Cold Avocado Corn Soup with Cilantro Oil

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Philadelphia has been in the midst of a major heat wave so I had been planning on making chilled soup. The Jersey corn on the cob at the Farmer’s Market looked so good that I bought enough to have two nights in a row. One night we cooked it on the grill, in its husks Bobby Flay style–which was seriously the best corn on the cob I’ve ever had. Remove most of the husks but leave just enough to protect the corn from getting burnt. Soak it for a while in a pot of water and then put directly on the grill. The result is the most delicious corn ever. Try this immediately!

But the soup–this was equally as impressive as the corn on the cob. When I saw the recipe called for a serrano chile, my first instinct was to remove the seeds, even though the directions said otherwise. Please for the love of anything listen to whoever wrote this recipe because he/she KNOWS what he/she is talking about.

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Sometimes, massive amounts of butter, tons of cheese and the stomach ache that is sure to ensue is simply just worth it. Case in point–the Croque Madame.

I had heard about this French staple for some time and a few months ago saw Ina make it on the Food Network. It seemed so much easier than I had imagined! The sandwich she made looked so delicious that I added to my never-ending “to cook” list. Why does a little thing like a fried egg atop some bread suddenly and always transform a sandwich’s appeal?

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Grilled Summer Squash & Brie Sandwich

The sandwich (and store-bought pasta salad) served on my finest China

Like most people I know, I think samples are the best thing about any trip to a grocery store. I used to put up with the most hectic family trips imaginable to Costco because of the free food. (I still say, Costco on a Sunday is the scariest place in any suburban community.) And even though Whole Foods is considerably more expensive than most markets I shop at, the free stuff on Saturdays makes it more than worth my while.

Usually I scarf down the sample and listen to the Whole Foods employee go on and on and on about how wonderful what I’m eating is, and how I should buy it. I keep nodding…and keep eating while pretending to be interested but we both know that I have no intention of purchasing this treat, no matter how delectable.

That was until I tried a sample of  a Grilled Summer Squash and Brie Sandwich. I was actually searching for something to whip up for lunch and then I spotted a Whole Foods lady making the sandwiches–grilling away with brie oozing out of every end. She informed me where the brie was and that it was on sale and I was S-O-L-D.

I picked up the rest of the ingredients, went home and made this immediately. And you should, too. Because it was really freaking good. And kinda good for you. Probably not really, but there are vegetables involved, so we can pretend.


2 zucchini or medium yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons of EVOO
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 thick-cut slices of round country bread
1 large garlic glove, split
10 ounces of Brie cheese, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
1 cup sunflower, radish, or other sprouts


Prepare the grill for medium-high heat cooking or preheat the broiler. Brush squash with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill or broil, turning once or twice, until tender and nicely browned, 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

Grill or broil bread until just lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub bread on both sides with garlic; discard the garlic. Cover tops of slices with Brie; place on a cool part of the grill and cover the grill or broil until the cheese is somewhat melted. Top with grilled squash, tomatoes and sprouts. Cut each sandwich in half and serve.

Gruyere Grilled Cheese

Sometimes there’s just nothing better than a good old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich. Mine are usually incredibly mundane and comprised of whatever I can scrounge up in the fridge.

If you’ve read this blog before you know I have a special affinity for cheese even though I am quite the fromage novice. Recently I purchased some Gruyere which I haven’t put to any kind of good use. That is, unless you count eating it piece by piece while standing in my kitchen watching the Real Housewives after work. Do you think they eat cheese? Probably not…

Anyway, I searched for a good grilled cheese recipe that utilized Gruyere and read about a recipe on the very handy website, that called for Gruyere, Granny Smith apples and a drizzle of honey. I was sold.

FOR THE RECORD: I bought the best bread I could find but a day later it was moldy. Ergo, the Wonder Bread. A better food blogger would have went out and bought more of the good stuff but not me. Sorry sorry! Wonder Bread is how I rock and roll.

The sandwich was every bit as good as the commenters on the post said it was. So I am proud to report I am now a fancy grilled cheese girl! And I need to find more of these gourmet grilled cheese recipes! Leave me some ideas if you have any!