First, let me tell you a little bit about the food (since it is ostensibly why you are here).
This Ham and Brie Baguette is a throwback to my time with Dave in Paris as part of our honeymoon. While Paris is known for its fancy cuisine and decadent pastries, I also found the day-to-day “fast food” affair equally impressive. Because, really, what could be more decadent than both butter AND cheese on a sandwich, besides the addition of perfectly fresh bread and a little bit of salty ham??The difference between sandwiches in Europe in general vs. America is that they use excellent quality breads and minimal meat. There are occasionally spreads and vegetables, but it’s not slathered on and piled high like we are used to here in the states. Typically a cheese, like brie, or butter, is enough to qualify as a “spread.”
So, in June as I was remembering our anniversary and our amazing honeymoon I was inspired to put together this recipe. My recommendation? Use the best quality ingredients you can if you’re going to make this. There are so few ingredients that if you cut corners you are definitely going to notice.Moving on past French sandwiches, I wanted to share a little personal update with you all. In addition to the blog and my full-time job I have also been trying to get my painting back up to speed. You can see from this post that I was starting to get back into painting during my work-hiatus back in February. However, things now are getting into full swing and I’ve been averaging a new painting every 1-2 weeks.
And I have a group show coming up! I don’t have the exact date set yet for the opening, but I’m going to go hang the work tonight at the venue! The VENUE guys!!
This milestone is huge for me. Because as an adult, I have yet to actually show my work.And on that note.. let me tell you the saga… Back in high school I was very serious about art and I took multiple art classes in school and extracurricular-ly. During the summer between my junior and senior years I did an intensive program in Baltimore at Maryland Institute College of Art where I studied figure drawing/painting. It was incredibly immersive and I was doing daily 6 hour studio sessions with live models and generating tons and tons of art.
Fast forward to my senior year. I did the portfolio review thing and submitted my work and transcripts to all the big name art schools. I got in everywhere I applied- The Art Institute of Chicago, University of Michigan, MICA, RISD, etc. I was planning to go to MICA on a small scholarship when everything came crashing to a halt.
Ever fickle, I decided at the last minute that I was scared of the financial insecurity that is allegedly the fate of every fine artist, and so last-minute decided to give up the art school dream and jump into a more practical profession.
So I went into nursing and tolerated it and eventually found a good job and a wonderful husband and all-in-all a really nice life. However, despite all that, you’d have found an incredibly creatively dissatisfied person, burdened with regret, and feeling the loss of a talent that wasn’t ever realized.And then The Gourmet Gourmand was born. I definitely credit this blog for pushing me to access the artistic part of my brain again and helping me develop a structure for myself outside of work. It became a priority for me to work on my recipes and food photography and every weekend I was (am) setting time aside for the blog.
So I figured I could also make this happen with painting. I signed up for a class, and it was a slow and rusty start to get back into the swing of things. The class is 3 hours weekly, and I’m still attending routinely, but the most important part for me is the open studio session that is available on Saturdays. I can spend all day there if I want and paint in the open studio until my heart is content. It’s like being back in “art school” where I can really focus for an extended period of time, and really get back into the flow of creating.
So as you can probably tell, I’m so excited to “be back” making art. I’ll probably talk more about it here since it’s now becoming such a huge part of my life again.
Also, if you are curious, feel free to check out my work here. Compared to this blog the site is still in its infancy, but I’m sure I’ll be updating more as time goes on.
And now onto my real job that pays the bills… But wish me luck tonight as I set everything up!
Ham and Brie Baguette
- 1 fresh French baguette
- 1 wedge double cream brie
- 4 oz butter softened on the counter for a few hours
- 2 teaspoons each of minced chives parsley, and thyme (or, to taste)
- 1/4 lb of good quality deli ham
- Slice the baguette in half and then divide as desired. I made 2 sandwiches, but you could probably make about 4 from 1 baguette, depending on the size.
- In a small bowl combine softened butter and herbs. Mix well to combine.
- Smear the herb butter on both sides of the baguette slices.
- Add sliced brie.
- Top with 1-2 slices of ham.
- Serve immediately.