Tomato and nectarine caprese

August 2, 2011 § 13 Comments

Oh, hello!  Are you there?  Because I’m not.  Ok, technically I am physically here.  But my mind appears to have vacated the premises.  Half of it is scurrying nervously around, dusting off specific aims and trying to make sure its hypotheses match (sort of like socks, those hypotheses, in fact, I think my dryer might have eaten one of them).  The other half has up and taken off for the Mediterranean.  It seems to be hanging out on terrazza somewhere along the coast between Nice and Portofino.

Obviously the latter half is much cleverer, and knows what’s up.  It watches the busy, blustering academic part with a shrug of ‘who knows what that’s about,’ and pours itself a glass of wine while sighing contentedly, “ah, la vita really es bella, isn’t it?”

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So you had a bad day…(grilled Brie and tomato sandwich)

February 1, 2010 § 1 Comment

Ways to know you had a bad day:

  • Even after you rolled out of bed, you couldn’t get your eyes to open fully for about 30 minutes.
  • You burst into tears at the thought of heading to the office, and again while riding to the office on your bike (which makes it rather hard to see).
  • Entering citations into EndNote was one of the highlights of your workday.
  • Your eye keeps twitching, annoyingly, and you have a knot in your neck that even a boy scout couldn’t untie.
  • You make the coffee machine explode and break the little lever on the water cooler.
  • You’re pretty sure the drivers on your route home thought they could earn 50 points by running you over, and it was sleeting.

Ways to know there’s a fighting chance that tomorrow will be better:

  • You get home and immediately turn your Pandora radio to the Abba station that you try to pretend you don’t have (at least when others are around), and you know you really are the dancing queen.
  • Your upstairs neighbor has brought the garbage cans to the street which means you don’t have to.
  • You watch an old Glee episode on Hulu and sing along.
  • You have a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner…

Heavenly grilled cheese with brie and tomato (1 serving)

  • 2 slices of bread (preferably yummy, crusty bread, like a good sourdough, but most any bread will do)
  • A few thick slices of brie (my favorite brie, when I want a mild flavor but ridiculously unctuous richness is Fromager D’affinois)
  • A couple of slices of tomato
  • Butter
  1. Place a couple of slices of brie on each slice of bread, then put the slices of tomato on one side (having cheese on both sides helps the sandwich stick together and not get soggy, in spite of the tomato).  Sandwich the two sides together. 
  2. Melt a good pat of butter over medium heat in a frying pan until it starts to bubble a bit.  Don’t use too high of heat or your sandwich will burn before the cheese is all melted.  Put your sandwich in the pan and cover the pan with a lid.  Allow to cook for a few minutes. 
  3. Remove the lid and lift the bread a little to see if it is golden.  If it is, add a pat of butter to the uncooked top of the sandwich, then flip the sandwich.  Cover again and allow to cook for another couple of minutes until the second side is golden and crispy.  Serve with a salad, or something green, so that you can feel at least a little bit virtuous while still getting all the comfort of your buttery, gooey, crispy, cheesy sandwich.

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