Country Gourmet

I may have mentioned that I live in a town with no stoplights.

I’m being serious – no stoplights, no shopping mall, not even a Walmart in my actual town.

Sure, we have a few gas stations, a Dollar General, and a Subway, but that’s about it.

Usually, I love our small town. No traffic, great neighbors, friendly people. It’s quiet here, besides the trains clacking down the track and the chickens and roosters across the street.

While we do have a Walmart a few miles away and a mall about 30 miles from here, the small town life often leaves me wanting good food.

It’s hard to be inspired or find exciting new foods when most of your choices are soggy subs, inedible pizza, or Wendy’s.

Luckily, I had some swag from Foodbuzz that needed to be used up.


As part of our swag bag at the Foodbuzz Festival, I received a half wheel of some triple creme Brie – something I have never bought on my own.

I also had a perfectly ripe pear from Frog Hollow Farm that needed to be used, as well as a jar of this amazing Blue Cheese Dijon Mustard from Made in Napa Valley.

I actually tried this mustard on their fall inspired tarts at the Taste Pavilion and fell in love with it at first bite. They were nice enough to give me an entire jar to take home – I was so excited to use it!

You can guess what’s coming, right?



I don’t think anything beats melted Brie…well, nothing beats melted Brie with pear slices and a smear of tangy blue cheese dijon mustard.

  • 2 slices Nature’s Pride Whole Wheat Bread
  • 1/4 pear, sliced thin
  • 1 oz. Brie, sliced
  • 1 tsp (or more!) Made in Napa Valley Blue Cheese Dijon Mustard



I even used one of my new spatulas from the swag bag, too – thanks! The new red spatula was fun.

I knew I also needed, and wanted, some green with my sandwich, so I made a salad to go along with it.



I sliced up half of the pear to use today and I had about 1/4 of it that wouldn’t fit on my sandwich, so I knew it was going in my salad. The rest went from there.

  • 3 cups romaine
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 1/4 pear, chopped
  • 4 dried cherries
  • 1/2 Tbsp walnuts

As for a dressing…I knew I wanted to make one using that awesome dijon and this new balsamic from the swag bag!


Blackberry Balsamic with Pear? How could I not use this with pear in my sandwich AND salad? Plus, balsamic dressings made with dijon are the best.



Dressed and ready to eat





I may not have many gourmet places to eat around here, but at least I can do my best at home.

After eating all the amazing food this past weekend in San Francisco…I know what we’re missing here.

But I’m not exactly sure I would trade in my small town for beef cheeks…at least, not yet.



  1. Girl, I am so glad you got your hands on some brie! Isn’t it amazing?! Your entire meal looks delicious.

  2. Wow. That’s definitely one way to eat gourmet without going out of the house. I love the sound of that sandwich!

  3. Wow! That sandwich sounds and looks amazing!!

  4. That whole meals looks and sounds so good! :) Maybe I should buy some brie…. Hm. :D
    No stoplights?! That’s… weird. :P

  5. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  6. Your salad looks fabulous!! So fresh and pretty colors, too!

  7. Ooooomg – I would eat about 10 of those sandwiches!! Brie is the BEST!

  8. Thats too funny that you dont have alot of stuff around you, I live in MD and always thought of VA as a busy place! Though alot of people here at school (in CT) think of MD as a farm state in the south, including my BF! Totally untrue as well!

  9. I love fruit on savory sandwiches. And good cheese like melted brie is sooooooo delicious :-)

  10. I live in a town with no stoplights too! Our town has only 1 chain store: a SevenEleven. We have some local restaurants (1 is an organic self-sustaining farm with a high end restaurant), some antique shops, 1 gas station, and a couple other niche stores. It does take some getting used to. My husband grew up out here but I grew up in the good-old-suburbs.

    That sandwich looks wonderful!

  11. It all looks delicious!! Sometimes I wish I lived in a small town. Life is just so simple!

  12. no stop lights! thats to funny!

    when your able to make your own gourmet food i think thats so much better! i love this sandwich combo. i dont think i’ve had brie before, but i sure would love to try it, especially the way you prepared it!

  13. Yummy eats — love the pear and broccoli combo! I know what you mean about small towns. It is fun to be in the city but small towns have charm too.

  14. Apparently I need some brie in my life! That sandwich looks killer! :)

  15. That sandwhich looks delish! And that dijon mustard sounds amazing.

  16. mmm i loved that dijon! so good. vineyard pantry knows whats up. i think it would be fun to live in a town like yours~that is still pretty crazy that you hadn’t ridden in a cab! your sandwich creation is amaze.

  17. That sandwich looks fantastic! The combo of flavors seems amazing!
    I feel the same way about my small town (except we have a Walmart). I find I eat at home, even before going out and just get a small salad. Wings, burgers, pizza and fast food just doesn’t do it for me

  18. That’s crazy girl, you weren’t kidding when you said rural – and I though Franklin County past Roanoke was “rural”….. ;)

    Aren’t the Made in Napa Valley mustards awesome?! I just got some Spicy Apple Mustard w/ Cinnamon & Ginger (World Market obvi) and am in LOVE with the stuff!!!!

  19. That sounds amazing – I love brie!

    Sounds like some awesome swag :)

  20. I went to college in rural VA, and while there wasn’t much going on – the fresh produce available was amazing!!

    And that sandwich is making my stomach growl!!

  21. That sandwich and salad looks soooo good right now!

  22. oh my golly, that sounds absolutely delicious!!! drooling. and glad i have some brie at home :) thanks for the award (a few days late), i posted it today!

  23. that vinaigrette looks AMAZING! ahhhh the Foodbuzz loveliness continues…next year…next year…

    p.s. i give you major props for small town living – i do not think i could do it :)

  24. Ohhh! I still have that Brie. I wish I was as creative as you though. I have no idea what I am going to do with mine. Maybe I will melt it as well… but I already ate my pear :( I need more!

  25. Way to use the free swag! I didn’t get any of that mustard (can’t have it anyway) but I think I’ll need to make a similar sandwich very soon.

    (I already ate one of my pears – it was the best one I’ve ever had!)

  26. I am in love with your lunch – very gourmet! The town that we used to vacation in when I was a kid had only one road, right down the center, no stoplights, 5 stores, etc. I don’t know how people live in towns like that. I’m not a big city girl, I like the country but still!

  27. I used to live in a town just like that! Only the nearest city was about an hour away. Your sammie looks great! Yay for swag :)

  28. Do you live in my town? lol. Actually, my town does have some stop lights. Not many, but some. No wal mart though they have talked about putting one in around here (the town went crazy saying no to that) I love it here though. We’re 30 minutes from basically any type of place you want to go. 30 minutes from a mall. 30 from a wal mart. 30 from the movies. (an hour from va beach though but that’s not something that you really NEED to only 30 minutes away from! though it would be nice… lol)

    That sandwich looks AMAZING!

  29. Seriously, that is the most amazing sounding grilled cheese ever. I’m still at work…must go home now and eat dinner before I start licking the monitor.

  30. Wow you’re in a tiny area! I also couldn’t do it. I need mental and cultural stimulation- museums to go to, galleries, shows, access to great events. 30 minutes from a Wal-Mart or a mall? Sounds depressing as hell.

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