How did she learn to cook? Google! Or, well, a lot of years of trial and error that started with some family jabs at her first tries. She shared, “I was pretty terrible when I was younger, and it was kind of a family joke. When I was in college and living on my own, I was constantly googling how to make things. Eventually, I started a blog to keep track of recipes that went well.” So…now we’re seeing a framework upon which she began her blog habits! A-ha!
Ashley enjoys making Italian. “Spaghetti carbonara is so simple, I end up making it when I’m lacking inspiration. It’s pretty dang tasty too.” She loves herbs de Provence and exploring “pretty much anything I’ve never tried before. I love exploring new cuisine!”
Guilty pleasure foods are always fun to hear about, and when I asked Ashley what her guilty pleasure foods to eat out or cook at home, she shared “Oh boy. Everything? I love poutine. I’ve made it myself but Banger’s on Rainey has the best in town. Also, I am big on fried chicken, but I haven’t made it at home yet. Tumble 22 or T22 on Burnet are my absolute favorites, they’re perfectly spicy and so tasty!” I have to agree…that is some amazing chicken!
Mini Croque Madames
1 loaf French bread, sliced
- 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
- 1/2 lb Black Forrest Ham, cut into strips
- 1 cup caramelized onion (about 2 small onions, cooked over low heat with a tablespoon of butter and a bit of salt, stirred occasionally until caramel in color)
- Dijon mustard (enough to spread on each sandwich)
- 6 small eggs (or, enough to top each sandwich)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
For the bechamel sauce
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups cream
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a blend of parm, cheddar, and gruyere)
- 1 tsp parsley
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.-Prepare the sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, and whisk until a thick paste forms. Slowly pour in the cream, and whisk until thick. Add the cheese and parsley, and set aside.-Brush one side of each French bread slice with melted butter. Arrange half the slices on a cookie sheet, butter side down. Top each with onions, ham, and cheese.-With the remaining slices, spread a bit of Dijon mustard on the non-butter side, and place on top of each assembled sandwich, Dijon-side down.-Bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through and topping with a bit more gruyere. The sandwiches are done when the bread is golden brown.-Generously oil a 6-well muffin tin. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until the whites have set, 8-10 minutes, checking halfway through.-To assemble the sandwiches: top each with cooked egg, a drizzle of bechamel sauce, and the egg.