.


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GGCEx: Buffalo Benny

I have three meals’ worth of leftovers in my fridge and two meals’ worth of space in my fridge.  One of these leftover cartons is large and housing Buffalo chicken.  I like buffalo chicken, cheese, and this recipe looked awesome.  So: buffalo grilled cheese!


  • buffalo chicken tenders, cut up into bits
  • “farmhouse” sourdough bread
  • Caesar dressing
  • American cheese
  • goat cheese
  • cream cheese


Okay, so maybe I didn’t feel like buying the actual ingredients the above hyperlinked recipe called for.  I had three kinds of cheese (wait, no, four.  FOUR!) in the vegetable drawer already and didn’t foresee me using up all the crumbled blue cheese Shaw’s had on tap.  And like, why buy blue cheese dressing when you have Caesar’s you (eventually) need to use up anyway?  Right?  So this sandwich was going to be a cross between the sandwich linked above and the Buffalo Ranch Melt at Denny’s.  Except then I discovered my goat cheese was growing dark green fuzz and my cream cheese smelled kind of questionable.  Oops.

The sandwich went from a poor woman’s Blue Buffalo to a poor woman’s Denny’s, is what I’m saying.

It is probably the best sandwich I will make all year.

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hello again

I have had a headache since Saturday morning.  Actually, wait, I took ibuprofen for it at the restaurant with the Sister Figure on Friday, didn’t I?  Okay, then, Friday night.  I have been weirdly tired and dealing with a continuous headache since Friday night.  Wake up with it, fall asleep with it.

Today at work, when the ibuprofen I took (again) failed to do its job, this began to worry me.

At first I attributed the headache to my weekend being busy, or noise levels on my parents’ televisions — I was visiting for a couple days — or stress.  Or being tired.  But medicine would have to start working at some point, right?  So then I thought, in typical fashion, What If I Have a BRAIN TUMOR.  “do you think i have a tumor, y/n,” I asked a coworker. “n,” she said, “you are probably dehydrated.”  I checked the symptoms just now, and looks like she’s right.

(She always seems to be right.)

In other, funnier news, my mom called to find out how to block people on Facebook.  Some strange man messaged her requesting pics because he “really wants to get to know her better” (!!! OMG).  So my mom called Dad in to read this and said, “I still got it!”  (and, I imagine, snapped her fingers in a Z-shape). He read it over and said, “Well, I always knew that.”

Also, the dude used “God bless” as his closing signature, so as to seem less questionable.  But I’m onto you, [Redacted].  I know your first name.  You’re not troubling MY mom, that’s for sure.

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GGCEx: The Beautiful People Basic

My dad likes what he likes.  If he isn’t familiar with it, he doesn’t want to become familiar with it.  This rule stretches across several arenas of his life, from vacations to movie genres to music, but where it’s most apparent is his relationship with food. If you can’t order it at Applebee’s, he calls it “beautiful people food.”  Most of what I cook, these days, falls into that category; he once asked me not to eat my bowl of chickpeas at the table with him, because it “looks, haha, kind of gross.”

Putting stuff into a grilled cheese, if it’s not tomato or bacon, moves it from the Normal People Food side of the chart into Beautiful People Food.  As I hate tomatoes with a fiery passion and love spinach, this grilled cheese is only for beautiful weirdos.  You’re a beautiful weirdo, right?  (Yeah, you are!)

The Beautiful People Basic

  • multigrain bread
  • havarti
  • bab(a)y spinach
  • crushed red pepper (I will probably put crushed red pepper in every GGCEx sandwich, get excited)
  • some chopped shallot


Pretty good!  It’s quicker and easier to make than the Avocado Goat Supreme, largely because it’s got less ingredients and is therefore more amiable to squashing down with the spatula.  That also makes it easier to burn, too, which I discovered when I stepped away from the stove to split havarti cubes with my roommate instead of –– you know –– watching the pan.  Oops.  So one side was blackened.  (Like fancy fish plates!  I should start a fancy burned food restaurant!)

Even with the burned side, though, I enjoyed it.  Instead of the explosive illegal-warehouse-party-in-your-mouth that was the Avocado Goat Supreme, this was like a backyard wedding with mason jar candleholders and lots of outdoorsy hipsters in floaty clothing being photographed in soft yellow light.  If you’re looking for something to eat with soup that’s a tiny bit more colorful and sharp than American cheese on white, this is it.

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The Great Grilled Cheese Experiment: Avocado Goat Supreme

I love gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches (or, fine, paninis if that’s what you insist on calling them).  And one of my New Year’s resolutions is to cook more.

Hence, I have decided to embark upon the Great Grilled Cheese Experiment of 2012.  Every so often, I’ll make a fancy motherlovin’ grilled cheese with a new/different combination of ingredients and record the results (a brief taste summary, a star rating) on this here blog.

Tonight was the Avocado Goat Supreme (!).

  • goat cheese
  • havarti
  • baby spinach
  • tempeh bacon/fakon (which I made! I am so handy)
  • avocado
  • crushed red pepper
  • paprika
  • yellow lentil hummus with sunflower seeds and apricot
  • store-brand multigrain bread
Avocado draws out the agave nectar in the fakon, so it tasted a bit sweeter and more barbecue-y than I necessarily intended.  However, I also overshook the crushed red pepper and, between that and the hummus (delicious but weirdly peppery!), my nose started running partway through the sandwich.  I had to get up for a napkin and pour myself a glass of milk to combat the spiciness.  The goat cheese provided a cooling effect, but not enough of one.
To be honest, this sandwich — though tasty — may be too intense for me.  I had to keep taking breaks.  Next time I’ll make something more simple.  Oh, and add pictures, because that’s a thing I could do.

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oh no we didn’t


That means you can DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE off the Broad! website!




(Oh, and also, submissions reopen for the next issue on February 1, 2012!)

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