“What did I get?” you’re perhaps asking yourself. Hint: It’s not something that’s gonna make you itch. It’s my newsletter, which is sent out infrequently to subscribers. The latest one contained lots of info about my upcoming giant Paris book party, an astonishingly long list of strikes happening in France this month, news of exciting chocolate tours, and references to folks wearing short shorts sans…

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My friend, and master baker Nick Malgieri, just came out with a new book, Perfect Light Desserts: Fabulous Cakes, Cookies, Pies, and More Made with Real Butter, Sugar, Flour, and Eggs, All Under 300 Calories Per Generous Serving. It’s a lovely book of dessert recipes that keeps things on the lighter side. His recipe uses apples in place of the butter found in many traditional oatmeal…

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The hardest part about sampling so much good food is that it’s almost impossible to go back to eating the everyday stuff. I challenge anyone who’s flecked a bit of fleur de sel across their food to go back to ordinary table salt. I took one taste of the cloud-like, billowy chocolate-enrobed marshmallows from Pierre Marcolini and now I can’t seem to get enough. A…

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From Bologna, Italy

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After spending years learning the language, I’m pretty comfortable with menus in French and I’m rarely in for any unpleasant surprises when waiters bring me food anymore. But on my trip to Italy, I was completely baffled when handed an Italian menu, scarcely knowing stinco from souris d’agneau. Stinco I Iearned the hard way: a Fred Flintstone-sized hunk of roasted veal knuckle was plunked down…

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During my recent trip to Italy, I joined an Italian friend of mine at a trattoria for a late night supper. As we hungrily ate our overfilled plates of pasta Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe, a local specialty made with pecorino cheese and lots of spicy, freshly-ground black pepper, and pondered our day spent searching down the best coffee and chocolate in Rome. Chocolate in…

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Plinks

Welcome to my world, girlfriend. My Time Machine: A blast from my past, circa 1999. Japanese terrorized by the Paris Syndrome. A wine sale I missed. And Americans keep asking me if Paris is safe… Cool (May 2006) coincidence (October 2006)? I’m stirring the pots. Does anyone want to carry around their kitchen floor? (Thanks to Mark, Jenny, and Kate.)

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The RATP has started a campaign to try to get Parisians to respect each other when riding the métro, including avoiding the noisy, smelly pitfalls of eating a hamburger, not jumping the turnstiles, talking too loud or swearing, having inane, annoying cell phone ring-tones (yeah!), and not putting your stinky feet on the seats. Watch the films and animations here. (In French, but hilariously watch-able,…

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“It’s not your fault!” she laughed. I had just walked in the door of my hotel, clutching my stomach in a bit of a panic, unable to fit in another morsel of food, no matter how small or appealing. Halfway through my 10 day eating trip through Italy, I felt like a plump, overstuffed ricotta-filled cannoli, bursting at both ends. I told the woman at…

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