Grilled cheese + tomato soup = always a winner

After snarfing breakfast (fried egg on toast) so as to get J to Tae Kwon Do on time and then snarfing lunch (avocado, peppery olive oil and chevre on olive bread) so as to get to the gym on time, I patently refused to do anything but enjoy dinner. For the boys I made grilled salmon, pasta aglio olio, broccoli and oranges, and later for us, tomato and white bean soup with olive croutons and two cheese-grilled cheeses with Iberico ham. You simply cannot go wrong with any of these items. Plus, in making the soup, I christened my new pumpkin cocotte. I am smitten with it. Completely so. And no, skeptical husbands out there, it is not difficult to clean.

The soup included a whole bunch of basil and a pinch of saffron, a fair amount of garlic and a Parmesan rind. Tomatoes, white beans, olive oil and some peperoncino rounded things out, and the garlicky olive bread croutons were a delightful topper.

Meanwhile, a grilled cheese sandwich is always made better by being served alongside a bowl of steaming tomato soup. This duo can be as basic as a white bread-American cheese griller with a cup of Campbell's or as fancy as a multi-cheeser on artisan bread dunked in a vessel of just-crafted tomato bisque. Tonight I slicked slices of seed-heavy harvest bread with good butter before sandwiching them around shavings of both extra sharp white cheddar and black pepper-Parmesan as well as a paper-thin slice of Iberico ham from the farmers market. These were off the hook.

And dessert was The Knick, one of the best episodes yet. If y'all are not watching this excellent, engrossing show, you must. I wait for it with baited breath-anticipation every week. Clive Owen is too hot to be real. Mon dieu. Meow!

Speaking of meow, look at my doll-baby laundry cat. Look at the rear paws- could you die?!