Cozy Listens for a Comfort Meal

Some days you just need a hug, and nothing says “wrapped up in a blanket” like this supremely tasty Croque Monsieur from La Buvette: Recipes and Wine Notes From Paris by Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy*. Find the full recipe for the Croque Monsieur here (or reprinted below).

Pair the buttery, cheesy goodness with stories of family bonds, romance, or dream chasing that warm the heart.

The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux

Coming September 2020. A French story for your French sandwich. French-born American chef Sophie Valroux had one dream: to be part of the 1% of female chefs running a Michelin-starred restaurant. But just when Sophie finds herself on the cusp of getting everything she’s dreamed of, her career goes up in flames. Sophie flees to France to be with family, where she comes to understand the lengths people will go to for success and love, and how dreams can change.

Author: Bess Kalb
Read By: Bess Kalb

Bess Kalb saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force–irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life. With humor and poignancy, Bess Kalb gives us proof of the special bond that can skip a generation and endure beyond death.

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping and baring their personal lives like an open book. Internet Security Officer Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. Mostly because he’s fallen in love with Beth. After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart…even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But then she meets an irresistible man at a hotel bar, and she discovers too late that he is none other than junior senator Max Powell. Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble—not just some privileged white politician, as she assumed him to be, but the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

A Really Buttery Croque Monsieur
SERVES 4 (2 IF YOU ARE EXTRA HUNGRY)

Ingredients
1⁄2 cup salted butter, melted
8 slices classic white sandwich bread or pain de mie
8 slices Comté or tomme or another good melting cheese (about 6 ounces) For the best results, buy
a cheese that melts easily, which means Comté or tomme in France, but could mean Monterey Jack in America. Avoid cheeses like aged Cheddar, which is a little too sharp for the sandwich.

4 slices ham

Directions
1. Brush both sides of each piece of bread generously with butter (this is a really buttery croque monsieur after all!). Lay out all of the pieces of bread. On 4 of the pieces, place 1 piece of cheese, followed by 1 piece of ham, followed by 1 piece of cheese (that way the ham is in the center). Top with the remaining bread.

2. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. In batches, cook the sandwiches until the bread is evenly browned and the cheese is completely melted. If the bread is getting dark but the cheese hasn’t started melting, turn the heat to low and continue to griddle, gently turning the sandwiches over for even cooking. serve hot.

*Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Need more treats in your life? Visit our cooking page for more recs (of both the audio and food variety).