One of the greatest things about America is the cultural mix. Which often means that you can get great food in the unlikeliest of places. Like very good Mexican food in, um, Virginia! A previously satisfied customer? Arlington, Virginia, is best known for the cemetary and a large, five-sided building called the Pentagon. (There’s lots of military people lurking in the Metro and on the…

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Upon arrival at Paris’ Roissy airport, I notice that lots of people seem to be smiling and no one is trying to cut in front of me in line and many of the people are toting self-help bestsellers with semi-bald men grinning on the glossy front jackets. Yes, I’m on my way back to the United States of America. I got upgraded, which is like…

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The worst thing about the pâtisserie of Arnaud Larher is that it’s too dang far away from where I live. Located on the northern fringes of Montmarte, it takes me 3 different métros to get there, and even then, it’s a hike from the métro station (which is buried very, very deep underground, since that quartier of Paris is mostly soft limestone, aka plaster of…

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Recently I’ve been thinking a bit about pistachios for a couple of reasons. Pistachios are wonderful and tasty nuts that not so long ago were considered unusual and exotic. Now they’ve become rather common and are easily available. When I was a little boy, my Syrian grandfather used to always have on hand big 5-poundsacks of pistachio nuts, sometimes vividly-colored red (am I the only…

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Perhaps it’s wrong to blame the cheese. But cheese doesn’t have any feelings, it’s just exists for our pleasure. So for once I don’t have to worry about offending anyone on my blog. Now that’s a relief. A friend of mine came for dinner the other night who’s on le regime, a diet. While shopping at the supermarket I spotted this reduced-fat cheese, checked out…

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One of my favorite lunch treats is from Au Levain du Marais, their warm Anchovy Tart with soft-baked tomatoes and oil-cured olives, all baked in a buttery puff-pastry crust. I try to stop in at least once a week for a quick bite, and if I’m lucky, I get to the bakery just when they’re fresh from the oven. A perfect lunch! Au Levain du…

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One thing that does seem to cross international lines successfully is baking. I never visit a country without sampling their baking. I visit bakeries and want to try everything, from Mexico’s delicious tortillas served warm with butter, to Indian naan breads just from a tandoori oven. Here in France during the winter, the windows of pastry shops are lined with all sizes of Galettes de…

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The Book Tour

Do you know what this is? It’s my almost-empty peanut butter jar, which means I’m just about due for a trip back to the United States of America…I’ll be on The Book Tour! The good part of The Book Tour is that I get to meet lots of people who bake from my books and read my blog. This is what I’ll be doing the…

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When the winter chill comes to Paris, one of the great pleasures is sipping a cup of rich hot chocolate, le chocolat chaud, in a cozy café. But no matter where you live, you can easily make and enjoy the chocolatey taste of Paris at home. Contrary to popular belief, Parisian hot chocolate is often made with milk rather than cream, and get its luxurious…

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