April 23

I can’t remember the first time that I first heard someone speaking French, but I do remember how enthralled I was at the beauty of the language.

Then in high school when I had to pick a foreign language, I didn’t hesitate a second and picked French.

Because Internet, I was deluded in thinking that men would drop at my feet when they heard me speaking French.

I’ll let you guess how that one worked out for me.

The French haven’t just given us a beautiful language to listen to.

They have given us perfume.



The Statue of Liberty.

And food.

What the French do to food is almost magical!

I mean they can take some homely veggies and turn it into a ratatouille or a cassoulet.

We Americans would just pop those veggies in the microwave and call it good.

We will smoosh some ham and cheese between two slices of bread, and call it lunch.

Not the French.

They will toast the bread and smear on some mustard.

Layer some  ham on top.

Some Gruyere or in my case poor man’s Gruyere swiss.

I would have stopped there,  plated it up and thought I’d have  done a miracle for the lowly ham and cheese.

But the French…oh no!

They add some cheesey white sauce.

And even more cheese.

And broil it.

Then they give it a fanch schmancy name.

Croque Monsieur.

Me??  I call it out of this world fabulous.

Superman!   Well, he just fell at my feet in gratefulness.

Finally!   After all these years.

Would you like to wow your man?  and only take about 20 minutes to do so?

Make him this lowly ham and cheese sandwich that Kathy picked for us BB’s to do today.

Croque Monsieur


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve hot.

Strew pillows on the floor to catch your man.


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Just an average wife, mother, and homeschooling woman

30 thoughts on “April 23”

  1. Oh, your pictures are wonderful! What kind of camera do you use? I definitely went more overboard with my sauce than you did (I love cheese…and sauce)! I look forward to seeing more recipes from you.

  2. I wouldn’t want to wow my man; I would want to wow my WOMAN, though! Thanks for the yummy pictures. As soon as I saw the ham and your commentary about learning French, I knew you were making a croque monsieur. I have been meaning to try this sandwich for quite awhile. I may have to make it tomorrow.

  3. Wow! That looks amazing! I know exactly what you mean about microwaving vegetables and ham sandwiches. Sometimes I wonder why I keep eating food that’s boring..laziness I guess?

  4. Yours looks so yummy I need that for my lunch today!! Too bad you can’t just pass me one through the internet. After all, with a touch of our fingers we can talk to people all over the world in seconds. . why can’t we pass food through? 🙂
    We loved this too. I have a NIkon D40 but I don’t make as pretty shots as you do. 😦

  5. Wow! That was a beautiful post – Words and pictures. The sandwich was awesome and I wish I had taken French instead of Spanish. The French have a way with food and language.

  6. What memories! I went to university in France. I lived in a small mountain village, and man could they cook. I have made croque monsieur several times and it has never been as good as it was in France.

  7. My hubby would love to eat a couple of those sandwiches and wouldn’t complain as long as there was a salad on the side – he loves to have the green leafy stuff in his meat sandwiches. I think that we made something like this in French class in 8th or 9th grade.

  8. I just want you to know that I love how you chat and cook at the same time, like we’re in the kitchen with you. 🙂

  9. OK, the sandwich was delish, but let’s talk about that mustard. That looks fabulous. Can’t believe I settled for Grey Poupon in a squirt-bottle.

  10. Wow, you are killing me with this. btw told hubby how funny your posts are and how you call your readers internet, he loved it. I need to get some photography lessons from you – I have a nikon D40, but really don’t know how to use it, what settings do you use to get such great close ups?

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