Summer Fruit Recipes

It’s summer! Whether you’re in or outdoors, hopefully for all of you there are beautiful summer fruits and berries to be had, and I hope that you’re able to get your hands on as many of them as you can. I am loading (actually, overloading…) myself up at the market. While a good portion on the fresh fruit gets eaten just as-is, some of it…

It’s summer! Whether you’re in or outdoors, hopefully for all of you there are beautiful summer fruits and berries to be had, and I hope that you’re able to get your hands on as many of them as you can. I am loading (actually, overloading…) myself up at the market. While a good portion on the fresh fruit gets eaten just as-is, some of it goes into the following dessert recipes that I continue to make year after year. Others go into jam, which is a great way to preserve all those summer fruits and berries, and make them last through fall and winter.

Cherry season is behind most of us (sniff…sniff…), but if they are still lingering where you live, you can type “cherry” or “cherries” into the search engine at the top right corner of the page to find cherry recipes. (And we don’t get a bountiful array of fresh raspberries and blackberries here, so I don’t have many recipes that use them on the blog.) But for nectarines, strawberries, peaches, plums and other summer fruits, here are some of my favorite recipes on the blog…

Continue Reading Summer Fruit Recipes...

Basics For Setting Up a Home Bar

You don’t need much, or any, fancy equipment or tools to make any of the cocktails in my book Drinking French, or any other drinks and cocktails. Below I’ve also listed what can easily fill in if you don’t have a proper cocktail shaker or mixing glass, using items you probably already have at home, although I’ll admit that having a few “tools of the…

You don’t need much, or any, fancy equipment or tools to make any of the cocktails in my book Drinking French, or any other drinks and cocktails. Below I’ve also listed what can easily fill in if you don’t have a proper cocktail shaker or mixing glass, using items you probably already have at home, although I’ll admit that having a few “tools of the trade” makes mixing and shaking up drinks easier, and more fun. So I’ve compiled a basic list of bar and cocktail tools that I own, in case you are interested in stocking your own home bar.

Continue Reading Basics For Setting Up a Home Bar...

What to Buy When Starting a French Bar at Home

Weeks before Drinking French came out, people were asking me what liquors and spirits to buy in anticipation of the book’s release. Skimming through the 160 recipes in the book, many of which are for cocktails and apéritifs, I offered up tips here and there, suggesting a few essential bottles that could be used for a number of recipes in the book. I also added…

Weeks before Drinking French came out, people were asking me what liquors and spirits to buy in anticipation of the book’s release. Skimming through the 160 recipes in the book, many of which are for cocktails and apéritifs, I offered up tips here and there, suggesting a few essential bottles that could be used for a number of recipes in the book. I also added a few extras (at the end of this post) to those suggestions, that aren’t vital to have, but are some of my favorites in case they wanted to branch out a little into some other French drinks, and spirits.

Continue Reading What to Buy When Starting a French Bar at Home...

Drinking French is Out!

I’m excited to announce that Drinking French: The iconic cocktails, apéritifs, and café traditions in France, with 160 recipes is out! My latest book features recipes for the iconic beverages of France, from café specialties hot chocolate, tisanes and infusions, and chilled chocolate frappés, to classic French apéritifs, recipes to make liqueurs, crèmes, wines, punches and cordials at home, as well as French-themed cocktails from…

Drinking French

I’m excited to announce that Drinking French: The iconic cocktails, apéritifs, and café traditions in France, with 160 recipes is out!

My latest book features recipes for the iconic beverages of France, from café specialties hot chocolate, tisanes and infusions, and chilled chocolate frappés, to classic French apéritifs, recipes to make liqueurs, crèmes, wines, punches and cordials at home, as well as French-themed cocktails from my favorite bars in Paris. To make sure you and your guests are properly fed, there’s a whole chapter of Snacks for apéro hour, such as a Terrine facile (an easy-to-make, meaty terrine), savory Cornmeal-Bacon Madeleines, bite-size Mushroom-Roquefort Tartlets, a recipe for Duck Rillettes as well as another for Chicken Rillettes (spread), one being quite rich, and the other for those who want to eat a little lighter. Or those who can’t get duck. (Writing the book, I thought of everything…and everyone.) And there’s a Kale Crespèu, a specialty of Provence which is perfect for summer with glasses of chilled rosé.

Drinking French starts out as a typical French morning does; at a café with a small shot of coffee or a more leisurely wake-up at home with a steaming bowl of Café au lait. Later in the day, people enjoy other café favorites, such as Citron pressé, Lemonade, Fresh Mint Tea, and if it’s the summer, to beat the heat, nothing beats a chilled Chocolate Frappé. For those needing a little more of a boost, there’s a Coffee Frappé, as well as one that uses one of the most popular liqueurs in France (which, interestingly, isn’t French), in case you want something cool and spirited. But there are dozens of recipes that don’t have any alcohol, making Drinking French enjoyable to all.

Continue Reading Drinking French is Out!...

The Making of Drinking French

A few years ago, after My Paris Kitchen came out, I began thinking about what I’d write about next. Whenever you have a book come out, the most common question is, “What’s your next book?” Sometimes you already have an idea, but other times, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy what you’ve written. I was happy that people took to that book so much,…

A few years ago, after My Paris Kitchen came out, I began thinking about what I’d write about next. Whenever you have a book come out, the most common question is, “What’s your next book?” Sometimes you already have an idea, but other times, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy what you’ve written. I was happy that people took to that book so much, and after a respite, I started thinking about what to write about next.

Because I was asked about it so much, I decided that telling the story of my apartment renovation would make an interesting book, which turned out to be true, knowing that people would be surprised at what a comedy of errors it turned out to be.

But another subject I found myself becoming more and more interested in was the culture and traditions of French drinkings, and the drinks themselves. I submitted both proposals at once, nearly six years ago, in a two-book arrangement with my publisher, deciding to tackle the renovation story first while it was still fresh in my mind and take on French drinks when I was done. That ended up being a good thing…because I needed a drink after reliving L’Appart…and from what many of you have told me after reading it, so did you!

Continue Reading The Making of Drinking French...

Twentieth Anniversary of the Blog!

I know I should have baked a cake, or rather, someone else should have baked a cake. But no matter. (Okay, so it matters a little…) I’m happy to celebrate the blog turning twenty this month! I’m not sure how the twenty-year mark snuck up so fast, but it did. Who knew when I started posting a bunch of random thoughts, ramblings, and recipes online…

I know I should have baked a cake, or rather, someone else should have baked a cake. But no matter. (Okay, so it matters a little…) I’m happy to celebrate the blog turning twenty this month!

I’m not sure how the twenty-year mark snuck up so fast, but it did. Who knew when I started posting a bunch of random thoughts, ramblings, and recipes online in October of 1999, that I’d be doing it this long. But here I am.

Continue Reading Twentieth Anniversary of the Blog!...

Making Mimolette Cheese

A year or so ago, I went to one of the Fancy Food Shows in the U.S. that are held once or twice a year, and are only open to professionals. They’re held in convention centers and you can find (and sample) a variety of foods from around the world. Past trends meant that you’d go and find a lot of salsas or biscotti, cocktail…

A year or so ago, I went to one of the Fancy Food Shows in the U.S. that are held once or twice a year, and are only open to professionals. They’re held in convention centers and you can find (and sample) a variety of foods from around the world. Past trends meant that you’d go and find a lot of salsas or biscotti, cocktail mixes or gluten-free foods, and for several years, you’d find no shortage of cupcakes, either.

But it’s fun to stroll the aisles where other countries show their wares. There are a lot of Italian pastas and cheeses, olives and feta cheese from Greece, Turkish olive oils and Lebanese breads, and foods from France. I don’t always know what’s available in the States, but whenever I mentioned French Mimolette cheese online, people would say, “Oh, if only we could get that in America!”

So I was surprised to see wedges of Mimolette (and blocks of French beurre d’Isigny) on display, which were presumably for sale in the United States. Yes, in 2013, the cheese was temporarily banned in America due to the cheese mites that burrow into the surface. The ban was short-lived, however, and a year later, Mimolette was available again.

Continue Reading Making Mimolette Cheese...