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Holiday Gift Guide for 2014

Hey — it’s December, and the holidays are once again upon us. While I used to reflect on all the cookbooks that crossed my desk, and kitchen counter, over the past year, I’ve lost track of what I’ve made from which book, and when. (One year I got wise, and started the list on January 1st, and continued adding to it as I went. And come December, it was all set to go.) Well, I’m not so organized anymore, a combination of not enough time, doing a number of other things, and bobbing up and down in the flow of life happening around me. So I decided to feature some things that really caught my interest this year – a kitchen tool that I found particularly useful, my favorite travel accessory, a book that may change my life (hope springs eternal…), and a few edibles.


Zoku ice cream maker

Zoku Single-Serve Ice Cream Maker

If you have friends or family who want to churn up just one batch of ice cream, all for themselves, the Zoku Ice Cream Maker Bowl promises to “churn” up a single serving of ice cream in just 10 minutes. This pint-sized gift (actually, it makes 6 ounces), can be used to “churn” up ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, or gelato whenever the needs arises. Another gift for them? They won’t have to share.


getdynamicimage

Tempur-pedic Sleep Mask

Know a light sleeper? (In addition to me…) Get them a Tempur-pedic sleep mask. I’ve lost sleep counting the number of eye masks I’ve tried that suck. Most let in light, which is the reason you buy an eye mask in the first place – or are uncomfortable to wear. This one blocks out 100% of light and after wearing it for a few minutes, the memory foam conforms to your face and it feels like you’re wearing nothing. I take mine everywhere I go when I want to block out light and get a good night’s sleep, such as when staying at hotels (what’s with all those appliance power lights that illuminate the room when you’re trying to sleep?) or on airplanes. Or even just at my place, during the months when the sun wakes up before I want to). This is my favorite travel object and I don’t go anywhere without mine. (I actually have two, because I am terrified that I’m going to lose one.) A great gift for any traveler.


marie kondo life changing magic of tidying up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

One day, a little packet arrived in my mailbox. My publisher had sent me a copy of this book with a note tucked inside the cover, saying that it created a sensation in their office, so they wanted me to have a copy. Thumbing through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I could see why they found it so inspirational. (And with over 2 million copies sold, we’re apparently not the only ones.) Just after I started reading it, I spent a few days going through all of my clothes and shoes, and cleared out half of the drawers in my bedroom, seeing something called “empty space” for the first time in years. It was, indeed, life-changing. And kind of “magic” that I got off my duff and did it.

Next up? Getting around to the rest of Marie Kondo’s suggestions. This pocket-sized book is great motivation not just for cleaning out closets, but for making space in your life, and moving forward on a number of things. It was a great gift to me, and worth passing along to friends as well.


chocolates gift

Nunu Chocolate, Woodblock Chocolate, and Dandelion Chocolates

Who doesn’t love chocolate? In the last decade or so, there’s been an explosion of wonderful chocolate makers and chocolatiers in America. As someone described it to me, it’s a true American revolution. A few favorites that have been part of the revolution are Dandelion Chocolates and Nunu Chocolates, both owned by people who I first met in Paris – of all places.

Dandelion changes their bars depending on whatever beans they can get their hands on, and they’re roasted and ground in their tiny factory in San Francisco. They offer a wrapped gift set, which are three bars and a letterpress tasting guide, as well as sets of three bars. Due to high demand, availability may be limited. (Disclosure: I am a small shareholder in the company.) The folks at Nunu chocolates offer various chocolate assortments, including a Beer Box, blended with craft beers in Brooklyn, the Booze Box with mezcal, rye, and absinthe, as well as a Caramel Blend, melded with various nuts and salt. Bonus: Both companies will deliver gifts for you.

Continue Reading Holiday Gift Guide for 2014…

Sign Up! Blog Posts & Newsletter Subscriptions

I’ve recently changed my blog subscriber service. A number of you had signed up but weren’t receiving the posts and recipes in your Inbox — a few readers wrote to me and thought I had stopped blogging! Irked that I was typing and baking away, updating the blog regularly with stories and recipes to share, but readers weren’t getting them, I moved everything over to a brand-new service.

Because everybody wants to control their Inbox, and not everyone wants to receive both blog posts and the newsletter (although why not?) – there are separate sign ups for each. If you are already a subscriber to either, you don’t have to re-sign up. However if you’re unsure, or haven’t been getting them, you should enter your information in the forms below, and it will let you know if your address is already in there. You can also use the two sign-up Subscribe forms in the upper right sidebar of the website.

– Sign up for the newsletter, click here=> Newsletter Sign Up

– Sign up for blog posts & recipes delivered to your Inbox, click here=> Blog Post Sign Up

Notes

-Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, other than sending out a monthly newsletter and for sending out blog posts. Email addresses will not be shared, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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-You don’t need to subscribe to receive blog posts by email if you don’t wish to. You can still come to the site and read them as you wish. If you choose to have them come to your Inbox, you’ll get a notification and introduction to the post in your Inbox.

-Due to an overlapping error, some newsletter subscribers may receive blog posts sent to their Inbox. My apologies but you can easily opt out of those at the bottom of those emails. Please excuse any other tech glitches that many arise due to switching over to the new service, and we hope to get them ironed out as quickly as possible.

Paris Booksigning, Sunday – November 30th

Next Sunday – November 30th – I’ll be at WHSmith Paris for a booksigning.

My Paris Kitchen

I’ll be at the book shop from 4pm to 5:30pm to meet and greet. There will be copies of My Paris Kitchen and The Sweet Life in Paris, as well as a limited amount of copies of The Great Book of Chocolate and Ready for Dessert. It’s the perfect opportunity for some holiday gift shopping – for yourself, or for friends or family. Or both!

the sweet life in paris paperback

If you can’t make it to the event, you can order a book from WHSmith and pick it up at the store, or have it shipped to you. (Depending on your location – more information is at that link.) You can visit the Facebook Event Page to RSVP, although it’s not necessary. Just stop by! See you there…

Mexican Dinner with Susana Trilling, in Paris

Susana Trilling Mexican Dinner

The first time I went to Mexico was sometime back in the 1980s. And from what I’d heard, I was sure that I would never come back. Most stories suggested danger lurking from every corner of every city and town, even in the oceans, where who knows what could happen to you in there. Or at the very least, I’d certainly be laid up in bed, doubled over from accidentally drinking the water.

Since that first trip, where I happily found myself on warm beaches sipping Mexican beers and eating spicy ceviche made from seafood that the fishermen brought in each morning from the clear blue ocean, I’ve been to Mexico maybe five or six times, and each time, made it back just fine. (Except for once, when I had a rather unpleasant return flight, made worse by a full plane with one restroom that was out-of-order. Which might have been attributed to a run-in with some mezcal.)

Because I live farther away now, it was nice that a bit of Mexico came to me — and didn’t involve and unpleasant return on a plane. Susana Trilling was coming to Paris and my friends Kate and Judy urged her to get in touch with me.

Susana Trilling Mexican Dinner

Susana had invited me over for a homemade Mexican dinner at her friend’s place in Paris, where she and Jesse, her son, were staying. But having cooked in my share of Parisian kitchens, which are often tiny and not well-stocked for serving groups (or preparing Mexican fare), I invited her to my place to cook, since I pretty much have any kitchen tool and ingredient one could imagine. Including some Mexican ones.

Susana Trilling Mexican Dinner

She unpacked her haul from the market in Paris, as well as lots of little packets of spices, seasonings, and a box of stone-ground Oaxacan chocolate, ground with cinnamon and sugar. I couldn’t resist and tore into the box, pulled out one of the handmade bars, and took a sniff. I love the smell of brusque, coarsely ground Mexican chocolate, and I was happy to hear we’d be having a Mexican dessert Susana would be baking with it.

Continue Reading Mexican Dinner with Susana Trilling, in Paris…

New York/Brooklyn Booksigning: Friday, October 10th

This Friday, October 10th, I’ll be at The Brooklyn Kitchen for a book party!

My Paris Kitchen Book Cover

For this free event, on hand will be samples to tasting from My Paris Kitchen, and there will be copies of Ready for Dessert, a collection of my all-time favorite dessert recipes, and My Paris Kitchen, a collection of stories and recipes from my French kitchen, that I’m happy to sign for you. And – gulp – since holiday season is slowly approaching, signed copies of my books make great gifts for friends and family. I’m just sayin’…

Ready for dessert cover blog

The fun, food, and wine will take place from 6pm to 8pm.

If you can’t make it to the shop, or live elsewhere, and would like a signed book, you can order one from The Brooklyn Kitchen — I’ll sign it, and they’ll send it. Click here to order.

The Brooklyn Kitchen
100 Frost Street (map)
Brooklyn, New York
(718) 389-2982

[If you plan to come, you’re invited to confirm on the Facebook Event page to let them know about how many guests to expect, although it’s not required to RSVP. If you have other questions about the event, feel free to contact The Brooklyn Kitchen.]

Paris Booksigning at Treize…a baker’s dozen, this Sunday

This coming weekend I’ll be at Treize…a baker’s dozen, in Paris on Sunday, October 5th, from noon to 1pm.

My Paris Kitchen

I’ll be signing copies of My Paris Kitchen at one of the latest, and sweetest, cafés in Paris – Treize…a baker’s dozen. Located in a gorgeous Left Bank courtyard, Treize…a baker’s dozen, where owner and chef Laurel Sanderson charms locals and expats with her home-style cooking, much of it rooted in flavors from her native South Carolina. Yet blended with a French sensibility, and French ingredients.

The café serves lunch, brunch and le goûter (afternoon snack), and readers of My Paris Kitchen will be familiar with Laurel, as she inspired a story and recipe in My Paris Kitchen. I’m excited to be a guest in her café for this event.

Treize_Logo__-_davidmlebovitz_gmail_com_-_Gmail

There will be copies of My Paris Kitchen available, and you’re welcome to bring previously purchased books as well. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!

[Note that there is a brunch from 1 to 4pm, which is sold-out. But this event is open to all from Noon to 1pm. If you’d like to RSVP to let them know you’re coming, you can on the Facebook Event page.]

London and Paris Book Events

My Paris Kitchen

– Next week I’ll be doing a chat and book signing on Monday, June 2nd, in London, in conjunction with the folks at Toast. There will be snacks, treats, nibbles, and – yes, cocktails! Sign up here.

– And on Saturday, June 7th, I’ll be at WHSmith in Paris from 3:30 to 5pm signing books as well. No need to sign up. Just stop by!

q & a

Rocky Road

I just returned from a four-week book tour where I met a lot of people. Everyone was incredibly nice and it was a treat, although because of the nature of the events, it wasn’t possible to spend lots of one-on-one time with anyone – including myself. However, I tried to answer as many questions as possible. The most frequently asked questions were; “Where have you been?” “Where are you going?” and, curiously, “When you are leaving?” I’ll assume the last one was people just being polite. (I hope!)

Another popular question was about mes bonnes adresses in Paris, or favorite places to eat. While I update the list on the My Paris page regularly, and there are more complete descriptions in the Paris restaurant category on the site, I suspect people thought I was holding out on them. (I swear, I’m not! – well, maybe one or two…but I have my reasons…) I was also interested in how many people were coming to Paris in the near future, which may explain the rise in airfares this summer, which are preventing us from going to Cape Cod and having a lobster, steamer clam, beer, and corn-on-the-cob fest.

Continue Reading q & a…