i love going grocery shopping in north dakota. i didn't expect to love it this much, i expected to really miss zabar's and fairway and trader joe's. but shopping here is wonderful: i go in the mornings and i linger in the huge aisles, admiring all of the different jams and vegetables. no one rushes me along because there is room for everyone and all of the workers ask me how my day is. the shelves are always well stocked and, at target, there is even a kosher section that sells bissli and bamba. (i shop in that section like it's going out of style because with approximately five jews in this entire state, i really can't trust that it will be there forever.) i can find pretty much everything that i need and i never need to limit myself for weight's sake because i can just wheel my cart out to the car. and there are never any lines for the checkouts.

although i occasionally have the craving for taza chocolate or a zabar's knish, i really can't say that i miss the crowded grocery stores and the schleps home. the north dakota grocery shopping experience is truly wonderful.


the north dakota grocery shopping experience and i got in our first fight this week when i was craving hazelnuts. i thought i was losing it because hazelnuts are not that obscure, right?? when i did find them, after about five different shopping trips, they were all innocently packed in itsy bitsy bags and under the name "filbert." *eye roll*. we don't need to get into it, but the moral of the story is i treated my pack like gold and thought and thought about what i should make with them. i decided it should be eggboy friendly because i am leaving him home alone this weekend when i go to chicago (!!!)... and i've been feeling fairly confident in my meringue skills... so eton mess!

eton mess is basically three things: meringues + fruit + whipped cream. it is so easy to make (especially if you use store bought meringues), and i love the combination of textures. my favorite thing to do is to leave the meringues just slightly undercooked so that they're a bit chewy. with the addition of toasted filberts, you have even more textural fun, and a bit of nuttiness that is just perfect to balance out the sweetness.

eton mess with toasted hazelnuts 

makes 6-8 servings


mix these four things together: 

meringues (a box of store bought or a batch of homemade. if homemade, i like to add a little almond extract.) 

a batch of coconut milk whipped cream

1 cup of toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup of berries

enjoy for breakfast like i just did... or as the perfect dinner party dessert!