Ham and Gruyere Sandwich w/ Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Soup

There's a Dean & Deluca down the street from my office.
It's soup season.
You get where this is going.

Since the first hint of fall weather blew in, the line at the D&D soup counter has grown exponentially. And for good reason. All of the soups are really delicious. Yummy enough to convert this girl, who had a very lukewarm opinion of soup in general, onto team liquid.
Well, maybe not entirely. Because I still want a half sandwich to pair. What is coffee without the humble donut?

And this lovely butternut squash soup is filling and meat free. I dig it! Definitely one of my favorites. Although, the ham and gruyere had a sweet onion spread nestled in between its pretzel buns. I usually like the classical combo more savory/mustardy, but it was still a good quality sammy.

D&D is pricey, so I wouldn't get this everyday. But then again, everything is pricey around here, so I'd suggest bringing the sandwich from home, and spending a bit on the soup.


Local Milk


A photographer friend of mine first introduced me Local Milk, the stunning food blog by Beth Kirby. And while Kirby has already acquired quite a repertoire of accolades and awards, her success is entirely substantiated. Her photos are as beautiful, unique, and as haunting as her many different bakes. The collaborations and travel posts span from dusky fields of Iceland to reclusive, lush mountains of Japan. Yet everywhere she goes, the images are distinctly her own.








For our 9-month relationship mark, my boyfriend gifted me with this book (which I've been drooling over for months). Named after her incredibly successful NYC spot, this cookbook is written by head chef Gabrielle Hamilton.

I love it; it's an incredibly unique book, with recipes ranging from the simplest of dishes to complex techniques only a professional would know. Hamilton is a fiendishly good writer and chef. It's designed to look and feel like the restaurant's Book: the recipe collection that the chefs of Prune reference nightly. I love it for its intimacy; it also helps that Prune is one of my favorite restaurants.

Now a slight rant:

This book has generated a few haters because it is not easily accessible to the home cook. I get it. No index. It caters to a professional kitchen, with directions to the non-existent staff about timing and task delegation. It dares to put ostentatious, time-consuming recipes like suckling pig and marrow in it. Righto.

But all that is half the reason why I love it. It's an intimate peek into the life behind the grille at Hamilton's East Village restaurant.

In this case, I believe the haters are kidding themselves. I own many cookbooks, much more than I need, and I know that some are often for inspiration alone. You just don't use all of the recipes in every cookbook you own (if you do, that's actually pretty awesome). That's why there is an entire genre of cookbooks designed to sit beautifully and dustily on coffee tables or kitchen shelves. These "fantasy"cookbooks have huge, gorgeous photographs of food, but also of seascapes, cozy kitchens, tastefully set tables. The visceral experience of flipping through these books is akin to flipping through National Geographic or old family photos. They hold hidden scents and tastes of faraway places or deeply personal memories.

Prune behaves the same way. It shows you a glimpse of a world you otherwise wouldn't be able to enter. If you want to make the recipes, that's up to you. I honestly don't think Hamilton cares all that much.


Beety Tortila Espanola in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Throwback to this tortilla espanola.
Layers of potato, eggs, and cheese with beets on top for color and depth of flavor. This is a $4 dinner in New York City (unfortunately, not including the tasty shandy). This summer my flatmate and I trekked out into unknown Bushwick, to see an indie art exhibit. While there, we ran into a huge music festival, ridiculously cool graffiti-art in the making, a pocket flea market, and this tortilla espanola.

Damn I miss summer.


S'mores Bars : Campfire Stories

Remember, remember the fifth of November. Today is Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, in the UK. Fireworks, bonfires, people in funny masks. Actually I'm not sure what goes down, having never been to a celebration myself. Because here in the States, today is just a Thursday. But it is November, and damn it, we like making fires too! Ours are more of the woodsy, camping type though. And as the nights get longer and chillier, it's perfect weather for gathering around a campfire and telling a few good ghost stories.

This recipe isn't based on a particular book or piece of literature, but of storytelling. While there are some famous (creepily so) books on ghost stories, the best tales are always told. So I wanted something that reminded me of dark woods, foggy mornings, and hikes on chilly afternoons. Something you scarf down cause you jump at every cracking twig  in the fire. Things I can't easily find living in the middle of a city.

Toasted marshmallows more than fit the bill. Throw in shortbread and melted chocolate, and I'm a happy camper.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
13 marshmallows, cut in half


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large stand mixer bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
2. Add the flour and salt, and mix until the mixture is completely incorporated. It will be crumbly.
3. Press into a buttered 8x8 pan, making sure it's even and gets into all of the corners.
4. Bake the shortbread for 20 minutes. Until golden and puffy. Take it out and leave the oven on.
5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips even across the shortbread. Wait a few minutes for them to melt, then smooth with a spatula or back of a spoon.
6. Arrange the marshmallows over the chocolate. Place back in the oven for 4 minutes, until puffy.
7. Turn on the broiler, or crank your oven up to 400 F, and place the wrack high in the oven.
8. Watch the marshmallows carefully! If in a broiler, they only need a few seconds. Unless you're the type of person that likes your marshmallows black and crispy, keep a sharp eye on them.
9. When toasted a golden-brown, pull out of the oven. Wait a few minutes for the marshmallows to set.

Enjoy! Light some candles, munch on these, and pretend you're in the middle of the woods (but woods with indoor plumbing and heat).

Happy baking.

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